My Story


It’s 29th of March, 2015.
I’m sitting on a plane to Singapore, bored as can be and I have an epiphany…
I shall start a blog! I don’t want to call it a blog as I’m not your typical blogger. 
I’m as spontaneous as a thunder and as weird as a Siberian summer. 
I write this as my diary, or maybe just as some funny and weird scribbles of life, yoga, health, hardships and the things that I’m grateful for…
 All I know is, that someone once said that its healthy to write about your thoughts and that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m going to be healthy! 
 If someone can find something helpful, or motivating, or maybe just even a laughter from my obviously disturbed sense of humour than thats great 🙂
Namaste
Diana 

 

Talking taboos or suffering in silence?

For years I have been very honest about my infertility. I have taken my mess and made it my message. And every time I do so several people reach out to me and share their personal experience about this heartbreaking journey. 99,9% of these messages are private witch proves the point that infertility is still a taboo and most of us choose to suffer in silence. But considering from the amount of response I get, I can see how many people really want to talk, cry or even laugh over their struggles of infertility. 

I got married two days ago and I’m over the moon, feeling ridiculously happy and complete. There was a moment though at the beginning of the ceremony that got me thinking. The priest started the speech with words: “The purpose of marriage for the individual is to start a family and create a happy home. The social purpose, in turn, is reproduction to preserve society.” 

Wedding Day

I felt like I got punched in the stomach. I knew I shouldn’t have. I knew that these are nothing but words, by someone who doesn’t have a clue of who I am.  But this is my biggest weak point.  This topic silently slits my scars open and leaves me gasping for air. 

So in a nutshell: I suffer from unexplained infertility. There’s no reason for my inability to get pregnant. Everything works, but nothing works. After nearly five years of failed infertility treatments and one miscarriage me and my ex-husband called it quits… in everything. 

I think its a widely held expectation that if and when we choose to, we are able to have a family. Person not having a kid by their forties is considered somewhat a diseased outlaw, who is not doing their part “going forth and multiplying”. This is also the root for why so many infertile couples hide the problem.  Thinking that they have failed. Living day in day out with pain and loss. Feeling ashamed about something that isn’t their fault and they have no control over. Infertility – it’s the loneliest disease.

Somehow I find it important to bring more awareness to this avoided topic; for the society to understand the impact of the problem. It’s a disease that 1 out of 6 couples have to battle with and a disease that not many people know about unless they have dealt with it. I want people who suffer with it to know that they are not alone and people who know nothing about infertility to learn to respond better. I know that this is just because people don’t know what to say, but that awkward silence and quick change of topic is getting a bit old. I wish people would actually listen and look beyond the empty lap with compassion and awareness.

I understand that most of us don’t feel eager to talk about infertility, cause such exposure can add up to the pain. There is also a lot of shame around the topic, because pregnancy should be natural thing, and the moment it becomes a challenge, person feels inadequate. Sometimes even when you wish to talk about your infertility, it’s not easy. Cause let’s be serious, when is it ever a good moment to talk about the sperm count or motility, the state of your ovaries or insemination? While having a banana split with your friends?

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I find that for me sharing my story and breaking taboos is part of healing. So I hope you give it a try, if it feels like a right thing to do. Let’s create a safe place, where discussion and support is recognized.

Love & Light

Diana

 

Smile, my favorite medicine!

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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?

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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

Diana

Living and loving with an open heart

“We all are the same. We all have the potential to become a better person.”

A while ago I asked my students what would they like to have more in our classes. The answer was ‘backbends’. I’m a forward-bending-head-standing-arm-balancing kind of a gal, so I’m not a great fan of backbends. I don’t have the most flexible spine, but unfortunately, with yoga, the poses that you don’t enjoy are the poses that you need the most. So I went with it, we pulled a spun out class dedicated to heart opening and backbends.

