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! 

 

A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "HAVE" AND "BE" <3

On my last blog post I received a wonderful feedback. I thank you for that!!!

It was not just about the fact, that I had the generous chance to present my work in the magazine “Lideranço no feminino” as a supplement in the newspaper Público. Most importantly, practitioners and I, we opened up a conversation about the deeply personal meaning of our Ashtanga Yoga practice and its connection to daily life. 

Specifically, there’s this one respond, that touched me. 

In this blog post, you’ll find the eMail from Beatriz. There was just no other way to share it originally. In respect and agreement with her, I changed the name. 

In her eMail Beatriz shared with me so beautifully, honestly and purely her daily life. This alone is precious and makes me feel honoured, that she allows me in her life. 

Because, I believe so strongly in the beauty and power of ordinary daily life, of the little priceless moments of human connection among family, friends and encounters. So I also trust, that the practice of Ashtanga Yoga is directly linked to it. 


Life and Ashtanga Yoga are inseparable for me.


Besides of the many unique reasons why we engage with this practice of Ashtanga Yoga, I’ve come to experience that, through it you’ll be able to become strong in diving into your vulnerability. Strong enough, to transcend it into courage and connect purely with yourself, hence with others and play your roles not functional but rather with intention and meaning, love and care. 


I suppose, it reveals a significant difference between “have” and “be”. 


What you “have” and “do” in your life, doesn’t define you. It’s about how you engage with it. The way you act, where your action comes from and what you intend to contribute with it. 

In Beatriz’s eMail it becomes clear, in my opinion. Even though she writes, she doesn’t have much courage, I think, she represents a force of courage - in her intentions for herself, in the way she lives through her daily life, in the effort she takes care of her to be her best, contributes and serves others. 

Last but not least, I’d love to thank Nuno Filipe from Ashtanga Yoga Carcavelos, because he gets mentioned in Beatriz’s eMail too. You do so greatly. I appreciate your generosity and gentleness and clarity in your teachings. Beatriz said, she trusted me in my recommendation and you earned her trust too. It means a lot to me, because Im aware of the responsibility of teaching. Not only Ashtanga Yoga. Any teachings. Teaching is sacred! So thank YOU! Deeply grateful! 

Finally, I invite you take some of your precious time and read the eMail through. There’s so much shared wisdom, grace and humility. 

THANK YOU BEATRIZ!!! 

 

Hi

This is going to be a difficult email to write because English is not my “natural” language. Or I’m just apologise myself because I’m insecure about writing in English, as I am insecure about a lot of things in my live.
 
The context: I am 45 (almost, just a few days). I am a mother, not single, of a beautiful and supporting boy of 12 years old. And I am a working person, 8h30 to 17h, every day with 3h of commuting time. I do Ashtanga yoga twice a week most weeks, 1 time sometimes, have breaks and come back to Asthang again, lay my mat, take a deep breath and start again. From the beginning if I need it.
 
The why: some time ago I went to a workshop with you. I was the only one. I liked but I didn’t have the time to attend your classes. I was sad because of that. But then you told me about Nuno, a professor who could have a more flexible schedule for me, with later hours. I never had a men as a professor, I was a little bit concern about it. But I believed in you and I contact him and now I attend his classes. So, thank you.
 
Reading you story I can imagine the courage you needed to take that step. In fact, I can only imagine a fraction of that courage. Probably I don’t have and never had that kind of courage. So I take what I can, wake up every day, kiss my boy goodbye each morning, fix dinner, read a story because he likes it, try my best to be a good mother, pass good examples, a good wife to my very supporting husband, do my work at office the best I can and not stress a lot. This is my battle every day. Everybody have some kind of battle going on.
 
Who do I want to become? Myself, I guess. To be honest in my examples and attitudes, to be honest to myself and to find room inside me. If I can be this every day, this will be my legacy. I think it’s enough.
 
Love,
 
Beatriz

 

Through my work, Im humbled to meet such extra-ordinary people. 

I trust, you do so well in your life too. Remember yourself of it every new dawn! Count your blessings and make an ordinary day worth your breath! 

When you feel encouraged to share some insights of your story and how Ashtanga Yoga’s helped you along the way, let us know in the comments below! There’s the chance, you may touch and inspire someone else too. ONE is good enough to have a lasting impact

Or simply like this post, when you like it. 

In the meantime, I’ll see you on the mat. My teaching commitments are here! When you’d like to reach out personally, just drop me a line: roomformyself@gmail.com. Always glad, to hear from you! 

Be good to yourself! Happy Spring!  

With SOOOO MUCH GRATITUDE!

