self-development, Yoga

Self-trust

I’ve had a wrist injury 10 years ago. It made me quit playing the violin and made me lose trust in my body. I didn’t even realize – only in hindsight – that this injury made me feel weak, that it made me think my body is not capable of things I didn’t even consider twice, before the injury. I remember avoiding putting weight on it, even avoiding using my left hand, if not absolutely necessary.
Even after I’ve recovered, that pattern stuck with me.
I’ve started practicing yoga a while after my injury and I’ve always avoided arm balances, handstands and everything that could drain my wrists. I always wanted to do crows and wheels, but only practiced half-heartedly. And I also realized, that I used this injury as an excuse. I was hiding behind it, for it is easier to say ‘my body doesn’t allow me to do this’, than ‘Hey, I’m new to this and I’m not good at it’ or even ‘I’m not new to this, but I’m not good at it’. I was fascinated by that insight, and of course a little bit ashamed of it as well.
And than there came a turning point, about half a year ago. Mid practice, I decided that I no longer wanted to be the victim of those patterns, of my past, of my thought-carousel. I allowed myself to be a beginner, to be not good at it, to fail and fall (over and over again).
And eventually over time, my arm-balancing practice became more steady, more balanced and I gained confidence.
Realizing the difference between what doesn’t serve my body and what is just thought patterns, took quite some practice, as this can be easily confused.
The closer I listened to what my body, my ego, my thoughts really told me, the easier it was to listen to what feels good and the better I got to know myself.
It felt like with the growing confidence, the strength came back into my wrists, into my body and by now I feel even ‘good enough’ to teach those Asanas.

Is there a thing, that you would like to do, but are too afraid of trying? Because you are not good enough in this or that, not strong enough, not tough enough, not adventurous enough, not educated enough, not intelligent enough? (I could go on with the the list of ‘not enough’s’ for longer). And of course the arm-balancing example is just one out of many situations in my life, where my thoughts keep tricking me into not believing in myself, but now that I’m aware of it, it is easier to decide against that harmful self-talk.
One thing is for sure – you will always find a reason not to do something.
But if you look the other way, you might as well find 10 reasons why it’s worth trying.

Movement, self-development

Tricky transition

I just attended a lovely Playshop by Sara Ticha (great Yogateacher and lovely, sweet soul) in Vienna. It was all about tricky transitions, and this could as well be the title for the chapter of my life, that I’m currently living in.
My life seems to be a constant chain of changes, chaotic, confusing and with a lot of adventure in it, while my friends slowly, but surely, start to settle down.
Watching my friends slow down often makes me question, wether I do something wrong, or at least, if I should try to “grow up”.
While my friends plan their weddings, houses and babies, I move to the the third “home” within a year, that I spent 5 months of abroad – so if you happen to need pro tips for moving -> hit me up! 😉
I am planning my 300 hr Yogateacher Training, while my friends think of where in the Caribbean their honeymoon should go to and I am about to start studying (first semester again, YAY!), while my friends graduate from master programs, have already had their doctorates or already got jobs in big corporate firm.

As you can see, there is a lot that separates me from others, that makes me “different”. Often I wish, that it would feel right for me to go in the direction everyone else seams to move towards, but it just doesn’t. And this feeling of separation, of being different makes extra vulnerable.

I am (still) learning to accept my authentic path, sometimes it works better, sometimes it doesn’t, but since I’ve incorporated more playfulness into my tricky transitions, either in my own Yogapractice or in life in general it all gets easier. I am more gentle with myself, more accepting and I approach myself with more loving kindness, either in my Pincha, or while moving places like a gypsy. So if you are at a point in life, where you can feel the tricky transitions coming in, try not to neglect them, because that means you stand in your own way of living an authentic life. Instead, just for the sake of trying, welcome it in like a kid, in a playful manner, with excitement instead of fear and without caring about anyone judging, especially that voice in your head.

Health, self-development

Self talk

Take a few moments and check in with yourself.
How did you treat yourself today? On the outside, as well as on the inside.

Did you give your body some breaks, some rest, where it could regain the energy spent during a busy day. What did you do for your body to stay healthy and feel good?
Some movement, a bubble bath or a nice foot massage?

