• massage, yoga samprema

Who are you on your Yoga mat?

                                                                                                      
Let’s face it, We live in a sociaty were We are constantly pushed to be better, faster, more good looking (what’s up with that??!!! Signing….), effective, stronger than others and the most strangest thing; We strive to do this to please others. We never seem to be quite enough. No wonder most of us feel so bad in our selves. Question is; who are you on your Yoga mat? Are you Do’er with force or Are you a seaker in silence? Are you doing your practice because it gives you something  more or are you just following trends, and striving to get others ”oh wow!”-reactions and admiering glanses? Even tho’ I don’t really think that it even matters why you have choosen yoga, or yoga choosen you. What matters that you are on your mat and the rest will fall in to it’s place.
Many of us start our yogic practice as a form of physical activity and training. In the beginning We are many times too busy focusing on to strive to the fancy full poses as fast as possible, so we could shine up on our mats but ens up missing out the point of how it feels in the body and how our practice affects the breathing. We want to look grateful and beautiful in the poses as the Yogi next to you but when We should turn the focus in. We get busy to boost our ego. And don’t miss understand me now. I’m not Judging. I know this because I’ve been there too. On and off. That doesn’t make us any less than others, but the practice is as with any aspekt of yoga to be aware of the intension, reflektions and the state of mind. When we get stuck in ego, that is the main reason why We hurt our selves when we practice Yoga. And to be honest I have also yoga relatated injuries. It happens so easily, but it happens as easily at the gym. As fast as we let the ego drive us we loose the mindfullnes of the practice or training. I fact, most of teachers I have met have Yoga relatated injuries, with makes us even more allert to watch over our students and help to find a safer practice. That doesn’t meen that the students can put the whole responsability on the teacher. The student Hans always the main responsability to know her / his limitations.  There is of course even new Yogis who are tired to strive to be something more all the time and who just are ready to quiet down and find their own selves and settle down in peace. And that is what Yoga should be all about. Many times I hear my self repeating and repeating things like breath, direction, grounding , linements on my classes, some times more than other times but it is always just because I want my students to have a life long safe practice with yoga.

How ever, even with someone who has been done yoga for years, there is these constant Internal battless; what you can’t do and feeling bad about it vs what you can do and getting very happy and excited about it. We just get too emotianally attached to it all and the contrast between can’t and can do gets so overwhealmingly strong that it either way puts us down and makes us want to skip the practice or makes us to push our limits to breaking point, when we End up getting hurt. Or the overwhealming joy when succeeding may make us less precent in the moment and in the body and We can easily loose the focus and get hurt. The success in a new more advanced pose can also make us too eager and ego driven to move faster forward and We again are risking our safe practice. Of course We should cherrish brakethroughs but With out letting it take away The focus.
The feeling of failure and happiness or compairing us to others can create Lack of a awereness of our bodies, breath and mind.

The question we should ask each time we Step on our mats is; Why am I on My mat?  What is My intension? Who am I?  

Yoga is eveness in your mind. 

Namaste!

Sthira sukham – Fully awake with comfort and lightness

Many ask and wonder about the asana practice and how difficult it is and how much there are yoga relatated injuries. I think about it like this; how difficult it is to make a ”hat trick” and how many injuries there is in football? I know it isn’t quite the same. In fact the injuries with Yoga is less than in many other practices (as I don’t like to speak about yoga as a sport) and them often aren’t that serious. But them do happen and who is reponsable of someone getting hurt on a yoga class? These are good questions. This post is more directed to the teachers nor students, but to everyone wondering how to handle the heat when something happens and most important HOW TO PREVENT it from happening?

