We think our entire life, without our brain being active we will die.
But how’s the quality of your thoughts?
We are what we think, this has been said by many wise people already and they said it for a reason. Our thoughts guide our life.
You tend to overthink everything I life?
I bet you sometimes feel like trapped in a fishers net. No matter in which direction you think you see obstacles, too many choices, too many problems which could arise.
Believe me, I know what I am talking about. I am one of these overthinking people and it is hard to change this habit as it doesn’t serve anyone, the least myself.
In general, people may think twice more often in situations where the stakes are high, the consequences of a decision are uncertain, or when there are conflicting options to consider. For example, someone may think twice before making a large purchase, accepting a job offer, or ending a relationship.
However, some people may be more impulsive and tend to make decisions without much hesitation, while others may be more analytical and deliberate in their decision-making process, leading them to “think twice” more often. Ultimately, the frequency with which someone thinks twice will depend on their individual thought processes, experiences, and decision-making styles.
Thinking twice is ok, thinking a thousand times is not. You will lose the joy of life because everything could eventually turn out to be a catastrophe if you think about it long enough!
I am not encouraging you to stop thinking, but I want to encourage you to stop overthinking!
Overthinking can have negative effects on your well-being, including those:
Increased stress and anxiety: Overthinking often leads to increased stress and anxiety as a person becomes consumed by their thoughts and worries. This can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, and fatigue.
Analysis paralysis: Overthinking can also lead to analysis paralysis, where a person becomes so caught up in analyzing their options that they struggle to make a decision or take action.
Negative self-talk: Overthinking can also lead to negative self-talk and self-doubt, as a person may constantly second-guess themselves and their abilities.
Poor decision-making: Overthinking can also lead to poor decision-making, as a person may become so consumed by their thoughts and worries that they struggle to see the bigger picture or make objective decisions.
Relationship problems: Overthinking can also impact relationships, as a person may read too deeply into other people’s words and actions or struggle to communicate effectively due to their racing thoughts.
Overall, while it is important to consider one’s options and make informed decisions, overthinking can be destructive to one’s mental and emotional health and can interfere with daily functioning.
What’s better than overthinking?
Let thoughts settle for a while.
To allow your thoughts to come and go without becoming attached or caught up in them is a solution. This can be done through various mindfulness techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply taking a moment to pause and observe one’s thoughts without judgment.
Allowing thoughts to settle can help to reduce the negative effects of overthinking by creating a sense of mental clarity and calm. By observing one’s thoughts without becoming attached to them, a person can gain a greater sense of perspective and become more aware of their thought patterns and emotional responses.
Practicing this technique can also help to cultivate greater self-awareness, which can be helpful in managing stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. By becoming more aware of one’s thoughts and emotions, a person can begin to identify patterns and triggers that may be contributing to their stress or anxiety and work to develop more effective coping strategies.
When life is so busy that you are not doing the things you love, then it’s time to think it over.
I promise I do – each year, I promise I keep this blog (and yes, it costs money) simply because I never loose hope that one day I will start it fully again.
Writing is not fading, written words stay, longer than we live. My longing to write is the same as it has been when I started. It never faded, it’s more like a hidden gem. My hidden gem.
It’s not that I stopped and only once per year you get a short blog post and that’s it. There is so much more to my writing.
The recent stories I wrote, which are not published, are all about a little mouse named Anatolius. Yes, you read right, it one day should be a children’s book.
Whatever you long for, never stop! If we feel something deep down inside of us, then it needs to be protected. Trust your gut and do what you love to do.
Sounds ridiculous given the fact that this blog seems so abandoned. But that’s it, it just seems abandoned. Under the surface are words written and words still to be written. There are lists full of ideas and notes for myself with sentences I do not want to forget to tell the world.
What I do is for someone stupid, writing but not publishing, paying for a blog used just a couple of times per year, if at all, not running after readers, keeping it slowly.
And for someone else this here is THE one post they needed to read, the one sentence which made them think twice, the attitude they would wish for for themselves.
Everything has more than one side. Look at a gem, how many sides it has. You never know what’s beyond surface unless you crack it. There is no one fits all when it comes to writing. There is no one fits all when we talk about art and creativity.
Just tonight I had this urge again to open this page and write a few sentences – the urge to let my mind flow through my fingertips. The result is what you read here.
Could I name it? No!
Does it need a name? No!
Do I like it? Yes!
Do you like it? I don’t know and that’s not important for me. It’s not important because it made me happy when I sat in front of my heater, my son deep asleep in the room next to me, only a few lights on, and the pure me typing what I want and what runs through my mind.
Life is about us and our happiness, in moments like this I remember that I need to have more moments like these. But as for all of us, we care about a million things and often are too tired at the end of the day to do the things we love.
Oh, and don’t get me wrong – I am happy. My life is not bad at all. I have a wonderful family, a job which I love and which serves even a great purpose, we just moved into a new apartment in the city we love, all is fine.
Gems are special, right? These quiet moments when I indulge into what I love so much are the gems on top of it all. A crown nobody wears daily either.
Why not keep it realistic this time? Not everything will be great, not everything will be awesome, there will probably be times where you want to hide under the duvet and quit. But that’s part of learning how to overcome crisis. So don’t be ashamed but immerse into your feelings and be grateful for all times.
The goodand the bad
The good and the bad, both serve a purpose and open new perspectives. Important is that we keep the balance (which is my word for 2022). The balance between not so easy and awesome. Even out bad times with lots of good times.
