Does Real Friendship exist today?

Does Real Friendship exist today?

I live in the small beach town of Montezuma in Costa Rica and real friendship is sacred to me. In the last 18 years of my life here I’ve seen many tourists and expats come and leave. It’s always been a very transient place, but what I’ve also noticed is a big change in the way friendships happen here.

When I arrived in 2001 from New York this was the place, where it felt like we all had plenty of time. Life was slow, which was such a welcomed change from my hectic life back in NYC. My boyfriend at the time ran a hotel, there was only dial up internet and a fax machine, no cellphones and few landlines in town. When I started Montezuma Yoga I would spend about an hour every day on the super slow, patience requiring internet, to deal with yoga inquiries and answer my emails. I would take time once in a while to have a good long phone call with my friends back home.

No worries, this is not turning into a “back-in-the-days-everything-was-better” post, but when I look back at the quality of life and how it has shifted in just 18 years, it feels crazy to me.

By midday my boyfriend and I would go home to his house up the hill, where we had no internet and no phone. We would spend hours listening to music, talking, watching the stars, making love and just BEING. Friends would come visit for dinner, we would throw great full moon parties, where we danced all night. Life felt very peaceful and rich.

Nowadays it takes a lot of effort to see my friends here. There’s very little room for spontaneous dinners or let’s go to the beach. How did we all become so damn busy? We all created our dream lives here, we started dream businesses, build dream houses and wanted to be in nature. If I want to see my friends now, we need to make a date at least one week ahead. Or I need to go eat at their restaurant to see them while they are working. 

With my friends overseas it’s not much different. With social media you somehow feel like you know what’s going on in their lives. You see posts with glamorous pictures and once in a while even a post where somebody is really sharing a bit more than superficial truth. But the real connection takes so much more effort, because we are all so lost in our busy lives. Do we work more hours than we used to do? Or do we just spend too much of our free time on the machine?

I am making a big effort these days to connect with my friends. Two of my closest girlfriends here moved away years ago, and we’ve been trying to set up weekly or bi-weekly zoom meetings to connect. We managed so far to do it once! Between work, taking care of kids, being in different time zones it seems really hard to make it happen. I know it’s not for lack of interest. We all long for connection.

With all the technology that makes it so much easier to connect worldwide than ever, how come we’ve lost the moment of real connection? 

Are you willing to make more effort to schedule time for your friends and real relationships? To be less online, scrolling through social media or watching netflix, and instead to really check in with your friends? 

The other day I talked to a friend in California, and while I wanted to make a video call, she said, please let’s have a good old fashion audio call. We ended up talking on the phone for 1.5 hours. It felt so good. We laughed, we inspired each other, we caught up on the last 2 years we didn’t see each other, drank tea as if we were sitting together…….There was something magical not to look at a screen and to just listen to her voice.

It’s my clear intention to spend more time with my friends. It has to become a non-negotiable, nothing that happens when all else is done and I have some space left. It has to be a priority like my yoga or meditation practice, like brushing my teeth, and I will schedule everything else around it. 

What do you think, does real friendship exist today? How do you care for your friendships near and far?

I truly would love to hear from you,

with love

Dagmar

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How to Step Into Your Confidence

How to Step Into Your Confidence

How to Step Into Your Confidence

Many of us, especially women, are afraid to be confident in ourselves. Maybe we’ve been taught that it’s not an attractive quality for a woman to have, or maybe someone made us feel badly last time we acted confidently. Whatever the reason, we’ve dulled or hidden away our confidence. Even when we receive compliments for our amazingness (a good yoga class, a thoughtful social media interaction, a new hair style), it’s seductive to lean back into the habit of shame and deflect the confidence boost instead of embracing it. 

When we stop being confident in ourselves, we can lose sight of what makes us each special. More than that, we become afraid of what others may think of us. And that is a good way to deprive the world of special, amazing people and talents.  Read More

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5 meditation myths – and the truth behind them

5 meditation myths - and the truth behind them

Did you ever try to meditate regularly and gave up again? When I started meditation I was rather confused, there are so many methods out there and it was hard to find one working for me. I even travelled to India and did a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat, which was the most challenging yet also a really blissful experience. I would sit up to 9 hours per day with my fellow meditators in silence. But when I came home from India pretty soon the discipline faded and it’s been quite a journey for me to finally create my own practice. What I learned is that we have to let go of some myths and concepts first before giving it a go.

There are many myths about meditation which keep people from even trying it. Here are some of the common reasons I hear and the truth behind them:

1. I can’t stop thinking

This is often the biggest obstacle for people and the truth is: Meditation is not about stopping your thoughts! Trying to stop thinking is like trying not to see with your eyes open. 

Don’t beat yourself up for any emotion or thought. Instead, allow them to rise, say ‘thanks, mind,’ and then dissolve them. We are cultivating acceptance when we meditate.

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3 simple, very effective ways to deal with negative feelings

3 simple, very effective ways to deal with negative feelings

If you are like me, you love yoga because it has given you a precious set of tools to deal with negative feelings.

It’s totally normal if emotions get tricky for you. More than ever we are bombarded with images of people having it all together, living life happily, being in perfect relationships, having stunning bodies and traveling to the most gorgeous places in the world. No wonder we feel like crap watching it when we are not in such a happy place this very moment. 

It’s also our nature that we want to control and fix everything instead of really feeling vulnerable and feeling pain.

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Are you an advanced Yogi?

Are you an advanced Yogi?

Being an Advanced Yogi – What Does That Actually Mean?

People often come to my class announcing they are a beginner or that they are advanced. It always amuses me, because what does that really mean? They often refer to the physical asana practice, I get that, but to me, I have my very own ideas about being a beginner or advanced yogi ;).

To me, yoga is not about bringing your foot behind your head. While that may impress some other people in your life, I don’t really care – I have met enough people who were able to do the most advanced and tough yoga poses yet were completely unconscious in their relationships – and even mean to other people in their life.

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Stay Grounded During the Holiday Season

Stay Grounded During the Holiday Season

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

The holidays can be challenging.

How to Thrive – Not Just Survive – This Holiday Season

You name it, the holidays can create stress around it: Money, family, politics, food, alcohol, love. We can cultivate the best of intentions going into the holiday season, but, sometimes, things just fall apart: Fights about whose family to go to (or not!), gift exchanges, current events, why you’re not eating that third piece of pie or imbibing along with everyone else.
Stressful situations abound, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Read on for some helpful tips that can help you stay grounded and practice patience with the people and circumstances that are challenging.

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Connect to the light : The Gayatri Mantra

Connect to the light : The Gayatri Mantra

Connect To The Light : The Gayatri Mantra

I love when our yoga practice becomes practical, when we can take the tools we learn into our life off the mat and feel a shift in our usual behavior. 

One of the most transformative tools yogis have discovered are Mantras. And here is my story how I used one of the most powerful ones to connect to the light:  the GAYATRI.

 

But let’s first take a look at Mantras and what they are. It’s a very old practice to chant or recite mantras and in combination with the sound vibrations they have a very powerful effect on the mind and psyche of the individual. Mantras are written in Sanskrit, regarded as one of the oldest languages known to us, and also called the mother of all languages or the sacred language of the gods. 

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10 Yin Yoga Poses For Embracing Change

10 Yin Yoga Poses For Embracing Change

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.

Favorite yoga pants by Onzie, shirt “Shine Your Light” by Spiritual Gangster. You can find my yin yoga music playlists for free on Spotify. Enjoy! All Images by Julie Ansiau.

 

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What If You Could Change The Story In Your Head?

What If You Could Change The Story In Your Head?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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? 

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