As important as taking care of our body, is taking care of our inside, our mental health, our heart and soul. What is it you did do for your inside? Meditation, a walk in nature, some reading?

How is your perception of other people, compared to how you see yourself?
Probably you are way harder on yourself than you are on other people.
What is it you think of yourself, how do you talk to yourself.
Try to reflect on that for a day, write down how you speak about yourself. Phrases like “silly me” or “sorry, I am an idiot” are more common than you might think. Write the thoughts and phrases down to remember and read through it at the end of the day. ALERT – You might be shocked.
When I first tried that I was absolutely outraged by myself. There was not much loving kindness involved  in my self-talks or let’s even call it self-judgement, and oh my, what a strict judge I was.
And this made me become the prisoner of my own thought punishments.
For my own standards I was never good enough, fast enough or worthy enough. What stunned me most, was that I actually thought I had a good opinion on myself until I looked closely. The truth I found there left me speechless and made me reflect on what it was that I judged so harshly in my behavior, in my looks, in my profession, in my being.

Writing down my self-talk and the thoughts I had about myself really opened my eyes. I still do that “exercise” from time to time to check-in again and to work on my self-love-ability.

If you feel like you could need a little more self-love from time to time, I can warmly recommend looking on the inside as closely as caring for the outside. I know it might not feel as good as a spa day at first, it might feel more like work, but I promise you, when the work is done, you will be left with the warmest feeling for yourself.

Health, self-development

Naming and shaming

Either, you’re too fat and don’t have any control over your life, or you are too skinny or fit and are arrogant as you use so much time for your looks.
Either you’re eating meat and don’t give shit about animals, slaughtering and what you put inside your body, or you are vegan and a hippie who has no idea about real life.
Either you are a relationship type, who just can’t stand being by him/herself, or you are single, which means you have a bad personality, bad looks or even both.
Either you are a mom who stays at home, which means you gave up your life, or you start working again, which means you don’t care about your kids and don’t deserve any respect.
Either you are a dad who stays at home, which means you are under your wife’s thumb, or you don’t stay at home, which makes you a conservative snob, who doesn’t know his kids.

As you can see, no matter what you do, you definitely do it wrong.
You can never be good enough, your decisions can never be the right ones and generally your life is a complete disaster according to society and the ‘shamers’.

But you know what, if you act according to your beliefs, I’m proud of you.
I’m proud of every person who tries to eat less meat, I’m proud of everyone who buys consciously and informs themselves, I’m proud of the single mom who has to work, of the dad that provides for the family, of the singles, who love their freedom, of the chubby girls and boys who don’t define themselves over their looks.
I am not proud of people, who make others feel uncomfortable, unloved, unworthy! I’m not proud of vegans shaming vegetarians for eating eggs and I’m not proud of flexitarians shaming vegans for following their strict rules. I’m ashamed for women making other women feel small for working or not working, for making the decisions to have kids or not.
The thing is – IT IS NOT YOUR DECISION TO MAKE.
You can only live your best life, you cannot control someone else’s life.
On the other hand it means, that instead of shaming others, take responsibility for your actions and choices and stand up for it. That’s not easy either, but it’s 100% in your hands.

So, if you ever get shamed for who you are, or what you do, keep in mind, that the person shaming you, probably doesn’t have her/his life under control and it’s way easier for them to point their finger at you. Don’t take it personally. It actually means, you did something right, you triggered something in them. You are just their mirror, nothing more, nothing less.
You can go on and live your life, don’t waste your energy on people who make you feel bad, bring your focus on the life you want to create, work your way towards it and stand up for yourself.

You only have this life.
It is your life.
It’s your decisions.
It’s your choice to make. Be wise. Live in peace.

Health, Mobility, Movement, self-development

Embody your Movement.

Maybe you’ve asked yourself what this mysterious thing is that I’m so passionate about, what it is that I call Embodied Movement.
Well, it could actually be anything and everything – and that’s the thing about it.
There are no rules, nobody that can tell you the right’s and wrong’s, do’s and don’ts. It’s neither dance, nor Yoga.
This will probably not be a satisfying answer for you.