Like these stacks of zen stones, we will have heavy ones and flat ones, light ones and small ones, but at the end they all lift us higher and are our path towards being a better person!
The past year hasn’t been easy for many, probably 2022 won’t be either, but there’s only one option: move forward and be positive because you will become what you think.
Don’t get used to miserable and negative thoughts, this won’t change your life for the better!
Instead watch out for all the things you are grateful for, for all the luck you have in your life! Focus on the good and I’m sure there’s more good than bad in your life.
Not another New Years resolution
My aim, and that’s not another New Years resolution but more a life decision, is to invite balance into my life. We all need both to cherish what we have, the art is to keep the balance between “oh that sucks” and “how awesome is this”. Both, happiness and sadness, cannot exist without one another. It’s like yin and yang, be centered within.
I say thanks to a wonderful year, which surely wasn’t wonderful daily but which was summed up a great year. In short, I got an awesome new job, I have a wonderful family, I … wait … isn’t that even enough? This is what I mean, we don’t need to strive for thousand things to make our life happy – instead we should focus and then we realise that we already are full of happiness with what we have.
Thanks for being here on my little blog, thanks for reading and commenting, thank you!
I don’t want to promise you to write more frequently because I write when I can – life happens each day and not each day there’s something to tell the world and not each day is awesome enough to brag about it, instead I collect my thoughts, my ideas and my happiness whenever I can and try to create something worth reading once in a while.
Enjoy a new year full of new experiences to come, but don’t forget the mundane, the wonderful life you already created. Embrace the darker days knowing these will pass too.
It is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. On the day after the night is still long but not the longest anymore and we head towards the season of long days and short nights. So it is literally the return to the light out of the darkness. You can transfer this to your own life if you like and analyse the past months.
A time to reflect and make plans. If you google it you will find many rituals and traditions for this day in several cultures and religions. For me it was always the time to go through 108 sun salutations (and untrained this is really painful towards the end and days after).
I do sun salutations to welcome the sun back into my life and 108 is the number of spiritual completion. You will find 108 beads on a mala necklace which is used for meditation.
Benefits of sun salutations
Is it just a series of movements or where are the benefits of sun salutations? One sun salutation has all a full yoga practice needs. You have back and forward bends, inversion and pranayama included. If you repeat it 108 times it will liberate your spine, your body will be revitalised and it surely will clear your mind, which has a meditative practice included as well. If you are able to think of anything else than moving with your breath and still counting to get the 108 done, then you are a genius.
I went through a couple of winter solstices since I started to practice yoga. I always ended up sore the next day. This year marks for me the year where I want to change my approach. 2021 was the year of change when I look back.
After I had a year off and a yoga teacher training in the middle of a pandemic I started a new job this year. My approach towards many things in life changed, not only work wise. After I finished my yoga teacher training in February I started to use my new gained knowledge, not on the mat but in my life.
Whenever I start to be mad (and let’s be honest, this year gave us lots to be mad about) I try hard to put myself in the shoes of others. It works sometimes, rarely for certain topics, but I’m on my way. How could I bring it to perfection shortly after I started? The little steps, the intention to be better, this is something to be proud of.
My new job proofs to me that I did nothing wrong in my job ever since, and this is an assurance I needed so much after a series of bad experiences where people wanted to make me believe a “truth” which never has been true. I let this go this December!
Letting go is hard and we often need some assurance that it will be fine. I got mine and am so grateful for it. Letting go of practicing 108 sun salutations on winter solstice is not on my plan. This year I want to proof to myself that I am perfectly able to finish without being sore the next day.
It needs only one thing, a proper preparation.
Although I love yoga I am not daily on my yoga mat. Yoga is great as practice and I want to do it daily, but let’s face it – some days, like today, there are time slots where I could slip it in, but this is not what I want. I want peace, my mat rolled out, a candle lit up, music in the background. I want to indulge into this moment in time. Ok, seems to be something else to put on my “letting go” list because I rarely get these moments between work and kindergarten and playdates and household.
The solution for me, I will put daily reminders for myself beginning on the first of December. DO SUN SALUTATIONS (and if you like a few more asanas).
The more I practice, the better I become.
We all know this but often laziness takes over.
Why do I love this winter solstice so much? Isn’t it a burden?
It is not, it is another chance, each year it is another chance to rise and learn.
I will start my winter solstice preparations beginning of December and it sounds more complicated than it is.
Return to Innocence
See it as the return to innocence. You let go of the past and start fresh. You think about your goals and realign them, you think about what wasn’t good and what no longer has a place in your life. Setting intentions is a wonderful start but don’t be rigid, let them be flexible and adapt them from time to time. Nothing is worse than intentions which are out of reach. This all is about you and your future and well-being. I like to compare it a bit to my yoga practice. If I want to learn how to go into the wheel pose I start little and have blocks as support. If I am not able to do a proper wheel then I acknowledge and work towards it with little steps and support. I may not reach it at all, but what I reached is a constant practice, this is a great achievement. Life is about adapting, about finding peace where we are because we are here for reason.
If you need a ritual you can burn a list of things you want to let go. Toss them into a fire and watch them burn.
Fire places are great to have during these dark days, so if you have one just sit there and soak in the heat of the fire.
