If you ask pretty much anyone who knows me to describe what I’m like, you’d possibly get an answer like “happy person” or a “contagiously goofy smiler”. This is something that I’ve heard about myself since I was little, and I couldn’t ask for a lovelier description. I might not be the prettiest duckling in the row and I might have few lines in the corners of my eyes, permanent marks of my happiness, but what the hell? If my wrinkles come from smiling in the sun, than I don’t care.
Smile, the universal symbol of happiness, the sign of infinite love in our hearts!
I love smiling! I love that moment when I’m looking into someone’s eyes and they smile back at me. I love the sense of balance that smiling gives me. I honestly believe it’s the most powerful, yet most underrated ability we possess. And that most of us don’t even realise what we can achieve by smiling more often.
If you’ve been to my yoga classes, you know that I equally remind you guys about the importance of breathing and the importance of smiling. Even when your limbs are shaking in a warrior pose, I keep telling you to smile, to trick the brain to think you’re enjoying the moment. The power of smile!
Don’t believe me? Try it out. Just close your eyes for a second, you might feel neutral right now, but bring a smile to your face, maybe try visualising someone/something that makes you smile. Can you feel it? That lovely fuzzy feeling in the bottom of your belly rising. Can you feel the energy change as you turn the corners of your mouth upwards? Still not feeling it? Well, go to a mirror and look at yourself, and smile! Don’t force the smile, but allow it to arise, feeling the cheeks rise and the eyes smile too. Maybe wink to yourself and whisper ” You are spectacular”. Can you feel it now?
Smile? Hot or Not?
Sadly, I have heard and read few times now, that if you want to look younger you should stop smiling. If you want to seem more successful or physically imposing don’t expose those pearly whites. And to avoid horrible photos, you shouldn’t smile, as they bring out all the wrinkles! I curse in chosen situations… but WTF! Absolute bollocks! I think that a frowny face just doesn’t suit anyone. Smile just generally makes people look more attractive, and even research has proven that we find others more attractive when they are wearing a smile. They are more approachable, forgivable, friendly and trustworthy.
Smile to Feel Good!
Striking a smile makes you feel better! Studies show that smiling releases serotonin – a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of happiness and wellbeing. One smile stimulates the human brain the same amount as eating up to 2000 bars of chocolate, how cool is that? “Smile and you feel happy, you feel happy and you smile!” Even when you’re not feeling great, fake it till you make it, try smiling, genuinely, and see how you feel! While at home, walking around or standing in line, I tend to smile, doing my own little research. Observing what happens within me when I’m smiling regardless if I’m feeling happy or down, and also observing how people react to me when they walk by. I highly recommend it. No matter what’s going on in your life, smile! So often we battle through our days, struggling, waiting for something to happen to cheer us up, forgetting that we are our own cheerleaders.
Smile Smile Smile!
Tap into your superpower now, make yourself and the people around you feel better. Get out there groover and smile your socks off! Smile at yourself, smile at others, lovers and strangers! Do whatever makes your soul sing and do it with a smile on your face!
Love and light
To fertility and beyond… I’m part of the 12 % married woman who struggles with infertility. There, I said it!
For years I struggled with this all by myself, so ashamed, so humiliated, and the day I opened up my mouth, and said something about it, I realized that I’m not alone. There’s millions of women like me, and they’re stories are pretty much the same. So if you struggle with infertility, please don’t hold it in, talk, find support and solutions. I’m here if you need a friend with working ears who has had every hormone injection possible, has been poked by infertility doctors in different countries, and last but not least have her hopes raised and smashed every 4 weeks.
I’m all zoned out on my bed from pain killers and agonising tummy pain after my hysteroscopy, and removal of endometriosis. I’m staring at all the scars on my belly… and not only the scars on surface, but the scars deep inside. Trying to be super exited about this next step, but cannot help getting also a bit nervous. For crying out loud, half a decade of trying to conceive, failed IVF’s, IUI’s, etc. I should be a pro by now not letting it get to me.
But I guess I’m like a good old deep fried Camembert, all gangsta outside, but silky smooth inside…
It doesn’t seem to get easier. It gets harder, time is running out… And I’m finding myself thinking “how much more?”. How much longer until we get to hold our little one in our arms? How many “Congratulations on your baby” -cards must I send while limboing between excitement and jealousy? Its our turn to be on receiving side of these words…
I know that I’m not alone with this problem, the hospitals are filled with women like me, looking for answers, living their lives trapped in an emotional rollercoaster ,feeling inadequate, broken, guilty, scared and jealous. Covered in scars…
The scars on my belly, they are my battle field with infertility… Every time I have a failed IVF or I get my period it’s like getting cut from an injury, I “bleed”, I scream, I cry… Nothing else exist, but the pain. But I have my loved ones around me to put a “bandaid” on it, to stop me from “bleeding”. And eventually a scab forms above the injury, this strong exterior to protect the more sensitive self underneath.