The atmosphere among us after the class was so powerful. We felt happy, energetic and packed with compassion. I pretty much soared home, while hugging every single person on my way. I was full of love, and ready to shout it out from rooftops. Think, what an effect would a series of backbends in the morning have on world leaders? I’ll bet you, it wouldn’t harm us… 
By all means I’m not the coldest person without backbends. Even though I come from a frosty and dark Scandinavia. I’ve always been a hugger, an emotional all-I-want-is-smiles kind of a freak of nature. But I still have lots to learn about becoming the person I want to be. If I could only open my heart even more, if I’d practice really, really hard… Think of my potential to provoke all the grumpy people with my happy-hippie-attitude… Just kidding, that’s not my motive. My motives are to be sunny, loving and caring partner, a compassionate and joyous friend and all around kind person… 

  
We all get hurt occasionally. It’s sad but inevitable. It’s so easy to lock our hearts from the world just to protect ourselves. It might help us sometimes to survive the intolerable challenges. However the consequences of a close or broken heart might lead us to negative thinking, trust issues, depression, isolation, anxiety and pain.  

So how can we open our hearts? How can we learn to love more? 

These are my favourite methods when I need a lift…

  Connect, truly and utterly connect with the world around you!  When you wake up in a morning and step outside, take a deep inhale of that crispy morning air and feel happy to be alive. While walking, connect with your surroundings, try to find new things on your way to work that you haven’t noticed before. When talking to people, look into their eyes, really listen and stay present. I don’t know what we are so afraid of, but eye contact seems to be such an intimidating deed for some of us. We get confused where to look when stranger is passing by. What could possibly happen if we just look at them in the eyes and give them a friendly smile? 
I was in a “Positive Energy” workshop led by world famous healer Veet Mano, and we had this exercise where for a minute we had to hold hands with an absolute stranger and look deep into their eyes.Then hug, and change partner. This went on with seven different persons and it was pretty awkward to start with, but ended up being one of the most mind blowing mental exercises I’ve done. Staring someone you don’t know straight into eyes, while nearly getting a glimpse of their soul… Such a simple yet so powerful practice. I recommend this to everybody. 

  Learn to forgive. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, but you must learn to let go of your past so you can move forward. You feel tons lighter and happier when you stop carrying your wounds and burdens around. Forgive your enemies and forgive yourself. Start fresh! Instead of being the person you are, try to be the person you want to be remembered as. 

 Be grateful and allow gratitude to bring warmth into your heart. Don’t let that “thank you” be just an empty word or a nice habit. Make a conscious effort and mean it when you say it. 

 Also be generous, as giving has a way to connect our hearts with the heart of others. Perform daily an act of unconditional love. For example say something nice to your mailman, smile to someone who seems to need it or make an effort to get to know someone you work with as a person. 

 While walking around or sitting with your mates, remember what your yoga teacher constantly reminds you about, “lift your heart!”, “open your chest”. There is to many people walking around hunched, with their shoulders turned in and hearts hidden away. Sitting or walking straight with an open chest, will bring you confidence and leave you feeling happier and stronger.

 Cuddle up! I love hugging, proper-deep-heart-to-heart hugs! Physical touch, especially hugging is very important for a healthy heart. It builds trust, gives a sense of safety and heals depression, anxiety and stress. I always try to hold a hug for 4 seconds to get a nice fix of serotonin in my brain to create happiness, but I’ve notice that usually after two seconds people try to pull away thinking what the hell is this new ager trying to do to me…

 Meditate. If your not familiar with meditation, then just go for a quiet walk, or sit in a beautiful place for a while. Breath into your heart, literally, imagine the air as a white light travelling into your heart and healing it. Great option is to lay down on your back and place a rolled up towel or cushion under your upper back to lift your chest. Dedicate this moment to yourself. Be present. Don’t think of future or the past, just be. Become centred and you pretty surely feel happier and calmer afterwards. 

 Practise yoga! There are poses that can balance your heart chakra, leaving you feeling compleatly at ease with yourself, full of love and happiness. Great poses for heart opening are upward facing dog, fish pose, camel pose, dancer pose, bow pose, shoulder stand ( my personal favourite).

  Go nuts! Release that inner child, run in the rain barefoot, laugh, sing in the shower. Dance, dance, dance to your favourite song. That’s what I do… My husband has got me these mini speakers all around the house, cause he knows that I have to have music everywhere, I dance and I absolutely loose it sometimes. Dare to stay wild, be who you were before the world told you who to be. 

  
 Most importantly LOVE! Love yourself, love others, love flowers, love little silly moments, love laughter, love kisses, love the spring breeze, love the feeling of crispy fresh bedlinens, love the smell of summer rain, love that perfect cup of coffee with the fresh croissants… Life is dazzling so just love it! 

