PAUSE

Today is new moon. The moment of stillness. The old does not longer exist, the new is not yet there. Time to rest. Time to look inward. Get clarity on what you really want and set an intention.

I never felt like this before. My body is tired and so is my mind. Empty. Done. I need a proper rest. Not just a few hours. It‘s time to leave the business behind and take it really slow. Do something different, go where there‘s nothing to do. Start breathing. Feel the nature around and also feel me.

Connect to my floors:

  • The bottom, re-ground myself and connect to my stability
  • The middle, appreciate my ability to handle the world
  • The top, activate my vision to play imaginatively

One week to keep on going in the center of the craziness. Followed by some time to exactly do that. Pause. Reset. Refill.

Go for some yummy yin yoga today, respect the new moon and its energy. Practice slow today. I just did, it felt so good!

High energy

Do you feel it already? It’s not only the first Full Moon and Supermoon (when the moon is closest to Earth) of the year, but also a total Lunar Eclipse – coming up between this Sunday and Monday. There are loads of readings out there if you are interested, as I won’t step into any astrological findings here. 

I’m feeling this huge energy since yesterday afternoon. My practice in the morning wasn’t affected, however, it came up a bit later. My mood shifted from laughing to sadness, and everything in-between. This emotional seesaw was my companion of the day and evening.

This morning I started my practice careful. Listening to my body and my mood. As usual I turned music on, not this kind of yoga music, I prefer some good beats when practicing at home. I couldn’t stand it. Awful. I switched to some slow pling-plong background something. Much better. My practice mirrored this – poor strength, less flexibility. Alright, I adapted. Appreciating the clear signs, so I don’t harm myself. My practice was still Ashtanga, but slow, mindful, skipping some postures and Vinyasas to honor my bodys’ messages. I’m happy I practiced anyhow, and very grateful for being that connected, feeling the energies around and within.

What does this Full Moon mean for your practice? Be mindful yogi, always listen to your body and be even more attentive the next days. Take a rest day tomorrow and use the time to meditate or if you want some physical practice, go for a slow Yin Yoga sequence. Use the moon energy to focus on yourself and what’s going on within. Grant yourself some time tomorrow and think detoxing, cleaning, charging. Think let go and same time abundance.

Happy Full Moon!

Unexpected feelings

We put so much focus on our physical wellbeing, but what about our emotional and mental? When practicing yoga, we do both, we work on our body and mind. I’m not referring to any yoga practice off the mat, for now it’s still about practicing asanas.

A way to recognize that we are working on other layers too, is when unexpected feelings pop up. Are you sometimes getting emotional during or after practice? No worries, you’re not alone! Sometimes all of a sudden we face certain reactions in class, that might feel strange. We feel tears running down our face, we get upset or sad… without really knowing why. As if a button was pushed and the doors are wide open for any kind of emotions to flow.

What happened? Well, yoga isn’t just a workout for our muscles! When we reach deeper levels, we do exactly this, we open doors. Particularly in yin yoga, when we’re working on the connective tissues and facia, it’s all about opening and release. Yin yoga is the art of letting go. When touching areas where we store our emotions, such as the hips, it can be really liberating, but same time we also face those emotions we’re about to let go.

Yoga works on different levels. And if you feel emotional, no matter what kind of yoga you’re practicing, it shows you, that something happens within and this is just stunning beautiful. Accept it, embrace it! Allow these feelings to be there, go into them, see, look at the details, feel, give room, be a mental observer, without any judgement.

Guide your breathe into this sections, take a deep inhale and exhale everything out that you don’t need anymore. Let it go. Try a little smile, enjoy what you are capable of! You’re pure magic!

Do we need a mat to practice?

No, we don’t. And sometimes I even prefer to practice without. So is it just good Marketing that we’re purchasing them and even need more than one? Nope, a mat has a lot of benefits (please do yourself a favor an get a proper one – yes they are expensive but worth it, depending on your requirements).

The most important reason is to protect us from injury. Wow, a mat ca do this? Absolutely, let me give you an example: I’ve got slightly sweaty hands and those who share this with me know what I’m talking about. Slipping on a mat can be quite dangerous, plus it keeps my mind busy to take care about a proper and safe stand instead of releasing in a posture.

Of course it’s also a welcome support for the knees and all those parts touching the ground. Honestly I also don’t want to know what’s going on there on the floor, such things as when it has been cleaned last time…. Just get my mat down and everything is fine. Well, don’t forget to clean your mat regularly!

There’s another aspect not to be underestimated: ‘my mat is my home’. A symbolical representation of the place, which makes your mind, body, heart and soul healthy and also in union. Where ever you place your mat, you’re home. It’s your safe place. A synonym for your practice. Untouchable for others, disrespectful to walk on a mat that is not yours. Even when I teach, I try to not touch the mats of my students, which is unfortunately not always possible when doing adjustments, however, I respect this as a very personal place.