Somedays I’m filled with hope and I can deal with the “wound being touched” by comments and questions, but on worse days, all it needs is news of unplanned pregnancies by friends to rip the scab off. As the new skin under the scab strengthens, it becomes less sensitive, and life gets back to normal. But the scar always remain, amongst the other scars, it’s there to remind me of my journey. We learn to live with them, we learn to accept them. And we cannot endlessly keep hiding them away with make up, they’re part of us, part of the the way we look. And even though our scars are different, they have one thing is common… No matter how they look, or how much they hurt, the pain will eventually go away… that’s the beauty with scars.
At this very moment while I’m looking at my post-surgery scars, I see strength! I don’t see ugly wounds of misfortune nor failure around my belly, but I see the determination of going all the way for something that matters the world to me, I see dedication, love, willpower and passion. I see the structure of my character, I see my story…
The road of infertility is hard, but like any other road, you gotta keep moving forward, you must not lose the sight of destination because of the obstacles. There will always be unexpected suffering and disappointments, but you need to remember that you are in charge of your happiness and how you react to any of these challenges. You must not let these struggles affect your kindness, compassion and love toward yourself nor your partner.
Today I’m not gonna write about something delightful, like unicorns eating cotton candy or surfing mermaids. Instead I’m going to write about sadness and how to rise back on your feet, when life has knocked you down.
“Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.” – Kahlil Gibran
I have been to hell and back during the past months and someone smart once said that writing about your struggles helps. So I’m gonna open an ice-cream tub and pour my heart out….
We all have these seasons in life, when nothing goes right and we tend to hit the rock bottom. Well my past months have been falling down to rock bottom, but my rock bottom has been filled with sharp glass and hungry alligators…
So I’ll just start with a little update. Me and my husband have been trying to start a family for past four years, so there has been a fair bit of heartache once a month, there has been treatments by modern medical science, about five different world famous alternative healers, some “witches”, tibetan monks, stones, oils, needles, etc.
You name it, I’ve done it…
It has been a struggle that I don’t go a day without thinking about.
I’ve had so many failed treatments, IUI’s IVF’s, hardcore medication, surgeries and more medication.
So basically I have been the punching bag of the universe, literally. It’s hard to believe that I’m not, after you read this.
For the past five months I’ve been through two IVF treatments and one FET treatment. Back in my home country, Estonia, where I was born. Yeah, it has been fun time! The first one started out just fine. I followed the program, loyally, stabbing myself daily with needles straight into my belly daily, as we IVF patients do… eggs were growing, everything looked good, My husband flew over from Australia, where we currently live, to do his bit in a cup, and then started the waiting game, two weeks of praying, chanting and hoping it will work out.. As my husband had to fly back to work, I stayed in Estonia with my mom, visiting every temple, church and monastery we could, begging for a good luck. When the phone call from the hospital finally came, with, yet again, devastating news: ” Sorry, the results are negative”… My heart exploded into millions of pieces, like so many times before, I couldn’t breath and my mom was just holding me, like the times before, when I have had these horrible news…
Well, no can do… It was time to clue the heart back together, they got seven eggs out, used three, so I still had four embryos in the freezer waiting for the next ovulation to happen and that’s just less than couple of weeks away. It will work this time!
So I started to get all excited for the FET procedure (frozen embryo transfer). Only couple of days to go… I shot the final progesterone injections to my belly and I was full of willpower and determination …But then I receive an email…. an email!?! Not a phone call, but an email, saying, “We deeply apologise, but there seems to be a problem, we cannot locate your embryos.” Well, ain’t that nice, it’s not like they’re teenagers on a spring holiday, what the hell do you mean, you cannot locate my embryos?! Did you try the bar next door? Did you look under the bed? I don’t get it…
At the end, the hospital game up with a reply, “maybe we didn’t get so many…” Well, I definitely paid them to freeze my four embryos, and I had all the documents to prove it, and two days ago they still had them..? After contacting all the top doctors and lawyers, they advised me to give up the fight, as there has never been a single person in this country, that has won a fight against the government hospital.
I was finished, I was over it and I didn’t have an inch of faith left in my body. But then my husband called and surprised me with the best news. He had decided that we are going to take the IVF treatment in the most greatest private hospital, the leading fertility hospital in pretty much all of Scandinavia… This place logically charged about four times as much as the government hospital, but you know, what the hell, it’s just money, we can always slap another dept on top of our all exciting IVF depts! And this place is the best, everybody kept telling me, if it’s ever gonna happen, it will happen in this magical marble floored, crystal chandeliered palace, where the gold-plated storks sing on your bedside when you’re giving birth.