Namaste 

Diana

Dreams do come true!

Follow your dreams
This little story is about dreams, following our passion,while embodying our talents.

Do you remember that time when you were a little kid and people would ask you what do you dream to be when you grow up?  The world was your oyster, every single door and window was open. Everyone told you to follow your dream. 

What happened when we grew up? Suddenly the society is telling you what to do, and claiming that you don’t have the potential to be what you want to be. 

Damn, if I want to be a tree hugging yogi mermaid, I most certainly am going to be a tree hugging yogi mermaid. There is no one stopping me or standing between my dreams. Cause I’m not gonna regret on my death bed, the things I haven’t done.  My dreams might take time to come true, but when they do, the world’s is going to be a little bit better place.

  
 I was inspired to write this story after reading an article about American dude. He was an office worker, extremely unsatisfied with his life. He wanted to be a ninja, that was he’s dream. One day he made a decision, he’ll go after his dream. He quit his job, moved to Japan, and for past years he’s been loyally training martial arts with the great master. 
I have not always chosen the safest path, in most cases I haven’t even chosen a path. Ive picked a thick jungle, and with my machete I’ve made my own path. I’ve made my mistakes, plenty of them. I have fell down, face first, but I’ve stood up and learned something important along the way. I’ve learned to notice the call of my heart. I’ve learned that the safest path is not necessary the best path for me and I’ve learned that the voice of fear is not always to be trusted. 
My dream has always been the same, just the ingredients have changed. I dreamt of being a yoga teacher and of coarse the saviour of all the stray dogs. I did it, I graduated from different yoga teacher trainings, and volunteered in different animal shelters around the world. 

I dream that I would have a yoga studio, with attached health cafe/dog shelter and a section dedicated for eastern healing arts. With my little eco-kids running around. Sounds like the wickedest place on earth, doesn’t it? Visited by health inspectors daily… Somehow, someday I’m going to have this crazy place, and if I get it right, it will be in a giant tree house. How cool would that be!?

I’m not just going to downgrade my dreams so they can fit this reality, oh no no no! I’m going to upgrade my confidence to match my destiny! I’ve dreamt about this for so long and my dreams don’t definitely have an expiration date. I’m as determined as a turtle crossing the road…

I know I’ll never be a billionaire with my goofy business ideas, but I don’t do it for money, I do it to be happy, I do it for me, cause I have this precious life, which I don’t want to waste on doing something that brings out the worst of me, something that doesn’t inspire me on any level. I want to bring joy to others, sharing my knowledge, not my stress. I want my life to be meaningful and I want to have a purpose. 

  
 But It’s so damn hard sometimes, and I have occasionally paused my dreams for a meaningless, money-making options. Bills are piling up, life interrupts and we must do jobs we don’t like to make the ends meet. Even though I’m always smiling and seem to be as happy as an Irish on a st.Patricks Day, but I still struggle and as any one, I sometimes feel like giving up. 

My dreams are so big, so precious and they deserve to be fulfilled, and most of all I deserve my dreams fulfilled. I am not going to settle. It’s my dreams that helped me through the roughest patches in my life, and they are the reasons I get up and try again. Without my dreams I’m nothing.

That ear to ear smile on my face after I finish teaching a yoga class is a proof that you can and you should follow your dreams.

I feel so balanced, so happy, when I get to share my passion with others. 
There is a tradition that I have. 

At the end of each year, I make a dream map. I write down words, add some pics, that represent my dreams for the next year. And I place this dream map on my mediation altar, so it’s somewhere sacred, somewhere where I can see it… 

Try this out. Write down your dream. Think what would you do if you could do anything you want? If you can choose one word to write on a paper, what would it be, who would you be? What would you do if you would have million dollars? 

A written goal brings clarity and focus. It gives you a direction. And by rewriting your goals you not only reaffirm what your goals are.You may also find new insights that bring more clarity and focus to your goal and life.

Tell this dream to someone you care about. The studies show, that having a close one asking about your dream, will give you that extra boost and motivation to fulfil it. 

It is easy to forget our dreams when the society and media is shooting us manufactured dreams from every single angle. Keeping us locked down and to busy to set our focus on our true passions.

