In Germany we are going through our second lockdown. For many friends and relatives it is very hard. Yoga studios, and many other business, are shut down. The vaccine is on the way, but until the whole population is been vaccinated may take some time.
Meanwhile, lets prepare our bodies to movement. During x-mas holidays, I have prepared a series of workshops and classes, such as a January bootcamp!!! Take a look here
Healing through moving well and connecting with yourself.
Anything that is
Same thing goes for
Here again, moving your body, breathing, makes you be able to feel
it. This is huge. It is building a connection with your body, which
is constantly telling you things, telling you how it feels, what it
likes, and what doesn’t work. So already here, on this level,
movement, listening and responding with movement, helps.
The exercises and
sports, even yoga, most of us do for health make us adapt to
restricted ranges of motion (“right and wrong poses or form”)
instead of promoting bigger ranges of motion. They give the body
inputs it has to manage, that leave you not only with a restricted
set of tools and abilities, but are inputs of stressors the body has
to master, e.g. forcing yourself into a pose, a burn, a (down
breaking mental/physical/emotional) challenge, repetition of the same
(linear) movement. This is also why so many very fit people suffer
from poor overall health.
Varied and diverse movement in response and agreement with the body is the key. Not only because it lowers the stress being put onto the body (less stress, more healing, better health). But also, because it is making a positive connection with yourself that is nurturing and supportive, but most important: progressive.
A little story time
Let me tell you a bit about my own experience of healing physically through movement (strala).
Growing up in a
country with industrialized food, antibiotics (the few times I had to
take them affected me horribly) – and at the time very little
knowledge about the severity and complexity allergies and
intolerances regarding food – I started getting really sick as a
teenager. My reactions were not the direct ones, where you eat
something and get immediate rashes and swellings, but the slow type
ones, that affect your whole system. Varying from migraine headaches,
bloated stomach, inflammation, joint pain (so badly, that I couldn’t
bend or completely straighten my legs anymore), weight loss, anxiety,
tiredness etc. It took me a good while to realize what was causing my
poor health and even longer to find a way to heal myself.
What did work in the
end, was reconnecting with and listening to myself.
And strala, and its
varied and diverse movement in response and agreement with the body,
played a huge part in that. First, it gives you the responsibility
and ability to take care of yourself back. No one knows how you feel
as well as you do. But also, it encourages you to see what you have,
what you are able to do, and build on that. This happens through
moving – intuitively and naturally. Again here, movement is sort of
evidential: you can feel it, see it, notice what it does to you. It
is not a thing you swallow that does supposedly something magical
inside, that you have no control or notice over. It is a very
conscious process, which is also one reason why it has such great
effects on your mind and emotions.
You connect and
listen. You breathe, relax, release stress and tension. You move in a
way that feels good, that is good for your body – movements that
are positive for you body, muscles and joints. Those are movements
that don’t injure you, but widen the limits of mobility/ability.
Already, there is so much ground being created for healing. You
become more in tune with what you need, what nourishes and helps you.
Are nice and loving to your body (not always easy and obvious, when
you feel like your body is working against you and torturing you).
That is how you
But that is also how you grow, build yourself, are able to do more. Being kind to yourself is not being weak. On the contrary, it is often so much more difficult, but way more effective. It is soft and strong at the same time.
So, in midst of this Corona pandemic, I opened up a new YouTube channel with short strala flows for you to do at home. Sometimes, doing short flows is not only better then doing nothing, it also gives you more time and space (cause home is not the same as a studio environment) to squeeze in some “me-time” for yourself, in between kids, home office, chores, etc.
You will find the videos on my channel, as well as embedded on this website under “Online Classes”.
Again, they are really great for a quick reboot and connect with yourself. They will help you to make your time at home (#flattenthecurve) more enjoyable and balanced.
Also, I always love to connect (which is why I leave the videos unedited and raw), so leave me a comment, say hi! and I hope to see you in person again soon!
Your well-being and health are priority at Light Space Movement, so we make sure that for every class and event, there is enough space for you to move and feel safe. Also, there is constantly fresh air circulating and enough soap to clean your hands!
Plus, Strala guides are not super touchy, we don’t come around to adjust or interfer with your flow and you finding a connection with yourself.
a full new series of workshops focussing on specific topics, such as arm balances, handstands, breath-body-connection, core and balance + transitions!
Strala is making hard or difficult things easy by learning and practicing how to move well and being connected to yourself. Also, these workshops will give you the opportunity to understand seamingly complicated movements, and give you tipps and tricks on rocking them!
Save the date!
There will be another special guest coming in for a workshop to the studio: SJ Griffiths! She is a phenominal and successful life coach and strala guide from the UK.
Classes open to every level? Can I really come to any class without any prior knowledge?
But I am very stiff…I haven’t done any sports in so long….I have pain here…I just had a baby…I am old…But..
I hear these questions, insecurities or arguments a lot. And right so. There is a preconception of yoga, images of people to crazy contortionist things. And normally yoga studio do offer classes for different levels. Now even special classes for “curvy” people.
