Yoga Teacher Training-Episode 6

For consistency reasons, I’ve titled this post “Yoga Teacher Training – Episode 6”, but really it should be titled “Dissolving of pain”. Dissolving pain might not sound too great, but oh it is. You ‘only’ have to trust the journey.

Hip Openers

On Friday, we continued our yoga teacher training. Our teacher Nella already advised us beforehand that we will be working with hip openers majorly that day. Just hearing hip openers and thinking about it, I actually get warm and slightly nervous and so I did, when I read my teacher’s email.

Here’s why: when I travelled through Latin America and started looking at myself and my life in more depth than I ever did before, I stranded in Tulum, Mexico for a yoga retreat. During this retreat, I worked with a healer for a few sessions and I told him that I had been suffering from tight hips and groins for a year already (this was in Oct 2016). And for the first time in years, just by the healer mentioning words like “love”, “hurt”, “heartbroken”, “truth” and “trust”, I started crying. My tears were rolling and rolling. These tears, I knew instantly, were long overdue. I had very obviously locked up emotions and feelings – maybe in my hips? – for too long. Maybe because at the time I was not ready to really see and feel them, so me and my body thought, let’s put it aside for now. Problem is, this “for now” ended up being for years, which is why the words of the healer triggered me so quickly and heavily.

Fast forwarding to January 2017 after I had just returned from my travels, I visited a yoga and meditation workshop in Munich. Guess, what was a major part of the workshop called “A journey to your inner self“? Yes, exactly, hip openers. And again, I remember tears running down my face.

Listen to your body

I’ve had a few similar scenarios since then, where I felt emotional and nervous whilst practicing hip openers, but when we practiced them again last Friday, it was intense! Knowing of my physical and emotional challenges I’m obviously not that keen on hip openers, but I do know that I need to address this part of my body, that I need to look at it, that I need to feel it, so that the healing process can continue and that the pain can dissolve.

Just like water has cleansing properties, body work holds healing properties.

It was no coincidence that I was in the first row that afternoon and I was struggling,

  • physically (my thought: why for f***’s sake am I so tight?)
  • mentally (my thought: I cannot do this, it’s uncomfortable, why am I doing this?)
  • emotionally (my thought: what exactly happened, what is stored in my hips?)

If you are a yogi, you probably know what they say about the connection between our hips and our emotions. It’s said that our hip area is strongly connected with our emotions. Hence, an intense hip opener practice can bring up feelings of rage, sadness and anger.

Hips don’t lie!

During the practice I smoothed over the physically and emotionally challenging practice, but I could not hide my feelings anymore in Savasana. My tears started rolling, I experienced mixed feelings of sadness, relief, confusion and maybe a bit of anger not knowing what exactly these emotions are that I’ve stored in my hips.

And today (Monday) – whilst writing this blog post – I’ve decided to let it go. I don’t need to know which emotions exactly I’ve stored in my hips, but I do know that I want to go deeper here, that my body is telling me to look closer and that I really need to look closer in order to dissolve the pain. And only by being aware and mindful, we have the chance to change, for the better! So, from now on, I will be dedicating 20 minutes every day to hip opener exercises – happy hips, happy Nina!

Yours, Nina

PS: No, I am not using a picture of me in a hip opener pose… I chose the pic because water stands for cleansing and practicing hip openers will cleanse too. Pic taken in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

 

 

 

Be kind to yourself

Once you step out of your comfort zone and dare to be brave, there is no going back. At least, this is what I experienced during my travels. Especially once my unintended solo travels kicked off in Bolivia. I did a 4×4 jeep tour with a bunch of French people crossing the border from Uyuni in Bolivia to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. Our driver was so kind to drop me off directly at my hotel (Hostal Masairi) that I had booked for 1 night in advance to have at least somewhere to go to in this new town. I loved my room. A big bed. Comfy bed linen. A nice shower made of cobbled stone. This was exactly what I fancied after the rather basic accommodations in Bolivia. And the sun was shining, too. I remember thinking:

What a feeling.

