Home Practice

Have you established a home practice yet? No? Let me tell you why this is a great idea and what helps to set it up. It’s so much more than just move and stretch your muscles! Commitment to a home practice – ideally 6 days a week (I know…!)  is a commitment to self-discipline and part of a transformation into a healthy body and mind. It will be the start of something great, it will change you. And yes, the difficult part is showing up on the mat. The easy part is, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing and how long, as long as you’re practicing. Even this will change over time!

First things first – why it’s so damn good for you

  • You will develop a personal discipline, which won’t stop at your mat, but support you in all parts of your life
  • You will create a healthy habit, which might make you more aware of health in general
  • It will allow you to tune and play your own instrument: the body
  • It will soothe your soul, feed your spirit and make you a more efficient practitioner in the world
  • You will learn and appreciate to be alone

Bring it on – how you will succeed

  • Set a fix time that suits your daily schedule. Even if morning first thing is most efficient and recommended, it has to fit into your life so you can stick to it. Of course it can be different during the week and on the weekends! Whatever works for you.
  • Create an inspiring surrounding – if you have a spare room, decorate it to feel good there. If not, no problem at all, make it nice wherever you enroll your mat. Maybe a nice view out, you might want to light a candle, turn music on, diffuse essential oils, whatever it is that makes it inspiring for you, will make it easier.
  • Be committed to show up, no matter how long. Start easy. Define how many times a week and go from there. Even if everything inside tells you no no no, not today! Roll out your mat and practice.
  • There might be days you just sit down to breathe for 5 minutes. Alternatively, a 10 minutes meditation, maybe a 60 minutes asana practice. That’s great, job done.

Take it easy, but stick to your commitment! It is a huge step, but so worth it…. Go for it yogi! Remember, you don’t have to start at 100%, a step by step approach will help to slowly get used to it. Whenever you don’t manage to stick to your commitment, notice how this feels. Laugh and call it a day, you’re not supposed to be wonderwoman or superman 🙂

TUNEin:BALI

Done!!! I couldn’t feel more grateful – what a journey, what a week! Very intense, same time easy flowing. Flow is the right term, everything at the right time. No forcing, no judging. We just did it. Calm, peaceful, with a huge portion of passion. Great practice, touching ceremonies, yoga, breathwork, meditation, mindfulness.

But the best part was to share all this with stunning souls. Everyone so different, everyone in the same groove.

Thank you universe for giving me the courage to host my own yoga retreat. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done and I’m pretty sure, I will do it again!

Bali bliss to all you babes out there, keep on rocking, realize your dreams, fuck the doubts ✌️

Make space

I have to admit, even if I’m preaching it, sometimes I have to shout out loud, that being on my mat isn’t all that counts. From time to time – particularly when struggling or even being thrown back in certain postures – I need to tell myself “don’t define your practice through asanas!”. Yoga has become my way of life and it should be honored as such.

The older I get, the more difficult it is to keep balance. The balance in my asana practice reflects my balance in life. Too many duties and instead of stepping back, I have more ideas and put myself in situations where even little things all of a sudden get massive. More, faster, running, rushing through life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love what I do, I love my life, however body and mind also need to rest and recharge.

And that’s my challenge: make space for myself. To not rush from one task to another, but implement mindfulness instead. Do what I teach! Particularly to not reduce my own practice to quickly do the primary series, to press it somehow into my busy schedule. It’s not about the practice itself, but making space for myself. When on my mat, practice passionately, aware, dedicated. Not just tick the box. Make space and allow myself to be there, in the moment, nothing else.

How about you? Are you properly caring for yourself? What helps me a lot in general, but particularly when going through tough days, is implementing regular short breaks to focus on my breath. Just that. As soon as I breathe deep into my belly, I’m back. I’m reconnected after just some minutes. Easy and very efficient. Give it a try!

I have to learn to be more patient with myself, fully accepting that progress sometimes means to step back. The transformation my life has undergone is sometimes not even recognizable, sometimes it’s rather a big break through. So I keep on moving, trust in me, trust in my magic.

Yoga and business

How can this go together? When looking at my objectives as a yoga teacher, it’s pretty smooth. I want to give. Meaning guide my students and help them to tune in through the physical practice. Help them to maybe discover more, maybe learn about themselves, maybe start their transformation, whatever this means to them.

When people ask me, why are you teaching, even next to your full time job, that’s a huge effort? My answer is easy: I watch my students arriving to class and seeing their faces when they leave – I can see they changed. For the better. They look happier, calmer, there’s something in their eyes, that warms up my heart. And I leave class similar: shining.

And yes, in this world we’re living in, it’s absolutely ok to get money for this. It’s not about having fun, it’s work. Preparing classes, go there, doing them, investing my time and not to mention all the education and training, which isn’t just a one off, but ongoing.

But yoga is so much more. Not just a job, not just exercise. It’s a transformational process, an attitude towards life. Sadly, for some teachers and business owners, teaching yoga and living yoga is not always the same. That’s what I’m experiencing again and again. The business seem to overrule the yogi. In other words: the ego has still got the leadership role. Maybe we also need this, the other side of the coin? We are different, we have different approaches and as always, there’s no right or wrong. I strongly believe, the yoga business is no show-face to the students and when turning around a different face shows up. For me yoga is about integration and authenticity. I know, this isn’t always easy, but hey, we’re human beings and just imperfect perfect!

Each teacher is also a student, we’re all practitioners, so let’s use our yoga practice to move into stillness in order to experience the truth of who we are. As a student, as a teacher, as an individual, as a soul. And this is not an end point, this is the beginning of the journey, the beginning of our transformation. Teachers out there, love what you do, be you, aim true!

 

Don’t break your body – do yoga 

There seem to be about 900 asanas… can you imagine?! Darling, honestly, you can only master a certain set of them. So why don’t you take it easy, forget about the rest, forget about just jumping from one level to the next. It bears repeating, IT’S NOT IMPORTANT. You are not in a competition! I already wrote about this and I won’t stop repeating, as the principals of yoga go beyond asanas.

“Yoga is the journey of the self through the self to the self.” (Bhagavad Gita)

Yoga is transformation. You define the purpose. It might be bliss, higher consciousness, find your true self, you name it. For sure the final state isn’t a certain degree of flexibility or mastering super duper advanced postures. But the asana practice is the entry point, this is where we start our transformation.

I like the idea of my asana practice being a moving meditation. I experienced it a couple of times and it felt out of this world. An awesome connection, with me, with everything. It’s an approach about stopping the mind going crazy, it’s about detaching. Yoga isn’t just a fitness tool, yoga is about working on yourself. Yoga is a transformation. Transform your body, transform your mind.

The asana practice is just one of the 8 limbs – read more about it here.

Take care yogi, don’t break your awesome body, do yoga and enjoy life!

 

Transformation

Recognize

the moment, when you get off your clothes

and jump into your yoga pants.

Let the transformation start.

Recognize

how your mind releases immediately,

the skin in your face get smooth,

your jaw relaxes.

Recognize

your body waking up,

your muscles silently vibrating.

Recognize

your breath and deepen it,

become mindful.

Feel your happiness,

on your way to the mat.