So I will let you know, what it is and does to me.
I always wanted to be a dancer. Started Ballet at a young age and gave it up a few years after, I tried gymnastics – it wasn’t for me. I loved dancing in clubs, where nobody was looking, where I could move freely, but the atmosphere was toxic. During studying I came across pole dance, which I really liked, but it didn’t get to my core.
I have always been looking for more.
More than those rigid patterns that someone has invented, but that never really fitted for me. I came to the colclusion that dance is just not for me. That it’s something you have to be very flexible for, where being able to do splits is a necessity and where you need to be able to follow a choreography, which I would always forget. So i just gave it up. I stopped dancing. And I stopped listening to the urge, my body felt.

During my long Asian Yoga travel I was at this Extatic Dance, which I absolutely adored. Nobody was drinking, it was daylight, no talking, no phones, no nothing, but you and the rythmn of the beat. I completely let go and danced it out for hours.
When the music became quieter and people slowed down util they layed on the floor to relax in Savasana, I kept sitting and feeling.
And I saw this couple. They were dancing. Without choreography, a style I didn’t know, something modern and passionate and honest and raw and everything that filled my heart with all the love for dance that I had forgotten about for so long.
Tears kept running down my face and my heart was bursting.
This was the moment I knew I had found something profound.

This moment kept me digging and seeking for a danceform, a form of expression that allows me to be me. Suddenly all those amazing teachers came into my life, just at the right time.
I went to so so many dance and bodywork classes, I gained all the knowledge possible. About animal motions, solo dance, partner movement, self-trust, intuition, flexibility-strength-workout. acrobatic styles and much more.

But in the end, all the knowledge didn’t make any difference. Because all the knowledge was already inside of me, it just needed someone to guide me to that place inside of me, to that spring of joy and expression and passion. Watching the dance of those two people and finding my inner voice healed so many parts of me and allowed me to stand in my power.

If you silenced your inner desires a long time ago and didn’t dare to release them since, then take a slow step, allow yourself to open up. Find someone that guides you gently to your inner wisdom, it can be whoever and if it is me, it will fill me with so much gratitude to be part of your growth.

Health, Movement, self-development, Yoga

About movement

As babies our biggest desire is to move, to explore, to experience.
We want to be able to move in our own, towards every possible direction.
We explore our range of motion without judgment, or a how-it-should-be mentality, which gives us freedom to expand peacefully.
But at some point we lose this ability to be non-judgemental, to be at ease with ourselves, and that’s where stagnation happens. Our movement turns linear and by time we lose more and more of our range of motion, we waste it away.
The good thing is, that it’s never too late to regain it. You can start now. There will be no better time than this exact present moment.
Move in a way you haven’t moved for a long time, explore your body, experience yourself. And be ready to get surprised by what you are capable of, when you allow yourself to let go of any expectation.
You might not look like a professional dancer, maybe you look like a turtle that lies on it’s back, but you know what, it absolutely doesn’t matter, as long as you can feel the freedom of movement, the freedom of simplicity and authenticity.
And when you’ve practiced for long enough, at one point you might be able to take that rawness, that genuineness away from movement and even integratet it into your daily life, your habits and all the layers of yourself.
This is where movement can lead you.
To a more authentic life.
To a more authentic Self.

self-development

Time

It’s a strange thing. What is it that determines the rhythm to our routine. What is it that tells us to wake up and go to bed. What is it that tells us we ought to eat, study or take time for our family dinner?
It’s the constant ticking of a clock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

There are days when it feels like time doesn’t go by and where we want everything to be faster. More consumption, more excitement, more, more, more.
There are days when we feel like we’re running out of time. Like time was sand and it gushes through our hands, no matter how tight we try to hold it together.
And there are moments when time stands still when the clock stops to tick for a bit, while we watch the most beautiful sunset, or kiss the person we love.

Time is a strange thing.
But the question is never about the clock, the question is always about our perception. We can not influence time going by, we can just try to be in the exact moment and appreciate it for it will never come back. The only thing that stays with us forever is the memory of the past, often romanticized, often misty-eyed.
So lets all just take a moment of silence, a moment of pure being, a moment of perfection, where we worship ourselves, our surrounding and the exact situation we’re in. Feel which emotions are arising, when you’re really there, without any goal or attempt to be anywhere else. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to catch that freedom of simply being by accident, create that moment for yourself and manifest that feeling of peace and love deep down in your heart.