Like many of us Yoga teachers we teach many times blended classes, there some are totally new to asanas and some have been practicing maybe even longer than the teacher her / him self. It can be really challenging to keep the class simple at the same time you need to be able to offer the more advanced practicers more advanced asanas to work with. Some times is good to be challenged to try something new and more challenging but sometimes it’s better to choose a easier asana even when you could go further. Some times the classes can include 30 individuals or more and it gets really hard to keep your eyes on everyone. Maybe you manage to help some and some times you se that the best is to guide with words to clearify what is happening and what to avoid. How ever it’s totally un-human to think that we se everything even when we really are present 120% for our students. And as a teacher it is good to remember that there should always be modifications and alternatives for each level and it isn’t really that hard; startin with the easier modification -> Deepening untill you maybe offer the full final position. It’s so important to remember this. We only do our best and the rest is up to the students.

What i meen with that the rest is up to the students / practicers is that everyone of us have to be reponsable over our own practice and our own body. If something feels bad; ask for help if the teacher doesn’t se you in that moment. Listen to the signs of your body. Is there pain? What kind of pain is it; sharp, just uncomfortable, tension…? Maybe you need to back out of the position, maybe stay or take a easier modification. But as a teacher, I can’t feel your body – Only You can. So to keep injuries free, You need to be awake, honest and completely present in your body. It’s on the every practicers own responsability to say ”No thank you” to hands on guidning and to stay in the asanas in the right level. Only you know what is your status for today and how your body feels. If you do that, I can assure you will keep injury free. And if something with time starts to feel bad, let your teacher know and maybe she / he can help you with the problem.

STHIRA SUKHAM ASANAM.

 -Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Sthira is to be awake and present and Sukham is to be light and comfortable. Asanam is in many caises said to be a meditative or seated pose.

I use the Sthira Sukham in all postures there you stop the movement for a while. Because for me even the asana practice can be deeply meditative. You want to feel the steadiness and the depth of a asana but if the easiness of the breath is lost the position is maybe to challenging that day. Even in the easiest postures is possibilities to find great amount of growing strenght if you just want to study the body deebly enough. It’s all about the balance as everything in life. Daring to challenge but not forgetting to give the progress the time it needs. Be a good yogi. Your body will Thank You!

Namaste!
                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                              

Sat Karma Kriyas – Yogic Cleansing rituals

These is many ways to practice Yoga as we all know. These is so many other ways than just the asanas on out mats. It’s the way we act and react. It’s the way we treat our selves and others. But it can also be practice of old Yogic and ayurvedic rituals like the Sat Karma Kriyas. A serie of cleansing rituals for both body and mind.
Hathayoga Pradipika describes six different cleansing methods for body and the are recommended to do along with asana and pranayama practice. These methods are told to strengthen and support asana and pranayama practices ability to move Prana. These techniques are according many distasteful but tehty have been playing a huge roll in the development of Yoga. These techniques are practices by a minority of Yoga practicers any many of these Yogis online practice Somero of the and rarely them all.

SHAT KARMA KRIYAS 

Shat comes from the word six, Karma från action and Kriya is cleansing/ purifying.

1. Neti = cleansing of nose and the upper breathing organs

Jala Neti, pouring salt water through one nostril in and the water runs out from the other nostril. Repeat even other way. Watch a video clip HERE.

Sutra Neti, a rubber string that is slowly pushed through nostril to the oral cavity. Watch a video clip HERE.

2. Dhauti = cleansing of throat and stomach.

Vaman, drinking 2 liters of saltwater and causing puke reflex and emptening the stomach.

-Dan Dhauti, the rests of saltwater that is left in the stomach removes by a rubber tube.

-Vastra Dhauti, swolloing long piece of cotton rack to clean up the very last of the salt water and mucus from stomach.

3. Nauli

Yogi learns to control with lift and rotate of the M. Rectus Abdominis to strengthen and massateini the inner organs.

4. Basti

Cleansing of Rectum and Colon through water that is lead in through anus, much like water enema.

5. Kapalabhati

Kapalabhati is often inserted to Pranayama practice as a part of the practice. It’s a serie of pumping motions done with lower belly and between pumping the tummy should be totally relaxed. The air that forcfully flows out through the nostrils stimulates frontal lobe, brain and the pelvic floor. Inhalation comes automatically between each pumping.