I would highly recommend spending some time alone regularly, turning inwards, getting to know yourself… Self-discovery is so much easier than we think.

I use to be an extremely attached person. I probably hadn’t slept alone once till I was thirty. I was like a lost puppy, with big dreams… And when I met my husband, we had to spend months apart, cause I lived in Finland and he lived in Australia, and even when I moved to our Australian home, he would be working away for weeks. There was no option, I had to suck it up and learn to live by myself, and in these years I concurred most of my dreams. It seemed like a curse, but it ended up being a blessing, I grew from being a lost puppy to a wolf. My confidence grew so much when I actually started to fulfil my dreams, I was finally the person I had looked up to all my life. I am truly proud of myself and I continuously learn more, every single day. I’m motivated, challenged and exited. 

Dreams, dreams, dreams!
 Life is so short and it’s happening right now , so just pull yourself together and go for it, don’t waste your life doing something that you don’t love. 

  
Namaste

Diana

Finding the motivation

I have been looking for my motivation lately with cats and dogs? Feels like I have a spine of a gummy bear, and I’m not talking about my backbends. Arghh!


This story is about finding the motivation. 

  
I have been sick for past few weeks, with a horrible virus. I’ve tried every possible natural remedy. Fifty cups of ginger tea per day, running around the house with my Tibetan bells and healing incense sticks, vodka socks (something that stuck with me from my childhood in Soviet Union), but nothing. This was a duff bugger… 
One morning when I was teaching my class I nearly fainted, that’s how bad I was… And I had to go to western doctor, to get western antibiotics. I hated it. My body feels so dirty afterwards. 
Anyway, I couldn’t practise yoga for awhile and having a pause in my practice killed my motivation. It’s hard to get back on saddle and it’s so easy to get stuck on a sofa like a drunken wombat. 
First thing with finding the motivation is to know what motivates us. What’s the thing that gets our asses of the sofa?
I guess my biggest motivation is that yoga literally saved my life, so I have all my faith in it.
Long time ago I was really sick ( and yes, I am healthy sometimes in between my sicknesses)… I had a really bad post-phnemonia-epileptic-burst-outs, that lasted for half a year. I went to doctors around the country and no one could help me. Finally I found a doctor who was specified in tropical diseases and he told me that two out of the five antibiotics injected to my veins in Indonesian hospital were illegal in Europe, because of their side effects on nervous system. No shit… and No cure. Well, not much choice than to continue the twitching… My twitching ended when I found a great yoga teacher in Perth, she teaches at a Hindu temple. I could literally feel yoga healing me and the toxins leaving my body. Day by day I was feeling healthier and I noticed that I could finally go to bed without fearing if I wake up in a morning. 
After that I have been spreading the word of yoga loyally.   
There will be days, when I cannot wait to get on my mat. And there will be days, that I would do anything else than practise. I might be to tired, stressed or lacking the motivation. But I have noticed, that the days I’m avoiding my yoga mat, are the days, that I need the practise the most!
 
I guess my main motivator is being healthy. Physically and mentally, happy, calm and smiley ( mind the occasional collapses)… Also mastering that wicked handstand or arm balance and having  that after class euphoria gets me going. 
I hate to disappoint you guys, but there is also a shallow reason. 
And that’s all about looking good… A boost for confidence. There’s no need to be shamed of taking care of your body, as your body is your temple.

My little tricks to motivate myself:
One of my favourite style is the “psycho torture” or visual motivators:
Having pictures of great yogis in some wicked poses around, maybe on a screensaver or on a phone cover. Checking videos of my favourite yogis from YouTube works wonders. Having an altar or a personal yoga space. Reminders… 
 
Silly, yet a great motivator can also be self-bribery. Make a list of rewards for two month, and at the end of each week, if you done your exercises, bribe yourself. For example, if on week one you go to yoga for five days, you permit yourself to get those super hot high heels. Of coarse there is no better reward than the inner reward, when week by week, we feel healthier and look better and fitter. But I know what you think, “inner reward” blah blah… what’s hotter, than those smoking stilettos with my gorgeous yoga calves. After sometime you’ll see that you don’t need no bribery, your hot body and balanced mind are way greater gifts, than anything you can get from shops…

Another great way of getting yourself going, is not to look for any motivations at all. Just get up and go!
Sometimes when you start to look for motivations, and overthinking it, you’ll only end up with excuses like:”But the Sons of Anarchy is on and what if I don’t make it back from yoga to see what happens to Jax…” or “It’s too far/too cold/ too this and too that”… Excuses, excuses…
Think of that “after class” euphoria and how good you feel. I bet you’re not feeling sorry you went on and pushed yourself.
Also, let go of that “all or nothing”-attitude! Promise yourself that you only practise for 15 minutes, and you might feel so fired up after a little warm up, that you go all the way. Something is always better than nothing!

