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

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

40 & 4 YEARS OF LIFE 2017!

There we are. Us two. 

Zion turned 4 years and me, Im hitting the four-zero. LOVE IT!

We're inviting you to our BIRTHDAY BEACH HANG-OUT with Ashtanga Yoga, StandUpPaddle, Kids Yoga, snacks and more on


Saturday, 9 SEPTEMBER 2017 my birthday

PRAIA DA DUQUESA, CASCAIS, Portugal
at BEYOND BOARDS Beach Station (in front of Duche Bar/Capriciosa)

9:00a - 1p. 


Below, there're the details about the activities, how to reserve your spot and a little bit of my thoughts, why Id love to see you there. Bring your family and friends!  

20369518_10210328984009517_2830351798338213548_o.jpg

Turning 30 I put myself on “Mission 30” (see post here). This mission was about changing my life. I didn’t know, what I was looking for but I took the leap. Along the way it became clearer, more concrete, tangible and SO enjoyable. 

Arriving at a point, where past has almost ;) been accepted, future remains unknown (and just always will) I found, my personal “changing my life” story is about worthiness and belonging, faith and inner freedom.

While growing into those beautiful inner values I figured life IS constant change. It’s a dance of events and happenings, commitments and surrender, success and failure, love and pain. Its about how I approach it and what I choose and why. 

For the next round of 10 years, Im asking myself what is truly essential in my life and how can I make my decisions based on that. Im not fully sure yet. My heart is circulating around trust, abundance, feminine strength, JOY, creation, independence.

Can you relate?


Most important, the path is walked in solitude. Yet, we aren’t alone. 

Ashtanga Yoga teacher Peter Sansons, who has my utmost respect, in the beginning of his talk he always thanks the organisers of the workshop. He does this in such a peaceful and determined way, that I feel, I could dive in his vast space of gratitude.

He mentions everybody, every little support, who also makes him able to deliver his best to teach every student individually. Last time, he finishes off with this: 

“Isn’t it beautiful how many people EASE our path every single day”. 

I felt goosebumps. Because Ive been aware of it all along my way.  
We crossed path as well. 

That’s why we, Zion and I, would love to hang out with you, say thank you and celebrate with you LIFE. With what we love most. Yoga, Ocean, Sport, Nature - and YOU. 

So come along

We’ll meet at Praia da Duquesa, CASCAIS, 2750-642, Portugal, at BEYOND BOARDS Beach station. While enjoying a day on the beach here are activities we love to share with you. 

We’ll be there from around 9a - 1p. 

 

9:30a - 10:30a ASHTANGA YOGA BEACH Session with me from Room For Myself :)
Bring your mat & towel! Everyone is welcome. Kids from age 12 yrs. My gift to you!


11:00a - 12:00p STAND UP PADDLE Instruction Session with Tina from Beyond-Boards
Value: 10 € per person as a special b-day price


11:00a - 12:00p KIDS YOGA with Marcia from Sunshine Yoga Baby & Kids
Kids age 2-5 years. Moms and Dads can join in. 
Value: 5 € per kid as a special b-day price

Limited spaces!

 

STARSHIP EXPERIENCE
The giant board is there for us to have a moment of fun on the water. Whoever wants to jump on is so welcome! We’ll arrange it in the morning spontaneously. 


DELICIOUS SNACK served by Carmen
From 11:30a Carmen will bring on some delicious veggie muffins.
 

 

YOU ARE WELCOME JUST TO HANG AROUND WITH US. 
Invite your family and friends too!
Let's see, what this day will offer!



When you go ahead for an activity, please reserve via eMail to: roomformyself@gmail.com

including the approval of the transfer to: 

NIB: 001800032466745302034

That’ll give us the great opportunity to plan out the activities for you well. 

Any doubts, please leave a comment below!

 

PLEASE DON’T FORGET: SUN CREME, SUN PROTECTION, TOWEL, WATER BOTTLE

 

Very excited. Even nervous. 
My birthdays I usually spent quiet. But life is change ;). 

So much looking forward to you! 
With love, gratitude and goosebumps. 

