than rolling out the mat
This will be another blog post.
Meanwhile while I am writing that one I would like to know from you:
What means Yoga for you?
I look forward to all your answers <3∞
Why should everyone include some Yoga in life?
Ok, I know, I told you that I am attending a yoga teacher training and of course I think that everyone needs yoga. Cliché? Maybe, maybe not.
It’s not easy to answer a question like that because obviously Yoga Teachers need students to teach and the more a teacher can teach the more he earns.
I would lie if I tell you that a yoga teacher does not want to earn money, of course, like for anyone else money is needed to cover costs, to live, eat, stay warm. But one truth is that not every yoga teacher wants to earn ridiculously high amounts to afford a beach house in the Caribbean, a yoga temple in the jungle or a fancy studio in Manhattan. There are teachers who love to teach, simple as that, who work to see students succeed on their own personal path.
What social media is often telling us about yoga is not the deeper sense. It’s great to have pictures of awesome yoga poses in stunning places, but that’s surely not the sense of yoga.
Let me give you my opinion as an almost graduated teacher about yoga.
It’s not the latest fashion of yoga pants and shirts – you can do yoga in any comfy clothes, even in jeans if you like.
And no, it is not about being as flexible as a bow. Nobody needs to be able to practice every available yoga pose to include some yoga in their life.
You cannot touch your toes and that’s ok – you still can do yoga, and eventually are able to touch your toes in a while.
Studios are too expensive for me or I don’t like to practice in front of others. Don’t worry, you just need to find a place at home where you can start, that’s all you need.
Wherever you are in your life, it is never too late to begin with yoga.
Yoga is a way to bring your body, your mind and your soul together into a state of serenity.
You read right, it is not purely moving your body, it is much more than that. Many use Yoga simply as sport, which is fine and beneficial, but it’s not all which yoga has to offer. And just because it offers lots you don’t have to indulge in all aspects, it’s your choice.
The main point is that whatever you choose from the yoga buffet – you put it on your plate.
You may choose chanting because you love to sing, perfect. Or you may choose asana practice but only to relax, that’s perfect too. Maybe you may choose to read the yoga philosophy and gain deeper knowledge, a wonderful choice. In the end you may stand in tree pose each morning for 10 minutes breathing deeply in and out, you are doing great.
Maybe in one month I am too stressed to get more done than 15 minutes each evening before bedtime. But these 15 minutes are grounding me and allowing me to have a restful sleep. One month later I have enough energy to do power yoga classes twice per week and start each day with a meditation.
Why include yoga in your life? Because we realise very quickly what’s good for us. And to listen to this inner voice, this feeling deep inside of us, is one of the most important parts on our yoga journey.
If it does not feel good, then please don’t do it!
We should never go beyond our abilities, because we can hurt ourselves. We all can work towards goals. If we set these goals for ourselves you will realise that some are reached easily and some will take time. Yoga teaches us patience as well.
In the end a yoga journey is different from person to person. You yourself choose what you want to include. One thing is sure, whatever out of the various fields of yoga you will choose, it will be beneficial for you. Chanting, Pranayama, Asana, it all sounds exotic but if we call it mindful repeating of intentions, breathing, moving it is something many already do without calling it Yoga.
The most important for me, and this is what I want to share with others is the following. Nobody is perfect, everyone has worries and struggles in life. When Yoga can be one part which brings peace and joy and relaxation, then it already does a wonderful job.
I did it – I signed up for a 200 hour yoga teacher Training.
This day will be marked in my calendar as the first step towards a major shift.
When, where, why, what for – all of this will be something I may share in future posts.
For now I just want to shout out that I finally made the decision to sign up and to start this journey.
I’m literally burning, I want to soak in and learn, dive into the depth of my being and move from one Asana to another. I want Yoga in my life and I want to understand more about it.
It already feels like a wonderful decision and now it’s up to me to start.
Yoga Plays a role in my life since several years and this decision was already overdue I guess. I wrote several Posts About yoga already – one for example is this one https://misssfaith.yoga/2017/05/18/yoga-isnt-my-religion/
Now I will sit back and celebrate this first major decision of 2020 – off to new ways!!!
