Wow, what a question!

Listen to this!

"Do you think, I resist to be strong?" a student asked me. 

This question was so interesting I kept pondering it for days 🤯. 

Until I saw Brené Brown's brand - new talk, exclusively produced for Netflix, released on 19 April in 190 countries and 29 languages. 

An absolute MUST WATCH, when you care for yourself, your family & friends, your work and our planet.  

Weaving elegantly and amusingly stories in her talk, Brené draws the red line of her outstanding work as a vulnerability and shame researcher. 

She's found, that being vulnerable is” the most accurate measurement of courage” and the “birthplace of joy, connection, creativity”; that you belong to yourself first and that new leadership is about embedding it into the work culture. 



Sobbing, laughing and nodding my head over Brené's talk, I figured resisting to be strong's so possible. And, that there's another way to go. 

Here's my thought stream. 

I want to think of as being strong in the sense of courage. Speak: being vulnerable. 

Vulnerable - the center of shame, scarcity, fear, anxiety,  uncertainty. 

It's saying or doing something when you don't know the outcome. 

When have you've said the last time - 
I love you first 
I'm sorry, I'll get better 
I need help
I'm scared of 
I'm feeling, that
I'm making the story up in my mind, that
I made a mistake
...

Yes, I agree. Emotions, you want to numb or in other words "resist". Right?

BUT, opening up and telling your story of who you are, that's when your courage lingers in too. These're all brave actions. 

Belong to yourself first! 
Show up! 
Grow as a human being!
Connect!
Create!
Trust, those who love you! 
Express gratitude!
Be joyful without purpose! 


You see, it creates such an astonishing human field of emotions. I understand you tempt to resist diving right into it. Yet, that's where life blossoms. Take that leap and jump! Show up! 

With my whole heart I encourage you to watch Brené Brown's talk on Netflix 🌟. Here's the trailer.

When you don't have access to it, click here to listen to her talk  "The Power of vulnerability"! Among the most five watched ones on TEDx, it'll be so worth your time.

Hit reply and share with me your most significant insight! Or comment below!

Because don't be afraid to be seen. 


With so much love, 

Your Stef


P.S.: Ashtanga Yoga's a beautiful practice to learn how to be present in an emotional moment. You'll build the strength to be courageous. Every breath you take. Reply to this email and get info about the qualities of Private Teaching or book your session! Group classes every Tuesday & Thursday 12:45-14:15 hrs at Aravinda Yoga Shala, Chiado, Lisbon. You're so welcome ❤️!


P.P.S.: Inspire your family and friends and forward this email! Get some tacos, hang out and watch Brené's talk together! 

 

Here we go again!

This was a moment printed in my mama's heart. 

We've finally moved houses after months of navigating with a cool head through the current Portuguese Real Estate market. Crazy's the least to say. 

But boy we made it 🤘. Moving under immense time pressure we couldn't bother less about the furniture and boxes that were carelessly stuffed into our new living room — complete chaos. Just the moon threw a soft light into it. I knew we're alright. 

I mean, Zion and I were just happy. We had our small belongings. I set up one bed and the kitchen with the essentials. HOME! 

Zion disappeared in the chaos of the living room. Noticing how quiet it became, I went to find him with the help of the moonlight. No electric bulbs yet ;)!

He made his way through to his toys at the end of a 20 m2 room. I called out his name. Silence. Finally, he lifted his head. They looked at me: his sparkling eyes out of the dark and the chaos 🤩.  

There's us, felt my soul, at the very beginning of a new phase of our path of life (Here we go again 😉). This moment I inhaled. Deeply.  Because I was fully aware of how I arrived here. 

What am I trying to say?



My sensations around that moment with Zion shifted into words when I had the precious opportunity to teach an Ashtanga Yoga session in Jorge Coutinho's coaching program. It was at the end of March this year. 

Jorge often mentioned, "the old Jorge" and "the new Jorge". In between these two human beings lies a path; he made crystal clear.  

