One of my favourites of the Yukti Verses.
Space is worthy of worship and wonder
It is the field within which every thing exists.
Rest your eyes in emptiness,
Inside a room, a temple, even a little jar -
Any contained space.
Throw the one who is seeing into the center.
Entrust your mind to the embrace of space.
In a flash all boundaries dissolve.
Every day unfolds anew, and with it come different delights and demands. Regardless of my daily circumstances and the ever-lasting dynamic of change that life brings, my daily yoga practice allows me that magical space "to be" with myself, to check in truthfully, every day. In this way, my yoga has become a great anchor and teacher. For my life yoga gives me a deep sense of connectivity with my life in many ways - and in kinder and more loving way.
As my journey is progressing, I am ever more fascinated.
It is a humbling and beautiful experience to be able to teach and share yoga in an individual way in our school - where it is about learning, experiencing, understanding in the body (not so much in the mind), being (and often laughing as completely new perspectives unfold) - yoga is not about performing.
The world is quite filled with analysis, comparison and performance - all of us know this. In contrast to that it is important for me that the practice is a time for reaching inwards, establishing space and anchors within us, not outside us.
I, too, know a little bit about performing and this state of mind: Having grown up in East Germany and then trying to fit into a new paradigm as the system turned when I was 10; having rowed (in a boat) since the age of 7 years (I wanted to be a dancer, but in East Germany I was not allowed to dance), leaving my home at the age of 15 to dedicate my life to rowing, later winning the World Championships for Germany twice and at the age of 19 moving to the USA to row and study (Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition) and work (in Cardio and Pulmonary Rehabilitation). At 26, after 7 years and 2 major moves within the US, I came to Groningen for my PhD in medical science (which has long been completed) and further studies in Psychology -my academic publication record spans the exciting adventures of bile acids, glucose and fat metabolism, exercise physiology, cardiac fibrosis, as well as yoga and its effects on emotional wellbeing.
Until a few years ago I didn't really know what home may feel like, as I felt devoid of roots. And also, among all this "achieving, doing and running around" I had to face that "something wasn't going right" and I struggled to accept that my body wasn't in good health and that I couldn't count on my body as I always had.
Since establishing a daily self-practice, much has changed, for the better, my practice has given me roots and space (internal as well as external), and continues to inspire me..
I took my first yoga class at Yoga on High in Columbus, Ohio, in 2004, which is when it all started. To be honest, I did not expect much. At that time I knew myself as a competitive rower - I suspected that yoga would be sitting on a mat doing some stretches. So much for expectations! During this first ashtanga class, when we were led through a full primary series (which I did not know), I felt as if I had stretched my physical and mental body for the first time ever in a very profound way; nothing that any sport ever let me experience. Although, I was tremendously tired and sore after this class, my heart and body felt an opening up in unknown places somehow leaving me with an experience of true inner joy. I went to class again...
Along my journey as a student and teacher I have much gratitude to my teachers and all my students who have shared and continue to share so much inspiration with me
Always a Student First
My teaching is inspired by my main teachers whom I travel to regularly: Susanna Finocchi, Sharmila Desai and Matthew Sweeney; and all my students. I keep being inspired by all the people who I get to work with at my yoga school and by all the wonderfulness I witness in everyone who comes and takes practice. I have much respect, compassion and gratitude for everyone who shows up to meeting themselves through yoga.