What has been your first major decision in 2020?
If you are interested in becoming a Yoga Teacher, I can recommend you the book “Teching Yoga beyond Poses”. It was one big inspiration for me and made it easy to finally sign up for the training.
It’s a lifestyle I can’t Escape, even if my inner lazy self would love too, once in a while.
I think I’m totally lost (some would say), lost in the sense of being unable to live without Yoga.
This journey started when I was lost and down to earth.
I was literally down on my knees because I treated myself not in the way I should have.
I guess everybody reaches a time in his / her life where you are forced to change something; something profoundly.
For me this change happened in 2011 and it was just the starting point. I wasn’t sure if my way would bring me up on my feet again or if I had to seek professional help one day.
Books and Yoga was my way and on top a single vacation which was needed more than I was aware when I planned it.
The adventure of my vacation is also on the blog:
Ever since the decision to change my life the term Yoga is a present part of my life. Some days more and some days less, like waves. On days which are exhausting the waves are stronger and the urge to dive into my yoga is more present than on peaceful days.
Yoga has been my therapy. No, yoga is my therapy!
My drug, my realm, my happy place, my hideaway…it is bigger than visible for outsiders because so much takes place inside of me.
I may not be a typical yogi which raises the question what a typical yogi is.
This picture of how a yogi should be is changing fortunately because a yoga lifestyle is as individual as human mankind is. Nothing is typical, there are no rules on what need to be fulfilled, the only important point is: be authentic and live in a way you are feeling comfortable with!
Every yogi out there is following an individual path and none is better than the other. To learn not to judge others is a big lesson because we all tend to judge others.
How can she call herself yogi if she never stepped into a yoga studio?
How can she write about Yoga without being able to do a handstand?
How can she tell others she’s leading a yoga lifestyle if she is not rolling out her mat daily?
I can and I do because of all of this.
Who is able to tell you who you are, if not you yourself?
The first person being sure about how your life is going along, what path you are on, how you feel about certain topics, how happy you are is: YOU YOURSELF!
One of the biggest lessons in life for me has been that nobody except of me can tell me how I feel or who I am or what I need. I am in charge of it and I decide what I need and what I don’t need. I decide what I want and what I don’t want.
I tell you who I am and nobody else is telling me who they think I am!
Trust your journey and walk your path. This is the best advice I have to give simply because this is what I do. I may be wrong on my way but that’s fine, only if you walk in the wrong direction once in a while you will be able to readjust and turn things upside down to find your right direction.
You are worth to live in a way you want and if this includes yoga, religion, music, literature, any interest you have to feel better, then DO IT!
My way is the yoga way and this includes many side ways as well and at the end of the day my theme is “Yogain’t a choice any more” because it lives within me. Yours may be “Vegain’t a choice any more”, “Shambalain’t a choice any more” or whatever you choose / have Chosen for your life to have a profound impact-
Trust your journey and live it. Lots of love <3
This will be another blog post.
Meanwhile while I am writing that one I would like to know from you:
What means Yoga for you?
I look forward to all your answers <3∞
Practice love until you remember you are love
A wise sentence which is not from me – Swami Sai Premananda said it once and it contains pure truth!
I want to practice Yoga, I desperately want to, but so often I am barely able to finish what I need to do on a normal day so that this aim falls behind, again and again.
BUT, and this should be a reminder to all of us, I practice love a thousand times per day – I try to be the best version I can be day in and day out. I fail along the way, and I learn, and I start all over again and do what I suppose is the right thing to do.
Every human being can relate to this I guess, because that’s life!
I have many examples where I try and fail and try and love as the mom of a terrible two toddler who is the most awesome mirror you can ever imagine.
I have many examples as a wife as well.
But the most important is that we all, regardless of what we are else, we all have to practice love as a person. You interact with people, be it the waitress, the fuel station guy, the postman, the whoever. Be kind and watch yourself how you interact in life.