6. Trataka

Cleansing of eyes and the optical nerve through focusing the gase towards a candle flame until the eyes tear up, then you close the eyes and try to still se the image of the flame as long as possible. When the image fades away, lay down for coupé of minutes. Trataka sais also to purify the subconcious mind.

I do practice Kriyas but Not all of them. Dhauti is something that I concider to be of the limits as it seems right now. I am a souber Bulimic chick and it just feel uncomfortable even as a thought. But the other Kriyas I find effective and useful and I highly recommend to test them if you get the change to test them with good guidence.
Have a great one!

Namaste!

Karoliina

Savasana and why should You practice it

Savasana, The dead mans or Corps pose We all know it, right. Laying down on your mat. Totally still. Relaxed. And it looks and sounds so easy and wonderful. I can almost guarantee that Everyone of us has felt sometimes frustrared over this Finishing pose. You can feel ”antz” claiming your leggs, your eye balls play flipper underneight your eyelids and your thoughs bounzes inside of your head like they would get paid for it. You get frustrated and without notising you are holding your breath. Relaxed and piecefull is barely what you could call that state. But listen to me when I tell you; it Will come and it Will be so worth all these frustrating moments. I used to be exactly like that.

 A short story about how I used to think about Savasana… I counted seconds to get over it and get up, roll your mat and run away on your to do’s. It felt like such a waste of time… But still I felt encyklopedin for The others resting and seeming to honestly liking it! 

It tok some serious searching why This was so hard for me and finally I started to understand. I never gave my self permission to relax and I just thought that I simply was that way. But it was so much deeper. I never relaxed, tok vacation from my business, were in quiet car / home or just did NOTHING. Because that would have ment that I would have to face my biggest fears and the uggliest truths, the darkest side of my self. All the traumas caused by others , traumas caused by me and what was the true me based on these things. (You Will understand all of This when and if you choose to read my book when it comes out.) Even though that Savasana is not (nessacary ) meditation pose but a preparation for The Meditation, for me it was a real practice of confronting myself , accepting and embraising my Self With all my flawes. Time after time I was astonished how many Self limitating and mean thoughts I had about my Self. I needed to face them even that they made me so sad. My heart cryed blood. But in some point I started to questioning these things. Is it all really true? Am I all that terrible? Why do I need to hide behind my work, training, smile when it hurt at most? Can I genuint forgive it all and move forward? Ah…. That was a looong school. Unbleasant and terrible but still so sweet and libarating. There is always new leyers to come but I’ve come so far and I embraise every moment of This Change.

But what is The REAL REASON TO DO SAVASANA??

In Savasana your body has the opportunity to take benefits from all The poses you have done during your asana practice. When You calm down and relax, your body can start to balance it Self up to get in The right alignment,  get centered. It gives you the possibilities to calm down your central nervous system.

It’s a moment for your reflexions and finding a state of being conciously friend with your surroundings; The ground underneight you and The space around you and creating a relationship to them both, thoughts, feelings and your breath. It’s a practice And it isn’t always easy. There is good days and less good days With Savana as any other Asana. Be curious!! No judgements over any of The things that happens in it, just be aware of it all.

So why do You do Yoga? Don’t you want to have all The benefits of your practice? Don’t skip your Savasana. Keep on trying untill you manage to find The peace within to just lay down and letting go and just Be. You can start to just Stay in it for 3-5 minutes and when you start to feel more ease to Stay still, why not even 15-20 minutes when you have time to do so. But plan your practice to always include At least 3-5 minutes to rest. You are so worth it. It really is one of The most wonderful experiences to find your Self in Savasana!!

And what ever you choose to do, getting into Savasana or Choosing to sit in Sukhasana, but try to avoid to run out from the shala. Both for your own good but also for respect towards other practicers and your Teacher. And if you sometime need to leave the shala, Remember to let Your Teacher know the cause. It’s a nightmare to wonder why someone left and if they are Okay. It happens that people get dizzy or start to feel sick and We just don’t wan’t anyone pass out somewhere alone.

Be a good Yogi! 



What makes a real Yogi?