Bring it on! I was psyched, yet again! I started the treatments by myself, as my husband had to stay at work back in Australia. But about two weeks into treatments, he flew over to get his part done, froze the sperm for my eggs, and flew back to work. Note. flights 5000 aussie dollars for couple of days in Estonia… But, that’s what we had to do. We went all out on this russian roulette!
After hundreds of different injections, meds, tens of hours of bus trips to the hospital, finally arrived the morning of the first operation day. The eggs were coming out! Then they would be fertilized with my husbands sperm, grown in lab for couple of days and popped back in as embryos.
This time I had to go to hospital all by myself. Usually my mom would join me on these delightful road trips, but this time she couldn’t get any time off from work. She has been my biggest cornerstone, amongst my husband, when it comes to overcome these treatments. So there I was… lying on my fancy-pancy luxurious private hospital room, with the pink walls, in a lotus position, chanting my mantra ” Everything will be fine”. Knock on the door interrupted my nervous meditation, and enters my doctor, also known as the head of this fancy clinic. He nervously browses through my hospital papers, and announces: “There might be a problem..” All I could think of was, “WTF! Why, Universe, Why?!”, I thought that maybe the operation is going to be late and I’m going to have to spend the night at the hospital. But he continued, “I really don’t know how this is possible, but seems like we have lost your husband’s sperm…”. “lost my husbands sperm?”, I screamed. At this point millions of thoughts went through my head, what if they have used my husband’s sperm to accidentally fertilize some other ladies eggs? What am I going to tell everyone? what? what? what? At this point I felt like someone had punched me to my face and then thrown me off the cliff into a cockroach nest! I used every single estonian curse word that I had learnt from my not-so-well-behaved-sailor-grandfather! I cried and cried till I was dehydrated. I yelled and screamed for two hours straight, while my husband did exactly the same on the phone all the way from Australia. All I can remember from that moment was the doctors vein on his forehead pumping ridiculously fast.
Well, eventually I settled down, and so did that doctors disturbing vein. The sperm was gone, there was nothing we could do about it. My heart was completely broken, as I was still sobbing my eyes out, while transferred into the operation room… to collect my perfectly developed eggs, and freeze them. Coming out of the anesthesia, the first thing I did, was cried. The “full-of-faith, post-operation” momentum had turned into hopelessness, fear and fury.
So one might be right to wonder, if the whole universe is working against her, when doctor apologises for errors in my treatment, that never have been done during his career. Or in a separate case, hospital apologising for unforgettable mistakes, that only happen once in a lifetime. I’d say unforgivable, but I’m a firm believer in forgiveness.
So what makes me so special to universe,that it constantly yearns to conspire against me or shower me in these disappointments?
My mum keeps telling me that these things keep happening to me cause I’m so strong. Universe wouldn’t put a weak person into situations like mine. But it doesn’t seem fair. Do I really deserve all these horrible experiences, just because I’m strong enough to handle the pain?
I’m usually the happiest person ever. I love life. I’m overly sentimental, passionate and blown away about everything. Seriously, like I mean everything. Every sunset is the prettiest sunset I’ve ever seen, and every ice-cream is the best ice cream I ever eaten. And if there is something that I don’t like, I’ll say “hmmm, well this is a little different” and carry on.
And I have been trying to be so positive during this past months, because that’s who I am. Even when it’s been so hard, I’ve pulled a smile and pretend everything is ok. I guess it’s my survival mechanism. But today, my smile was wiped away, with a mental slap.
Later when I left the hospital, I kept running into the kindest persons. And somehow every one of those strangers brought out the best of me and made me notice how amazing life really is. A taxi driver who pulled me into the conversation about how stunning our country is, even though it’s struggling in financial crises. A lost tourist, who was so happy and relieved when I directed her on a right path and told her about all the cool things to do in our city.
All of this made me realise, that even when I’ve just faced the worst news, there is so much beauty, and even there’s no guarantee that life works out as I hope it would, there’s still reasons to smile and be happy. I just need to keep my eyes on that sunshine that arrives after the storm.
It’s so easy to confuse the path with the destination, so I need to trust that this struggle is part of a bigger process. I must trust that no matter how hopeless things seem, as long as I’m strong and push forward, I will make it and I will get what I want.