Your Stef

P.S.: When you think your friend needs to read this or may want to make "room for myself" then please feel free to share this. I appreciate it. 

ashtangayogaspring.JPG

EXCITING NEWS FOR YOU :: SMALL GROUP PROGRAM BACK AGAIN

I've got great news for you. 

I'm rolling out the SMALL GROUP PROGRAM again. We’re going to begin next week on Thursday 1st March 2018 and, Im very much looking forward to this. 


Intention

With the feedback of participants from our last round, the intention behind this program is now to 

  • accompany your personal practice at home, in a school or in private teaching
  • offer sessions outside of a regular schedule in an Ashtanga Yoga School
  • refine details in your practice emphasising the elements (breaths, alignment breath and movements, energetic locks, gazing points, tristana)
  • research on postures and challenges like knees, shoulder, back and others
  • involve Yamas and Niyamas 
  • enchant a consistent practice
  • exchange insights of the practice based on the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga


 

Results of Private Teaching

The results of Private Teaching have proven that time, attention and care have got a great positive impact on your personal practice. 

  • Learn how to integrate wisely this precious practice in your daily life. You see, the practice of Ashtanga Yoga shouldn’t be an extra thing on your plate. The practice is there to get to know you and enhance your life through it. How to apply the practice can be studied as well as the practice itself. 
  • Adapt the practice to your needs. When you’ve got specific problems with your knees, blood pressure, anxiety or others you’ll research options to make you feel comfortable in uncomfortableness and heal.  Or I also like to connect here with pregnant women or mommies with babies or infants. 
  • Explore your space. Group classes can be felt as quite intimidating. Ive heard practitioners saying that the environment makes them feel insecure or even ashamed. I understand. Protection and privacy in the small group program will help you to open up and engage in the practice like a child - play and learn freely.  
  • Study the link between the practice and life. To me Yoga and life are inseparable. What you practice on the mat, is what you feel in your own precious body. Your body - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual - is communicating with you whilst you are moving through the postures guided by your breath.  What you feel is crucial. Emotions are the chief source of becoming conscious. Then you bring them into your life, return to your mat and check in again.
  • Practice! Really, that’s what’s it all about - real hands-on work! (and joy :))

 

Im so grateful for what Claudia Redinha shared with me: 

I am grateful for the immense difference she has made in my daily practice. Her technical knowledge and her commitment to the traditional pillars of Ashtanga are always gracefully combined with the careful consideration of her students’ personality and needs.  Stef’s presence and guidance have helped me to immerse myself into and set the intention for my practice. For that I am forever grateful.
— Cláudia Redinha, lawyer


Is it for me?

  • Yes. There’s no “level” in Ashtanga Yoga. You’re welcome, when you haven’t practiced yet at all, began yours or have already rolled out your mats for years.
  • Yes. You’re good enough. Actually, great already. 
  • Yes. When you’re committed to  yourself and show up. 
  • Yes. You aren’t too stiff. There’s simply not such thing like stiffness. Your body is precious as it is. Love it with all your heart.
  • Yes. Yoga is an ancient sciences and Ashtanga Yoga has been time-proven over almost 100 years through “direct and practical experience”. This stuff really works. 

 


Dates & Investment

Thursdays, 10:15a - 11:45a with max. 6 participants.

Residência do Sol
Avenida Marginal 8648, 2750-427 Cascais
Meeting at Lobby, 10:10a

55€ per month incl. IVA


When you've got questions, please feel free to send an eMail to roomformyself@gmail.com.
Lets meet there and reply to roomformyself@gmail.com to reserve your spot! 

Thank you so much for your trust! I appreciate to practice with you! 

Warmly, Stefanie

P.S.: When a dear friends needs support to just take the next step and give Yoga a try, please forward this eMail. She might benefit for a life-time. Thanks so much!

 

fullsizeoutput_6d7.jpeg

ACT WITH LITTLE THINGS

It is a spontaneous moment on a winter weekend. How I love them. 
Zion and I we’re taking a walk along our house beach into the sunset and ended up having fun with a couple of new friends on a new sport circle round in the dawn. 

While hanging in the ropes Zion discovers this heart. He says: oh Mommy look, there’s a heart. Then he’s spreading kisses all around.

IMG_6976.jpg

Im inspired by such purity. 

How about living the December with Advent, Christmas and New Years Eve like this - with awareness and an open heart, joy and gratitude, reflection and change IN ACTION. 

With these spiritual practices!


“Slow is the new fast”

Write your last list of 2017.

  • write EVERYTHING DOWN you want to do/have done/shop/craft/say BEFORE or FOR Christmas and NYE. Don’t shy away, let it all down on a blank piece of paper. 
  • then check in with your schedule and evaluate the time you’ve got besides your working schedule, daily family life and personal commitments (like Yoga).
  • prune your “EVERYTHING LIST” to those “to Does” that are truly important, valuable and that deserve your heart, schedule them, involve your family when you like and take it easy! 



