Some of you may ask yourselves... what is actually happening when people decide to go on a yoga retreat? Maybe some doubts or fears have been holding you back to boo your ticket to a week together with strangers who you have never met before. Possibly you were put off by the idea of following a daily "structure" and join in activities. So I wanted to tell you a little bit about what REALLY happens at a yoga retreat.
If I would have to name people that influenced my yoga journey, my practice and of course my teaching I would name the one and only Vanda Scaravelli. The born Italian was a yoga teacher until she was over 90 years old and studied with the likes of Iyengar etc.
Through her teachings and by reading her book "Awakening the spine" I learned how to work with gravity, how to spiral and how to embody fluidity in my practice. If you love and practice yoga, this is a must have for your library.
These girl's words bring me goosebumps.... craving for adventure again!!!!
Do you absolutely love yoga? Meeting new like minded souls? Does your heart ache for adventures in this life? If yes is the answer to those questions stay tuned, as there is a very exciting opportunity comping up that I will announce next week. Stay tuned yogis..
Every Sunday a group of international people gather on the famous Benirras beach in the north of Ibiza to honor the sunset. Men and women are banging drums in tribal rhythms and dancing barefoot in the sand into the setting sun. It is one of the most famous gatherings in Ibiza and it is always magical. Check out the little video below to get a flavor.
Ibiza Sunset Ritual: Drums at Benirras
Easter is usually a time of indulgence. Wine, chocolates, big meals with family and friends and tons of jellybeans and other sugar loaded sweeties.
No! I am not saying that you cannot indulge in those yummy Cadbury creme easter eggs, but like with everything in life, moderation is key; and creating a healthy balance to around those sweet joys around the holidays.
So here I am presenting you 10 tips for feeling more energetic, heathy and happy during the holiday.
1. Start with a real breakfast for champion! You may not be able to control what's served on the brunch table but you can choose what first goes into your body after you wake up. Make a giant green smoothie or juice to fill you up with nutrients and fibres.
Here is my favourite recipe:
- 1 granny smith apple
- 1 bunch of kale, spinach or other green
- 10cm piece of cucumber
- sprig of mint
- 1 tsp chia seeds (protein boost!)
- fresh mineral or filtered water
- optional: add some spirulina or other superfood
Try to avoid any sweeteners in this smoothie as during the holidays we do load up on enough sugar anyway! :-)
2. Drink plenty of water! To make it more appealing and for an extra detox boost add slices of lemon and/or cucumber to your water jug.
3. Fill up on veggies! Before you dig into all the other delicious things, serve yourself a big portion of vegetables. They will fill you up so it is less likely that you will overindulge into unhealthier choices.
3. Mindful indulgence! After you have filled up on veggies and protein, then enjoy bread, butter and sweeties. But try to eat them mindfully! Enjoy every bite, chew slowly and savour the flavours! This will leave you more satisfied without munching down a whole bag of chocolate-covered caramels.
4. Yoga, baby! Without moving our bodies we are more prone to feel sluggish, lazy and not well overall. So reserve some time for a bit of yoga, walking or running. Here the easter bunny shows you a lovely yoga routine that takes about 15-20 mins. Hold each asana (posture) for about 5 long breaths and repeat on both sides!
5. Make your own healthy crossbuns! Commercial easter buns are usually loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients! Why not make your own healthy version for guilt free indulgence (and you can show off in front of your family and friends!)?
Instead of stevia or dextrose, add some honey for sweetening. The most natural and healthy option.
6. Incorporate some real eggs into your easter celebration! Real eggs are a great source of protein and vitamins. So why not poach, scramble or fry some eggs with wholemeal toast for breakfast together with your smoothie. This surely will fill you up ans boost your energy for hours to come!