When listening to Jorge and summing up my experiences, I've come to understand that this path doesn't exist until you walk it every step.

Along you'll be in the darkness. You'll be with yourself. You'll feel alone sometimes, and face hardship, chaos, and despair. It even may require your grief over a loss; for example, you needed to leave a family member or friend behind. 

And yet, that's the moment life lingers in (like the two stars of my son's eyes). Your vulnerability, your humility, your grace, your understanding, your potential, your strength, your creativity,  your joy, and your love gradually, gradually expand. 

It's all in you, you know. Your challenge's to take step by step and walk from who you are today to the one you sense within you. The outcome you can't control. But you get to choose your attitude, commitment, and actions. That's freedom.

Your path will unfold uniquely and is as precious and essential as any other. Just saying, in case you think you're not worth it. 

I was so glad to witness the participants in Jorge's program. They carried enthusiasm and will to take on this inner work. In all a very energetic, encouraging vibe and a safe environment to express and learn. Loved it. 



Have I already mentioned that a dream came true too? 
I've always been interested in the connections among the knowledge of yoga, coaching, philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. 

At Jorge's program, we'd planned out the Ashtanga Yoga session after the part of the program, that focuses on the person. The intention was to feel, look inwards with a new perspective and to listen and recharge. 

We'd found with the feedback of the participants that it worked out very well. Here're some points about what I think, Ashtanga Yoga can do for you along your path.  



Ashtanga Yoga 

👉     is not a method. It's a practice on and off the Yoga mat that you can learn and apply throughout your entire life. 

👉     teaches you to listen, to yourself and others. Listening is key, before speaking, clarifying and acting. It's such a valuable skill to nurture.  

👉     demands and requests you to look within you clearly until you've learned what you need to. 

👉     takes care of you.

👉     supports you to release shame and guilt.

👉     builds your will power and resilience. 

👉     breaks open your blockings andlingersyour self-love, worth, and joy. 

👉     embraces and holds you safely, when the path gets rough and raw.

👉     keeps the light high up, when you aren't able to see it. 



Where ever you're in your life, always remember, embrace the dark and look out for the sparkle. Clickhereand let me know, where you're at! I'd love to hear from you.

Because, then I know, I'm in good company. 

With enormous love and gratitude. 
Enjoy Easter! 

❤️

Your Stef


P.S.: A sparkle could be a motivation to try Ashtanga Yoga. When you feel, you want to hit the mat, reply to roomformyself@gmail.com. Ashtanga Yoga in a private set-up will support you in your life, wherever you're right now. It's such a generous practice. And I'll bring the coaching tools to help you clarify your questions, doubts, and wonders to build your path step by step, action by action. 

P.P.S.: Current Group Classes at Aravinda Yoga School in Chiado; Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:45-14:15 hrs. It's a wonderful, dedicated and solid group. We love to welcome you! Write to roomformyself@gmail.com!

P.P.P.S.: More Group Sessions to come in Estoril.Wait for the drop of information! Subscribe here to my newsletter!

Bring out the best of yourself! (Psst, a glass of wine can help 🍷)

How's it going? 

Well, I'm fighting my hangover today. I can't even tell you the last time I drank a bottle of Monte Velho red wine. From today's headache speaking it must be a while. 

My A-wesome girlfriend Camilla and I started nipping a glass of wine while having dinner and got involved in a conversation. We quickly build it up to a hot steam debate about life and shared stories with wild gesticulating arms (me), wide-open eyes and straight-forward questions. 

Kiddos, by the way, were happily awake too! Our Carnival! 🙃

When Camilla's husband Nuno arrived home, we got the fact, that we totally lost time and had finished the wine realizing tomorrow would be W-W-Wednesday!! Speak: no sleeping in.


Anyway, the uplift of a spontaneous evening like this is so refreshing; I don't even care about my headache. And here's what I'd love to share with you from our conversation on motherhood.

When you want to bring out the best in your child, you'll need to bring out the best in yourself. I mean not only physically (aka looking stunning - and I know you do) but emotionally, intellectually, spiritually.


