Struggles

This year is a challenge for many and it is for me. No, this isn’t another covid post, my challenge is a different one. It’s seems to be the year of pain for me. It all started when I broke my ribs in February. After months of recovery, the other side of the ribs made trouble. Not broken, but bad pain. Recovery again. And a third time. It’s end September and I’m still not fully through it. Exhausting. 

Additionally my leg plays games with me, that bad, that some days even walking becomes a problem. I had a bad accident about 25 years ago and my leg likes to remind me here and there, but not as bad as it does now.

How does this affect my yoga practice? A lot! I had to step back from a 5-6 days Ashtanga practice to „let’s see what I can do“. From absolutely nothing, followed by a bit of yin yoga to a modified Ashtanga practice, and backwards and forwards. A mix which is difficult when used to a rather strong Ashtanga regime. I always liked yin, it’s a beautiful change and add on to the Ashtanga world, however, being forced into something isn’t the same.

I’m suffering on the mat. 

Physically due to the pain and trying to gently figure out where to stop and not overdo, but also find the right level of challenge. To not forget the mental dimension, thoughts such as „I will never make it to where I was“, „I can’t do it“, „my body get’s weaker and weaker“, you name it. Same time, I also feel grateful that I still can practice! Unfortunately this doesn’t stop those slamming thoughts. 

There are these days, when I practice, even with modifications, and just feel happy. Yes, I’ll be back soon. It’s a damn rollercoaster.

I’m suffering off the mat. 

Physically due to a lack of strong practice, all of a sudden my hamstrings complain a lot, guess they thought, great, let’s go on holidays forever! Well, many muscles, tendons and joints tell me, you should have relaxed on the sofa, let’s get rid of that mat!

At the end, this makes me rather laugh, this is the „sweet“ pain. It’s my mind bothering me more. „Give it up, you just can’t do it anymore“, „at your age, go find something matching“. But also thoughts like „you don’t have any discipline anymore“, „you don’t have any will, you’re just weak“, „you should have done this“, „you’re so lazy“….

All my challenges show me how important my practice is, physically and mentally, and yes, I will continue, no matter how difficult it is, as giving up has never been an option.

Upavista Konasana

Upavista Konasana was a long journey for me and I thought I will never reach the ground with my upper body. Even if not flat yet, I‘m down! It was never a posture that had too much of my attention, as I know it’s a matter of open hips and long hamstrings and it’s an intense stretch of the insides of the legs. Nothing to force, but slowly develop. It’s all about patience. Haha, my strength! Not. At. All.

This posture is a fabulous teacher. Everything is possible and comes when the time is right. When we are ready. The body open, the mind without the intent to push. Allowing the body to immerse into the asana and eventually one day we’re in. And if not? Well, I don‘t worry anymore, I just practice. 

Does your morning routine impact your day?

Did anything changed for you in this time? Over the last few weeks I managed to implement a new morning routine – thanks to the lockdown. I love working from home! It’s so important how we start a day…. Usually I got up very early in the morning to go to the office before the major traffic makes driving impossible, so I was in a rush. Which means I started into the day already with stress. As I have issues sleeping, there’s no point to even get up earlier, I’m grateful for every additional minute in bed. A catch 22. 

These days are very different. I start with hot lemon water and a shower, I check my work emails, meetings and to do’s for the day and then I sit to meditate for 30-40 minutes. In silence with the only sound of my diffuser, enriching the air with beautiful scents. Additionally I put a drop of either Sandalwood or Blue Lotos on my 3rd eye, crown chakra and collarbones and just sit, doing nothing, not physically, nor mentally. It needs about 15 minutes for me before my body gets heavy, movements are not even possible anymore and my mind to pause with the incoming thoughts. Slowly I start seeing. Images, that can be clear or only show parts or colors. No judgment, no wondering, no questions, no answers. Just taking it in, letting it happen, what ever is there for me. Sometimes I go into these scenes, not being the observer anymore. Sometimes when I see myself, I merge with that part of me to experience this particular moment. This also happens naturally, I don’t force anything.

After that I enjoy a matcha latte outside, no matter the weather. Sitting on my dining table in the garden, enjoying nature and my precious state of calmness. This stillness inside is magic. This moment is magic. Now I’m ready for the day, fully connected to myself, calm and open. Any yeah, still in time for the business world.

I wish I could also fit my yoga practice into the morning, but still, sleep is important. I do this on the weekends and it’s a huge difference to practice in this state of calmness! Anyhow, for now, the yoga practice finds another time during the day or evening. Having this too in the morning might be a next step 😉

What’s your morning routine and how important is it for you?

Gift card

Yoga is a personal practice!

Yoga classes are great, but only in a one to one session you get the full attention of your teacher. A private session will be made for you individually and the focus is on your requirements and objectives. It is a great way to bring your practice onto the next level and ensure you’re perfectly aligned to support your body and mind.

Give yourself the gift of a private yoga session! While we are thinking of how we could do something good for our partner, family or friends, particular now for Christmas, what about a private yoga session? No matter if first time or experienced yogi, the session will be created for that person.