7. Meditate and BREATHE! Get togethers with the extended family can sometimes be stressful, when old issues come up. We do not hope this will happen, but better being prepared The best way to spend the holidays with a relaxed aura around you is to incorporate a little daily meditation. 5-10 mins is enough. Best time is right after waking up. Find a quiet space, light a candle, set an intention and follow your in- and exhalation.
8. Moderate your alcohol intake! Do not beat yourself up over enjoying a glass of champagne or two, or pairing your brunch with a delicious bloody mary! But if you do drink alcohol make sure you drink a glass of water after each beverage. This will keep you hydrated and you will feel better for it the next day.
9. Get rest! Staying in bed until 10:00 instead of setting the alarm to go for a run? Definite YES! Take this long weekend to nourish your nervous system by catching up on much needed sleep. 8 - 9 hours is great for your overall well being!
10. Be happy! Last but not least enjoy your holiday, spend time with the people you love and have fun!
LOTS OF LOVE AND HAPPY EASTER!
Mantras are a powerful way to meditate, to manifest and focus the mind. By chanting the repetitive syllables, we also show great devotion to the divine. Also they are very fun! One of my favourite mantras is the "Ganesh Mantra".
Lord Ganesh, elephant god from the Hindu tradition is known as the remover of obstacles. So the following mantra is great to sing if you are ready to leave something behind in the past; if you are ready to move on to new things and overcome difficult situations. Just try next time you are stuck on a busy road in traffic to sing this mantra and see what happens ;-) I like the version in the video below as it is such a happy and uplifting chant. And it's super easy.
"Om Gan Ganpataye Namo Namah. Jaya Ganesha!"
It is possibly one of the most photogenic postures in yoga. I am sure you have all given this super duper elegant pose a try at some point in your practice. And it may have left you thinking: "Oh my gosh. I will never be flexible enough for it!".
Happy New Moon / Spring Equinox. For the nature people today marks the first day of the new year. The beginning of spring, new life, a new cycle.
It is time to set your intentions. Clear yourself from what's holding you back. Light some incense, cleanse your space. Take some time to really think about what it is that you want. Repeat it silently in your mind. Take some deep, conscious breaths and sit with your intentions for a few minutes.
Enjoy your New Moon! <3
I have recently started my morning rituals with a meditation as soon as I get out of bed. At this time, just after sleep, the mind is still mostly calm and the spirit is fresh. So I find at in the early mornings, I can silence my mind more easily.
When it comes to the position of my hands, I usually do use "Gyan Mudra", where I bring my thumb and my index finger together. This mudras closes important energy circles in the body and helps you focus. Here is a very interesting article about 8 different mudras and their function.
MAY ALL BEINGS BE FREE FROM SUFFERING. NAMASTE.
The year 2017 has begun with quite some exciting situations and stirred up emotions. America has a new president, which will affect the rest of the world as well. Women (and men) uniting and marching for their rights all over the world. Good feelings about starting another year and maybe being able to do things better than in the last one. But on the other hand a lot of fear of what lies ahead of us over the next months and years.
The world is clearly changing. People are becoming more aware, we have more access to information as ever and we actually don’t keep quiet anymore about what is or is not right in our society.
When I scroll down through my Facebook page half of the posts are currently about Trump…. And as you all know, they haven’t been at all positive. The whole world is shocked and scared. But I would like to ask you: What are we projecting and creating with our negative thoughts and our fear? Surely we won’t create world peace in the near future.
I see it like that. Every thought that we have, every image in our heads, every emotion and even every word that we speak is affecting and changing our energy field and therefore will create new situations in the future. (Does the quote “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God..” ring a bell???)
So as we sit here, hating Trump, posting hateful words and sentences on our blogs, creating a fear inside of our future and the possible end of the world, we may be unconsciously influencing how our future actually will look like. By that I don’t mean to say that we should ignore all the sh*t that’s going on and the inequality that’s been imposed on us… It’s very important to be aware of the present and the truth, but we can switch our thoughts. We can be MINDFUL of how we use our speech, choosing words wisely. Bring the focus on what we DO want, not the opposite. How can you formulate in a few sentences, how you would like to see the world, our incredible planet earth like in the near future. See the images, choose words and feel happy about what you have created in your mind.