You'll need to challenge yourself to design the most vivid life and own it from the most honest and comprehensive place inside of you.

It's an ongoing, ever-changing process. There's always something new to discover, explore, work through. And your kid(s) walk(s) along with you and learn(s) by example.

It requires courage, strength and hard work as a sense of self-love and not only the strict discipline to pursue what you love.

And that's, where I think, my regular practice of Ashtanga Yoga, got me on track. To be able to develop this incredible stamina and will to grow and build my path every step along steadily. 


And the most beautiful fact of it all is this: 

IMG_0829.jpg

Aren't we here to help each other, I'm asking?

I took this wise snippet from the book "Big magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's one of my favorite of all times because it helped me significantly to understand essential insights from my Ashtanga Yoga practice.


I'm curious, *|FNAME|*, are you willing to do better every new day?
How do you thrive? And if it applies to you, how has your Ashtanga Yoga practice helped you so far?

Send me an email to roomformyself@gmail.comand share! 
Because you're needed to "enrich and inform our own lives" - taken from "Big Magic". 

Here's to Wednesdays and a good glass of wine! 


With SO SO MUCH LOVE  ❤️🙏! 
Your Stef



P.S.: When you feel, Ashtanga Yoga and Private Teaching's worth your curiosity say hi! I'm an email away. I'd be grateful to learn about your intention and see how I can help you! Drop me a line: roomformyself@gmail.com


P.P.S.: Because of such dedicated and adorable students I've extended the schedule for the group classes at Aravinda Yoga Shala Lisbon (Rua Garrett 80, 4°), beginning from March 2019. Here it goes: 

  • 1. Tuesday in a month: LED CLASS 12:45 - 14:15 hrs. 

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays: MYSORE STYLE 12:45 - 14:30 hrs. 

  • School opens 12:35 Hrs


Your first experimental class is absolutely free! Feel welcome! 
Book your class: roomformyself@gmail.com




how a discovery of a golf course leads to the New Year's resolution 🤔

Hey hey!

As a generous gift, Zion and I spent some days at the Quinta da Marinha Resort in Cascais over the NYE. It specializes in Golf. 

Our curiosity's always big. We took a walk around the marvelous and perfectly clean Golf course. As we like it, we got off track to explore the details. 

The grass, the holes, the obstacles, and these little cars that take the players from one shot to the next. 

The course was almost empty and very quiet. Alone we were left in awe until a car's brakes creaked loudly. A security guard walked up to us with giant steps and a serious face. In Portuguese, he asked us to leave the course and go back to the main ways. For security reasons. 

Ok! I took Zion's hand, walked off with him while explaining the reason. 

As you can imagine, kids don't put up with it. Especially not Zion, who questions everything. I had no more arguments than saying, these are the rules here, and we follow them. 

Zion took his moment to get his head around it. No, he pointed out confidently, the rule is to SHARE. 

That's a statement.

I kept pondering it and came to this conclusion for a brand new year.

Let's 2019 be your year to share, well, YOU!

For becoming a more content and fulfilled human. 

Keep discovering you!
Keep practicing you!

Share all of you first and foremost with yourself. Don't hold back. 
Make it specific! Dig deep! Be consistent!

Express love!
Bring your talents and gifts into this world! 
Find a path through anxiety and loneliness! 
Name your failures and count how often you get up! 
Seek new ways!
Take opportunities wisely!
Contribute!
Dare to do something out of your comfort zone!
Be bold to rise! 
Stay strong and make happenings to you - for you! 
Redefine beauty!
Speak up! 
Know your worth!
Live your joy! 
Show kindness! 
Invest in yourself! 
Keep growing!
And, share! 

Because, it's through our stories, we connect. 
Your learnings matter. Your insights count. Your story's relevant.

Just saying! 

A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019 for you! 
Go and do it!

With so much love and excitement 💗! 