Your Stef

Zion on the board with Pedro from  Beyond Boards

Zion on the board with Pedro from Beyond Boards

THE LINK FROM GARDENING TO ROOM FOR MYSELF

This here is my first official newsletter.
Congrats! Or, in Zion's way, a fist bump and a "Good job, Mommy". 

In December last year I wrote my first newsletter to those I had the great opportunity to practice with. 

Three months ago, so after a whole lot working time behind the scene,  I decided to keep in touch with you with a monthly note in your inbox and hell, I did it all manual. Starting off with 20 eMails, then with 50 it become clear I needed to work with a program to support me. Having loved it to do it manually, because I was close to you and each person Ive come across, I do my best now to keep the connection with you through this newsletter too. 

Why do I wanna write? 

I truly believe, in the direct link from Ashtanga Yoga to our ordinary daily life. In combination with my personal experience as a student and friend, woman and mother of nowadays I feel the need to share and discuss it with you. Also, through interviews of practitioners I work with, I'll share how each person evaluates this jewel of a practice Ashtanga Yoga and how it has changed and keeps inspiring their life. 

Room For Myself I launched in the beginning of last year (blog post here).
Its about Ashtanga Yoga Private Teaching.

In this note you'll find further down, what it stands for linked to a tiny part of my story  and a current experiment with my son Zion in Gardening.

What could that have to do with Room For Myself? 

See here! 
School education in the Soviet part of Germany was under the influence of the country’s socialistic system. 

My favs were Sport and - you wouldn’t believe - Gardening. Yes, we were offered Gardening. The first four years of school at the age from 7 to 10 we learnt all about growing vegetables, fruits and herbs. 

Also my family used to take care of a garden in the back of our house. It was part of our culture. Well, there wasn't much in supermarket shelves either.  

I lost my joy in gardening during my studies at university and search for life and came humbly back to teach it now to my son Zion - in a small version. 

Why? Because, I’d love him to witness a natural cycle of life. One, that happens over and over again in our ordinary life too.

Here's Zion's project in Gardening :): 

Zion plants seeds in fertile soil. Then he needs to be responsible. He learns to take care and find the appropriate balance between effort, surrender and patience. 

When it’s time to water, when it’s time to protect, when it’s time for the nourishment of the sun, when it’s time to give space and wait for the sprouts to unfold. 

Together, we check the little sprouts of salad, carrots and broccoli every day. We’re in awe and love to witness natural growth and change. We find joy and share this moment sacredly. 

The continues process requires now, that Zion prunes the tiny field of sprouts, to give room for the ones to grow to the vegetable. It’s a difficult moment. Because it’s one of letting go and he griefs. Not all of the seeds we planted will make their way through. 

He may not be even successful with the sprouts we’ve left, but we'll keep going because, we want to enjoy our moments, the process and what we learn.  Zion trusts he may harvest some salad, carrots and broccoli and enjoy their gifts.

Most importantly, it happens all in STILLNESS. 

Being responsible, taking care, experiencing loss and yet keeping focused - Zion has been doing and experimenting it. With no validation from outside he stays consistent on his project. Day in and day out; and Im curious how he'll engage with the harvest and preparing earth for new seeds. I'll keep you posted. 

Planting vegetables with Zion, is for me a possible way to share with him cycles of life. In hope, he’ll learn naturally to be responsible, to loose, grief, let go and move on, grow his perseverance and celebrate his success to simple take a next step and so fulfill his life with substance.

Surely, life will teach him. But the seed is planted. 

For me, it was my personal Ashtanga Yoga practice, that taught me, what Im trying to share with my son - a natural cycle of life's phases. 

Plant a seed, take care of it with the best intention for yourself, learn what it takes to flourish it, let go of what would stop the process of growth, focus on what matters most, enjoy the moment, move on and plant the next seed. With time we're knowledgable, strong and humble enough to be able to take care of a garden.

I used to have a hard time in accepting the part of “letting go”. Stillness though used to be my dear friend. Now, after almost 10 years of practicing this ancient Yoga method, Ive learnt to surrender; or let’s say it’s become a way easier :) and has strongly contributed to my sense for inner freedom. 


Our soul is where we plant our seeds and cultivate what matters most in each of our lives.