  

I really pushed myself yesterday. I have had a torn ligament in my wrist for past 4 months, and finally I had enough, I thought to myself that it is time to get back to those crazy arm balances and handstands. So I participated in a morning class for yoga gurus, a class that was dedicated to handstands and arm balances. Well, I’ve always thought that I’m pretty ok with my moves, but hell no. I was looking around in a shock, while my fellow yogis were doing one handed handstands… I love situation like that. What a booster! 
As for most people, these moments are devastating. Everyone wants to be the best and often we like to rely on the failure of others to feel successful. But the secret is: Stop Comparing! Take the philosophy of inversions, Have a different kind of a view. These super yogis are there to inspire and motivate us! They aren’t some mytological beings, from planet spaghetti, they are just humans and they use to be beginners too. And with a little determined practise, in a couple of months, you’ll be as good as they are! Let their persistence encouraged you to get stronger and eat better and exercise more often… 

I keep hearing these funny complaints from people, who I hope to get to join yoga classes, but who might slightly lack motivation… 
Often I hear the statement “yoga isn’t my thing!” 
Let’s start with the question, what is yoga? It’s breathing, it’s connecting your body and mind, taking care of yourself and caring for others. Exactly, what in “yoga” isn’t your thing? Breathing?
Often I hear people complaining, that they are not flexible enough… Rubbish! That is the reason why you practise yoga, to gain flexibility.
Some people say, that yoga is just some weird streches and doesn’t grow any muscles… Ok, wrong again!!! Have you tried Ashtanga yoga or seen those sculpted yoga bodies? It’s not necessarily rugby, but do you even realise how many push ups you do during a proper series..? I had a 70 year old man next to me on my morning yoga class today, and his body was like a creek statue, one could study anatomy from it…
Some say, that yoga is just this ridiculous hippie-thing and some say yoga’s a featherbrained new-age religion… 
First of all, Which hippies might they mean? The mums, that want to dedicate a hour to their selves per week, or that ex body builder, who tries to heal those torn muscles, or maybe that tattooed bikey, or every possible celebrity in Hollywood..? Hmmm. Nearly half a billion people are practising yoga world wide, so we better run, cause these hippies are going to attack us with downward facing dogs and bongs!
And what comes to the religious side of yoga… Yes, yoga started from India thousands of years ago, and is linked with Hinduism more than Christianity… But it’s still just a way of life, it’s a mental and physical practise, dedicated to create the union between body, mind and spirit. 
And so what, if you happen to feel bit more connected or stress free after the class, is it really that bad?
Starting yoga isn’t easy for anybody, nobody’s perfect, everybody hurts at some point or at some pose and it’s a life long journey. But the time goes by, and you will notice that you love it, you yearn your practise, and most importantly you feel absolutely Awesome!

So that was my little story about the motivation. 
Whatever your trigger is, let it be your fuel to get you going. Love yourself, love your body and love your mind!

Namaste, 

Diana


Be a Giver!

Compassion and generosity

“You have not lived until you have done something to someone who can never repay you”

