Posts tagged Mindset
Happy New Year

Hope you all had a good start to the year! The holidays can be pretty intense, involving lots of eating, sitting and socializing with family and friends. In the middle of this, we also need some time for relaxation and reflection. I often find that there is little to no time left for this during Christmas itself, and first in the days before and after New Year's Eve I start to look back and set new goals. 

When I was a kid, I had these padlock-sealed diaries that I wrote in every so often. Nowadays, I treasure these books so much. When I go back home in summer, and happen to find any of these books, it is both sweet and fascinating to read about the things my 10-year-old self was preoccupied with. These days, I collect a lot of thoughts, ideas and learnings randomly in various notebooks throughout the year. That said, these notes are often scribbled between yoga sequences and to do lists and how could I ever separate these thoughts and events if I didn't write it down in a more structured way?

For this reason, every year I sit down for a few days (yes it does take a while) to write down what happened in my life from month to month and most importantly how I felt about it. This provides a unique opportunity to look back and better understand what's been going on over the last 12 months. 2015 has been A LOT; settling in a new country, beginning a new job, starting to teach yoga, developing my yoga practice, building new friendships, getting married and much much more.

I think the best way to set new goals, is to first look back to see what has happened.

Ask yourself:

What moments and friendships did I cherish? What projects am I inspired to take further? What gave me value, health and happiness in 2015? How can I do more of that? What else do I want to bring into my life?


I actively follow quite a few writers and sites that have published posts on how to best meet this new year, and how to keep your resolutions.. In truth, we can actually evaluate and set goals at any time during the year. That being said, now is always a good time - and better than later.

I think the best takeaways from the articles I've read are these:

Make the goals measurable and clear. For example, if you want to bring more happiness into your life. Then write down a list of the things that make you happy. 

Stake out a goal of how much time to dedicate to this each day or week:
1. Meditate 5 minutes - eg. each morning or night every day for two weeks
2. Go out with friends at least once a week
3. Try a new recipe or dish every week
4. Drink hot lemon water every morning
5. Commit to a 10 minutes simple stretch routine every morning or night

Write down the goals and share the goals with your partner or friend. When we share the goals with someone, the goals become more real.

Believe in yourself. We all have moments of doubt. On any journey, there is always gonna be some obstacles along the way, this includes moments of doubts, laziness or falling back to an old habit. But if the mind is focused, then we are far less likely to get entangled and lost as a consequence of such obstacles. For me, some of the best ways I know to refocus is to talk to a friend, exercise or meditate. 

As I was writing and thinking about Doubt, this one popped up in my Youtube feed. Blige and Swift for you all. 

Stay humble and allow for happiness in any shape or form!


Yoga is a training for life

Quite a few things have been going on lately. Weekend trips to London and Paris, wedding planning (the big day is getting closer) and a few updates on my path as a yoga teacher. 

I have now taught Hot Yoga at the YogaHub for almost 3 months. I am so grateful for the students that keep returning and for being patient with me when I confuse the mirroring or say silly things such as "now lower your floor to the chest". 

I remember especially that class when we brought it down to the floor after a series of balancing standing postures. As we sat tall with our legs stretched out in front of us in Dandasana and I was just introducing Paschimottanasana, Seated Forward Bend, the sun starts to shine in through the window. We're blinded by the sunlight. That moment was filled with energy, almost like if time had stopped. 

Next up for me is to start teaching yoga at Squarespace. The students have a varied level of experience, most of them are beginners. I can't wait to share my practice with a group that is so curious and motivated. As discussed in this post, the only thing you need to start is motivation.  

"Just to let you know I am really not flexible, so I don't think I will be able to do so many poses?"

This question is so often asked, especially when we question ourselves and what our bodies will be able to do.

We think of yoga as a physical practice, but yoga involves so much more. It's about working with the breath, mind and the body. These are our tools to find a healthier way to relate to ourselves and to others. 

When we deepen our breath, focus our minds or shift our bodies into different asanas (poses), all that is yoga. It doesn't take a specific asana to be a yogi. 

However, if we're already in an asana, which is no longer a challenge for us and we distract from it. I would hesitate to call that yoga. 

When you walk in a labyrinth, you need to stay open, patient and curious to enjoy the winding path. Once you arrive in the centre, you might expect a feeling of victory, but that feeling often goes away way too quickly. The rest of the time is merely about taking the same way back, the perspectives may change here, but the path is familiar.

It is all about how we create our own experiences as we travel from our own unique starting point. There are more than 800 yoga poses. But keeping a mindful healthy yoga practice doesn't have anything to do with how many of these poses you are comfortable with. It is not about the achievment. It is rather about the progress. 

"Work alone is your privilege, never the fruits thereof. Never let the fruits of action be your motive, and never cease to work. Work in the name of the spirit, abandoning all selfish desires. Be not affected by success or failure. This equipoise is called yoga." (Bhagavad Gītā)

Trust that your body will tell you what it needs. If you have tight hips, shoulders or hamstrings - focus on the breath and practice the poses that will help to loosen these muscle groups. The same goes for finding a yoga practice that will balance the level of stress you have in your life, most of us needs to include a calming yoga practice. What we call yin yoga. And don't forget Savasana.

In this sense, yoga is a training for life. Practice where you are at, right now. Practice to breathe through the tension. Practice an open heart in difficult situations. Practice small active changes and observe the difference it will make. Have your eyes at a goal, but don't be fooled to think the goal is where you need to be. It is in the practice of getting there, that liberation and positive impactful change will happen.