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! 

 

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.

I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO ASK FOR HELP

April 2015

April 2015

5 minutes read

I’m back in your inbox and feeling so grateful you’re welcoming me. It’s me again;  Stef from Room For Myself - with Ashtanga Yoga. 

After my last notes to you in the beginning of June about my participation at FEFI - An intercultural market for female entrepreneurs, June took its own rhythm, and I haven’t followed up yet with my latest blog post. 

Successfully finished FEFI, my next focus was on my very favorite workshop in mid-June at Ashtanga Yoga Cascais, with Peter Sanson. Peter, from New Zealand, was awarded the certification to share the traditional method of Ashtanga Yoga. 

After four years of practicing with him in his workshop, I've come to consider him as a teacher, who’s got the most profound and lasting impact on my personal growth. Under his guidance, I take care of my practice, merge into it with no distraction, dive deeper into the so vast world of Ashtanga Yoga while beautifully being side by side with my fellows. 

It’s an annual highlight for me. I really needed to make my participation happen. My schedule re-organized I also invited my awesome sister Carolin to support the life of my son Zion and me during the workshop. 

I was so happy to take them both to the dinner, which Peter invited all practitioners and their families. In the round, Peter then goes from table to table and kindly chats with all. At ours, I introduced him to my sister, and he said these beautiful words:  Your sister came all the way from Germany so you can do the Yoga. I nodded with a huge smile, and a big heartfelt YES left me profoundly internalizing the blessing to receive the help I asked for. 


That’s what I’d like to talk about in this post. About asking for and receiving help, because I've made my way through a shift and would love to share my process. 

Why?
Because, I firmly believe, we’re here to help each other. Asking for help and receiving it, request you to grow in some of the more than ever needed realms of human principles - trust and vulnerability, courage and connection. 


Personally, asking for help was a shameful thing to do for me. Instead, I kept quiet and considered  as confident. My “confidence” I would express in being good helping others, while inside I didn’t feel integrated nor worthy. 

Along with my 10 years journey of Ashtanga Yoga, I got taught, that there exists another way to go, but I only dared to begin exploring this topic about three years ago. 

With my studies of Ashtanga Yoga, I love to research a bridge between yoga, philosophy, science, coaching, and spirituality. In science, I was lucky also to discover researcher, Brené Brown. Brené committed herself to research courage, shame, vulnerability, and empathy. All of her four books* I've read and refer to them in my personal experiences through Ashtanga Yoga and life as well as I apply her research in my work. 


I came across this video snippet just recently, and Brené shares this: 

When you cannot ask for help without self-judgment, you were never really offering help without judgment. 

[…] You’ve attached judgment to asking for help […] and when you extract worthiness from helping people, this is judgment. 

When you don’t extract worthiness, and you think, I’m just helping you because one day I’m gonna need help, then that’s connection, vulnerability.  
— Brené Brown


Listening to her research results all of my work on this topic began to make sense. I understood, where my difficulty was, and I felt ready to change it. 

Giving help and not being able to ask for help without self-judgment is what I had done a long time. Unconsciously. Also, I’m here to admit, that I did gain self-worth from helping others as a teacher. Unconsciously.

Taking a deeper look into it, not pain-free at all, I dared to discover, where the lack of my worthiness came from and how I can heal it. I also had the responsibility to review my work attitude as a teacher. All in all, an in-depth process of courage, humility, and self-worthiness. 


I can’t think of any more effective method than Ashtanga Yoga, that’s taught me courage and strength to investigate such vulnerable topics. Ultimately, I believe, taking this practice is in itself a practice of self-worthiness and -care, which makes the inner foundation robust to be able to change yourself and internalize insights to put them into action in your life then. 

And learning how to asking for and receiving help without judgment was one of my tasks.


In my life, it all came together in the last months before Peter Sanson’s workshop. 
I did need help with Zion's childcare on the weekends. I dared to ask from heart to heart, and I received such a high and warm return. 

Many times, Zion stayed with his friends. They could develop their friendships, and I had the precious chance to connect more with moms and families in my hood. It was all topped with the arrival of my sister and this moment on the dinner table with Peter Sanson, I spoke about at the beginning of this post. 

I've loved these experiences and when I'm searching for a word that describes my feelings it is - freedom. I felt so free and yet integrated.

 

Appreciating your presence, I’m allowing myself to say thank you to all of you again (in no particular order) - 

Dad Hugo with Zion’s best friends Zef & Fausto
Family Caro & William with Zion’s best friend, Jack
Mom Cynthia and cool Kayla, Zion’s favorite girlfriend ;)
Mom Marilu and sweetest energetic son Yasser
Friends Pedro & Tina from Beyond - Boards for the times on the board
Friend Jessie from Karma-Surf-Retreat for introducing to Zion the ukulele
Mom Mariela with her so adorable daughter Sophia
Zion’s teachers Ana & Teresa, who both are there for him far beyond school hours and
Greatest sister and aunty Carolin.  


Yes, asking and giving help with no judgment is connection and vulnerability. 
It brings us closer, opens up for understanding and togetherness, which makes life worth living and sweet.
 

Additionally, I also learned to get a “no”. Sometimes, it wasn’t possible to get help, so I figured out a way, with the qualities of strength and surrender built up with the practice of Ashtanga Yoga. It made me really grow my faith that in any way I can always rely on myself. 

 

So, I’d love to encourage you to look into your patterns of asking and receiving help. When needed see, how you can change it for the better and share with me in the comments below your process. Somebody else needs just to hear your story. 

Feel free to write personally to roomformyself@gmail.com. I'm glad to listen. 

In Private Teaching, we do tackle topics like this, and when you feel, it’s your time now then please don’t hesitate to send me an email to roomformyself@gmail.com for my offers. I’d be grateful to hear from you! 

Always know, you can ask :)! 

With so much love. 

Your Stef
 

  • *The Gifts of Imperfection
  • Daring Greatly
  • Rising Strong
  • Braving the Wilderness

 

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. 

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