When I was in India, I had to lead a morning meditation session on a subject that is close to my heart.
Generosity. Generosity has been such a big deal for me since the early days, when I was just a little  girl growing up in a communist country… Soviet Union.
I guess the universe was generous to tech me a great lesson already in my younger years. The lesson of having “everything” to having “nothing at all”, or that’s what I thought, I actually ended up “richer” than I ever thought I would.
Living in a communist country wasn’t rough on us by any means, my daddy was a politician, a very important man.
I ate caviar for breakfast and counted diamonds in the evenings. I got only A’s at school, as the teachers were to afraid of my dad (I might have also been a genius, but I’m still leaning towards the authority issues). Everybody wanted to be our friends, and the reason was money, not my quirky personality. I never cared much for money, as money showed me the evil side already when I was only a child. That’s why I never really freak out when I have times in life being a total broke-ass, I rather give away the last of the coins, as there are always people who need them more. I can always add an another feather to my hair and let my fashionista sisters sue me for being an hippie. Honestly I couldn’t care less, all that matters is that I’m happy, I’m healthy and I can always and forever afford to be generous.
My weak spot has always been elderly, “poor” and “unlucky”.
I always tried to take care of the “underdogs”, I have tried to give people who struggle in life a helping hand or a nice smile. There is something truly beautiful about generosity, it gives you the sense of making a difference in the world.
Remember that generosity isn’t just about transferring $1000 to Red Cross account with your name on it in capital letters. You can be generous and give away your time, your advice, a kind word. Being generous is sharing your compassionate smile with the mum of a screaming baby on a train, instead of staring her with evil in your eyes. Maybe she hasn’t slept in days, you don’t know her story…
We can be generous and give away our time. When someone’s driving 40km/h in front of you, on a highway and erratically changes lanes. Instead of calling them names, honking your horn, or waving that baseball bat out of your window, relax! You don’t know what they’re going through, maybe they’re being attacked by cockroaches…
Be generous, cause you never know when it’s your turn to receive generosity. And if you have heard of that little fellow called Karma.. What comes around goes around.
At the early 90’s,  my parents got divorced and we moved to Finland with my mum. Soviet Union was falling apart and so was my life as I knew it.
We moved into a one room apartment, with another family. The apartment was smaller then the area I used to have for my toys back in Estonia. The floor was covered in mattresses and kitchen had a sink, yeah, only a sink…
We didn’t have anything and I’d never been happier. Everything in my life was suddenly real. Real friends, real grades at school, real problems. My mum did everything to keep us happy, working three jobs, getting us that occasional ice cream cone. You got to understand, that it’s not simple to go from helicopter rides to suddenly have to walk on your own two feet 😉
I adore my mum, she is truly a generous lady.
We didn’t have much, But we did well because of the generosity that we got from each other.
At the end, family and friend is all you need. I don’t miss any of that glitter that we used to have, but  I do miss my family and friends when I’m apart.
Let me tell you a secret, the less clutter you have and the less you own, the less stress you have!
Proof number one: when I was traveling in Brazil, I noticed that some people who had little, had the most to give. people in favelas (slums) were helping each other, they were so smiley, dancing and singing (some of them were just probably high), and the people in rich areas, like Ipanema were stressed and angry looking.
I asked, why is this. And the answer was to simple, to logical.
The “rich” people are frowning cause they are stressed out, scared to death that any given moment they might loose it all. The less you have the less you need to stress of loosing.
Proof number two: whilst living in India, my earthly possession could fit in a backpack, I’d never felt more free. What do I actually need? A moon and a sun, some clothes, few books, a bed and some food.
I know western society ruined me every time I returned, little by little the consumerism got a hold on me. The promises on adverts and social media on that bit of heaven you get, when you buy the new iPhone. Suddenly I found myself looking for a matching shoes for my new bag, and the promises of never watching tv turned into a long “game of thrones”-nights.
But I can honestly say that I don’t have so much crap anymore, mainly cause I moved to Australia and my crap is collecting dust in my sisters storage…
But still once a year I go through all my possession, and I contemplate, do I need this? Have I used this? Could some one actually gain something from it? Decluttering yourself is the new black!
I love driving to shelters to hang out with dogs and occasionally stop over to have a chat with an elderly, who might have no one else to talk to. It can be as little as giving information or giving away a true smile to cheer someone’s day…
Studies show that people who are involved in acts that benefit others scores significantly higher in life satisfaction, and have less depression and anxiety.
So instead of lying on a sofa like an intoxicated seal, go out! Do some good! Even if it’s just going out on your street to pick up some rubbish that the wind has blown over from your local fast food joint. Offering to babysit your friends semi-monstrous kids, so she can have a well deserved night to her self. There is million things you can do to practise generosity.
Our family thing has always been helping homeless animals. Since the day I remember, my twin would carry home stray puppies and kittens that she found on a market and the next day my mum would give them as a birthday presents to her friends.
We love animals, once we even performed a c-section to a pregnant cat that was hit by a bus to rescue its kittens. We were eight years old and we didn’t succeed in our first attempt as a surgeons.
As long as I remember I have always loyally and regularly visited animal shelters, bringing them food, medicines and blankets. Even though sometimes I’ve ended up with rabies shots in an Indian hospital… But that feeling you get from helping our fellow beings on earth, is the best!
Also remember that the universe isn’t the only one who needs your generosity and compassion. Everything starts with you, so be generous with yourself, give yourself some time to relax or enjoy a hobby you love. Have a bubble bath or a nice meal. List your priorities, and leave the less important stuff on your fully packed “to do”-list for another time. Don’t think that your being selfish, rather think that you are also worthy of receiving some of your generosity 🙂
Find joy in giving, not getting!
Namaste
Diana
 