Later on the day, I started to wonder… Maybe the universe isn’t punishing me, but merely trying to tell me something. I still have the most my husband, awesome family, wonderful friends, beautiful home, exciting travels, adventures and a job that I love. Sun is still shining and flowers are still blooming.
I do have the best support network a girl can ask for. And it’s so import to have people who care and run to comfort you, when you’re waving that flare down at your rock bottom.
I’ve been so buried into my troubles, that I’ve actually forgotten how incredibly lucky I am.
I’m starting to realize that I’m not that special. Because the universe isn’t trying to get me, it’s trying to get all of us. Everybody struggles and I have an entire floor of patients at the hospital to prove me that. Maybe the universe is just trying to make us exceptionally strong? Maybe we are just purifying from bad karma, getting the stuff out, to find the ultimate bliss?
I don’t know, but there is a lesson in this terrifying day. Shit happens… to me and to everybody else, but also really amazing things happen.
So maybe I should change my perspective from “why these horrible things happen to me?” to “what else could have happened, yet didn’t?”.
Maybe I should be thankful instead, or perhaps “thankful” is bit early to say, but not as disappointed?
So yeah, my ice-cream tub is empty, and the bed is calling. And thankfully tomorrow is a new day!!! If you struggle with stuff too, than I hope you found some motivation in my story. If you like to leave a comment and share how you’ve found a silver lining in your difficulties, please do. We all need some inspiration.
Struggling with infertility is torture, and it’s much more tortures if you struggle alone, so talk, share and find support groups. There is millions of us struggling with the same problem, but everyone’s too scared to mention anything. When I started to tell people more openly about my worries with this matter, I noticed that there was seven other girls in my life that struggled with exact same problem. And six of them have had a IVF baby since. So there’s hope for all of us.
Stay positive and focus on the good! Peace out!
“I am perfectly imperfect”
I’m sitting on my bed, eating ice-cream and scrolling down my Instagram account. So many stunning yogis in their most perfect poses. So many friends partying and eating most delicious food in most breathtaking places. I must admit I do feel little jealous.
Why does comparison makes us feel insecure and incomplete?
Because we all have struggled with it all our lives, since that first art class in kindergarden to that moment where our colleague nailed that job we wanted.
In a modern world where we are constantly pushed to be prettier, smarter and richer, it’s hard not to feel imperfect.
And it does happen to all of us, even to that super hot Instagram chick in her Ferrari. We all compare and we all get jealous. We are just humans. So what can we do to change?
I often notice, that I compare myself to these amazing yogis that can stand on one hand for hours, and do all these things that are physically impossible to rest of us. But why do I do this to myself? Why don’t I ever compare myself to beginners, in a healthy way, and see how far I’ve gone? Or why do I even compare? I should be inspired and learn something from them, and most of all I should be proud of myself, I am gifted and unique. I should count my blessings and be happy that I can do so many things that I could not even dream about doing years ago. I seem to forget that these amazing yogis where once in exactly the same point, and if I have this burning fire inside of me, I can someday stand on one hand too…
So why do we compare the worst of us to the best of others? Cause we forget that even the best of the best have problems, weaknesses and trials in their lives. The images on the screen are not their real selves. Nobody ever posts pictures of their insecurities or themselves arguing or crying. We seem to get attached to this very angled image of someone and not even realise that we might be the person that actually has it better.
“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” -Michelangelo
There is also another side to comparison. The one where we think we are better than others. This one is even harder to admit, but I do find that annoying feature in myself occasionally. Especially when I see a person that doesn’t recycle or is smoking, drinking and eating junk food like there’s no tomorrow.
But who am I to judge? What do I know of their difficulties? What do I really know about that person? Have I already forgotten that I’ve struggled with change too?
We all have felt hopeless and weak. We all have struggled with bad habits and felt bad about ourselves. There is enough critics in this world, so we must be more understanding and supportive, as we don’t know what it’s like for that person.
Compare yourself to yourself!
We are work in process so drop that self-pity and be proud of yourself! By mocking your features, whether their your looks, ambitions, brains or fitness level, you end up breaking yourself. You must know that you are capable of anything, just be brave and grow your potentials.
“How can I be better then I was yesterday?”, that’s my mantra.
Ask yourself, what have you achieved in past year? What goals have you accomplished? Have you grown?
Be proud of yourself! Think of, what are the things that you get complimented on? Maybe you are an awesome home chef, or wonderful with kids, or a ray of sunshine?
We might not end up having that supermodel body or billion dollar bank account, but when we’re mindful, happy and confident, we have something so much better.
By appreciating the qualities you already have and being grateful, you’ll build a firm foundation to a healthy confidence. And maybe one day you’ll notice that there is no need to compare yourself with others or to be approved by anyone, as you already are the best version of yourself.