Regardless of all the pros using a mat, go without from time to time. We should not be attached to it, as attachment is rather about holding and clinging, while we try to practice the art of letting go in yoga. It’s all a matter of a healthy balance – appreciate your mat, without becoming hooked on it.

Learnings from the mat

Let Go

What happens on the mat stays on the mat? Nope. We practice asanas, but we also practice acceptance, we practice letting go. We practice with our body, but we also practice to go internal. As body and mind work together, all physical work has a mental effect too. Like this moment, when all of a sudden or mind gets empty, we’re getting soft while keeping full stability within an asana and with this, all tension releases. It’s working the same way off the mat.

Love

When you practice yoga, it’s about you. There’s no competition. Is your neighbors’ acrobatics and surreal flexibility sparkling onto your mat? Well, that’s not about you. Look at it if you can’t resist, be happy about the show and go back to yourself. It doesn’t say anything about you. Avoid mirrors. Go internal and feel your body. Let yourself be guided by the voice of the teacher and by the aligning hands. Go internal and learn. It’s about you. It’s about accepting yourself with all your strengths, with all your limitations that moment. It’s called love.

Independence off the mat

On the mat you learn to be yourself. Off the mat it’s about integrating these learnings. Do you know this feeling of happiness compared with a huge uncertainness, when you’ve got something new? New within, new outside, it doesn’t matter. Instead of wearing it with a proud smile, all of a sudden we turn into a shy something. The self confident woman ask herself, did I do this right? But what the hell is right? Who is judging? Whatever is new that moment belongs to you. Is part of you, mirrors what that moment is inside of you. No matter if we’re talking about a blood-red lipstick or a new haircut. No matter if it’s about a new pair of fancy leggings or a new tattoo. Even changes that are internal count. They make us strong and same time sometimes uncertain and vulnerable when we show them first time.

Love and let go

Remember what you’re learning on the mat. It’s about you. Free yourself from dependency. Why is it so important what others think? Of course you’re flattered when your surrounding is sending kudos. Wow, you’re looking amazing! You look so happy! Awesome how you’re shining! We don’t want to hear things like, oh, that’s flashy… can you remove that?

Love and let go

Why so thin-skinned? Yeah, it’s all about harmony, isn’t it? It’s so much easier to go with the flow. Inconspicuous. Accepted. Belong to a group. This is where you feed your self confidence from. Get rid of it! It’s a false conclusion, as it only shows how your vis-à-vis operates. It’s not about you!

Maybe your friend is jealous. Maybe simply overstrained. Maybe it’s just not her or his taste. Maybe you developed into a certain direction, which is a different journey. Endless options. And finally the opinion or even judgement about your new whatever, is telling you something about that person, not about you. The more you provoke, the more you learn about that person.

Of course, there are others. Those that are on a similar path. Recently someone told me, your tattoos are so YOU. I loved that. It was not about like or dislike, this person looked at ME, without judging.

My conclusion: do what you want. Be YOU. It’s your story, your journey, your life. If it feels good, it is good. Trust yourself. Aim true. Connect with yourself, connect with your breath, as you do it on the mat. If any uncertainty arises: Love and let go. On the mat, off the mat.

Happy holidays

Yogi!

Enjoy a wonderful christmas break, nourish your body with seasonal food and good wine. Don’t care about any rules, enjoy and have fun, your heart filled with gratitude.

While keeping your practice, maybe give yin yoga a try – this calm and deep stretching fits quite well into the season and not just your body will thank you, as it’s a great practice of letting go. Let the year go, with all it’s good stuff, with all the shit. Let it go, it’s past. Empty yourself and get ready for a fresh transition into 2017.

Take care, namasté

 

The heart of yoga

During your practice focus on your breath. Your breath initiates the movements. There’s nothing but breath. The rhythm of your inhales and exhales. Without the breath there is in fact no yoga. Your steady focus on the breath is what makes your practice deep, intense and finally a moving meditation. Not asanas, but breath is the heart of yoga.

On the mat you let go. Each inhale nourishes you, with every exhale you let go. Stiffness, inflexibility. Limiting beliefs, bad habits, fears. Judgement. Your breath creates the rhythm of your practice. You feel what you are doing without thinking about it. Learning to trust. Yourself.

Your breath is your music. Listen to the sound of the ocean you create. Allow the waves to flow through your body, wash you internally. Making your body smooth and flexibel.

Let the wind of your breath drive your movements – stretch, bend, fold, bind, lift, open. Turn the world upside down. Feel. Free yourself and open your heart.

Allow your breath to lighten you up inside. Start shining.

From this point on yogi – just promise me you’ll keep a steady focus on the breath while practicing! This is yoga.