Every morning first thing you do You roll out your matt. You do your disciplined practice that ends with meditation. You massage in your sweat with herbal oil combination and enjoy your little vegan breakfast. Every day the same. Nothing but striving to get more pure, more flexible and more enlightened.

Recently I read this Really long Facebook posting about ”People being hypocrites about being yogis when they don’t live like one…”. If you smoke, use alcohol, wear branded clothes, eat meat, eat any unhealthy things, aren’t hard core raw vegan and aren’t doing your at least 90 minutes yoga practice each day, aren’t flexible,the list goes on and on and ends up with ”don’t teach Yoga if you aren’t real Yogi, then my friend you are just a hypocrite wannabe…”

This post made me quite sad, because in my eyes one of the basics of a Good Yogi is non judgement. We all have our own paths. So I own this post to ALL these ”BAD” Yogis around the world. And of course as everything, also this is just my point of the view.

Let’s start, shall we… What makes a real Yogi? Or am I just a hypocrite…

One of the fundaments of Yoga is to be kind. To everyone and everything around us. I know that we all are human and we all make mistakes and we don’t always manage to control fully our minds and habits. BUT it’s a constant practice of being aware of your thoughts and reactions, to study the quality of them and when we notice that we end up to have wicked and negative thoughts we can easily choose to change them. Are these thoughts real or just reflecting some part of me that I don’t like in my self? I’m I being true to my self? Am I hiding behind these words? How can I turn it to better?…

Being kind means also in my Yogic world to practice Ahimsa (non violence) as in many ways as possible. For example; I don’t use fur, I don’t eat meat, but I eat fish and sea food sometimes, I eat very little milk products, I use as much as possible Organic and fair trade products. And that is Ahimsa towards both for me and others when I choose products there people get paid for their work and they don’t have to poison themselves or nature with chemicals. But to be clear about something, I do use alcohol and I do eat (Vegan) candy, and sometimes I just have to get me a nice gluten free vegetarian pizza. Not often and not much, but it happens and I don’t believe that it makes me any less of a Yogi 😉

What comes to eating meat… I don’t eat it because my body don’t like it. I feel stagnated if I eat meat. I’m also mainly Pitta and just on based on that, I don’t need meat to eat and feel well. Rest of my family eats meat but not every day. When we buy meat to our house, we are always striving for local products to be sure that the animals has been taken care of in fine way (Even though that think that every farm could make some improvements). So, if you are a meat eating Yogi, just choose your products wisely; small local, organic farms that takes care of the animals with respect and love.

That comes also to any products. Clothes, tea, wine, coffee, cocoa… Everything! You can always choose the organic and fair trade products that are both good for you but also for the environment and the people that work in producing the products.
So, Conscious choices are definitely part of being a good Yogi.

What comes to branded clothes, well now I feel repeating myself but if it’s fair trade and I need it, Why not?? It pays someone’s salary – everyone needs food on the table for their families, roof over the head.

And what comes to the daily practice of Yoga… As You may already know the Yoga practice is so much more than just the asanas. Yoga is in every choice you make, every moment when you stop to listen to your inner self, every moment when you are kind towards yourself or someone else, it’s in every moment you choose love before anything else, Yoga is whenever You listen to silence and find peace within it, because that is finding peace within You.
SO, even when the asana (yoga positions) practice is good for your body and mind, it’s impossible for most of us to do it 90 minutes every day. It’s better to do 15 minutes than not at all. Sometimes that ”not at all” hits us when the Life happens and it doesn’t make you less Yogi anyway. It’s not like your license for practice Yoga is withdrawn in because you missed your daily Virabhadrasana A.
I have myself 3 children, we have a minor zoo with 4 cats and a rescue dog and both me and my husband are entrepreneurs, sometimes the time kind of slips between your fingers and you have to choose between rest and practice. For me as a former Cancer patient the choice is always rest.