Less is more…

Consumerism

I’ll start this story by telling you a secret…
Inside of me lives an old French man, every morning he takes over my body. He loves long mornings, sitting in my local cafe, enjoying a great cup of coffee, and a proper old school news paper. He loves staring at strange people, making up stories of their lives, he loves thinking, he contemplates where this world is going, he worries about the future. Suddenly he notices that hours has gone by, he leaves me and I run off suffering from heartburns that he gave me with all those coffees…
That’s what I do in the mornings…
Me and my deep alter ego have noticed that news papers have turn into adds, page after page adds, manufactured dreams and happiness, promises by products that if we buy them, they’ll change our lives and we will be the coolest people in town. Another secret about me, there is something that I hate from the core of my heart, laziness, greediness, violence and Consumerism,
People working their asses off, stressing themselves crazy to get that latest items on market… People are more loyal to their brands than they are to their friends…
It’s all about making that Visa card sing, so we can get something, that makes us better and approved in our society… I don’t bloody get it!!! If someone approves you just cause you look hot in your latest season shoes, that are made by slave labor and sold by billionaires, then why the hell you care? Why would you want people like that in your life? If they’re your true friends, they should approve you even if you wear flats from your local recycle shop!
Ok, I know what you thinking “I’m not doing this to impress my friends, I just wanna look hot!”
That’s fine, but get down from that castle you managed to build yourself with that credit card! Think of yourself, think of the earth and your future! Non of that is left if we continue like this… It’s so damn easy to close your eyes from truth, but our behavior is killing our environment, this “throw-away” culture is tearing this earth apart. Factories are full of abused people, our beautiful seas, lakes and rivers are full of chemicals, closets are so full of unnecessary clothes, yet the junkyards are bursting from our yesterdays wear. People are to lazy to recycle, reuse, rebuild, repair, make, swap or borrow. People are to lazy to think, that they can make a difference.
I know that consumerism is here to stay, but we must have the strength to think of our Mother Earth, the future of our kids, as they are the ones, who will live with our mistakes. Let’s do our best to avoid products that harm animals, the environment, or other human beings.
Next time when you look at that expensive jewellery or trendy sneakers, think twice and invest your money on something more long lasting than that designer bag. Cause next week that same designer comes out with a new bag, and guess what… You’ll be so last season. Invest in traveling, invest on experience, memories and knowledge.   What really matters to you? That you have the iPhone 6 in your brand new Michael Kors purse before that horrible chick at gym, who always tries to look hotter than you? Or all those amazing memories and new friends you make while backpacking on the beaches of Sri Lanka?
Hmmmm. A life experience vs. the latest item on your wish list?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t reward yourself after two weeks of hard work with something nice, but don’t become a slave of capitalism.
Remember we, as well as the overpriced items we ache after, are products of the society… changing every season… but you can choose which way you change…
Namaste,
Diana
 

When yoga found me…

When yoga found me….