If you don’t have one, there’s plenty of food to get us heated up from the inside. Especially in the Ayurvedic kitchen you will find hot food for its heating effect inside of our body. Black pepper, ginger and garlic – you can combine them with potatoes, broccoli and spinach, then add some root vegetables (carrot, turnips or radish) and some herbs (basil, mint or oregano) and you will have a wonderful warming soup or stew.
Be the light in someone else’s darkness is also a wonderful thing to do and sometimes it doesn’t need more than a smile or the truly meant question “how are you?”.
Embrace the light and welcome it back into your life. Day by day our days will be longer and the nights shorter. Make sure you go with the flow (as best as you can).
As cosy as I made it for us at home, once the days are longer again we will embrace the time we can spend outside and soak in the still cold air and a few rays of sunshine. The balance is all that we need, like with everything in life.
Are you preparing for the year’s end?
I will start soon to move through the first sun salutations and I hope this was a tiny motivation for you to embrace change and see the end of the darkness coming our way. Nothing stays at it is and never will. I think this is the most important reminder to go sane through a time which is for many scary and lonely. It will get better, I promise.
I won’t have the ultimate solution as I cannot make a virus wave and telling us goodbye. But what I can, and what you should do as well, is to raise awareness!
We are so lucky to live in the 21st century, otherwise many of us wouldn’t be here anymore!
As Yoga Teacher – even though not actively teaching – I learned lots about compassion and about being open-minded. These two drive me, through my private life, through my professional life in the field of clinical research and as person in general.
Open-minded means not to convince others that you are correct – we all make mistakes, but we should think outside the box and try to be our best version. If that means that I wear a mask to protect a society, then I do that! If that means I stay away from vulnerable persons in the medical sense unless I’m sure that I am not infected, then I do that! And if that means that I can immensely reduce the risk for myself AND others when I get vaccinated, then I do that as well!
I don’t do anything without research, that is my nature and being since almost 20 years in the research are means I am fully aware, especially because I know the goods and the bads in research. And hey, still I trusted enough to get the shot (twice).
If you are healthy and there are no medical reasons for not getting vaccinated, what holds you back? There are no third arms growing, there are no chips implanted and there are no long-term side effects which could be more harmful than any long-term covid!
I extra put the text below in pictures – please feel free to save and share and spread these facts. There are enough myths out there to ask everyone to speak up with true facts instead.
I am astonished, if I am totally honest, how the pandemic affects the yoga world. I expected that it will affect the world itself, of course. And I expected, that the yoga community will be affected too, but not in such a harsh way.
People don’t trust people, there are a million theories out there of why it happened, what happened and how it could be resolved. I get that, and I understand that it is hard to find the sources you can trust, but please, there is science and science is not a fairy tale producer but based on facts.
Facts which are even visible, how can you still state that there is no pandemic at all? What I can understand is insecurity. We are bombarded from each corner with news about the pandemic and as much as I like the fact, that we are connected worldwide, as much I do hate the fact that everyone can make up stories based NOT on facts. What we see currently is a huge clinical trial which is open to the public. That was the only solution to get an immense slow down in this pandemic. Scientists and researchers could have gone another way, a way of doing their research, like usually, behind closed doors. But guess what? There would have been even louder voices spreading their theories on why we are not involved.
We need science, a pandemic won’t disappear with a sage smudge
Fact is that science is needed to overcome it and fact is that this vaccine helps reducing severe cases and therefore full ICUs. Fact is also that this vaccine was fully developed within a couple of weeks. The basis, the mRNA is used already for a couple of years in research, new is the covid-19 virus added to the mRNA, and I am truly happy that scientists were able to get this done!
Vaccine side effects, we know all active compounds have side effects, so please tell me one thing, when you sit on your yoga deck in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle doing one of your magic mushroom ceremonies, are there side effects?
Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccination are rare. More than 339 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through July 19, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 6,207 reports of death (0.0018%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html
0.2% versus 0.0018% – and it is not clear on both sides if there were maybe unknown severe illnesses these people had, right? How can a vaccine now be more dangerous than a ceremony practiced by many of the anti-vaccine yoga folks?
If you talk about people dying, then put it in relation, of course people die. But the number of people dying is minimal in comparison to people dying actually because of a covid-19 infection.
A vaccination side effect is showing us that we are responding, that our immune system is working and starts to build antibodies. This is a great fact and far away from dangerous.
I can understand that there is a big portion of insecurity out there. Insecurity due to different scientists having different theories, insecurity due to the broadcasting of each single side effect in certain news channels, insecurity because our own personal world was shaken hardly.
We see all the people and hear all their stories and for some we believe what they say but for others we don’t. That’s life. But please do not ignore the facts and inform yourself through the official channels.
But, and that scares me much more, what makes me really start to be afraid is where humanity is heading to, the human behaviour “out there”, which seems to become more aggressive day by day. Not only physical, even more psychological – mobbing, dissing, threatening, and lots else happens on social media.
We know this happened before, but Covid turns out to be a driver for this behaviour too.
Call me naive because I hoped that yogis are able to handle this diversity better.
They truly don’t.
While everyone is asking for more equality and acceptance the yoga world is becoming a war zone for pro and anti vaccinated, for people who believe in the existence of a pandemic and those who believe it is all a big lie, for pro Trump and pro Biden, for pro science against pro spirituality.
Of course I expected lots of discussions, surely not everyone believes the same, but what I see now is similar to a war of different life models and health views.