Practice Gratitude

Take 5 minutes every day, choose the best time for you, and write three points of gratitude.

  • someone you’re grateful for: look also in the past, to encounters, colleagues, doctors, athletes; anyone who left you with something for your life
  • choose an event/happening/moment from the day before
  • something small and often taken for granted: the smell of your coffee in the morning silence, the smile of your child, the precious love of your partner

 

Shift the intention of your Ashtanga Yoga Practice

Love your body. Respect the limitations of the day. Practice along with that. And except, how you’ll feel. 

 

Be generous!

Some action of kindness to those, who help us through our daily life.

  • Say thank you and mention their names to those women and men collecting the toll along the highways! 
  • Smile to a stranger! 
  • Express what you like about someone, you know or have just encountered! For example: Hey, I like your hair today!

 

Be free!

  • Do a sunset walk! 
  • Dance like nobody’s watching!
  • Have your friends around for some pancakes on Sunday morning!
  • Melt away with little things!

 

Humble ideas for presents

  • Write a letter to someone and let her or him know, what you appreciate about her or him.
  • Books! Give Books! 
  • A Dream Planner or Joy Planner by my dear friend Rita Sambado for EUS - School of Being
  • Donate toys, clothes, food!


Let me know below in the comments, what's your choice or share yours! Im curious. 
There're endless acts to pay attention, to contribute, to participate, to love and walk the own way through an often hectic and stressful Advent and Christmas time. 


OVER TO MY VACATION
This share from Buddhist Teacher Dr. Joan Halifax in Brené Brown's latest book "Braving the Wilderness" delivers so perfectly the message for me in my Christmas vacation! In a conversation with Brené Dr. Halifax says: 

Tonight we will exhale and teach. Now it’s time to inhale. There is the in-breath and there is the out-breath, and it’s easy to believe that we must exhale all the time, without ever inhaling. But the inhale is absolutely essential if you want to continue to exhale.
— Page 148. Braving the Wilderness, Brené Brown


I'll INHALE & be out from 21 Dec 2017 and return to my regular schedule Thursday 4 January 2018 with news about Room For Myself. 

 

Looking forward to you in 2018!

In meantime, choose love!

Your Stef

GOALS IN YOGA

As an former athlete from the age of 6-16 trust me, when I say, I love goals and most of all, I love to go for AND achieve them. Speaking from that experience, I remember myself as an absolutely focused young girl and training hard. My life was all about sport, competition and being fast. I felt devastated, when I didn't win, when the hard work didn't pay off. Worst, I even began to define myself through my results. Holy s*%$ !

Let me tell you this, with all my warmth and knowledge, I support you along your individual Yoga path. I'll be there and engage with you on your personal goal. We'll define it precisely, track it, review it, adapt and weave it into your personal practice. Ashtanga Yoga though, is not a train and check-box activity. Even though it demands physical engagement than any other form of Yoga, this ancient practice is about to surrender and trust in something that we don't know yet. The Unknown and Unpredictability is the space, I will hold you safely and share with you. We need to go exactly there as we may need to withstand a few time of practice and practice and practice over and over again, in order to reach your goal and so much more beyond the surface.

The only thing I know for sure is, it's all about the process and not about to win. And, what reveals may not be exactly what you were going for in the first place but surely it'll be magic and will lead you to where you need to be. To the uniqueness of yourself! 

Class given at Yoga Lisboa - Ashtanga Yoga Shala

PARENTING

There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children.
— Marianne Williamson

I love Marianne's work and I believe in her words above.

I struggled for quite a time, to find my way as a mom. Or better "a way"? It began with me. Within myself. From a crystal clear reality check over who I am today to who I wish to become I understood the best way to be a mom is to be the best version of myself. Today. Tomorrow. Though tomorrow it'll feel different. But it's still me. Honest. Human. Responsible.

Raising my son has more and more become forming a relation with myself and not with my representative, forming a relation with him and between us, so it may help him to build one with him self. Strong and sold based on love, and always always with room for learning. 

The shot of me below took my son after a late summer day 2016 on our fav beach. He was three years old and showed me how he sees me through his eyes. 

COMPROMISE

My lil' companion with the age of three wakes up in the morning earlier than usually and during my home practice. My first thought is "Oh no", my second "Ooookay". A cuddle. A talk - we compromise. Im going to shorten my practice to have time together playing before heading off into our day. Connect. Communicate. Compromise.  

do you see the garage in the back :)

do you see the garage in the back :)