There’s beautiful little metaphorical story about comparison that I love and must share:
When you were a child, your parents used to have you standing against the wall and make a little mark on the wall to measure your growth. They didn’t measure you against the neighbours kid or a kid on tv.
So when you measure your growth, make sure you only measure your today self by your past self. If you compare your success, relationship or your anything against anyone else, you’re not being fair to you. Everybody has a different path, different pace and different challenges to face along the way.
So shine on with your day, feeling beautiful, happy and enough.
And next time you find yourself envying someone’s accomplishments, go inwards and try to instead genuinely celebrate their good times. Turn that jealousy into drive and get inspire!
I love great mythological stories of ancient goddesses. I think I got it from my father, as he adored roman mythology and named me after the goddess of woodlands, wild animals, moon and hunting, Diana. Considered that Diana was a virgin hunting goddess of childbirth, my father hit the note pretty far… As I’m against hunting, I don’t have kids and I’m definitely not a virgin.But there is something truly magical about ancient goddesses.
Since I was a little girl I have been so inspired by the beauty of Aphrodite, the wisdom and strength of Athena, the nurturing Diana and majestic Hera.
Goddess to me is someone who is big-hearted and never will she make others feel less than they are, instead she lifts them up. She is forgiving, and never judgmental. She is beautiful from inside and sees beauty in others, even though they wouldn’t see it themselves.
I think that the divine lies inside of us and all the beauty of goddesses is part of our true nature. So we should aim to use their qualities in our every day life.
There are some peoples in my life that have combined these divine qualities into their daily lives in most beautiful way.
One of them is my beautiful mother. Her presence represents the quality of pure strength. She is the strongest woman I know. A rock to our family. A woman with a drive and with spectacular confidence in her experience. A true Viking woman. She has used the stones that life has thrown her to build a strong foundation and my admiration toward this quality is endless.
An other divine feature in a woman is being a leader, and I must say, that I’m lucky enough to have the most amazing mother-in-law as she represents a true leader to me. She leads us towards happiness and inspires me on so many levels. She is someone that is elegant, softly spoken, and she actually speaks like the queen of England, or at least the way queen of England should speak! She’s someone who smiles sincerely and talks with kindness. She cares, and offers a shoulder to cry on. A true supporter and an encourager.
I feel so grateful to have such characters to guide me in my life.
How can I be more like Goddess in my relationship?
As the goddesses in all different cultures have shown us, we are the power that balances masculinity, we are the foundation to our husbands and families.
But to be a goddess, you must remember that you should never compete with your man, our power lies in our softness, and in our subtle way of effecting them behind the scenes. It’s our softness and intimacy that keeps melting their hearts.
We should never loose our femininity as that’s where the relationships starts to crack, the balance is gone when the partners forget that men are men and women are women.
Don’t blame your man for not doing all these amazing things what he did, when you first met. He needs to be motivated to do these things, and the lack of motivation is something we can blame ourselves for. The biggest mistake we make is that we start to take others for granted. We rely to heavily on our man to make us happy, we become to needy and paranoid. And we are trying to stay in control by controlling our partners. Instead of being a psycho “What he does, where he goes, who’s he with?”, be supportive and nurturing, in a healthy way, not the creepy smothering way… Be the kind of a woman, that makes him feel he can accomplish anything!
There’s nothing better than movie nights while wearing your baggy overalls, cuddling on a sofa, but don’t forget to spoil him sometimes by wearing your sexiest dress, letting your hair down, spritzing on your favourite perfume and seducing him with passion and grace like on the night you first met him.
I can remember my first date with my hubby like yesterday… I spent hours in front of the mirror getting ready for a date and had an anxiety attack every time his hand touched mine. So much fun!
But of coarse no relationship is only dancing on sunflower pedals and even the sweetest couples fight. It’s ok, you fight and you learn something about that person. It’s also a way to practise forgiveness and acceptance and through making up learning to understand that your relationship is more important than your differences. But there is better ways to practise forgiveness than trying to start a fight by picking on our partners flaws.
I must admit that I can be a little spicy sometimes, as I’m half Georgian, and have the temper of a jackal!
And stingy things are said in anger, words we don’t mean and words that our partners definitely doesn’t deserve. So next time when you see red, hold back, count to ten, walk away and sync in with your core values and compassion.
I saw this documentary once, where a 80 year old Thai man was asked what’s his secret to 60 years of happy marriage, he replied that the talent of letting her wife be right, even though she isn’t. That’s sums it up pretty well…
“Be selective in your battles, for sometimes peace is better than being right”
I used to work in a restaurant and I saw lots of couples on their dates.