I know that war is a very harsh word, but I don’t find something that fits better.
I am a yoga teacher myself, means I studied yoga philosophies and read a million articles and books and soaked in everything I could find about yoga, but despite of the inequality of ‘how to life your life right’, I always put tolerance on top.
I have to life MY life, and only MINE. I am not responsible for decisions others make for their life. A certain kind of broad-mindedness belongs to a person who is practicing yoga and I fully resonate with it.
And here I am and I wonder how others understand yoga. For some right now it seems to be an open invite to insist that their opinion is the only valid one and to defend that by all means.
Where is all your santosha?
The contentment of being satisfied with what you have? You, not others! You got vaccinated, that’s great! You don’t want because you think your body heals itself, great!
Where is your tapas?
Your self-discipline? It is not only about stepping into your yoga practice, but also not to outrage when someone thinks differently.
Where is your shaucha?
Put the ego aside and be in your moment, why would you bully others?
Where is your brahmacharia?
Wise is who is centered and focused on happiness and peace. How can you be happy when you insult others? If that makes you happy you should overthink your own path! Peace belongs to brahmacharia, it has nothing to do with peace to tell others that they suck and their opinions are rude because you feel spoken to.
Where is your ahimsa?
Don’t harm others – talking mean is harming others! Writing to others they are stupid is harming! Trying to convince others from your opinion is harming, they need to be allowed to find their own way.
If you read some conversations under posts of the recent yoga journal entry “Getting Vaxxed Was My Act of Ahimsa” ( https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/philosophy/covid-vaccine/) written by Wolf Terry, you won’t find ahimsa, brahmacharia, shaucha, tapas or santosha. What you will find there is the following:
I do not believe that a person studying a yogic path wrote this!!!! FAKE <- everyone thinks his/her truth is the ultimate truth and we should not judge others when it doesn’t fit into ours. Calling someone fake is letting me wonder where the commentators yogic path went off road.
You are yoga teachers ? You are supposed to believe in your work ?Frauds all of you. <- Yoga teachers are not allowed to have different opinions? Calling all a fraud isn’t an act of kindness as well.
My act of Ahimsa is not putting poison in my body <- this comment is maybe not what I think and believe in, but it is an example of how to comment without harassing or offending others.
Inappropriate propaganda posting for a site talking about yoga. <- If you haven’t read the article you will comment like this. There has not been made any propaganda, it is simply one opinion, one personal journey, not more not less.
I wonder if they read the article at all or just the headline.
As Wolf Terry wrote, HER opinion is that the vaccine was HER ahimsa – why don’t everyone accept that? Through to the diversity of human beings themselves we will never be all on the same page?
Yoga teaches non-judgement and what you can see in this comment section is far away from non-judgement. People attack the author of the article, they attack yoga journal itself, and they attack each other.
But, and I guess this is the most important part, Yoga (Union) is not about the ego but about the community. If you choose to go all natural and you don’t want to be vaccinated or respect some rules which are needed during this pandemic (like wearing masks), then stay away from others! Don’t walk into public stores, stop teaching yoga not to be a risk for your students.
You choose, it’s your path and that’s fine, but ahimsa means to protect others as well and you can only do this by being aware that a virus spreads. People who don’t believe there is a virus, I guess I have no answer to you all. I spare my words for people who actually listen and am sure you won’t as you didn’t listen to science too.
I love yoga, I love science, I love community and all the benefits of it, but please do not try to harm anyone around you! Respect their choices, even if it doesn’t go along with your truth, and most important – stay away from people you may harm unless you can be sure you will not spread a virus (and yes, here a vaccine can help us all!).
My advise – get your vaccine and be mindful. Stay healthy
SaySorry – open-minded Yoga Shirts, Hoodies & More
Today I want to recommend a wonderful online store to you: SaySorry
SaySorry has many statement shirts, hoodies and longsleeves so I am sure everyone will find something fitting there. They are based in Germany but don’t worry, they ship worldwide! Everything produced for the store is 100% organic and hand-printed with love in Germany.
I will show you some of my favourite pieces here, which is hard as I could pick almost the whole stock. For me, as a yoga teacher, I’m always searching for organic products and if the organic is combined with the yoga fashion theme it’s a perfect match. Organic fashion is popular but still not enough to stop mass production. So it is even more important to support those, who want to make an impact.
My absolute favourite as long as the weather is still unsteady is this black hoodie. But not only then, a black hoodie is an all-timer. Who doesn’t like a warm and cozy hoodie to snuggle?
Next on my list is a t-shirt which goes with denims as well as with yoga pants, an allrounder and really stylish. And from these shirts you will find many with many different prints and colours.
And from the long sleeve department my preference is this wonderful piece. I will order that one myself as I can’t imagine one single outfit where it doesn’t fit.
Apart from fashion they have more to discover like some wall art, mugs and statement jewellery. So it is definitely worth stopping by and having a look at what they sell – especially the immense amount of shirts and hoodies.
I hope you enjoy and maybe find a piece or two to support this store.
If you want to buy you can use my code LENAK20 to get 20% off your order. To visit the store follow the link below.
A retreat is not only a fancy wellness vacation with a mindful theme like “open your heart”, “find your passion”, “release your inner child”, or whatever you may think of.
A retreat means literally “an act of moving back or withdrawing”.
Just now, I am on my personal, very own, retreat in our bathroom. There were too many tantrums to take in anymore, our parenting as a unity failed fully today and dinner was…let’s better forget it.