My Yoga is kind of messy hair, half-dressed, morning asanas, far away from rolling out the mat, lighting up incense sticks, having some chilly music in the background, and what should I do now?
Cry about it won’t make it better. I love it, I embrace the fact that I can have these messy hair asanas once in a while, I embrace the fact that the main reason that is stopping me (be it my son, my work, whatever) will pay out for the misses yoga time because I handle my life with love.
No regrets, this is very hard to learn on many days but in the end we need all of this to grow and to learn.
When you start to love yourself and to practice love you will see a major shift, just for yourself and after a while from the outside.
What’s more important than love and be loved? Nothing!
Who can relate to messy hair yoga and the try to be a better person day by day?
Show me your asanas 😉
My favorite these days is the child’s pose – pampering myself and get grounded on wooden floor. You are your Yoga! That’s the most important.
Take care and Namaste my dear followers.
And before you leave, one small wisdom from my side:
Mommy time is night time…
…or better said the time when everyone is asleep besides herself.
When to relax and finally have just a little “Me” time?
When nobody wants something from me. When no child is tired or cranky or needs mommy. When my husband is completely busy like now on the phone with his Libyan guys or if he sleeps next to our son.
Time for me and instead of actually DOING something I’m laying next to a snoring toddler in a half dark bedroom and I type. I type my thoughts out of my brain and onto this blog (which started as a combined yoga/relationship/life wisdom blog and feels now like a one in a million mom blog).
I have so many things I would long to do but right here right now I’m too lazy to go back to the living room even if I know there’s some nicely prepared fruit on the table and that means what?
I am exhausted and tired.
Moms are sometimes exhausted and tired and yes, that’s ok!
Even more, it has to be like that!
I mean, seriously, let a man do what we accomplish day in and day out and hear what he will say.
I don’t doubt that there are some men out there who are able to handle our job perfectly, absolutely! But the focus lays on ‘some’. The majority will break down latest on the morning of day two (if not already after a messy day one).
Did I just mention my husband?
He came in and told me that he ate ALL the fruit while being on the phone and now he cuts a nectarine for me and I eat it in bed 😊
We need to be pampered once in a while!
People water plants day by day but they forget their spouses.
If your wife is having a warm dinner ready for you EACH evening, show her that you appreciate it – we need these things like plants need water!
I want to do some yoga since weeks and what am I doing instead?
Laying in bed eating nectarines. And should I tell you something? That’s OK! My muscles are sore anyway because I went the past two days with the bicycle to the kindergarten and as always last minute, so I simply deserve this moment now because I do enough!
I run through my life, from kindergarten to work, from work to kindergarten, from kindergarten to household to cooking to grocery shopping to playtime in between all of this and to being a wife in the evening when our son sleeps.
Isn’t that schizophrenia?
I understand each and every single mom out there who is about to shout a loud Stop once in a while.
We are no machines and we need time to be just ourself.
At least a few minutes. Please.
I go ahead and eat my nectarines now and just take this moment as a “that’s exactly what I need right now ” moment!
Take care of yourself my dear moms – you all are doing a fantastic job!
Balanced Mom or how to relax with a toddler
Who said motherhood is easy-going?
Or better said, it isn’t always!
I was practicing Yoga before pregnancy, almost until the very end of my pregnancy and I started about six weeks after birth again to roll out my mat and loved it but what happened then?
My baby started to move around. I think that was the point when I began to let go.
You prepare the place and it looks so inviting and before you start he wakes up after a 5 minutes nap that should have been a 2 hour nap.
And for sure you want your baby to grow and move and explore the world but not just at that moment when you are on your mat.
But that’s life – babies don’t care at all what you want and it is their right!
I’m always saying myself that I wanted him so much and that he deserves my attention. Life without him is unimaginable so what am I complaining about? But still, there’s a tiny voice inside of me saying that I deserve also some time for myself so I just started to check where to find this time because my yoga mat was invaded now by a toddler.
In general letting go is something wonderful, letting go old nasty habits, letting go people who stress you, letting go old wounds, letting go bad memories BUT why should I let go my personal realm?