Always, your stef


P.S.: SAVE THE DATE: 12 January 2019, 17-20 hrs we'll set your intention for 2019! Please bring a pen, notebook and a cup! More details in the next email! Watch out! Because remember: you matter!

P.P.S.: Click here for my email to you last year at this time! 

Do this at Xmas and you'll have a wonderful time in family 🤩

Ho ho ho! 

Christmas 2016 was a gamechanger for my family. 
In truth--- my new patchwork family. 

The year before my parents separated after 41 years marriage and moved on with their new partners. This year I went rock bottom too. The worst I've had in my life yet. 

Besides maintaining my Ashtanga Yoga practice, I also started writing again. Both saved me. 

Every morning before sunrise and stepping on my mat I turned on a little light, lightened a candle, opened a clean page in my journal and answered questions, clarified and did affirmation in this precious quiet morning hour. 


It crossed my mind that short writing would be an A-wesome idea for Xmas too. Start small, I thought! 

I went to buy the little Moleskine notebooks for every family member, wrote a personal note with three questions and wrapped it up like the most enticing Xmas present ever. 

In the beginning, my family showed resistance. Of course! That's how we humans are wired. Everything new is a No. They did it anyway because of love and followed through the questions. 

After that, everyone could share what she or he felt comfortable with. 

Magic moments were unfolding. We could discover each other, spoke about our feelings regarding the change, the place we felt in the new patchwork family and discussed beliefs, concepts of life and dreams. 

After my sis' boyfriend DJ-ed for everyone, my grandmother with 87 years over to my five-year-old son Zion. Rock-roll on Christmas! 

Just to say, that now it's become our ritual. Everybody loves it. 


Suggestion: take these three writings for your family and see how it goes. And family means the ones you love. 

Here we go: 


I'm grateful for: 
Here you can refer to every little thing in your life, personal, material, emotional, spiritual. Know, that gratitude is a generous place to live your life from. It allows you your joy when it flows in the right direction and grace when you've got to face your challenges. 


What would make my day great?:
Zion would say spending time on the ocean, a new rocket ship, and a pizza :)). Chose what's important to you on this day!


I'm: 
It's affirmation. You speak in the present tense about how you see yourself and where you want to expand to.


The result of this writing exercise turns out best when you do it daily. Use all the Xmas days and see what happens. You can throw the party after too 🎄. 

Let me know in the comments below how the experience happened! Because sharing our stories makes us feel connected. I'd be thrilled to hear from you!

Merry Christmas 2018! 
Enjoy 🌟! 

In gratitude ♡. 

Your Stef


P.S.: I'd also LOVE to share, that an Ashtanga Yoga Private Session may be an exceptional gift. Because it's a preciously life-changing practice. Send me an email roomformyself@gmail.com, and we'll wrap up the present. 

P.P.S: Lunch class at Aravinda Yoga Shala will be open on Thursday 27, 12:45 - 14:15 hrs. I'll be there for you. Last but not least: at Aravinda we'll have an event coming up. For now, I'd say: bring a cup, notebook, and pencil. Save the date: 12 January 2019, 17-20hrs. It's absolutely FREE. More details very soon. 

Ever given your breath attention

The other day I entered the practice room of a student of mine. She shared some ongoings of the week, and we set the intention for the session. 

There she was standing on her Yoga mat, looking at me and starting her spontaneous, determined speech: 

You know, Stef, what I all need to. I need to look good, keep a smile, drink a lot of water, sleep enough, carve out time for me, make time for my partner, be a loving mom, cook organic food, grow my patience, stay fit, relax.

She got faster with her words to finish her speech elegantly off with an imaginary shot in her head on the word relax. 

Silence. 

We took a deep breath! 


I understand.

This current hot topic "self-care" in our modern world can bring up the opposite: feeling overwhelmed and depleted by the millions of demands and suggestions. 

I've got two comments: 

First, you can't "demand" self-care from you. Respect and compassion are crucial. It's WITH you.

With this foundation, you begin to explore you and learn what's best for you.