And it breaks my heart when I see a beautiful couple having a romantic dinner, scrolling down their phones, reading other people’s status updates and hardly saying anything to each other. For God’s sake… Put down the phone and look each other in the eyes!
Even though you’ve been together for years, listen, react and stay present! Touch him, and show him that you are so lucky to be his partner. Put your whole heart into these moments, and make your spirit obvious. As your spirit is a crucial part of your appeal and it will always outshines your physical beauty. No matter how many extensions you have in your nails, eyelashes or boobs, physical beauty fades, but your spirit will always be there. And if you learn to use your your spirit right you can charm anyone.
How to connect with our inner goddess?
I find meditation to be the best way to get in contact with my inner goddess, to become peaceful, confident and better person. Even a 10 minute meditation per day can make a huge difference.
So try this out:
Sit in a cross legged position or in the chair if it feels more comfortable. Find a peaceful place.
With closed eyes and with your hands on your knees, clear your mind and take few deep breaths. Then start focusing on your breath. Breathing naturally, but noticing every inhale and exhale. If your mind starts to wonder, just bring it back to your breathing. Also focusing your mind on a mantra helps. So just repeat in your head a mantra, like ” I’m happy” or “Om”.
Another nice one is open-eye meditation, where you place a meaningful object in front of you, preferably on your eye level, so you won’t strain your neck. It can be a candle, flower or a small divine photo or a statue and focus your gaze on it.
If your mind is busy and it’s hard to concentrate, try some awesome guided meditations on YouTube. You can set yourself a timer, as it is easy to loose the track of time.
So that’s my little story for today, I hope you found some inspiration in it.
I’ll carry on and try my best to achieve some of the goddess like qualities. So I can be a better person, living authentically and honestly in purity, peace and charm.
In this world of reality TV, Facebook and high tech, we have seem to lost ourselves. We are as plugged to the system as our Apple products and the effect of all of these electromagnetic waves on our body might cause sleeping problems, depression and sickness.
75 percent of our body is water and you probably know how well water and technology works together? Not well, and I speak from experience after several times dropping my phone into ocean.
And the social media… It seems to be pointless to go for a walk on a beach without posting a pick on Instagram. And this is one is one of my downfalls, I’m overly visual person and a total photo-maniac! Since I was a little girl, I have loved pictures, capturing them and looking at them. People who know me, knows that I might be a little too enthusiastic. How many ” Arghh, not again!” have I heard my husband say when I pass him the camera…
Even though I love photography and my pics, it still slightly worries me, that I might be too fanatical about the “beauty of the moments”, and getting that “Click” on way to often.
So I really need to start using my other senses among the visual sense, and maybe occasionally, use my inner camera instead of the one designed by Nikon.
Among my other quirky features, I absolutely love nature!
I would rather sit on a sand and gaze on ocean for several hours than watch that crap, that tv has to offer us.
We actually just spent 3 days at my mates summer cottage watching at the sea. For hours and hours in absolute silence observing the beauty of scenery. No TV’s, phones or laptops. The people passing by with boats probably thought we were dead.
The reason why we feel so in peace in nature is because this is where we originally came from. We have the same energy and that’s why I need to get to the nature, to remind myself that I’m part of this beautiful flow and something bigger.
These are my own little reminders and tips, how to get more grounded, and connected with your senses, and at the same time heal your body and mind.
I’m not telling you have to go hug trees, even though, let me tell you this, that hugging a tree for half a minute can pack you with earthly energy and leave you feeling tranquil and breezy.
Starting with the sense of smell:
Think, how often you actually realise what kind of air you breathe? What kind of smells are in the air, what memories the smells bring you? The salty sea air, the fresh air in a green lush forest or the smell of freshly cut grass.
I’m so sentimental, that I can end up having the greatest day, after stepping outside in the morning and taking a lungful of fresh air after the rain has hydrated the earth or when I pass a lilac bush on a sunny spring morning. These are the smells that make my soul sing. It’s scientifically proven that sensory perception in nature eliminates the stress and I think thousands of years old aromatherapy is an excellent example of that.
The sense of sight:
Slow down and actually watch the nature, even stop if you have the time. Amaze the power of the ocean, look at the golden sun rays shining through the leaves or admire all the shades of blue at the sky.
Sunsets are my favourite, and living on a west coast I’m blessed by the prettiest sunsets the nature has to offer. And there is no better way to enjoy the beauty of life than crabbing a blanket and the hand of your loved one, and head down to the beach and gaze on that greatest art show nature has to offer.