What comes to being flexible or the teaching if you aren’t flexible. Everyone is not an acrobat artist and that isn’t the meaning of yoga either. There are tons of different kinds of bodies, bodily histories, health conditions and they don’t make anyone less of a Yogi or teacher. If you just measure a Yoga teacher in base of how acrobatic this is You can as well go to study to circus. It’s the inside that matters. It’s the thirst of digging deeper in your own self and sharing your knowledge drawn just the right kind of students to You.
And even if your Yogic path has started because all these challenging poses, I’ll promise, in some point there will appear deeper thoughts and questions that you need to face. And with out being religious, that is when the path starts to be spiritual. Spiritual in my eyes isn’t the same as being religious.

I don’t believe in puritanism or fanaticism in anything. Not in Religion or belief systems, diets, training forms or Yoga forms and ideologies.
We all need to listen inwards find out what works out for us, what is our purpose, what makes us feel good and what makes us to be better persons. These needs are what makes everyones path different and we need to respect everyone’s own path. I have mine, You have Yours.

”You can not travel the path until you become the path itself.” – Buddha

To bake this all together. What makes a real Yogi?
If you are person who aims to be kind and true towards yourself and others, working on to be non judging and constantly makes consciously better choices, taking time to learn and accept yourself as you are – Congratulations! In my eyes You are a one Amazing and Real Yogi!

Why do We Yoga??

There is as many answers and reasons to This as there is practicers. Some yoga for to shape their body or get more flexible, some because they they seek something more spiritual to their lives and some just simple because it’s cool to get to all these fancy positions and because it’s popular. What ever the reason then may be there is no right or wrong. We all have a starting point and in somepoint it will turn More to the direction of deeper path with in us selves.

I know many who started their Yoga Journey because it’s great ”gymnastics” but after many years of practice The attitudes towards The practice has changed. One of my dear friends had bursted into tears after a practice because she had suddenly felt that total connection between the everything and all at once. She got so overwhelmed that her tears were running for hours.

How she explained was that, ”Before in my practice I have always felt these physical body issues of tightness or weakness or pain and that has been what I have worked with… This time I did not feel my body in that way. I felt it but at The same Time not. Instead of feeling weakness, locks, pain or stiffness I felt feelings! That was so scary and wonderful at The same time… Fear for letting go and moving forward was so rooted in my hips and knees and my upper back and chest was out of Love… Love that I have not allowed my self…”

I was so glad for her because I saw that she had This totally new bliss in her apperience. The calmness and warmth that she radiates is candy for a sore eye.

One of my teachers told about a same kind of journey. And there is so many different paths. So many kind of histories behind each and one of us. Backgrounds that makes us to who We are.

For me Yoga was in the beginning a way to destress. I loved breathing exercises and how it calmed me down. I have a long history of Self destructional behavior as bulimic disorder, ortorexia and panic attacks. Pranayama was my main practice and meditation. I studiet some books and tested out little bit asanas but We didn’t really have any yoga teachers near by what I know of. It tok many years for me to find to Asana practice wich I feel NOW that was a good thing. The risk of practicing With Ego would have had serious damages, if I know my self that well. I would have pushes furter and furter and hurting my self. Now I feel safe and stabile in my own practice and my Journey is still to find my Self. I have come far but there is still lots to discover. In meditation, asana practice, Pranayama, Karma Yoga…. In all The daily routines I practice yoga in some way. It keeps me on The right way. It gives me The feeling that I’m enough and good as I am.

So what ever your reasons are to do Yoga or do others practice, do it because it makes you feel good. If it makes you feel good The reason doesn’t even matter.

Sometimes I get sad when I think about how much I have hurted my self but then I realize that it was my Dharma it made me to what I am NOW and it all have served a greater purpose.

I just want to say a couple of final words… All you readers out there who are feeling too heavy, or too thin, too unflexible, too ugly or not just worthy any good. I’m maybe little round but even that is a shape you know. I’m sooo unflexible but still I’m teaching Yoga. And the rest of those things, they just aren’t true. You are freaking awesome!! Just perfect as you are. We all are .

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Dos and Don'ts when Teaching Yoga !