As a result I went away from both men, the big one who’s watching football as if nothing happened at all (except of a furious crazy wife, but this seems not of any concern) and the little one who’s watching kids tv (although the furious crazy mom told him that TV today will not be even a question after his behaviour… “but daddy will turn it on for me” – guess he had a point).
So here I am, sitting with my back against the heater – end of April – because I’m tired and freezing.
Scrolling through Instagram won’t help to feel better, neither does any other social media. What helps is to write it all down.
Get it out of my brain, release the tension, cry, let go, embrace this failure of today and accept that days like today are nothing to be ashamed of. Although I indeed was looking left and right earlier on the playground, when my son was the only one shrieking as if I cut off his arm, just because I asked him to stay out of the construction zone (clearly marked as such).
I retreat from being a mom and a wife, for a little while only of course. I retreat to survive this day.
I started into the day with an hour of Yoga, calm and breathing in and out like a champ. All this relaxation and serenity vanished, minute by minute, hour by hour, and left me exhausted on the bathroom floor.
Can you believe that this time spent alone, me and the heater, is a relieve? I am slowly back to the deep breathing, my mind focused and my body relaxes into the heat. A steam bath or sauna would be extraordinary, but for now the bathroom floor is doing a great job.
I still wear my yoga mala and touching the beads clears my mind.
I am fine!
I am myself!
I am allowed to feel all these feelings!
I am not a bad mom nor a bad wife!
I am human!
I am a woman!
I am who I am and all is fine.
My son will surely not learn his lesson today – he was behaving like a little devil and got the TV at the end of the day…
Of course this is not a shining moment in child’s education but it won’t influence his future irrevocable.
My husband won’t stop loving me because we disagreed almost the whole afternoon and evening. He thinks anyway that I’m not normal, so he got a little proof (this is what he thinks today has been, a proof for my insanity) and will not understand that he wasn’t a great support today. But there will be tomorrow morning, when he takes our son to the kindergarten. There will be millions of moments where he is the perfect dad and the perfect husband.
Just one nerve wrecking day will not destroy what we have, the family we are. It won’t harm the love we three have for one another because this love is stronger than anything!
But yes, it surely destroyed my mood and that’s not ok, but it happens. It happens everywhere and nobody is always happy, right?
Just now I am thinking what to do to get some food into my retreat hideaway. I know, as soon as I open the door my son will come to me. I am still mad and I still want my retreat, preferably with the rest of my salad wrap (which I left angry on the dinner table) or some dessert like a ton of ice cream.
A hot shower and cuddling up in front of TV would be a great end of my retreat, unfortunately only in my dreams.
It’s already late and I guess as the mom I have to chase my son to brush his teeth, change into his pjs and bring him to bed, right?
I just can hope that this will happen smoothly without another tantrum.
Cross your fingers please, if he is tired (what I would be after so many anger attacks) I may watch some TV, which means a few minutes, before I doze away fully dressed…
But in the end, all is fine!
Who can relate? Tell me in the comments that I am not the only crazy furious mom and wife, please!!!
I finally did it and am honestly proud of this achievement. Not only that I can call myself now officially “Yoga Teacher”, I also completed additional certificates.
Learning for life
Yin Yoga, restorative yoga, chair yoga and a dive in into Ayurveda, what an achievement! Not only to serve other but for myself, I learned so much during these trainings for myself, it is unbelievable.
The more I dive into all, that Yoga is, the more I feel home in myself.
To register with Yoga Alliance, although based in Germany, was for me the right decision. It gives me an additional feeling of being certified – even if it’s only for me it is already worth it. Many may not see the need and that’s completely fine. Once I registered I started to read through the page, joined the Yoga alliance community and there are so many benefits to learn more that I will never regret. If you are keen to have access to more learning possibilities, just for the variety there it will be worth.
I want to share my love for yoga
I never new what I want to do exactly after being certified and I am still not sure but I started teaching my sister in law privately and it feels so good! What feels good is that I can share my love for yoga! In the end it is all about loving what you are doing, right? It indeed feels so good that I finally started to set up fiverr and am offering now individual class plans – as first step on this journey. If you want to have a look feel free to check out.
The soulace guru-maa is my other “baby” where I combine my personal experience, yoga and emotional intelligence to help people through a temporary hard time. My yoga mind is what I call it. Sometimes it just needs an ear, that listens, an outsider, a distant friend, a different view on a situation and that can help tremendously to change patterns, situations, a mindset.
I am on my way, on my way towards something unknown which feels already familiar. If you can combine your passion with your income, then working is living and that will be my future aim.
Instead of dreaming I finally start to walk towards that dream, my heart is guiding me, and I can only encourage everyone to do it, whatever your dreams are. We don’t need to jump, we can walk slowly with a safety net, as long as we walk we are on the right path.
We think our entire life, without our brain being active we will die. But how’s the quality of your thoughts? We are what we think, this has been said by many wise people already and they said it for a reason.
When life is so busy that you are not doing the things you love, then it’s time to think it over. I promise I do – each year, I promise I keep this blog (and yes, it costs money) simply because I never loose hope that one day I will start it fully again. Writing…
Before I start – please make sure that you only follow this routine when you are not having any pre-conditions which do not allow you to practice!
