embracing change: cultivating the courage to make choices
a yin yoga sequence - images by Julie Ansiau
The practice of yin yoga is a wonderful tool to embrace our softer, intuitive side. It helps to strengthen our intuition, which leads to more courage to follow our heart and live our dreams. You can learn to make choices by observing more clearly, by accepting and embracing change.
Have you ever experienced the voice inside of you calling Now Or Never? We know when it’s time for a change, but we are at the same time horrified to make changes and to jump into the unknown. Yet whenever you look back on your own life, those moments that implied a scary change and jump into the unknown led you to the best experiences in your life, didn’t they?
I was very scared to leave my familiar world behind when I turned 30, i left my husband, my job, my country and moved to Los Angeles, where I didn’t know a single soul. Looking back it was very scary, but the best decision of my life. It lead me to yoga, it lead me to meeting many inspiring wonderful friends and teachers and eventually to live the life of my dreams. And guess what, it wasn’t at all about pushing hard and fighting my way, it was about embracing my vulnerability, my softness and learning to let go and surrender. Once I practiced this more often, things magically fell into place and I was faced with wonderful opportunities in front of me, where I just had to choose between yes and no.
The following sequence will include forward and back bends, as well as some hip openers and soft stretches. Focus on the language of your body, when does it say yes, when does it say no, where do you feel the yes/no, in your heart, in your belly? Practice becoming familiar and in tune with your body’s language is very powerful and healing. Letting be whatever is present, releasing emotions and stories is the goal of this practice. We store a lot of these emotions in the hips, so enjoy the deep stretching here. All poses are held for 5 min, if not indicated otherwise. Watch my instructional video for further tips and guidance.
Please allow in-between poses for neutralising stretches like table top, down dog, windshield wipers.
I practice yoga for over 20 years now and I will admit: practicing yoga at home has been my biggest challenge, because I would always drop in and out of a regular practice. Sounds familiar?
What if you could change the story in your head?
The other day a dear friend of mine told me he was feeling at war with life and that he would feel the need to rest but since he had to fight this war, he needed to go on a little bit more.
It made me really speechless. What a powerful statement to make. And how sad to feel like you are at war with life? We all know our thoughts manifest our reality….I don’t even wanna go there.
It made me think. Can you change the story in your head?
I left my country, my husband and job behind when I turned 30. It was the scariest decision of my life, but in retrospect probably the Best. What I learned in those years after the big change was how to cultivate the trust & courage to live the life of your dreams. I moved first to Los Angeles, then to New York and ended up moving to Costa Rica in 2001, after the twin towers fell.
With my experience of teaching over 12 retreats in the past 5 years I learned that actually teaching the retreat is only one aspect to consider, because there is so much more to think about first. So where do you start to organise your successful yoga retreat?
Yellow leaves shivered in the chilly autumn breeze. Mountains that had been sheared flat millennia ago by glaciers were dusted this morning with fresh snow. The world outside was going through its yearly cycle of letting go and preparing for winter. In just a few months winds would whip over the island at over 200 kilometers an hour and temperatures would drop to below 30 Celsius.
But for now, fourteen people sat in a circle in a toasty yoga studio watching the leaves fall outside, sharing why each of us chose to come to Dagmar and Daniel’s yoga retreat in northern Iceland in late September. Not Costa Rica or Bali. Not any warm weather beach locale. No, we chose to come to Iceland in the fall.
Prague has been on my list for years and I love to finally be here! Of course I did some research to find good things a yogi’s heart desires and hope you will enjoy my little personal yogi’s guide to Prague!
Prague is very laid back and easy to discover and explore. It is also really cheap to take taxis, public transport and to eat well and healthy. I spend 4 days here and it’s a good amount of time to explore the city. I also traveled alone and felt absolutely safe and at ease walking around day and night.
13 Yin Yoga Poses For An Open Heart
I love yin yoga for the complimentary effects to the more yang lifestyle and yoga practices we do. Ideally we have both energies in our life: yin is the more feminine, receptive, lunar quality and yang refers to the more active, striving, masculine energy. From a physical point of view there are aspects of the body that are more yin – the connective tissue, and aspects that are more yang, –the muscles.
Connective tissue takes on many different forms within the body. It is the tissue that holds the bones together, the muscles to the bones, and the internal organs in place. It is the web that forms and connects all aspects of the human body. The connective tissue has its own intelligence and memory. It is listening and remembering our every thought and experience. Some people say that our nadis/meridians, the channels in which our energy flows through the body, are located inside this tissue. As we grow older it shrinks, dries up and becomes tight, so we have to find ways to keep it juicy.
Yin yoga is a meditative practice of reconnection and surrender. Read More →