Every Teacher is newbie in some point and all of us do misstakes. I have Done my misstakes and for sure Will do misstakes even in future. 

Hey, let’s be real – I’m only human! But what is the purpose of misstakes is that we learn from them. Or at least SHOULD learn…. If you don’t notice your misstakes or if you don’t think you do misstakes, Well dear here is some for you….


I just Love that quote!! What I mean With This is that if We think We never do misstakes big enough to learn from them or for to change, then We definetely are blinded by our ego.

We should also be aware of that when we do screw up’s We should not leave to lay on that feeling of failure. The feelings of too big ego or victimhood is both as bad Quality and We need to find our way out from it.

Another danger of being a Teacher of ANY KIND is if you feel or think that your students own you something just because of you being a Teacher / Menthor / Master. Your students don’t owe you anything. If you are good enough in what you do, they’ll respect you and follow you. But don’t take it personaly if someone chooses to change Teacher. We need to remember that We all have our chemistry. Sometimes We match just for a while and sometimes We never do. It’s okay. You don’t need to try please everyone and everyone don’t need to like you. It’s totally normal and just The way it is.

Then you need to time travel… What made you interested about yoga? What was your intension about practicing yoga?  And what is your intension of teaching yoga? 

Some wild quesings…. Either you wanted to emprove your health or destress your self, or maybe it all started from a cool asana you wanted to master and got hooked … or maybe you wanted to take a spiritual Journey in your True Seer?

You have to remember that many of your stundents are on The same Journey, and no matter what their intension is you are there to guide them to find The way towards what they are seeking. You are there to support, not to be supported.

I give you a example of what I have experienced as a student… 

In the beginning of a class We often put a intension for the class and what that cause is can vary quite a lot. What a Teacher should not do is to order her / his students to put a intension to serve her / his Life situation or state of mind. Surpricely even that happens. And it’s okay if it happens once and when We are really unbalanced, because then misstakes like that easier happen and We can learn from it. BUT We should notice that misstake at somepoint and make sure that even when We are unbalanced and in swirls of our own life, We should be able to leave it outside of The shala. In This is where our own practice Time comes in. It’s easier to focus and be there for your students if you have worked through your self With your own practice and Self study. 

Let’s say your students are paying mothly fees to go to your classes and you tell your students put their intension to heal your broken situation. If you really think about it, isn’t it unfair that they pay to you to heal you? Like I Said earlier We teachers are there to guide our students Journey and their healing them selves and not the opposite.

This thoughts popped up when I was Reading my emails. I recently got asked to Menthor next generation of Yoga Teachers and I started immediately to think through The basis of being a Teacher. I’m really glad and honoured of that I got asked for that mission and I already look forward to it.

But here is shortly The Dos and Don’ts as a little guidline;

Dos:

– Be humble and kind; towards yourself as your students

– Use your words wisely and guide With passion 

– Be true to your Self as to others

– Respect your students own space and Journey

– Love what you do!

– Less is More! 

– Trust your Self !

– Teach what you practice and Practice what you Teach!

Don’ts:

– Don’t Use your students as healing tools

– Don’t Be a victim 

– Don’t pretend to be something you aren’t

– Don’t force anything to happen, be true and It Will happen! 

– Don’t Use your classes as your practice. It’s not The Same!

– Don’t let your ego rule !

I Hope you can read this text as It is, written with love and caring.

From a Teacher to a Teacher! Let’s support each others to be even better teachers in the future.

Namaste!





Religion and Yoga

Is Yoga a religion or a cult? And what is Yoga? Can everyone do Yoga ni matter of their religionists backgrounds?

These are interesting questions for me as a Yoga Teacher and Practicer in a country that is mainly Christen Lutheric. I find my self in conflict with most of worlds religions because of all The fanatism and judgementalism around religions. That doesn’t nessacary mean that I don’t have believes, because I do feel that there is some bigger force in this world than We as humans, at The same Time that I believe that We all are part of that bigger picture. We all are needed here as much as The other, no matter of color, religion or origin. You, Me… All beings around us. Breathing and working in The same symbios With each other.