To me, on one hand, this is discriminating, rather than being inclusive. On the other hand, why would there have to be a separation? We are all humans, have bodies, we breathe. We can be soft. We can choose to do movements and find places that feel uniquely good to oursleves.
So why are classes accessible for all levels? The answer is very simple. Because we focus on leading movement, rather than poses.
We focus on learning how to move well in connection with yourself. So it is not so much about doing yoga poses or doing “yoga” in the way that had your mind filled with those intimidating preconceptions.
Accessing your full potential and achieving more while working less hard.
I will start out with a statement: Anything that is alive moves.
Once you breathe, you move. Any process in the body happens in motion. Movement means change, a constant change of state, of being. It can be growth, development, progress.
In that logic, movement is vital, equals vitality. Enabling movability enables growth and development. So why would you want to strive for an endpoint? For something that robs you of being movable and fixes you in one place? (I will come back to that later)
On a physical level, learning how to move well means connecting with your body, understanding how it works, so you can use it in its full capacity and not work against yourself. And if you know how to move well, you prevent injuries, know how not to exhaust yourself, but enable yourself to move into or through any place, or pose, that you like – effortlessly. Therefore the pose as an endpoint or goal becomes secondary.
But this approach – especially if you use it as a technique or mindset – can also be transferred into any area in life.
Again on a physical level, outside the yoga studio, wether it is cleaning the house, buying groceries, sitting at your desk, or other types of sports. Knowing how to move well, how you can access you abilities, will facilitate and improve any other physical activity.
Also on an intellectual or even emotional level. Once you connect with yourself and learn how you function best – and yes, physical practice gives you a super easy and tangible way to translate this principle into other areas – you find a better, more suitable way to make anything easier. Even challenging things.
This might sound a bit abstract, which is always why I say “try it out!”, but here is an example from my own experience.
A little story time
I am a polymath, always doing many things at the same time, because many things are fascinating and enriching to me. Also, interdisciplinary exchange is a great approach to find innovation or promote any type of growth. But doing many things simultaneously can easily become overwhelming.
During my BA, I studied a combination of 2 very different fields (business administration and art history) and worked in any free moment I had in another field (fashion). Within the first year, I exhausted myself. It got a bit better, when I started practicing yoga on a daily basis. But at the time I saw it more as something I needed to balance myself out and relax. Also, it was another thing where I could reach goals, such as mastering poses. It felt rewarding. But in the end it didn’t help me in my daily life. It didn’t help me be less stressed or efficient with other things I did. It was that small hour a day where I could escape from the outside world.
I experienced a complete difference, when I started doing strala, during my MA in NY. Strala breaks with the idea of mastering a pose, wanting to reach an endpoint, instead it is a breath and movement based approach. So right there, it as a totally different concept – it promotes a mindset, the idea of how you do one thing, you do anything. Which is also why it makes it so applicable to any other aspect in life. To be honest, it took me a while to understand this in its core, but I felt differently right away. One big cornerstone is to focus on is to connect with yourself, understand how you work and to trust in your own capabilities and intuition. And knowing this, that you inside yourself have the key, have your own rhythm, your own set of rules that are just right with you, was when suddenly being a polymath didn’t feel to overwhelming and exhausting anymore. So I not only mastered an intense MA degree, but had an exhibition project (wildpalms) and my first international art fair participation in Miami being 23y old, with logistics between Germany, NY, Miami and Mexico.
So many of us visit yoga classes, take taichi lessons, try to sit down and meditate as a form to destress our lives.
In his article, Mike Taylor (Strala Yoga) talks about different areas in where many of us fail to actually reduce tension and actually benefit from our “wellness” practices. Starting with how we grow up, always working hard to achieve, to reach goals, the more pain the bigger the gain – how we translate this same scheme e.g. onto our yoga practices. How this mindset and approach neurologically and chemically creates an addictive pattern, where our bodies produce feelings of euphoria, numb pain – constantly being in survival mode.
Those are patterns we learned, that we are also able to unlearn, through changing our practice. Reconnecting with ourselves, finding movement and ease from within, rather than external shapes and form we are trying to perfect.
“knowing doesn’t rewire our neurology or gene expression, or trade old habits that hold us down for new ones that lift us up. Moving does.” – Mike Taylor
I have to add this into news as a must read. Mike has been one of the key figures on my own personal journey of regaining my health.
The Strala approach to yoga – movement and life in general – has been a huge game changer. The moment I tried it I knew there was something. And it truely was THE thing that gave me my mobility back, an as good as painfree life. But it took me a bit of frustration until I understood Mike I have to admit. He likes to leave you with pieces of information, sometimes it felt like riddles. I guess it is his way of leaving you with enough to figure the things out yourself. To listen to yourself – I mean, afterall it is your body, your health and noone can feel and know it as well as you do.
On mindbodygreen you will find bunch of great short articles on different topics written by Mike, that I can recommend.