To feel good and be relaxed is something many of us need, but as we are all unique, we all have a different picture of what is relaxing
The below yoga poses promote relaxation in your body, mind and soul. It may not work directly if you never practiced yoga before but it surely will after a while. All in life needs time and if we expect the less we will be rewarded.
I love to have a silence surrounding me when taking these ten minutes for myself, which means a quiet place and some incense scent in the air, sometimes relaxing music in the background or essential oil on my wrists.
To create your own place is limitless – you do what you like and then roll out you mat with the intention of going into a calm space for the next ten minutes.
1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana) with Forward Bend
How to do the pose
Sit in Easy Pose, cross your shins with your right shin in front. Raise your arms above your head and lengthen your spine with a deep inhale and then bend forward on your exhale all the way down to the floor. Stay and hold for one minute while breathing deeply. Lift yourself up in a seated position and change the position of your shins, put the left shin in front. Again raise your arms above your head and lengthen the spine with a deep inhale. Put your hands on the floor, then straighten both legs into a Standing Forward Bend. Now again bend forward on your exhale all the way down to the floor. Stay and hold for one minute while breathing deeply.
This is a very simple yet so relaxing way to reduce stress, tension and worries. It is also a wonderful practice before bedtime to end your day at ease.
Benefits of the pose are:
Calms the brain and centers the mind. If you support your head (rest it on a pillow or block), it can help you to ease neck and back pain. Folding forward balances body, mind, and spirit.
2. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)
How to do the pose
Your feet are parallel to one another and you can place your hands on your hips. Inhale deeply while lifting your chest. When you exhale bend forward from your hip as far as you can but keep your back straight. Now you can place your hands on the floor or on a block. If you want variations you can also interlace your fingers behind your back and move them towards the floor (like this you add a bit more pressure on the forward fold). Hold this pose for one minute, breathing deeply in through the nose, releasing the breath through your open mouth. When you are ready roll up the spine slowly back into a standing position. Or you get out of the pose the way you went in, place your hands on your hips, engage your core and lift up into a standing position.
Benefits of the pose are:
A calmed min. I can be a wonderful relief from stress, anxiety and mild depression. You lengthen your spine which may relief mild backaches. The blood flow into your brain is increased. Any tension in your neck and shoulders is released a bit, especially when you can rest your head (if you don’t reach the floor you can use some yoga props as support).
3. Eagle (Garudasana)
How to do the pose
The easiest to start with in this case is mountain pose (Tadasana). Once grounded and steady you inhale and lift the right foot. Place the right leg over your left leg (thigh). Then you wrap your right foot around the left ankle, the right toes on the inner side of the left ankle. The right shin touches the left calf. Breath calm and balance. Once you are balanced you can lower the hips. The arms next. Start with bending your elbows and place the left elbow on the right upper arm close to the elbow joint. Now you can move your hands together. The palms of both hands should face each other. Keep the balance in garudasana is easier if you focus on one certain point (a spot on the wall, a candle, whatever you choose is fine). Your back should be straight and not rounded. Remain in this pose for a couple of deep breaths (if you manage 30 seconds it is perfect for a start). You can release and come back into a standing position. To balance your body repeat it now with the other side in the same way.
Benefits of the pose are:
Garudasana is a twisting pose and therefore detoxifies your body. Your kidneys are flushed and blood is circulated to your reproductive system. The joints are filled with fresh blood. And of course the balance of your body is improved which also enhances concentration.
4. Side stretch
How to do the pose
We start for the side stretch sitting in easy pose which means you cross your shins, widen your knees and slip each foot beneath the opposite knee. Relax the feet, so that their outer edges rest comfortable on the mat. Now you place the right hand on the floor next to you with your elbow slightly bend. Reach your left arm up and over the head and lean to the left side. Make sure that you don’t shift your whole weight but still are seated nicely, your hips grounded. Hold for one minute and then switch to the other side. Repeat and hold as well for one minute.
Benefits of the pose are:
This pose is very soothing and relaxing. You neck, shoulders and back receive a gentle stretch. It can help you to relax your mind and also relieves stress and anxiety.
5. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
How to do the pose
This is the easiest to explain and for many the hardest to stay in. Just lie flat on your back, legs straight, your arms are laying on your side. Your feet can fall naturally to the side. For your hands, if you need to ground yourself let your palms face the floor. If you are open to receive then rest your hands with the palms facing up. Your head rests, close your eyes and release tension in your body by feeling into all parts of your being. Let your breath come naturally. Nothing is forced in this pose.
For this 10 minute sequence I added 3 minutes only, but you can stay as long as you like in Savasana and enjoy it fully.
Benefits of the pose are:
Savasana can help to relieve a mild depression as well as high blood pressure, headaches and insomnia. It can calm your nervous system which results in a release of stress and an ease in your body, mind and soul.
You know, like a really good friend who sits next to you when you are down to lift you up.
When you complain, your buddy mindfulness will show you that there is no reason to complain.
Challenges we face should be taken as new opportunities to learn and grow.
Thinking outside the box is what this planet needs more than ever and who else could help you in this than your best friend?
It needs not much to be more mindful, in fact, it’s really easy.
Appreciate the little things in life, be kind, lend a helping hand, stop and breathe before doing something.
It’s all no witch art, we all are able to be mindful.
But what we would need more often, at least I would need it, is indeed a mindfulness buddy to give me a small push once in a while.
I read so much about this topic and try my best to include mindfulness in my life, but once in a while (more often than you imagine) I am so consumed from an emotion that I “forget” what I want to do.