I didn’t want to let it go, it just happened and I was too weak to scream STAY.
There were these endless nights of no sleep and days without one free arm, hours and hours of carrying a baby followed by hours and hours of breastfeeding. And then you see these super-fit moms on Instagram who breastfeed their babies while being in a state of complete relaxation while standing upside down – yes, this is what I needed to be more frustrated even.
I love Jen Pastiloff’s No Bullshit Motherhood because that’s the truth!
We struggle more often than you can even imagine and all of a sudden the baby is asleep and then we worry if he or she is fine instead of using the time to relax, we think we need to be perfect but hey – we DON’T NEED to be perfect – we need to survive this crazy journey of being a mom to be there as we promised our babies in the very first second after birth.
“I’ll be there for you until the end of my life and beyond, my love for you will never die!”
My son is now 14 months and have no idea where all this love is coming from but I love him more each day although I thought it cannot be bigger than when we first met. BUT I am also tired on some days and stressed on others and sometimes both.
My Yoga practice is, let me call it, slightly irregular but I found out that I need less time to relax than before I was a mom. Less time because I know that I need to grab every second as this will be better than nothing so I relax while folding clothes, I relax while having a shower, I relax while being out for a walk when he sleeps, I relax these 5 minutes on the playground when he’s happily eating the sand again (it will improve his immune system, that’s what I tell myself because I cannot stop him anyway).
Today I had really time for yoga, my husband and my son had an afternoon nap and finally I rolled out my mat (to realize that I’m stiff like a wooden stick but who cares) and yes, it felt so so so good.
But more often the truth is that I try to squeeze in 5 minutes with a messy bun on my head just to have the feeling I haven’t lost my yoga at all.
I know that this is just a phase and that things change, until then I will embrace this motherhood exactly the way it is! Mostly the best ever and sometimes just beyond my strengths.
Stay strong dear moms out there because you know what – WE ROCK (no men can even imagine what we are capable of and we should be proud of ourselves!)
Standing on the mat for a few deep breaths is sometimes all we manage but that’s fine because we feel alive and know that one day these few deep breaths are just the start of a whole new yoga practice because our children grew up and we miss them on our mats so deeply.
I am thankful that I am experiencing all of this, even if it’s not easy from time to time, I just see my son and know it all is so worth it and everything happens for a reason!
Namaste ॐ Yogamamas
Yoga isn’t my religion
This topic came up a few times since I started to practice Yoga and now I want to tell you that I can be a Yogi without being a Hinduist or a Buddhist!
Not everyone who is running into a Yoga Studio or carries a Yoga mat with him or her has suddenly a religion.
It’s not like “Buy one mat and get a religion for free”.
It is a fact that yoga works with each and every religion.
I am married to a Muslim and therefore I am in a couple of Facebook groups out of curiosity to read how other non Muslim women go along with their Muslim husbands.
What I realized quite quick is that many converted or reverted and are even more strict than a born muslim is.
We had the Yoga topic and I was bombarded with statements like “The wife of a muslim shoulnd’t do this!” as if I would instantly worship a “forbidden” religion.
Here’s my answer:
First of all, yes, my husband is a Muslim, but that doesn’t make me one automatically – like the buy one yoga mat it’s not “marry a Muslim and get his religion for free”. I’m still capable of choosing my own faith!
The second point is that I have never seen Yoga as a religion, why would I?
Many are discussing if you can practice Yoga and still hold your faith.
The history of Yoga started around 5000 years ago and was connected to the Vedras which play a role in the roots of Hinduism.
What you can see nowadays, as they share the same language, is that some chanting refets to hindu gods.
Ok, but not every yogi is sitting in a class and is chanting in hindu (many are not even speaking nor understanding hindu so why would they do it?). There are many many people out there practicing yoga regularly whithout having chanted even once! I’m one of them.
I use mantras from time to time – uhuuhhh, what’s that?
A mantra is nothing else than any repeated word or phrase – in meditation you can use it for yourself to manifest certain things for your own life like for instance “Let go of …” or “Trust yourself and love yourself” – whatever is important for you rat that moment. Mantra comes from the Sanskrit word ‘meaning’.
