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.

 

 

 

What do you want?

I had booked a 5 day yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico, with the intention to become calmer and to move out of my head and into my heart. The retreat took place in the hotel Yoga Shala, which turned to be one of my favourite places to stay in Tulum.

The retreat greatly combined yoga with meditation and coaching input. One day, we spent the entire morning looking at different areas in our life. The task was to dream the best imaginable scenario in each area and to write down a few sentences.

The areas we looked at were:

  • Truth – Communication – Listening
  • Intuition
  • Connection to Higher Power
  • Sexual – Sensual
  • Will – Power – Self Worth
  • Love – Heart

I still have all my (pink) notes from that day. Looking at them now approximately one year later is so powerful. And I notice one thing amongst them all. It’s all about connection. It has been back then and it is still now with an even stronger feeling.

For me, the first point was majorly about having enriching, inspiring and authentic conversations with people where I can be the best listener without any expectations or boundaries. Where I’m truly present in that moment. This is still true for me now. I’m still practicing paying full attention during a conversation though, as sometimes I can still be distracted.

Intuition was all about connecting with my heart and my gut feel, as it will speak the truth, always. This is still true for me now and I’m getting better each and every day, but there are still moments where I overhear my intuition and just go with what I should do instead of what I would like to do.

Connection to higher power was about being my own Goddess and feeling amazing with myself at all times. This is not my truth anymore. I remember that I was lost on that one during the session, as I’m not religious, and I simply didn’t know what I wanted to be connected to. So I guess I just wrote something. However, I do know now. I feel connected to the universe and the more I trust myself, others and the world, the better my life seems to develop.

Sexuality and sensuality was strongly linked to love during the retreat and it is still now. I do believe that the moment you indulge sexually, you indulge emotionally. Because we all want to feel connected, we all want to feel loved.

Will, power and self-worth were all about being heard as much as possible and being able to express my authentic me. This is still true for me now. If I can express myself, I feel great, I am authentic and I love myself.

Love was probably the most relevant area for me. And it is still now. I want to become an endlessly loving person that gives love, but doesn’t expect it back. A person who is able to let go. At the end of the day, we all live for love!

Now, it’s your turn. Make yourself comfortable with a beautiful notebook and a nicely coloured pen (mine are pink of course) and write down a few sentences to each of the areas, without thinking too much, just write down what comes to your mind first. Let your heart lead the process.

Once you have completed this, continue with the following questions:

  • What do I want?
  • Why? Which feeling would I like to feel when I get what I want?
  • What will happen for me, if I create this change in my life?

Your answers will guide you to your purpose of existence. If the answers are strong enough, they will be your key motivation to live the life you really want.

Yours, Nina

 

Self-love

Self-love has truly been an affair of my heart, in particular for the past year. For me, self-love is strongly related to moving from my head to my heart, meaning being good to myself as much as I can.

In the past years, I was often stuck in my head and my heart didn’t manage to prevail. I always thought I’m so emotional, and yes I am an emotional person. But I also had to learn to accept my emotions, to feel all feelings I’m feeling and especially to allow for my heartache instead of suppressing it.

I had to re-learn trusting my intuition and gut feel more than anything else in the world, more than the kindly meant suggestions of family and friends, the expectations of society as well as the often heard don’ts in life. Don’t do this, don’t do that. This is too dangerous. This is not safe enough. This is insecure. This is not right for you. You cannot do this. You don’t have enough money. You are selfish. You are egoistic. You are a dreamer.

I could continue this list of limiting beliefs that I’ve come across in my life, like we all have, but the above are probably the ones I’ve heard most often. Looking back, it’s obviously a shame, that I wasn’t strong and self-confident enough to push back or not to listen. Although deep down these beliefs didn’t feel right for me, I still believed them and acted accordingly. Because, what can be so wrong about something that most people do, right?

With two break ups in not even two years and on the road traveling, I got to a point, where I wanted to reflect my life. I felt the urge to understand myself more. Maybe this only came up for me, as I had the time back then? Either way, I booked a yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico and I’m so grateful I did. Because what happened there was magical and Tulum has become my magic place.

During the yoga retreat, I practiced yoga everyday, I meditated, I did a detox from social media, I ate very healthily (especially I discovered smoothie bowls), I solely focused on myself and my well being. I basically practiced self-love, and it came up very naturally for me. But I wanted to go a bit deeper and when one of the yoga teachers mentioned a Reiki healer, my attention was there. I arranged an appointment with him the next day and without telling him anything about my life, he noticed immediately that my heart was broken and that I still hadn’t released some pain from the past. This pain blocked me from moving forwards and from accepting myself for who I truly am. It has also caused my hips and groins to tighten up. The Reiki healer explained that we tend to put all our emotional baggage that we are not able to release into our hip area. Obviously, the tension didn’t build up in a day, but within the last couple of years. But suddenly it all made sense. Just him mentioning this triggered lots of tears, as I felt so relieved and understood.

My healing process was about to start and should continue.

This moment was my biggest moment of self-love, as I realized the following:

  • I’ve always felt that I was a bit different and unique in way, but I didn’t allow myself to really be, out of fear for the reaction of others.
  • I’ve always felt a spiritual connection to something bigger than me (I’m not religious, so I’d say I believe in the Universe), but I was not in the right environment to truly live this spiritual connection and I simply didn’t do (responsibility).
  • I’ve always been a person questioning behaviors, reactions and situations, but very often I was scared of challenging other people for fear of rejection and being regarded as too critical or arrogant.
  • I’ve always felt I was ahead of the game, but I was afraid of overtaking people.

This resulted in me simply adapting to pre-defined standards, without understanding why I should do it this way. So, for many, many years I lived a life without being truly true to myself.

However, only if we dare to be brave and be ourselves by practicing self-love, we can walk the way to happiness!

  • Love yourself so much that you allow yourself to be yourself.
  • Love yourself so much, that you live your true self.
  • Love yourself so much, that you allow yourself to be in your highest alignment.
  • Love yourself so much, that you truly believe you can be everything you want to be.

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