In the aftermath I indeed know what I did “wrong” and how I could’ve done it better.
I know that it’s in me and even though my mind would like to blame the situation or others for it, I know it better. It’s me! And there I miss my buddy who pinches me in that very moment.
I still have a way to walk in front of me because I know my friend. Mr. Mindfulness is also within me, and it’s up to me to let him talk, to let him pinch me.
It’s a bit like the story of the devil on one shoulder and the angle on the other one.
The truth is in us and yes, we know what to do and how to it, but we ignore that knowledge to walk the easy way.
One misconception is that the easy way is really easy. I doubt it because the better we become, the easier life will be. The more we are grounded within ourself, the less we will be influenced by negativity.
I’m on my way. My buddy is invited to accompany me and I need to let him talk even when I would love to bury my ears with my hands. This inner voice needs to be heard and followed, only then I will become who I want to be.
I need to become one with my buddy mindfulness – which is your actual sparring partner? Is it mindfulness? Or self-love? Tell me, let’s lift each other up and cheer us on for how far we came already.
Why Yoga is essential and more than a physical exercise
Many people still see yoga as some type of “sports” but with lots of “strange” spiritual people following the yoga path.
Is Yoga sports?
Yoga is so much more than sports and it is accessible for everybody. Truly everybody, there is no reason why not to start yoga.
For me it is a holistic way to create more balance, a healthier lifestyle and a positive mindset for myself but also for the people around me.
We only have this one body, so we should take care of it in the best way possible. You don’t need to over-do it, nobody has to bend into the most complicated yoga poses. It is not a competition, it’s a way of life. Your way to live.
I promise you, it can make you a better person, it’s a way to walk and you need to be consistent, but it works.
Why am I so sure?
Because, if you decide to include yoga in your life you will quickly realise that you change, for the better.
Mindfulness is a big topic – cherishing the moment, being grateful for what you have, all the important thoughts which make you happier with less. Striving for more and more is not the way, it’s rather being happy with where you already are and working on your happiness on the inside instead of the outside.
Another topic is balance, a balanced lifestyle. Instead of rushing through everything you learn to stop and just be quiet. Let all the input we have daily settle and then sort and let go. We carry so much emotional luggage, who is able to cope with so much weight? Almost nobody.
Detox your life but also what surrounds you. Do we really need stack over stack of magazines. Will we ever read them?
Rather go through them and rip out what seems interesting, you will have one file left and read it because that’s all what’s of your interest.
Social Media detoxification is also great, I just went through my instagram and unfollowed step by step – we collect and collect and in the end we spent our time with watching other people cook their dinner?
I’m cleaning up my life and you wonder, wasn’t this article about Yoga?
Yes, and it still is! All of this is part of a Yogic lifestyle. Constantly balancing out and letting go of what you don’t need any longer.
Breathing is a very important practice in Yoga and you can work with your breath. We breath through stress, we can calm our central nervous system during a panic attack with long deep breathing. Pranayama, the breathing techniques in yoga, have many benefits.
If you want to read in more depth I can recommend this book to you written by the wonderful teacher B.K.S. Iyengar:
Yoga is being aware, aware of all that is and all you are. Meditation is nothing else than being an observer of your thoughts, becoming still in a world louder than ever before.
We hear so many noises each day and expect our brain to cope, so it’s on us to become still and breathe and give ourself this time of peace.
All of this and more is yoga
I left aside the physical practice for a reason. All until now is yoga and many do not recognise it as yoga.
We need to erase this picture that yoga is all about the poses and preferably perfect and posted on instagram because it is not.
Not every yogi is flexible, we all carry our own deficiencies and if you are good, then you don’t see it as a deficiency but as a chance. That’s the mindset I was talking about.
Not one of the yoga teachers on this planet is perfect, not one of the students is perfect, not one human being is perfect – and that’s why yoga is so wonderful, it can be adapted to your very own unique needs.
I hope you have now a better idea of yoga. And this is just the surface, there is so much to discover and learn that we can spend a lifetime exploring the beauty of yoga.
I’m proud because I designed a journal. A gratitude journal.
Being grateful is wonderful to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Being happy with our life is something many are striving for. We don’t need to look on the outside but instead put our focus on what we have already. Shifting perspective is the aim of this journal.
You can start now your own journey with it. Cherish your life in the present moment.
Believe me, this is just the start. My time off-work made me start to write again and there is much more to come, I promise.
A journal is indeed not a masterpiece of writing but for me it is my first printed book with an ISBN on it and I am beyond proud. This is one of the lessons – be grateful for each step, why should I belittle myself if it is an achievement on my way?
Of course I can only write for myself and I changed my mindset to focus on the good and not the bad.
Instead of “it is not a great book where you say about a plot for ages” I’d rather tell myself “be proud of this step on your way. You figured out how to design and create something that’s finally printed and hey, it looks awesome”.
What are the things you are proud of right now?
Let me know in the comments – share your wonderful achievements from your personal way.
And of course here is the link to it if you’d like to have a look.
The last hours of 2020 are here…a year has gone by so fast, a year that has been far away from being normal. A year that seemed endless at times.
For me personally it was a year full of change.
Being out of a stressful job and trying to find comfort after a hard 2019. On the last day of the year I can reflect and look back. It wasn’t easy but most of the time I am fine. Being without something to do is not my piece of cake so I started a 200 hour yoga teacher training. A journey close to my heart which gave me lots.