The sense of touch:
My ultimate pleasure is to walk on a beach with my legs down to my ankle in the water. I can walk for miles, and enjoy every step of it, with the waves gently stroking my feet… Even thinking of it, gives me butterflies in my belly.
The touch of nature. The feeling when grass is tickles the souls of my feet while the sun warms my body. The support of a soft sand after a swim in an ocean. The feeling of raindrops on my skin. It is nearly impossible to not be connected to the earth in situations like these… It clears your head and gives you the ultimate zen.
The sense of hearing:
Who wouldn’t love the sound of rain on a roof top, while snuggling under the covers? I can literally feel it washing away my troubles.
Give yourself a break from all the noise. The voice of traffic, music or talk.
Leave your earphones home, and sooth your senses with the singing of the birds, with the sound of the waves crashing and the roar of the wind in the tree tops.
I know it sounds bit out of the content, but if you live in a city and you’re to busy to head out, a nice option is to listen some “nature sound” tracks on YouTube. It’s not the same, but it still has a calming impact on your stress levels.
The sense of taste:
Remember when you were a kid and you would run around forest tasting all the different plants and berries? If not, than I just found a reason for my tripping behaviour.
Anyways, find your inner hunter and head to the nature to get a taste of it. What’s better way to shut our thoughts and stay present?
Crab an apple or some berries and find out if their sour or not, or chew on a root of a hay. Go fishing, or go mushroom picking, than build a fire, safely, and cook yourself a dinner. In case if your a proper city person, try this version. Head to the farmers market, pick some veggies and berries, get a disposable grill, head to the park, and have a nice picnic.
So this are my thoughts for today. Remember that we are not designed to sit in the corner offices or zone out for hours in front of TV. The serene landscape picture on our screensaver just isn’t enough. So go to wilderness and go wild!
Love life, love Mother Earth and disconnect everything but your heart and senses!
“I have chosen to be happy, because it’s good for my health”
In the modern world there is a yoga style for everybody. There is so many options, anything from spiritual kundalini yoga to circus-like aerial yoga. Most of the time I’m as confused as a chameleon in a skittles bag…
I hear lots of excuses how yoga is this ancient sport for tofu-eating-rubber-girls. Not true! Everybody goes to yoga nowadays. From babies to grandpas, ballet dancer to bodybuilders and vegans to carnivores. For example German soccer team, the 2014 FIFA World Cup winner, claim that they won because of yoga. In the words of Mario Gotze, who scored the winning goal in World Cup finals:
“Yoga helps us prevent injuries because it makes body more flexible and build strength in muscles that aren’t used. Most importantly yoga gives us awareness and helps us to relax.”
Yoga can benefit everybody, regardless your fitness level, age or physical ability.
It’s all about finding the yoga for you. Firstly find out what you looking for, do you want a super lean and muscly yoga bod, or do you like sweating, maybe you want to recover from injuries or maybe you want to grow your spiritual awareness. Getting traumatised by some Om-shanti-chanting-and-shaking-hippies might not be for you if your always been a gym junky…
I once saw a girl in a Bikram class. She was suffering so much and begged to get out of that 45 degree room. Teacher kept telling her that it’s not allowed, and that she should just toughen up. At the end of the class, when the poor girl was already purple, she managed to crawl outside the studio, but collapsed immediately and the ambulance picked her up. Great! I bet, she not trying Bikram (or sauna) very soon…
If you’re new to yoga, you might be thinking “what the hell is Bikram?”
And that’s how I lead you to the world of yoga, different styles, different people…
Bikram yoga. I’ll be honest now. First time when I tried Bikram, I thought I’d die. I just wanted to beat up the instructor, who, by the way, won’t show you the poses, but walks around and tells/yells at you to push harder. How can I push harder? If I push any harder, my limbs will melt off. But there is something weird about Bikram. That “how am I still alive?” -euphoria after the class, or that slight shock when you have survived the ultimate torture… It’s absolutely awesome. So I kept going, and I noticed that it’s a great way to gain flexibility extremely fast and detox the body from toxins. I also noticed lots of people go there to loose weight… logically, as in every class you loose about 4 litres of your bodily fluids by sweating.
There is lots of criticism about Bikram. My gurus in India said that Bikram Choudhury ain’t nothing but a greedy-cheesy-money-making-machine. Reason for that name calling is that Bikram has trademarked 26 yoga poses, so only Bikram instructors can teach them. What? How can you claim ownership over the poses that are 5000 years old? It’s like I suddenly trademarked glass, and say that only if you buy it from Dia windows inc. you’re allowed to use it… Ridiculous! No wonder Indian government is absolutely furious.