There’s always lots of people asking me when did I find yoga  and how long have I practiced yoga? There is two ways to ask this question.
And I start my story with the question that I don’t prefer.
“When did I find yoga.”
 I found yoga when I was 22, a fitness freak, always running after trends. Materialistic, egoistic, “if I live to be thirty, it’s more than enough”-type. And even though I have always been a sunny personality, behind that smile I hid a shallow and superficial girl…
 I started yoga as it was a new thing to do and I really wanted those “oh so hot looking” ashtanga yoga lean muscles… Also the long haired spiritual hippy dudes had always been my weakness, so I hoped to nail down one of those at the yoga studios.
Somehow my on and off, superficial yoga addiction carried on with me for few years, but I actually never understood those “spiritual boho people” chanting around the bonfires while snacking on organic sunflower seeds. How could they have so much fun without vodka? Is it all just a scam? I only told my friends and strangers I loved them after a week of drinking, being death scared that my livers gonna fail…
Secretly I admired them so much and I wanted to be one, but I didn’t know how.
Let’s move on to the second question, the question I love.
“When did yoga find me.”
It was year 2006 and as usually I was clubbing my brains out. I met this hippiest-hippie- Rastafarian dude (my ex) and after a few weeks of dating he asked me if I’d like to go to India for a half year.
Alrighty!! What else can you say to that?  Hell yeah!
I quit my job, sold my car, gave the world I used to know a peace sign and flew off to India.
  It was amazing! Till this day India owns a big part of my heart.
Of coarse, like any other party girl, who has lived her life in high heels and had champagne running through her veins, it was a shock to start with. Cockroaches in bed, cockroach eating lizards running out of your toilet, geckos falling on my head when I was trying to fall asleep while panicking if the cockroaches will crawl in my ear while I’m asleep and I’ll die in a brain infection ..
But when the morning came, it was a paradise. That feeling when you’ve survived a night in a jungle, there’s nothing better.
  We rented a beautiful little house in Arambol, Goa. Surrounded by like minded hippies, that managed to turn me into one of them quicker than I can say “peace out”. Hinduism, Buddhism, Hippieism. Suddenly I was the one chanting louder than anyone else at that midnight bonfire and feeling happier, more connected than ever before. And Yes, I was sober…
  Goa is packed with yogis, where ever you look there’s a yogi. If you see a regular tourist wondering around in non-yoga pants, you’re like ” Om shanti Om, what is that?”
Our days were all about chilling in hammocks, cruising and eating delicious curries
We didn’t have anything in our house, and I loved it. We had a bed, a stove, a little backpack of clothes, 5 hammocks as our only furniture hanging around our living room and a mosquito net, God bless the mosquito nets!
  All I did was read spiritual books, cruise around in my low-rider motorcycle (yeah I was one of those hippie motorcycle chicks, cruising around in my bikinis without helmet, and I’m more surprised than anyone I ever overtook in Indian traffic, that I’m still alive), I  volunteered at a animal hospital, taking care of the dog department. I love dogs!!!
Also we did lots of backpacking around India, taking 12 hour long train trips to big cities while cramped up on the floor next to the toilet, praying to higher powers that no cockroach will crawl into my ear…
And somewhere in between all of this YOGA FOUND ME!
  I found myself practicing the ashtanga yoga series, that somehow my hangover mind from previous years had memorized, on those beautiful empty beaches at a sunrise, while some stray dogs tried to eat my yoga mat.
It made me so happy, it gave me the tools to concur the highest mountains, it gave me the peace that I had been looking for so long and then I knew. I knew exactly why these people were so incredibly happy, confident and emotional when they left the yoga class back in my early days, when all I was thinking was if a shot of tequila can numb my torn hamstring…
 That country is magical, it’s so spiritual, it’s holy and its sacred. I can swear that in some holy cities (like Hampi, the most beautiful place I’ve never been to) the time stood still.
The commitment people have in their yoga practice, in their religion, is so motivating. People are practicing karma yoga by cleaning the beach every single morning, the extreme respect for our beautiful universe. That is India, the birthplace of yoga.
  It taught me so much, it helped me find what was under all this layers, inside of that partied up body. All that materialism and egoism was leaving me and I found my true purpose in life. I then knew that I want to be a yoga teacher.
I made myself a promise. I shall help people find the path to yoga, the true meaning of yoga. And then I will let the yoga take care of the rest.
At 2012 I traveled to India to finally fulfill my big dream, to become a yoga teacher.
I graduated from Himalaya Yoga Valley. My guru, my mentor, the great Lalit Kumar, told me that my mission in my life is to bring happiness, joy and laughter to my students lives. Spot on! I will take that challenge!
I will make my goal in this life to find the happiness, and to bring happiness to others.
I’d say that you have to look damn hard for a better goal….
Namaste,
Diana

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