How ever Christen religion in Christen countrys are often Said to be The religion of peace and acceptans and many other religions are said to be more fanatical than The other and leading to violence and bunch of other terrible things around The World . Yes, there is terrible things happening but most of these things aren’t just in The name of religion but also part of old culturel legasys that many organizations are working on to change (for example child marriges). But what comes to Yoga and religion I have got chocked by the attitude towards practicing Yoga here among the Christen Finland.

There has been several articles in news papers about The Dangers of Practicing Yoga. How it can cause you a danger form of psycosis and lead you to unpure path that leads straight to The Devil….

I haven’t come across from any other religios practicers any judgements at all. I  know practicers from most of the religions and We all have our believes of that Yoga can help you to connect to the ”bigger picture”, to The Universe, God, Brahman what ever you see as your thruth. It helps you to find The balance and calmness within you, in body and in mind. I have fully respect for any once believes and I would hope that We all could see it The same. 

There is one thruth. There are many paths.

-Swami Satchidananda 

I see my self as a part of a uneversal cycle. As the antz has their part of this huge play, I do to. We don’t always know what our roll really is because many times our purpose or Dharma happens without you knowing it. Even when you feel that you don’t really do anything important but a simple thing as smiling to a stranger can change someones life and that person in her/ his turn does something paying it forward…. Everything affects everything. So I many times say when people are angry at them selves missing asana practice, that every kind word or thought is Yoga too. Yoga is Union, it’s bounding us all together. We are all part of the Divine plan.

I know that what causes these point of views about many things is the fact that We humans tenden to hate everything We don’t understand and are in that matter afraid of. And many times We let the horror of unknown to keep us away from to even search knowledge about what We don’t understand. But it doesn’t have to be that way! We can choose how we cultivate our attitudes. Instead of being shut down in fear We could choose to think; Hmm, I don’t understand This and it’s scary, but It’s okay. I’ll learn More about this and then make my opinion without judging others.

We don’t need to always like everything but We can choose to respect others and their opinions without doing harm in words or in actions.

So no matter who you are, what you believe in, or what ever is your ”status”…

I see you. I respect you. I Love you. Peace and Love – Namaste!

Yoga and Menopause / Andropause

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Sometimes these life changes comes out from the woods, when they really are least expected. Menopause can be one of those things. But is there a way of easing the bodily effects from menopause with out turning into anti depressive and hormones ??  Can Yoga help?? And how to know if you have menopause?? This not just for the ladies because menopause hits also the men. Symptoms just vary a bit…

Here is a list of symptoms that could be your menopause to you ladies.

Mens list is little different and there are constantly discussions about if it is a myth or not. But question; Why would it be any different to age for men than us women? Here is information about male menopause or also called andropause.

Here is also Baxters awesome post about our fellow male Yogis in menopause, because obviously I’m a woman and can mostly prefer to my own experiences.

What both men and women are though often experiencing is  the sudden stiffness in joints and muscles and can even experience pain issues, lack of energy, feeling low and the focus is straight out of the window.

Couple of weeks I was really frustrated about this new situation and it was definitely limiting my own Yoga practice. Suddenly I couldn’t even do a simple standing forward bend and moving in Surya Namaskars was a struggle I’ve not had since cancer and I lived in the same temple. I was devastated! And it did not seem to go away. My much loved vinyasa flow was no more a flow, it was getting stuck in traffic! My inversions in most cases just increased the symptoms and I got totally lack of energy and the hot flashes just got more aggressive. Omg… I have got in a menopause… (early menopause can be a result of heavy cancer treatments in many cases)

I had to take my self little time to go back to the basics. Study what made the symptoms worse and with once eased my being. Things like just to ground and land in asanas. Really creating a relationship between the ground, mind, breath and body. I use lots of props as support in backbends and choose softer inversions instead of the advanced once. A true practice of letting go – non attachment. I love inversion and sweaty, intensive flows… Letting it be. Being here is what is now.

