Transformation and change takes a bit of courage, effort, openness and adaptability and also comes with a pinch (and at times bucket loads) of fear and doubt. It means letting go of the old, the "comfort", the stability and welcoming in the new, unknown, uncertainty which can leave you feeling a little (or very) vulnerable. But I believe this is also where we can expand ourselves and real change can actually take place.
The past 18 months have been transformative in so many ways, starting with my yoga teacher training with True North Vinyasa in April 2021 which was a sort of catapult for all the rest. I’d always known that I wanted something else, something more meaningful and more in line with my heart and values, more balance. But this training and experience definitely opened the gateway that extra bit. Since then I have also become a certified Ayurvedic Yoga Massage practitioner with ARYM The Indian Institute of Ayurvedic Yoga Massage as well as a certified Holistic Health Practitioner & Coach with Academy Healing Nutrition. And to top it off, I also decided to leave my 9-5 to be able to immerse myself, restore my own balance and fully change direction. Let's see where it will go from here.
I have practiced yoga for about 10 years. There have been phases with more yoga and phases with less, but whether on or off the yoga mat it has remained very present in my life ever since the first class I took. Something pushed me to pursue a teacher training a few years ago, not really knowing if I wanted to teach, but I knew I wanted to dive a little deeper. I was signed up for the 200-hour training in spring 2020. Needless to say that didn't happen. So a year later, in 2021, 15 of us still braved a chaotic but a little more open pandemic world and travelled to Portugal - it almost felt surreal. It was such an incredibly enriching experience that I very often think back to. I love the creativity and freedom vinyasa yoga comes with, free from prescriptions and rigidity. It's dynamic, it can be challenging but doesn't have to be, it's a practice that brings us a little closer to ourselves and brings strength and flexibility to the body and mind. To me yoga is a very personal practice and we need to find what works for us. It's taking a moment to create an opportunity to connect with myself and my breath and really feel my body, my strengths and my weaknesses. Some days are easier than others. A key word for me is balance. Balance in effort and ease. In yogic philosophy this is referred to as sthira-sukham asanam.
During the yoga teacher training I treated myself to a massage which happened to be the Ayurvedic Yoga Massage. I'd had a couple of traditional Ayurvedic massages before but I'd never heard of this particular massage and was intrigued. It was hands down the best massage I'd ever had. It was such a complete treatment that left me feeling so, so good. The combination of deep tissue massage, assisted stretching and breathing just felt right. This single massage made me look up training possibilities and that's when I signed up with ARYM in Paris in 2022. Giving the massage is physically very demanding, which surprised me a bit to start. For the receiver it's a deep, healing, rejuvenating experience. It creates a lot of space in the body and just gives you a great reset and makes you feel more balanced.
In order for me to widen my offering, go deeper myself and bring it all together I decided to do a Holistic Health and Nutrition course. My love of good food, whole foods, fresh produce and my ever growing passion for cooking and experimenting in the kitchen made this a natural way for me to go. Healthy eating, food as medicine, the deep enjoyment I get from not only creating, eating but also sharing good food that is made with love and care, listening to my needs, nourishing my body and mind have over the years become very intuitive for me. With that said: everything in balance. Whether that's the balance of the flavours or colours in a dish or the contents of my plate, to me it also means having a really good pizza and a glass of wine every now and then.
Balance! (did I mention that before? ;-)) It's this idea that probably best describes what I hope to transmit and what I like to feel in my body and mind, but it's a constant work in progress. It is not a destination, but a way of living, thinking, creating and deciding. It's how nature works and that's where I find much of my inspiration. A constant flux between yin and yang, polarities. Creating balance through rhythms, cycles, seasons.
Thank you to everyone I have met along the way so far and in particular the amazing yoga bubble ladies in Portugal with TNV, all the wonderful practitioners from the AYM training in Paris as well as all the lovely people from around the world that I have shared the past year with at AHN. And of course all my incredible teachers: Elin, Lisa, Inga, Roger, Letha, Ananta. I’ll be forever grateful for your teachings, the transfer of your knowledge and will do my best to transmit that same passion, in my own way.
Photos by Isla Grossi and myself