You might think this is all mumbo jumbo, but everybody that has at least once in their life used positive affirmations knows what I am talking about.
But how can we control our mind and our thinking and the words we speak all day long, so they stay on a high vibrational level? Well, that is practice. And the best way to achieve is and always has been meditation. There are countless guided meditations on the net and even apps for your phone, so basically there is no excuse. Here is a link to one of my favourite meditations, which will bring you into your Heart. Always a good place to start! <3
Let’s create the future and paradise together! Peace & Love!
It is New Moon today, so I am inviting you to plant the seeds for the upcoming moon cycle. Today is a time to step into calmness, tranquility, reflection and visioning the future. Where do you see yourself in your wildest daring dreams? Where do you want to be and who do you want to surround yourself with?
Visualize your wishes and dreams as precisely as you can, with clarity and a sense of openness in your heart. Light a candle and send your visions to the New Moon. Feel how your dream is already in your presence or see it coming towards you - and welcome it with open arms!
LOVE & PEACE! I am especially meditating and sending STRENGTH today for the people at Standing Rock.... fighting peacefully for the protection of Mother Earth and water resources.
Get to know how to cook Kitchari - one of the most healing foods in the world!
Enjoy a small but beneficial practice of only 20mins. This is a little video I have recorded in the summer about a year ago. :-) The quality is not great, but even by listening you should get a nice practice out of it. Maybe to wake up in the morning, or any time in the afternoon for an energy boost! I am planning to make more Yoga Videos in the upcoming winter months for you to practice comfortably at home. So stay tuned! <3
Last week I had the honour to experience something that was quite different from my daily routine and life happenings. After my attention has been drawn to the root of my body - my womb - a lot this past year through the diagnosis of cysts on my ovaries, I signed up for a course called "Sacred Woman Awakening", which I heard would be working with and healing of women's wombs. How exciting! But I also went in there with zero expectations.
The space holder and creator of this course, Diana, who is known on the island for her shamanic work, welcomed us in her Teepee on a beautiful field in the north. She seemed so much more grounded and fun than I expected. Just another woman on her journey like you and I. This made me feel good about everything that was to come. The circle began to fill up with 11 gorgeous, powerful women who were ready to do the work!
Little did I know how really disconnected I was from this area of my body. I couldn't even consciously draw my breath into my womb, something that always has bothered me as a yoga teacher. Only by starting to share into the circle of women about why I thought I was here, energy started to bubble up my body and began to release. The feeling to be able to be so honest and open about my past in front of women I had just met, couldn't have been more wonderful and safe. We have created this net of confidentiality, trust and honesty and honouring of every woman's story.
Over the course of the next few days we began to activate our womb through powerful visualisation and meditation and clearing of old patterns, memories and blocked energies from this area. A woman's womb often holds on to a lot of fear, a feeling of disempowerment and sadness.... we even take on the feelings of our partners!!!! Imagine how much clearing there is to do!!! :-) In this meditation I had especially a very powerful vision. Hearing the voice of Diana guiding us and the sound of the drum, I saw myself highly pregnant and in my belly was our planet earth. Yet, I still couldn't make sense of it but it was a beautiful vision.
Between lots of laughter, even more tears, snacks and pee breaks in the field (yes, we were very connected to Mother Earth!) our circle of women became like a tight sisterhood. By knowing each others stories, fears and hopes, a sacred net was weaved between us.... a very special connection!
We even learned about the parallel existence of our wombs and the creator of the galaxy: The Black Hole! Did you know that according to new scientific research black holes are not just "space hoovers" that suck all life, planets and stars up and swallow it? Apparently over a period (as there is not really time as we know it in space) black holes are "breathing in" and then in another cycle they are "breathing out". On the out breath of a black hole, a galaxy is born. Do you see the connection to a woman's womb? We take in, transform and give birth!! How incredible is that!!!! We are like the black holes that create stars, planets and life. Yes, take some time to let that sink in!
