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What the heck is yoga?

If you haven’t done yoga before you might be thinking you need to look fabulous, have fancy leggings and be at a beach with a sunset in the background and bend your leg behind your ear. Like so many things yoga these days is being commercialised to make you want that fabulous body, those fancy leggings, the unachievable looks, the beach and peace that is emanated from those glossy magazine images and facebook posts. That is not yoga – that is marketing…

The ultimate goal of yoga is to still the mind. Like Pattabhi Jois so beautifully said “Yoga is an internal practice. The rest is just a circus”.

Originally the yoga asanas (yoga poses) which today we mainly know in the west as yoga were only practiced to have a healthy and flexible body to be able to sit in long periods of mediation to still the mind.  I attach an image below of the 8 limbs of yoga that the serious yoga practitioner attempts to live by. As you can see the Asana practice (postures) are only a small part of a full yoga practice. Many of us already practice yoga with the moral code and personal conduct already being present in many people’s lives.

However we also have to view our potential yoga practice in a practical way. Not many of us in the western world have the time to sit under a tree all day trying to still our mind with long meditation practices to reach Samadhi. So yes the physical postures are immensely beneficial to our bodies that are often forced to be in a static position all day (office / desk) or being overused in physically challenging jobs doing repetitive movements (pack-house, building, pruning etc). So it is really important for most of us to bring balance back to bodies with yoga postures.

In my classes at Heartspace Yoga I teach gentle and basic Hatha Yoga and Yin Yoga. Both styles are achievable for most of us. They are gentle forms of yoga and my focus is on creating a moving mediation. So while we do the postures we focus on our breathing and on stilling the mind. In all of my classes we have brief meditations at the beginning and at the end of the class, there are some Pranayam / Yogic breathing exercises and the postures. My aim is for my students to leave relaxed, energised, detoxed, with an open body and mind, with batteries charged and a calmer nervous system.

Most of us lead lives that are too full, with to do list that are too long for anybodies good. In the western world especially we have a society that is stressed, depressed, depleted, chronically ill and reaching for more and more accomplishments until our bodies completely crash. Yoga can help you to bring balance back into your life, find clarity in your head as to where to go next by stilling the mind, allowing our bodies to heal and restore by calming the nervous system, be more present in your life and make better decisions. There are many studies available online that proof the manifold benefits of yoga.

The Hatha Yoga I teach is a mix of standing and floor based poses with dynamic movements that work on the muscular system, increasing strength, balance and stamina. The Yin Yoga is mainly floor based with long held poses (2-6 minutes), which works on the connective tissue, Facia and Joint Health. Yin Yoga is a beautiful practice to balance out physical practices that you might already be doing. Ideally both styles are practiced to benefit the whole body.

The first session is free for new students – so why not come along to try yoga and bring more balance into your life and body. For more information you can check out my website or like my facebook page

If you have any questions, please e-mail me [email protected] or call me 021 – 104 56 66.

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A blast from the past – open journal

Every so often I get a hissyfit and have to have a big clean out and tidy up.

So my office has turned into a bit of tip and I can’t get a clear head when I live in mess. I am going through my cupboards, folders, draws, files and chuck everything out that I don’t need anymore.

I came across this photo in my endeavor to clean up my space. This is me, approx. 27 years old. On the outside I had my life sorted. Corporate career as an Executive Assistant and Project Manager at Bertelsmann Springer in Berlin, lovely apartment with balcony with all the bells and whistles, big wage, high heels, make up, fancy hair-does and a clothes closet that would have been big enough for 3 people. Yet I was very deeply unhappy – that picture was just an outside mask I maintained, because I thought I had to. I was so unhappy with myself that no man I connected with could actually love me – because I didn’t love myself resulting in one shitty relationship after the other. I was lonely, disconnected, unhappy and had no idea why I was on this earth and what the heck I was supposed to be doing. Luckily one of those unfortunate man that I connected with suggested I save half my wage and go travelling, which is one of the things I actually enjoyed.

So at the very end of being 28 I reached my absolutely deepest depth of unhappiness and decided I had to change everything. I quit my apartment, I quit my job, I gave half my household away and the other half was stored at my less than happy parents place, who where horrified me giving up my apparently fabulous life and loosing points towards my retirement fund by stopping to work.

I reduced my life to a size of a backpack bought a one way ticket to Thailand and had a working and holiday visa for 1 year for New Zealand to learn english, but other than that I had no idea what to do with myself or where to from here. I was 29 with approx. 10,000 Euros on the bank account and a backpack and absolutely no idea how to spend time with myself without having all the external distractions of household, work, shopping etc. was this easy? NO – it was hard and one of the scariest things I have ever done – I was scared every day leading up to leaving – I doubted myself, I thought I had now gone completely crazy – I was scared a lot and lost a lot but I did it anyway.

Slowly, very slowly I found my way. I enjoyed my travels in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Tibet and New Zealand. I found my husband, my children, I found parts of myself that I never knew, I found my home – not in a physical place but in my heart. I changed COMPLETELY. I still change every day. I haven’t got myself sorted and I have given up to think that I ever will. Its an exploration and I have learned to appreciate and love to explore the unknown and guess what – each time I take a step forward into the unknown I am being rewarded with something beautiful to add to my life experience.

And I am so grateful to have been so unhappy – because otherwise I might have never left to explore possibilities that this little girl from East Germany never dared to dream of, who once thought she would never even be able to travel out past that wall.

Last night I was thinking how proud I am of myself to have been brave enough to step outside the pre-made squares. I am far from perfect and have done quite a few things I am not proud of, but I have been brave more than once to step into the unknown.

Back then I was pretty from the outside and unhappy on the inside – now I am not so pretty on the outside anymore, but so much happier on the inside – I know what I would rather be. I am content and happy with aging. So grateful for all that is in my life.

What unknowns do you want to explore? What masks do you want to shed?

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Sonic Tonic Yoga Social – Done


Thank you so much to Lily Lau for the beautiful collaboration with the Sonic Tonic Yoga Social. Thank you also to Scott and Ruth from THE SPACE for the beautiful venue and to Sandra from the artkitchen for making the delicious raw cheesecake. And thank you to all that came to experience the evening. It was a beautiful evening and we will try and aim to make this a monthly event – 1 hour candlelit yin yoga accompanied by soundbowls, 30 minutes full sound immersion with Lily and 1 hour socialising sipping tea, eating cake and chatting afterwards.

It is so special to be able facilitate things like this. This was my first and I was a bit nerveous. I hope all participants got something nice out of it.

Thank you for allowing me to do what I love – feeling grateful.

Thank you to Lily for the beautiful photographs too – she is woman of many talents.