It felt good to slow down even though it tok me a week daily practice to let the vinyasa flow from my mind. I missed it. But without even thinking I started to each time in discomfort of missing ”flow”, I started to turn my self over and over again towards my ujjayi breathing. With out even noticing I started to slow the breath down even more than usually and let every transformation and movement in my practice to take time through the whole inhalation vs exhalation. My practice became reeeaaaally slow. Much of the time I close my eyes and just move on the waves of breath and listening to my body how it wants to move. Being soft in the mind will cultivate the softness even in your body. How liberating !

I started to feel less stiff, annoyed, down and feeling less of pain. My mind is calmer and even my swollen tummy has started to take it’s normal look. I still have feeling of that my quality of sleep is not what it should but definitely better.

So even when you feel that your menopause is eating your joy of moving, don’t stop! Just change the characteristics of your practice until it feels ready to do more advanced practice again. It is okay to slow down and just good for each and one of us every now and then. Either you are in menopause /andropause or not.

Yoga has shown the benefits to calm down your sympathetic nervous system that will give you less feeling of discomfort and will balance you up to manage your every day life better. So give your self some love on your yoga mat and feel the difference. Be aware of what makes you feel worse and what makes you feel better. Advanced inversions and high tempo can increase your symptoms you don’t want , so listen to your body, be wise – Be a good Yogi.

Namaste!

Are we over doing our Yoga?

 Teija and  Leo, Warrior 3 demostration. photo by :  Kaisa Kärkäinen 
Are we over doing Yoga and all the Asanas? So many details to think about that sometimes it even interferes in our attention and intension and we loose the ground, our foundation.
I was last weekend in Helsinki on a workshop in Urban Mandala and met a wonderful and very different teacher that ever met before. The whole weekend we studied our relationship towards the ground under our feet, hands, body….

We often think we have the ground there but are we really receiving all the information from it? Are you just feeling the ground without really feeling it?

We tested this by standing on the plain ground, standing on sticks and golf balls just to get all the receptors awaken to receive the ground with everything it has to offer. First feeling the light touch on our skin of the feet, then little more pressure to feel it in the flesh and finally feeling it all the way to our bones from our feet to the spine.

This teacher we had is Leonidas Peppas (Embodied Anatomy) and he said something that really wakened me up. ”In Yoga we tended to do the asanas when the asanas just should happen…” All the details and information about how to do a asana can end up us loosing the touch to the ground and we loose balance or start to feel pressure in our spine and joints. But when we really have a relationship with the ground and also fiend the support from space around us and dare to widen our optics, embracing it all some interesting things start to happen. Or let me try to put it this way; feeling the ground under your feet in detail and really feel the power from that connection giving you solid ground. And feeling the air or space oboe you lifting you from the grown up. Feel the long and relaxed spine and feel that the backside of your pelvis is relaxing. Feel the sensation of your tail bone relaxing and reaching down. Feeling and being curios about the ground under your feet and making a relationship with it, and feel the head lifting. Or as talked, ” Oh, what’s that under my feet? How does it feel? Oh, see! Where is my head going?…”  When you find that feeling, try to feel it even in Virabhadrasana A and Adho Mukha Svanasana and any asana you do. In Adho Mukha Svanasana you have 2 pair of feet to find the ground to and two ”heads” reaching into space, your stiffness and your head 😉

Maybe you feel it in the way you walk or running? Or how your balances are beyond struggle? You feel light and strong to the ground at the same time.

This is not just about yoga practice but even everyday life. We over focus on details and on the details of those details and we loose the ground when we try to force us selves forward, instead of letting us move through the space with out pushing and striving. The forcing will just make us to get tense, loose our balance and make us frustrated.

It’s all about our relationship the world outside of us selves. Opening up, receiving, embracing and letting the life  happen. As we can feel hopefully the asanas to happen to.

Here is my little vlog about the weekend incase you want to watch it.

Now I just feel for to take my mat and see if some yoga happens 😉

Thank you for being here <3

Namaste!