I was not born hyper-flexible, super skinny or bendy. Neither did I have parents who forced me to have training as a ballet dancer or gymnast. I wish they had. 🙂
When we have kids or teens in the class these days, I become really jealous when I see what they can do with their bodies. The earlier we start with yoga, or any other bodywork, the easier it is. Developing flexibility, strength and focus is so much easier from a young age.
First contacts with yoga
My first contact with yoga was in a gym, in a small town, close to my hometown. I don’t remember all the details, I must have been around the age of 22, but I remember that I really liked the yoga teacher. She was a client in the hairdressing salon I used to work in. I still remember that I adored her for her positivity, her smile, her beauty, in fact, her whole presence. In those days yoga wasn’t really popular in the small towns of my region. When Frauke, my first yoga teacher, stopped teaching at the gym and I moved to another city shortly after, my yoga stopped for a while.
Yoga in Munich
One or two years later, I found myself living in Munich, working for a big cosmetics brand. Life was good. I had a very nice job, new friends. Every now and then I went to the gym or out for a run. In the back of my head, there must have been a little voice, a part of me, which was asking for more, for a ‘deeper sense’.
Yoga was already more popular in Munich, and I felt the call to go back to it. The first studio I went to, was a Jivamukti studio on Müllerstraße. This loft studio doesn’t exist anymore, unfortunately.
Jivamukti as one of my first steps
Anyway, Jivamukti is a quite spiritual, but also modern yoga style. The students in this studio were very different to those of my previous experience at the gym. I was scared, shy and excited all at the same time. In spite of not knowing that yoga isn’t about competition or being ‘good’ at it, I was completely hooked by the fact that they had different levels. Of course, I started as a beginner, but I couldn’t wait to step up to the next level.
Even though the practice of Jivamukti has a big spiritual approach, I was still more into the physical aspects. I never really understood why I should breathe in a certain way, or why I should lie down by the end of the class and do nothing. To be honest, I felt that those practices were a waste of time. Even worse for me was when a teacher started to chant. I remember thinking, many times, that I didn’t sign up for singing – I just wanted to move my body.
So I tried a few different studios, but my yoga practice wasn’t super serious. My focus was more on strength training or going for a run when I had some time off. In the 10 years that I worked for the cosmetics industry, I felt that my job had priority before everything else.
How the journey began
By the age of 31, I noticed how dissatisfied I was with my life. I knew that if I kept going the way I was currently living my life, that it wouldn’t have a happy ending. Tired and burnt out I asked the company for a sabbatical. I was offered a long, unpaid break for 6 months but with the security of having a job when I returned. I started to travel.
That’s a full story by itself, and I might write about it in another blog post but long story short: during my travels, I went from yoga studio to retreat, until I signed up for a yoga teacher training course. I honestly never had the intention to become a yoga teacher when I started travelling. I didn’t even know what opportunities there were or how to become one. Following the intense 6 months of travel and the 4 weeks of my first 200h training, my life had changed completely, and I just couldn’t go back to my previous job.
Well, it’s now almost 15 years since I set foot in my first yoga class and things have changed. 🙂 I‘m still not the biggest fan of hearing my own voice while chanting but I actually enjoy it now. My physical practice is more balanced than it was when I started, and I understand that I need both the physical and the spiritual or emotional aspects of yoga in my life. A powerful Vinyasa or Hatha class can lift up my energy, but I know it’s also important to relax and to wind down with a Yin Yoga or Restorative class. Meditation has also played an essential role in my life for the last few years.
Teacher training and its benefits
If you also feel the call to do a teacher training course, I can highly recommend that you do so. Maybe you don’t want to teach, that’s fine, doing it for yourself is a fantastic experience. It brings your practice to the next level and gives you a deeper understanding of yoga.
It is 5 years since I first qualified and I have completed numerous courses which deepened my practice and provided new insights each time. I have done a 200h Hatha/Vinyasa training course in Bali, 36 hours of Fly High Yoga training, a 100h myofascial Yin Yoga course, and a 300h training session in traditional Hatha Yoga in Rishikesh, India.
Futurehippie is quite time consuming, but I‘m sure I will do another training course one day to keep on learning. Meanwhile, I would like to introduce you to our style of yoga. Join us for a retreat or even dive deeper into one of our teacher training courses. It is my deep passion and desire to share my love of yoga and my practice with others.
Rayk and I look forward to welcome you.
With love from me to you