After a power nap and a refreshing shower, I walked into town (approx. 8 min) to explore the different tour operators. I read about the different tour offers in advance and decided to visit Geysers del Tatio as well as Laguna Cejar. I booked my tours with Cosmo Andino and Desert Adventures and I was very happy with the tour guides, their knowledge and the fun part to it. On my first tour the same afternoon to Laguna Cejar, I met two really nice girls, one Chilean girl and one British-French girl who both live in Santiago de Chile. How perfect, since this was my next stop. We spent the entire day together and then decided to go the Geysers del Tatio tour together.

When sitting in the mini bus with them, I realized how easy it was for me to connect with new people. It made my heart jump, as I understood in this moment that becoming aware of my strengths meant I was kind to myself, too. Sadly, being aware and mentioning our own strengths is often perceived as arrogant, but I think it is the most critical thing to practice self-love and to know our positives in order to live a happy life.

Suddenly it hit me in the mini bus that I can easily connect with new people, that I can speak 3 languages (German, English, Spanish) fluently and that I love exploring. I felt so empowered in this moment. I was impressed by myself about how quickly I got back up on my feet after the break up, how I was able to enjoy this adventure and how I was brave enough to continue living my dream – to travel through Latin America.

What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?

I love this quote. We all tend to see the painful and negative side of things only, however, in every pain, in every change, lies the potential for something better. The universe is sending us signs that the old situation wasn’t right for us and that we should move on to something else, to something even better.

Let us see the positive in every fall – ’cause it might make us fly.

Yours, Nina

When in doubt, travel

I’ve always been in love with traveling, but this developed into a whole new dimension when I travelled through Latin America for almost 6 months last year. Now, I perceive traveling as a gift.

But first things first. I lived in London for almost 5 years and had a job that I loved, as a marketing & communications manager for luxury hotel amenities. It was all good until our company was sold and they started changing responsibilities, hierarchies and ways of working. A few months later I decided that I wouldn’t be happy in this new set up and that after 3 years in the same job, it was about time to leave. Plus I always had in the back of my head that the next time I quit my job, I would travel through Latin America, a dream and vision that I’ve had for many years.

My boyfriend at the time decided to quit his job too and so we started planning our 4 months trip together. Wow, I was so excited to burn the bridges behind me, well not all of them, but definitely a few, like giving up a well-paid job, leaving my nice apartment in London and of course leaving my friends for the time being. But the excitement about being free like a bird and exploring the world was definitely bigger than the fear of leaving something behind. Dare to be brave!

So, in early June, we left London and flew to Cuba, our first stop. Unfortunately, after approximately 3 weeks my boyfriend at the time and me already got into a fight and although I don’t remember what it was all about, I do remember, that I felt like I cannot fully express my opinion, my thoughts and feelings. We continued the journey and got into more discussions, majorly due to different perceptions and interpretations of situations and probably also due to a lack of communication. We spent amazing times together, but when in Peru, we seemed to have reached the peak of frustration, so after a horrible fight, we broke up between Peru and Bolivia.

I was in shock. I simply didn’t realize what had happened and how we got from planning a trip together to breaking up on that trip. I also thought “Why me?” and “Why again?” and felt really sorry for myself. On the other hand, I felt strong and self-confident and kept thinking that this guy simply didn’t deserve me. When he suggested to me to cancel the trip and fly back to the UK or Germany, all alarm bells switched on. This suggestion felt so wrong. It was MY idea, it was MY trip and I didn’t want to give up on MY dream and vision, because of a broken relationship. No, I was stronger than that and so I accepted the break up and switched into pragmatic problem-solving mode.

First question that arose was where to go next and when. With regards to where, I decided to more or less stick to the original travel route and hence flew from La Paz to Uyuni to visit the awesome salt flats Salar de Uyuni. Regarding when, well the sooner the better and so a couple of days later, I was en route again, this time alone.

So this is when my solo travel trip through Latin America started. When in doubt, travel!

Yes I was confused, yes I was sad, yes I was shocked, yes I felt sorry for myself, yes I was angry, yes I was in doubt. But somewhere between all this uncertainty, fear, and sadness, I felt extremely confident, strong, brave and positive. Because deep down in my heart I trusted and knew that this had happened for a reason, for something better & bigger.

And life showed me indeed that the best was yet to come, if I only embraced this change.