The Yoga language is simply Sanskrit, the same way Christianity is in Latin but Latin itself is not a religion, Islam in Arabic but Arabic itself is not a religion and Judaism is in Hebrew but Hebrew itself is not a religion.
Yoga was even rejected by Hinduism because yoga would not insist that god exists. It didn’t say there was no god but just wouldn’t insist there was.
For me this is another proof that Yoga is not a religion and should not affiliate with any religion.
There’s not one religious creed to be found.
You don’t have to follow certain rituals, such as baptism or confirmation. You don’t have obligations like in several other religions, such as visiting the church or mosque for prayer, fasting, celebrating feasts or receiving sacraments.
What is it then if not a religion? Is it sports, fitness, a hobby?
No, yoga was formed as a way to sit for hours, days, months, maybe longer in a meditative state, as a spiritual practice.
It is a spiritual way of living.
It is a way that teaches you mindfulness, how to take care of your mind, body and soul and how to be a good person.
What about the yogis that eventually would like to reach the state of enlightenment?
This enlightenment will not turn them into a god or a worshiper of god!
It means that they are able to experience a state of inner peace, bliss, some are saying they’ve seen their inner light, they connected to their deepest inner self. But that’s indeed all – no religious sign.
It’s a journey to our inner self.
If I step on my mat I feel calm, I connect with myself and listen to my body, mind and soul.
I breate consciously and fade out the stress of the daily life.
It’s my time to unwind and relax while going in and out of different yoga poses that strengthen my body.
I listen to myself or am still and take the stillness as a recreation for my mind.
The time while I’m doing Yoga is simply the time where I am able to honor all I am and the people around me.
I feel blessed because in times of stillness you are able to connect to what really matters.
If it’s not my religion, why do I post Buddha quotes on my social networks from time to time?
Because I am in charge of who I am and what I like or dislike.
I love Buddha quotes but that doesn’t mean I am a Buddhist, I love quotes from ancient philosophers as well – there is lots of wisdom to be found in many directions and I don’t decide if I like it based on which religion the authors belonged to.
I choose what I like based on the words I read.
One last question was why I can say Namaste without being connected to Hinduism?
Do you have any idea what Namaste means?
My soul honors your soul.
I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides.
I honor the light, love, truth, beauty & peace within you, because it is also within me.
In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.
Said that I give you now my personal explanation; I’m open-minded and one rule for my life is to respect and tolerate every living being on this earth.
I would dare to say that I am a better person than someone else because it’s not my right to put myself in a higher position.
I appreciate my life how it is and therefore also honor or thank others because people teach people lessons.
I wouldn’t be where I am without all those people on this earth.
Sending love & light.
The 11th day of Yoga
I’m a bit proud as I stopped and started so many kinds of “sports” already but it was always the same, after a couple of days I put it aside. I wasn’t able to conquer my weaker self.
I think now that I haven’t found what I was searching for.
Having a stressful job I didn’t want too much pressure on myself in the few private hours.
I was thinking about Yoga several times but to be honest with you, the typical picture of Yogis I have is not the best and I didn’t want to belong to this “group”.
Another point was that I cannot imagine myself in a yoga class sitting between strangers and saying !Ommmm! from time to time, I think I would rather laugh out loud instead of starting this in a serious way.
Nevertheless, the main benefits of yoga remained in my mind.
So once again I picked this topic up and tried to find some guidance on how to do it without attending classes.
I once tried a CD with a small booklet attached but it wasn’t convincing me at all. I made stupid posing on the floor without any improvement and threw them after a short while.
Don’t ask me what was my intention now to start the yoga DIY search once again, there wasn’t a particular turning point or “calling” or whatever reason some have, I was just curious as I couldn’t believe that there isn’t a way.
And yes, there is a way!
Loving my iPad brought me to the AppStore and I went through many Apps, looking at the pictures and reading through the descriptions they provide before you hit the buy & install button. The app which was most appealing to what I had in my mind wasn’t free, as usual, but also not expensive so I bought it.