Book a one to one session now for yourself, or purchase a gift card ✨

Let’s talk – whatever channel you prefer:

The best advice ever

Years ago I was facing the first yoga class that I had to teach and I was so nervous. I had issues talking in front of a group of people, but obviously couldn‘t avoid it in that situation. A friend gave me an advice: connect to your own love before you go into the shala and all will be good. To be honest, this didn’t sound promising, but rather strange. However, I just did it. It made me smile and you know what, fear and smiling doesn’t go together. I had a great class and since then, my problem is solved. I love teaching and can‘t even imagine anything better!

No matter the situation, whenever you face fear or anger, when you feel upset, helpless or nervous, do that.

Close your eyes for a moment and feel the love inside. We all have that, we all can do it. As soon as you connect, love spreads inside and you are nothing but love. This will be the driving energy and there won‘t be any room for negativity, no matter the form.

A few days ago I was really upset and I felt anger coming up. Only the next day I remembered the advice I was given many years ago – I connected with my inner love and the anger disappeared immediately. Plus, if you are spreading love and start shining, others will react on this. I learnt once again and this time, I will keep it in my mind, as it works in every situation.

When will you give it a try?

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!

It’s about you.

When you step on your mat next time, no matter if you’re in class or practicing on your own, do one thing: take your practice serious. It’s not a fun tool, a fitness regime or anything to tone your body. It’s about you. It’s about quietening your mind, while your body is moving.

No matter how many people are around you or if you’re on your own: your practice is about you, only you. Don’t care about the postures. Do it. Flow through.

Keep on going, stop complaining. No, it‘s not too hot, it’s not too cold and no, you are not too busy. Practice. Move your body and give your mind a conscious break. Find peace in yourself. This little smile that no one can see and everyone sees.

Just that. 

There’s more

Many people practice yoga as their fitness regime – which I believe is totally fine, if this is what they want. However, yoga shouldn’t be placed in the fitness realm. Getting a strong and flexible body might happen through regular practice, but yoga isn’t just moving from one pose to another. It’s about ourselves, establish a deep connection to the self and learn on the way.

If you’re after competition and judgment, the yoga studio is the wrong place to be, as yoga isn’t competitive at all, it’s not about can or can’t, it’s not about the student next to you. We are using asanas to quieten our mind, to slide into a moving meditation.

That doesn’t mean we can’t do some of the fancy stuff that is popular right now! Go, try everything that catches your attention, but also understand there is more. 

When attending a yoga class, be prepared that you might not get what you want. Instead, be open to receive what the teacher is ready to give to you. Encouraging and guiding you to look inward, and become rooted in the deeper sense of yoga.

It’s a slow process, there’s no rush.

Photocredit Pasindu Madushan Photography

Too hot to practice?

Finally! Summer arrived with very high temperatures and this week makes us sweating by doing nothing, no need to be in the sun for this. In the radio they advised to not do any fitness during the day. That hot. 

And I love it! How about you?

So, is it too hot to practice yoga? To be honest, I really don’t get the point. I see many yogis traveling to countries where they face high temperatures and humidity, and there’s no question to practice or not. So why here? 

There are some options and it depends on how your body deals with the heat. I love the fact that my joints feel like lubricated, my body is soft and flexible. However, one should be more aware of any cardiovascular problems, and effects such as dizziness should been taken serious. Not much difference to what we do anyhow: listen to our bodies! And yes, practice early morning if any possible, as this makes it easier for your body.

Another option would be a slower pace. Reducing the sweaty parts and choose more calmer elements. Yin yoga would be great too. 

There is no right or wrong, let your body decide what’s right for you and be aware, so you notice the signals. Care for your body, keep it hydrated – this is what you should do anyhow.

No excuse for the lazy ones or those who are too busy to practice 🙂

Photocredit Pasindu Madushan Photography

The beauty of Aging

Many of us experience some changes around the age of 50. I’m not talking about any kind of midlife crisis or menopause for women, while this might also be a trigger to rethink where we are in life. No matter the reason, it seems to be the time to reinvent oneself.

A friend of mine, who turns 50 this year, takes this as an option to rethink what he wants his life to be and he takes the necessary changes. Those changes can be quite big things; it might even come to a real turn over.

I heard from another friend who had a rigorous 6 days a week Ashtanga practice, that with her menopause starting, she allowed herself to be less strict and her yoga practice turned to be more calm, slow and gentle, always listening to what her body needs that day.

This time might be an entry point into a new phase of life, with new options, new strength, and the courage to change and eventually start something new. It might concern the job, the place we live, relationships, our practice or the entire life set-up; no matter what direction we’re aiming to go, if you feel called, do it. Even if aging shows us at this stage the first indications that not only the outer appearance is transforming, but also the body complains more. And hey, where is that fear coming from all of a sudden?

Many yogis start taking it easier at that point, while for me the full story started then. At the age of 49 I did my first teacher training and instead of getting calmer, my yoga journey took off and was at its best around 52. I’m 54 now and my body talks to me loud and clear, mostly not what I want to hear and I learned that it’s not always about doing the full Ashtanga series each day, it’s about showing up. Being on the mat every day, doing what I can. Luckily, my body is still improving, still learning, adapting, bending more, even if progress takes much longer. My practice teaches me to be patient, the most difficult thing to learn for me! To accept, that it’s totally fine where I am on my journey and not just that, it is phenomenal how my body and mind changed over the past few years.

We move on, the three of us, together, body and mind and soul. We keep on changing, improving, learning and the very new thing: we take it easy.