One of my strongest experience in this 3.5 day course was during a meditation that we did outside in the field, barefoot in the grass. Through slow and free movement and breath, Diana guided us to breath from our womb down into the center of the earth and breathing energy from the earth up. After a few minutes I began to feel a very strong vibration in my body and in my cells; moving into what I can only describe as a "wavy" feeling, like I am falling into a trance. Every cell of my body was BECOMING the Earth, I became every plant and animal on the planet, every forest and every river. I cried... I cried so many tears for this LOVE I felt. I would say that this was the most sacred experience I have ever had in my life! I suddenly felt the urge for more ritual, more ceremony, more fires and storytelling; the shaman in me started to awaken...
After working with our spirit animals and plants, inviting our ancestors, setting intentions and connecting to the sacred woman inside of us, I left the Teepee last Sunday afternoon feeling like I am the holder of some kind of super-power! Strongly centred in my womb, which now by the way I can FEEEEEEELLLL with every breath I take.
I think the work that we have done is highly important as we haven't just started to heal and connect to the divine feminine but also invited the divine masculine energy to complete the cycle of life... like yin and yang, one isn't complete without the other. But we have to start healing this female-male relationship first within ourselves, and this will radiate out into a much wider field of consciousness which will bit by bit heal our surrounding and step by step our beautiful planet! In these shaky and stirred up times I think it is more important than ever to center ourselves, heal our old wounds so we can spread the LOVE, the light and ancient wisdom from a functional place!
To learn more about Diana and her work visit her website.
My absolute favourite place to practice yoga is with my hands and my feet in the sand, hearing the waves of the sea cleansing my mind and purifying my spirit. Soaking up the sun through my skin and breathing in the salty air....
My place of happiness.
My place of nourishment.
My place of connection.
Always feel like summer is too short? That it could go on at least for another couple of months? You have the chance this summer to extend it on the magical island Ibiza at our "Free Spirit" Yoga Retreat from the 11th to the 18th October.
A week of yoga, healthy and detoxing food, sunshine, empty beaches and trips to secret places on the island. Don'T miss out on feeling AMAZING this autumn. Last few spaces left.
Tonight I am hosting an absolutely free Yoga class at my house in San Jose, Ibiza. The reason for this is also quite exciting. I have been contacted by quite a big German magazine (more on the blog post tomorrow) to come and write about my class, take pictures and do a little interview. All this for an article about Ibiza. I am so happy!
So class starts at 19:00 and will obviously be outdoors to soak up the evening sun. Hope to see you on the mat! <3
It's been about 15 years minimum since I had an accident with one of my favorite horses at the stables. Before that I was riding quite professionally, joining tournaments and so on. After that accident I decided to stop for a while just being in shock and never went back. Being here in Ibiza now for two years and more connected to nature again, I felt I wanted to reconnect with my passion for horses and horseriding. Especially as I am part of yoga and horseriding retreats in Ibiza!!!
One of my dear yogastudents told me about this ibizenco guy who owns 4 horses close to my home and that she learns how to ride there. I was excited!!!! Yesterday I finally went..... I had so much respect for this enormous but beautiful animals. They were absolutely stunning and so lovingly kept. I took a deep breath, overcame my initial fear and a second later I sat high up in the saddle! What a feeling it was!!!! The smell of the animal and the gentle movement brought back all these happy memories I used to have when I was younger! Still quite insecure and not at all in control of the Giants I did my rounds an felt thoroughly happy! The white lady was so much more easier on me than the slightly wilder brown male horse.....
Happy as a cupcake I left the beautiful animals and already made my date for next week, where we'll probably take them out into the Ibizan countryside. I can't fricking wait!! So happy to have revived one of my first and biggest loves!