My current power juice is water, sleep (if not my five-year-old sweet boy takes it lovingly from me), and it's been my BREATH. 

On a side note: I don't mention "food" here. I do my best to eat healthily. Yes! But my son and I, we're also total Pizza junkies.


Anyhow, coming back to the breath: It brings me to my Ashtanga Yoga practice. 

Ashtanga Yoga's referred to as abreathing method, because you practice with a specific form of breath. You'll learn to use and value your breath with a positively beneficial impact on your life.  

Why's that important?

Because many don't breathe properly. I see it through my work every day, and it's a scientific fact too— the natural breath's shallow; the inhale or the exhale fall short; sometimes there's even a suppression of breath.

The change of your natural breath happens unconsciously through the experiences life gave you. Essential's how you were able to digest them. Because if you don't, they stay in your body, create internal blocks and stop the flow of your breath. 

Over time not breathing well causes your body pain, an unsteady mind hence anxiety, stress, weakness, a feeling of disconnection with your body, loneliness, insecurity.  

It leads to unclarity and not knowing who you're and what's best for you. 


Just a moment of a conscious breath can serve you with a different outlet. I'm inviting you with me now. 

Step away from your screen, close your eyes and take a deep, deep breath.

Close your eyes! 
Take a deep breath! In and out. 


Close your eyes! 
Breathe!


Your natural breath's given to you. It IS your life; it happens effortlessly and spontaneously. 

Therefore, investing in your breath can help you in many ways. For example, 

  • It cleanses your body and opens inner blockages. You'll establish a relationship with your body with acceptance and love. 

 

  • Your vitality level rises, and your strength grows to incredible stamina. You endure disease, fatigue, and anxiety. You're well prepared for a fulfilled life. 

 

  • Gradually your mind becomes steadier, which will help you to feel grounded, protected from outer influences and to stay on your game. 

 

  • Saying that you'll also gain clarity on what's essential for you and clutter out all the rest; not only on the topic of self-care. 

 

  • With that, you'll understand that a place of solitude is necessary and feeling alone's part of life sometimes. 




Take another breath! 


In the private sessions, I share simple and effective breathing exercises, that are easy to apply in daily life. 

The specific breath used in the Ashtanga Yoga practice itself teaches you to breathe with awareness and depth. 

It's a worthy and lifetime investment to focus on the quality of your breath. 

I wonder if this could be a unique Christmas present for you to give: a Private Session for yourself, with your partner or best friend.

What do you say?

Reply to roomformyself@gmail.com and let's talk about the possibilities. I'd be very grateful to hear from you. 


Your breath's precious.  You're too! 
And, you've got this. Don't let the outer noise influence you. 


With so much love and care. 

Your Stef


P.S.: How did it feel to take a deep breath? Great? Nice! Do you want to explore your breath deeper? Send me an email to roomformyself@gmail.com. Forward this email to your partner, friend or colleague who may need an in- and exhale.


P.P.S.: In one of the private sessions the practitioner asked me if she was supposed to answer my emails. I was smiling at her lovingly. I assumed I don't write clearly enough (I'm working on that one :)). Yes, I look for an exchange. I'd love to connect. You're so welcome to reply with your share and questions to roomformyelf@gmail.com or in the comments below!

I wanted to show you THIS video

Hey!

I wanted to share this video with you.

But first, let me tell you why.

To me, Ashtanga Yoga's a deeply personal practice. On your Yoga mat, you lay out your heart and soul, you surrender to your pain and indulge in your joy, you struggle with your fear and build your faith.

Sometimes it happens to be a mixture of all of it in one single practice and there's so much more beyond your imagination.


This practice paints the practice room, your school, home, office or hotel room, in a very special light, creates a strong energetic space and lingers its magic mellow vibe in silence. Just you with your breath.

This atmosphere's almost impossible to explain.

Your devotion and surrender to you in the practice protected by the principles of Yoga, such as non-violence and non-judgment, hold your space for healing.

The Ashtanga Yoga practice lives through you, your engagement with it.