I learned, I studied, I looked within, and in the end I got my certificate and couldn’t be more proud.
There are still lessons to follow, Ayurveda, a whole new and interesting field, yin yoga, what I need most during the „not-so-good“ times and who knows what else.
Of course there is Covid and it gave me some really bad anxiety attacks but it also has shown me what a strong bond we have in our marriage, how wonderful my family is. It has been tough and still is, the toughest for me indeed is to see what happens to humanity. There are unfortunately so many out there not „believing“ in a pandemic that I start to wonder where such a misconception comes from? The ignorance scares me more than the virus itself. We are sticking to the rules since day one, being cautious and staying away from others sometimes more than anyone asks for. We kept our son at home from March until September and that was the most intense family time since he’s been born.
Somehow Covid is a gift for us. Not that I adore a virus but being able to see the good in the bad is what keeps us going.
Shift your focus and you’ll find comfort in the darkness.
We are curious to see what the new year brings – we will go through a lot of changes, start new jobs, which will be exciting and hopefully without many disappointments. We are good in what we do, so bring it on 2021. And until then let’s enjoy that we are who we are, with all our imperfections and flaws, we are not perfect but so isn’t anyone else.
We are alive, we love, we fight, we laugh and we cry – all belongs to the big circle of what life is.
Off to a different 2021!
There is no guarantee that it will be better but be assured it will be different. We can make it different because we have it in our own hands.
Be the change you want to see.
Live the peace you want to see.
The sun will set one last time in 2020 and ahead are 365 new sunrises, a whole new year of making it better.
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.
But believe it, there are still people on this planet who are NOT fully focused on financial success.
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.
Or better, of what Yoga is NOT.
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.
To start a yoga journey you simply need one single “thing” and that’s you!
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.
Whatever you choose, it is a step into a yoga lifestyle which is yours – yoga is unique as are we.
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.
During my Yoga Teacher Training I realised that the props I have at home indeed have their sense.
One really essential prop for me is my mat. Of course you can practice Yoga without a mat, but if you want to have a regular practice I would recommend to get one. Yoga mats are a market and it surely does not have to be the most expensive or en vogue mat. Most important is that you don’t slip on it and that you feel good on your mat. My real first good mat has been the one I recommend you below, Manduka Eko Lite. I have this mat for almost 10 years now and it still feels like just bought. If you invest once in a good mat, you really have it for a long time.
The second mat I can recommend by heart is Obove. I have it now since more than 6 months and love that it’s so easy to carry – in comparison to Manduka this one weighs almost nothing but gives you the full comfort of a mat. Perfect for travelling.
During the teacher training I had one really important lesson learned and this has been that it is absolutely fine not to be able to get into each pose easily. That’s why there are props available, so why should we be shy to use them? Each body is different and when we need support that is totally fine.
The Yoga Block
There are blocks – these are the most important “helper” for me. I like natural props, that’s why I give you the link of cork blocks. You may want to start with others, this is absolutely up to your preference. Cork is quite hard, but therefore the longevity of the blocks is much higher than for others. I like to buy as sustainable as possible and therefore recommend you cork.
What can you do with blocks? You can use them to deepen your stretches and poses. They also work perfectly as prolongation for your arms, for instance in forward bends where you normally wouldn’t reach the floor with your hands. And of course they can ensure a proper alignment during poses.
The Yoga Bolster
A bolster is also one of my personal must haves for Yin and restorative Yoga. You can use it in various ways, it’s like a huge pillow, but harder. I love to use my bolster for relaxation in restorative yoga. You can also put it under your legs in Savasana at the end of a yoga practice to de-stress and rest. My son loves to play with it and we also use it sometimes to deepen our backbend or to relax on it during a seated forward bend. There are various possibilities to use it, also outside of a yoga class.
The Yoga Strap
A yoga strap – this is something nice to have. Not because I don’t use it but because you can simply use for instance your bathrobe belt instead, or a normal belt. But if you want to have one, this is a strap I can recommend. Straps are used in a similar way as you use blocks. They will help you to align your posture.
The Meditation Pillow
Meditation pillows are wonderful – not only for meditation but to support you in many seated poses. There is a big market out there and we all cannot deny that we also choose by design. A meditation pillow is like a good mat or block something that lasts really long. So choose what you like, I love the one below.
The Yoga Wheel
Next prop, the yoga wheel. I have one and truly use it very rarely. What it can do, it can massage your spine in a very safe and deep way. If you want to go into back bending it will be a good friend for you as well. But in all honesty, it is not a must to own a yoga wheel.
The Yoga Blanket
A yoga blanket is something which every yoga teacher calls yoga blanket, but it is indeed just a blanket. I don’t own one but have the one below on my wish list. If you need a nice gift or if you are asked what you want to have for Christmas, birthday or any other celebration you may consider it. Until then any blanket you have in the house will do the same job.
The Yoga Chair
Last but not least the yoga chair and here I have to say that I don’t own one personally but that I am thinking of buying one. If you read through the reviews it seems that the below is the best. If you plan to do many inversions, then it maybe is a good thing to have to feel safer but here as well, it is not a must have for a normal yoga practice.
I hope you liked the list of yoga props and I could give you some helpful information. The first step towards Yoga is not to buy Yoga props.
This post contains affiliate links – these are simply my personal recommendations and surely no prompt to go for these items.
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-