A room for stillness and no disturbance, where we’re able to return at any given moment and renew, who we are and how we engage with life. That’s what Room For Myself stands for. 

The room for yourself, which needs to build, be taken care of and nourished compassionately. 
That, my friend, takes courage and will and adventure and surrender too. 
Which is, I quote my son "Really AWEsome". 

During the last 1 and a half year of specialising as a Personal Ashtanga Yoga Teacher for Room For Myself Ive shared the mat with inspiring women and men likewise, from different countries and backgrounds. Most of them have been in a challenging phase of their lives.

Yet experiences taught them, that the only way out is "in" - taking care of themselves and facing the current situation with what is. 

To be able to witness, how each practitioner benefits from the Ashtanga Yoga method is a blessing and I don't take that lightly. 

Ashtanga Yoga has become the source of my life and my intention is to help you engage with you in your personal Yoga experience.

Don't get me wrong, when you'll see the shot of me below. Ashtanga Yoga isn't about having the legs straight up in the air, nor put behind your head. By engaging in the postures as you are today, this practice is about your breath, about you and your life. The one that you're in and the one, you'd love to create, build and share from inside out.

On or off the mat, I invite you to join me along the journey of Room For Myself. 

I'd be grateful for you.

My schedule and the "really awesome" upcoming events are listed below.  
 


Now, Id love to hear from you. Which seed have you planted recently? Why and how is it going? 
What role does Yoga play in your life?

Can't wait to hear from you in the comments below! 

With love, water and patience. 

Stefanie

 

SCHEDULE

PERSONAL YOGA
Along the coastline Lx-Cascais
Mondays through Fridays 7:30 - 16:30 (except during the slots of Group Classes)
Saturdays 8a - 2p

Book your session here!

 

GROUP CLASSES
Yoga Lisboa, Lisbon   - Mondays & Fridays 12:30p - 2p
Residência do Sol   -  Classes resume in September 2017 with a new schedule

Reserve your spot here

 

EVENTS

ASHTANGA YOGA WORKSHOP WITH ONE OF THE GREATEST YOGIS NOWADAYS
ONE OF NOWADAYS MOST POWERFUL YOGIS @ Yoga Lisboa, 1-4 August 2017!

Quiet man PABLO PIRILLO from Argentina (KPJAYI Level 2) is coming to humbly share with us his profound experience in Ashtanga Yoga and the knowledge in philosophy. // What describes a Yogi? As a beginner or advanced practitioner hit going and join the workshop to learn from Pablo's vast body of teaching skills precisely adapted to your needs, drink from his wisdom in the conference and ask your questions to be inspired with love and devotion for your personal Yoga journey. // During Xico's time in India he learnt a lot from Pablo. They've become close friends. Its Xico's wish to hand on Pablo's teaching practice to YOU and into our community.

Drop an eMail to Xico: biosayogalisboa@gmail.com

 

YOGA & HEALTHY LUNCH
YOGA & HEALTHY LUNCH @Yoga Lisboa & Spinach prolonged for YOU - till 31 July! Your feedback means a lot to us. We've listened! Thank you! Beginners and regular practitioners are welcome. It’ll be accessible for everyone. And, here're is the BIGGEST CHANGE. You can do it - Yoga AND lunch - in ONE HOUR. Beautiful Magui (Spinach) will deliver your Pani Bread to the Yoga Studio. COUPON AVAILABLE FOR 10€ at Yoga Lisboa and Spinach. 

Drop a message: roomformyself@gmail.com to reserve your spot and order your pani :)! Very much looking forward to you!

 

 

 

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

SUNDAY MORNING MOMENT

It's family time and we take it serious. Zion and I celebrate Sunday Mornings with bonding time on the mat. It's not just the Yoga that I share with him. It's him too sharing his kinda Yoga things - today there are his car and tennis ball and guess what's all around us! 

Planting the seed of Yoga can't be early enough in life - appreciation, gratitude, connection and love.

beginning of the Ashtanga Yoga Practice

beginning of the Ashtanga Yoga Practice

end of the Ashtanga Yoga Practice

end of the Ashtanga Yoga Practice