Over the course of time, it carries the capacity to

  • accept and feel comfortable in your body

  • deal with your loneliness

  • understand your role as a parent

  • take your painful decisions but the truthful ones ...

  • minder your sleeping problems

  • reduce your stress, back pain and

  • rise your confidence

I could go on and on with the benefits. But I just remembered I was to show you this video :).

So because of this so intimate practice in a vulnerable surrounding, I've rarely taken pictures or videos neither about my personal nor teaching practice. It just doesn't feel right to me.

Until the Brazilian photographer, Rodrigo Ultramari contacted Joana Menano, the owner of Aravinda Yoga Shala. Rodrigo's humility, kindness, and naturality convinced us. So he did his thing. This video produced by him shows the Ashtanga Yoga lunch classes.

Click the play button below and dive right in!

Because, my love for Ashtanga Yoga is SO big that the only thing's possible is to share it with you.


Have you seen it? How did it speak to you? Write about your impressions in the comments below here!


But let me tell you, the only way to really understand what Ashtanga Yoga's about is to practice it. We'll get that one thing, that you wanted to tackle for so long. Sleepless? Feeling alone? Not comfortable in your body? What else?


Send me an email to roomformyself@gmail.com to set up a free call to take your questions and doubts for private sessions or group classes!


Looking forward to you!

With so much love,

Your Stef


P.S.: Before I forget, the Ashtanga Yoga lunch classes are every Tuesday & Thursday 12:45 - 14:15 hrs. In Aravinda Yoga Shala Rua Garrett 80 4°E, where Lisbon's heart beats. You're invited to your first class. It's absolutely FREE.

Moments like this one are priceless

Yes! 

I had a breakthrough the other day. 

Give me high five! 

One of these fabulous warm winter evenings last week we needed to end on the beach.The air was soft and salty, the sea quiet, small waves moving calmly in an even rhythm. 

Protected by the moonlight my son Zion was running in the sand meters away from me. Looking into the stars, spreading his arms, feeling his freedom. 

Now and then I heard him calling out: Mom, come and catch me! And after enjoying my moment I did speed up to play. 

After ma-a-a-any catches and out of breath we quietly walked side by side back. 

On the way, Zion wanted to grab a drink and asked me to go into this specific bar that I don't like. I replied that and mentioned that we could get our water in the car. Zion focused on reaching the bar he made his point: 

Oh Mom, he said, you don't need to buy anything there. It's just me. I want to choose a delicious juice.


It dawned on me: empathy. 

In his words, Zion asked me to

  • take his perspective  

  • understand his feeling of being in need to drink something that he loves in a place that's ok for him. 

  • not judge him for that and 

  • speak about how I understood it and I explained why I wouldn't choose the bar. 



How does it relate to Yoga?

I've come to understand, that Yoga can be applied as a method to self-reflection; to begin to explore, who you indeed are.

Because to give empathy, or in other words, to understand somebody's feelings, you'll need to be able to connect with this feeling and distinguish from it within yourself. And, the deeper you know yourself the better empathy's to give and receive. 

Speaking from my more than ten years of experience with a consistent Ashtanga Yoga practice empathy becomes tangible, even embodies.

It turns out to be an incredibly deep feeling of connection. 

So yes, I gave Zion his coins and joint him to choose his drink. 
We took a seat, chatted and looked at the sea. 🤙



In your everyday life, there're countless hidden nuggets of wisdom. 

When you listen carefully to whom surrounds you, you'll get the hints, insights, answers, new questions and understanding that are meant for you. Like me with my simple and clear empathy breakthrough.

Over to you!

Please share in the comment below, what's this one memory about a breakthrough in your everyday life?

Because I'd love to get to know you too!

Enjoy your day! 

Your Stef


P.S.: How much do you feel understood? Forward this email to who you love and start the conversation!

P.P.S.: Does it cross your mind to practice Yoga? To give it a try? Then hit reply to roomformyself@gmail.com, and we'll talk about you and what I can do for you.