What we can learn from this experience:

  • That it’s important to never give up on our dreams.
  • “When in doubt, travel” is true, since it gives us time to clear our head, to find back to our heart and to feel at peace with the world.
  • That it is important to talk, talk, talk. Expressing our opinion, thoughts and feelings is critical to happiness, as we can only be happy when we are true to ourselves and stick to our values.
  • Self-love is key.

Thank you for being here and reading my story. I really hope that my posts help you to find light in any sad situation that you might be facing. Stay tuned, as I will continue to share my journey to myself with you.

Yours, Nina

 

 

Travel love

When I was younger, I always wanted to be a travel writer, I’ve always dreamed of travelling to as many destinations as possible and of sharing my experiences with others (funnily enough, these words stem from my diary written on 10th January 2015 on the plane from Mauritius back to London). Read more about the beginnings of my blog here.

I am passionate about traveling, exploring the entire world with all my senses and seeing new things. I love progressing, not standing still. So, I’ve always kept an open mind and curiosity about people, languages, cultures, basically about life. Read more on Nina Who.

In 2016, I finally did what I have been wanting to do for years. I travelled through Latin America for almost 6 months. From Cuba to Costa Rica, from Colombia to Argentina, and then back to Mexico. It was intense, amazing and absolutely inspiring. I’ve grown so much ever since and I made a huge step towards my true, beautiful me, my vision and my why in this world.

If you want to know about my (inner) journey, then don’t miss my blog posts.

Yours, Nina

 

 

 

 

Reason why

You might wonder why I started this blog.

I first had the idea to write a blog on 30th December 2014 after my 10-year relationship ended. I instantly knew that I needed a holiday. It needed to be a destination far away, a country I have not been to before, and I needed to do this on my own.

I decided to travel to beautiful Mauritius, setting off to new shores. Two days into this friendly and peaceful environment, I thought, sitting by the beach, that this is the perfect opportunity to start writing. About how, for the first time, I travelled completely on my own, to capture all amazing moments in pictures & words and to heal, day by day, week by week.

Fast-forwarding to my return to London 2 weeks later, I realised that everything I wrote into my notebook felt way too personal and intimate, that I wasn’t ready to share this yet.

Turns out the reason was I indeed wasn’t ready. Life held bigger plans for me. As you might know, we always get exactly what we can handle, not less, not more. Very obviously I was able to handle way more.

In June 2015 I got together with my new boyfriend. Yes, it was a rather short single break, but sometimes things simply happen and I just felt in flow.

It has been my dream to travel through Latin America since age 17 and when we both quit our jobs, I knew I had to finally make my dream come true. So, we decided to go on this adventure together, 4 months of travelling, from 5th June until 25th September 2016.

Jumping to end of August 2016, our relationship ended between Peru and Bolivia. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. But I was shocked. Another break up in such a short period of time? In South America? Really? In my head, I already titled this experience, which felt like the stupidest movie ever “Nina left in the middle of nowhere”.

Despite all confusion and heartache at the time, I heard my heart talking to me very clearly. It said that I should keep following my dream, that I should continue my travels, that I shouldn’t give up and that life holds so much more for me.

Fast-forwarding to Santiago de Chile in September 2016. I sat in my apartment planning the next stops in Argentina, when it suddenly hit me that my return flight was only 2 weeks away. I felt nervous, yet calm at the same time, a feeling hard to describe. And yet again, I knew the answer. The answer was already within me. My heart told me to extend my journey, to give myself more time to digest, to continue my healing process and to figure out the next step (moving back to London which had been my home for 4.5 years or back to Munich, my hometown).

So, I re-arranged my flights to give myself more time in Chile and Argentina plus I built in another month in Mexico. Fast forwarding to the end of October in Tulum I was fully relaxed, peaceful and in a very happy place, when I suddenly pictured Munich. And I knew this is it, this is my next step. Tulum has become my magical place. It forms the origin of my spiritual journey, of self-love and personal development and hence deserves the first entry on my blog.

In this very moment, I also knew that I wanted to share my experience of travellingyoga and how I started my healing process with as many people as possible. So here I am.

You are my reason why.

Read more about me here.

Yours, Nina