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!

ARE YOU DONE WITH FEAR?

I can’t help, time feels like change for me. Not a subtle one.
A profound change. Yep. Another round.

Change requires an honest look onto my own life and Ive been making an effort, to learn to stay steady, to focus on my vision and cares. It really isn’t easy, because the mind likes to drift away and stare onto somebody else’s life. Facebook can be a time killer for that and then I make up stories in my head. Do you know this feeling of running away from yourself? 

To be staying focused this time, I did something different. And I think, it’s something Ive been discovering especially in the last two years. I share my vulnerability with people I trust. Which gave me chance to connect with others on a deeper level. 

Once opened up, life’s presented me encounters or friends, who Id not thought of and suddenly we're in a new phase of our relationship or bond. Like with the practitioners Im so grateful to work with. 

 

In private sessions it organically happens, that we take time to talk about outcomes in the practice and how we actually can integrate them into daily life; based on our personal experiences and inspired by the vast knowledge of Yoga. 

It’s somehow not surprising, that we often share thoughts, feelings and experiences related with fear. Fear is an emotion we like to avoid; and when we ignore it, it takes charge deeper in our unconsciousness. It rules, has an influence on our choices or keeps us stuck. So that we can’t take responsibility of our own life. 

Fear’s big topic. Without going into it much deeper, what Ive witnessed in the conversations with precious practitioners and what I feel in my bones too:  

We’re done with fear. 


This moving change is about: breaking barriers and overcoming limitations, rising up and beginning a new cycle on a higher level of clarity, strength, compassion and joy. 

 

Well, it’s bold to say, “done with fear”. It stills sits around the corner and gets inspired by the space, that changes leave behind. Unknown and Uncertainty. Fear tends to fill up the new clear space. But rather let you do it!  

So I figured, taken from my personal practice, that “fighting against it”, doesn’t get me anything but frustrated. 

Observing it, I found, helps me to acknowledge it, sit with it without letting it take control. Damn, it’s a daily back and forth. But it works. 

 

There’s something else, that has been helping me to embrace the next big change. I don’t deny grieving. As exciting the new beginning looks, for all new inviting in, I’ve got to let go of something else. It hurts, regardless of what it is to release. Feeling a heavy heart. Shedding tears. Moving through pain. 

Grieving’s is one of the practice I learnt very late in my life. Engaging with it consciously, I’ve found it can be: . 

  • rooting. 
  • strengthening and
  • an act of gratitude. 


That’s also a precious moment, when fear needs to wait outside my head and heart. Because, Im able to see, where I’ve come and that Im actually at this point, where I am today.

So I dare to let go. I’ll move forward. I’ll make my choices and trust, even on the days it’s challenging. Fear’s on board. It’s fine. But it’s not ruling me. 

It seems a pretty wild mixture of emotions. Excitement and sadness. Faith and fear. Gratitude and Complains. Clarity and Confusion. Yet, I feel it’s well balanced and am glad to have been having a conscious experience in this moment of change. Im able to choose, build and enjoy.

So off I go! Are you joining me?

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For now, I'd love to invite you again to the  SMALL GROUP PROGRAM, that I launched in March this year. The details are here. 

Im so happy to say, that we’re extending it to twice a week. We’ve got two spots left. 

It takes places in Estoril, Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:15 - 11:45 hrs, Ashtanga Yoga Mysore Style combined with the elements of Private Teaching.  

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

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

75€ per month incl. IVA

When you’re interested, please reply to this eMail: roomformyself@gmail.com .

 

In any way, please know you’re always welcome to share your thoughts and questions with me or request details for Private Teaching. 

Im an eMail away:  roomformyself@gmail.com

Or leave a comment below, and let me know how do you engage with change? What are your experiences with it and how can you relate it to your personal Ashtanga Yoga practice, if you’ve taken one on?

A high five and you’ve so got this, … 

Can’t wait to keep sharing with you. 

Your Stef

 

P.S.: Maybe a friend of you has got big changes ahead. Please share this blog post! The Ashtanga Yoga practice may come right at the time as a special tool to tackle the challenges of change. When you like this post, hit like. I appreciate your support! 

WRITE YOUR "LETTING GO LIST" FOR THIS SUMMER

Im a freak of lists, maps, drawings and writings of my insights, thoughts, ideas, dreams and experience in my practice of Ashtanga Yoga and life. Occasionally, I’ll go back there, read them through to have a reference to where I’ve come and how I got there. 

I noticed, it sometimes happens that I write around what I really want to say, feel and need to do. 

One of those “things” is LETTING GO. 

Im not going to write an article about HOW TO LET GO IN SIX STEPS. 
Id just like to share, what I figured. 

 

  1. It can be all sorts of, not only elements that are tangible, rational and easily visible: thoughts, self-talk, dreams, delusions, pattern, pain, people.
  2. It takes time to acknowledge. It needs to dwell within and be felt in order to get clear about what is what: For example: reality is what is and not the delusion on my mind; a pain, that Iv overcome; a dream that doesn’t fit anymore in the current vision of life. FEEL it! 
  3. Letting go arises consequences and a sense of a white space. You may call it emptiness but I prefer white space. Often, these consequences and this white space of unknown are the ones, that cause anxiety, insecurity and a feeling of not belonging and being protected.
  4. To know the vision of my life is essential: It helps me to surrender to the white space and let it fill with what servers best in this current phase. I find a good balance between action and surrender. 
  5. Courage and Curiosity are my great helpers to dare and take the leap: Courage makes me actually do it and curiosity inspires my joy of engaging and exploring a new phase of my life.
  6. Be gracious and grateful: how I say good bye is more important than the first moment, a thought occurred or a friend stepped into my life. The way of saying Good Bye truly reveals the dynamic of a self-talk, pattern or connection to a person. Letting go is as much as saying no to it as it is to say YES to myself and that Id love to do with respect, compassion and kindness.   

 

So, the other day I wrote me “Letting Go List” and very much felt without ground after. Lots of white space. Actually Im quite scared floating in it. Great thanks to my personal Ashtanga Yoga practice. It keeps reminding me, what it feels like to stay present in a position and just feel my breath and observe what thoughts, emotions arise. Without judgement. Without attachment. To then act upon my inner truth simply move on to the next pose. (If it was so easy ;)).

Gradually, Ive began to enjoy the white space and used it wisely to go ahead, to engage deeper in life and my work, to enjoy and feel adventurous, ambitious, young and open. 

An inspiring amount of wonderful reasons here, to write, draw, map your own “Letting Go List”! Share in the comments below, what you feel its ready to let go, why and how you did and are going to do it!

Summer is here! So, enjoy it with its lightness and sweetness of freedom. 

 

Talking about lightness: 
In August Zion and I will be travelling for two weeks. 

My Summer Teaching Schedule is from

1-5 August  
22-26 & 28-31 August from 7:30a - 12:30p

Group classes at Yoga Lisboa will resume in September 2017 with a new schedule. 

Drop a line and reserve your private session! Im looking forward to hearing from you!

 

 

Thank you wholeheartedly for your loyalty, trust and joy! I cherish it and it keeps me exploring, growing, changing and loving. 

Remember, when you’ve got questions, insights, thoughts about life and your personal practice, Im an eMail away. Just hit reply and write on!

An unforgettable summer.  

Your Stef