And here we go, I went through the introduction, curious to try it directly and again I found myself on the floor doing what? Posing!
But this time it was different, the instructor explains in videos perfectly what I should do and all videos have relaxing music in the background. You can choose if you want to hear the instructions and music, only instructions or only music. I went with the first, instruction and music, for a couple of days and now I am already able to go along just with the music.
Is it what I was looking for?
Yes, it is! I start now after ten days to be more confident in each asana, yoga position, and I start to feel muscles at parts on my body where I would never have assumed them.
My general mood and feeling is better, this may be a result of being focused.
I realize that I’m more focused and that I can shut off thoughts during the sessions and just listen to my breathing and body.
What I have to admit is that I was desperate for something that enables me to relax after work, so I was searching for a “remedy” that gets me quickly into a calm state.
Maybe this isn’t working for everyone as every person is approaching things differently, I can just speak for myself and my experience here.
On the third day I went to the city centre to buy a yoga mat as it isn’t possible to do it on the carpet or wooden floor, you need some grip on the floor as well as something not too hard or too soft. But knowing myself I went home with the cheapest one for a start. It is sufficient for now and if I hit day 100 for constant daily yoga I will congratulate myself with a better mat. Still a way to go but I’m confident that I have found something for myself.
The general benefits you can read almost everywhere.
One description in general is “Yoga is the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace.”
Who doesn’t want permanent peace?
Another says “There is evidence to suggest that regular yoga practice has been shown to improve mood and anxiety. The three main focuses of yoga (exercise, breathing, and meditation) should be beneficial for so many aspects of health.”
I read lots about yoga and what I found is to be taken with caution for sure as there are many so called gurus out there who want to attract with cancer healing or other suspicious thesis but what I found as well will be listed below.
For me there are many aspects which makes sense and if we are all honest with ourselves we know that we all could improve our lifestyle and health.
I only list what I think is reasonable – BUT I don’t say it is true or proofed.
These items were just the ones which attracted me more to give it a serious try.
Change your posture and you change the way you breathe. Change your breathing and you change your nervous system.
– Increase of happiness.
– Improves coordination and reaction time.
– Tones your body and gives you a better body feeling.
– Improves your flexibility.
– Yoga and meditation build awareness.
– Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the present.
– Improved flexibility and stronger muscles.
– Yoga helps to quiet your mind.
– Yoga gives you the tools to help you change, and you might start to feel better the first time you try practicing.
– A heart rate in the aerobic range lowers the risk of heart attack and can relieve depression.
– Yoga promotes breathing through the nose, which filters the air, warms it, and humidifies it, removing pollen and dirt and other things you’d rather not take into your lungs.
– Just believing you will get better can make you better.
– Yoga can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
– Yoga can help your blood circulation, especially in your hands and feet.
– Yoga gets more oxygen to your cells.
– Yoga can strengthen the spine.
– Yoga improves your posture.
– Yoga may also inspire you to become a more conscious eater.
– Regularly yoga improves balance and better sleep.
More about these as well as more explanations are found here:
What I discovered as well is that there is a philosophy around yoga, means it’s not just about doing physical exercises, it teaches you more. I would call myself a pretty realistic person but although not everything may sounds realistic in first place I see that there can be a deeper sense behind. The word faith, which is not just a joke in my name here, is important. You have to believe in many things to reach them and from my point of view it’s the same in Yoga.
If I would just sit down and start to stretch my legs or raise my arms I would end up with giving it up. What keeps me doing it is that I realized while breathing per instruction is that I started to calm down. The more sessions I did the more I realized that I’m feeling good while doing it and afterwards.
I believe that I need a certain portion of relaxation and if that’s the way to reach it I’m fine.
Our life is full of stress and distraction and noise – just a few minutes per day to calm down and focus on yourself can’t be wrong, at least not for me. I know that I need some changes as working for more than eleven years in a row without major relaxing time-outs brought me to a point of searching for changes. Yoga is one of them as well as writing here, let’s see what else I discover on my way.
Take care and keep the faith in whatever you are doing!