Sorry to all loyal Bikram fans, but it seems hard to trust a yogi who teaches with a Rolex on his hand and 40 Rolls Royces in his garage. I’m anti-capitalist, and stuff like “if you don’t wash yourself with this Bikram-body-wash, you’re aura stays dirty” makes me wanna vomit… But everybody on their own terms, so carry on.
Moving on to Ashtanga. Six series founded by K.Pattabhi Jois.
I started my journey on the path of yoga with Ashtanga. Years later I studied to be an Ashtanga Vinyasa teacher in India. I do love it, it’s physically demanding practise. The purpose being the purification of the body and mind, while moving powerfully in the rhythm of your breath. It’s so physical and mental that it forces you to grow. In Ashtanga the sequence is always the same, same poses in same order. You know what you get. Most of my loyal Ashtanga yogi friends keep telling me, that it’s suitable for people who want to be in control. There’s no surprises. But beginners beware. It’s pretty tough and I would recommend starting off with a calmer asana classes.
Vinyasa Flow! As described “Vinyasa Flow will change your life, if you can survive it!”
If you are adventurous, loose, like to move and keep things unpredictable, Vinyasa Flow is for you. This is what I teach and practise the most. I adore it, it’s my passion, my yoga. Flowing from pose to pose in the rhythm of your breath, mostly having some chilled out music playing on a background. There’s no rulebook, philosophy or sequence that vinyasa must follow, it has so much room for individual, quirky yoga teacher personalities to shine through. That’s why it’s extremely important to find a teacher you relate to. So if you hate routine and like to test your physical limits while gracefully moving from posture to another, this is your style! Even NFL and NHL teams are incorporating vinyasa flow to their training programs for its physical benefits.
Hatha yoga. Basically every yoga style we practise in west is Hatha yoga. Imagine Hatha being an ice cream and Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, etc. being flavours. I highly recommend starting a yoga journey with Hatha, as it’s a nice dive into the universe of yoga, while gently getting to know all the different yoga poses. You might not break a sweat, but you most definitely leave the class feeling more balanced, looser and longer.
Restorative yoga, “group naps for grown ups”. If you’re in a need of gentle stretch, relaxation and time of your own, look no further. It’s all about relaxing in maximum of ten poses, while using eye pillows, bolsters, blankets. It will leave you more rejuvenated and energised than a good nap.
Iyengar yoga, developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, is all about the alignments. While using all the possible props, from chairs to blocks and belts, Iyengar yoga is highly recommended for its benefits if you suffer from injuries or a chronic condition.
So these are pretty much the main yoga styles you’ve heard about.
But to make things more exiting, I must recommend you some of my new favourites.
(Aerial yoga in Helsinki)
Aerial yoga! Release your inner circus freak! The best way to build up trust, as you are constantly trusting that the hammock won’t come down while you are hanging upside down in the air. I’m absolutely addicted to this! Uniting yoga with acrobatics, makes the class playful, exiting, and inversion fun and safe to practise. And don’t get me started about savasana in an aerial hammock, you couldn’t find a calmer state of mind. I always knew I belong in a hammock, somewhere on the beach of Indian Ocean. So if I get to combine yoga in one of my favourite “furnitures”, what more can I ask for.
SUP yoga. I teach SUP yoga on Swan River and I cannot imagine more tranquil, more beautiful surroundings for a yoga class. Sometimes we have dolphins jumping around the boards, sometimes we laugh our butts off when we fall into the water from headstand. It’s fun, hip and in my opinion one of the best way to start a day (that you can practise legally in public)…
Prenatal yoga? After going trough the pre and postnatal yoga teacher training in Indonesia, I’ve understood the importance of prenatal yoga. Learning to breath correctly, promoting your babies health, increasing your muscle strength and flexibility you need for child birth, should be part of every single mum-to-be’s program.
Kundalini yoga, the yoga of awareness. If you are looking for more mindful and spiritual yoga class, this is for you. I definitely love my occasional Kundaliini class, especially when I start to feel that my kundalini energy doesn’t flow in my spine and my chakras are unbalanced. All that funky shaking and dancing and chanting work wonders if you like to release your inner happy-hippy. But there is lots of dangerous warnings about kundalini out there. Practised wrong, or hurrying with the awakening might leave a yogi on a permanent kundalini trip, wondering the streets with a blank look in their eyes. So be patient while going after the greater energy.
At the end of the day, whatever your style is, enjoy it! Enjoy the health benefits, stress relief, mindfulness. Remember, yoga isn’t just practising the poses, yoga is everywhere and it can be anything. It can be 3 hour long handstand practise or it can be fishing at the dawn. It’s all about being open to the beauty of life, finding the harmony so your journey on the path of life is fulfilled with happiness and kindness.