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Yogi Soap Opera – Why I love Hindu Mythology

Deities

If you have ever been to a yoga studio then I bet you came across at least two Hindu Gods. Ganesha, the guy with an elephant’s head, and Shiva, Maha Yogi, usually in his wild dancing pose.

When you come to my classes, it’s likely that you meet some of the Gods. Sometimes I tell you stories about them or we practice poses that are named after certain deities. Also, I can tell you, there are a few more Hindu Gods and Goddesses than just the two mentioned above that are worth meeting them on the mat.

But why do I and other yoga teachers tell you stories of a foreign religion? What has this to do with yoga when everybody is saying yoga is NO religion?

Yoga is no religion but intertwined with Hinduism

The first thing I want to get clear here is that Yoga is NO religion! Over the course of time, a lot of different “styles” of Yoga arose, with every style giving more focus to a certain aspect than another style. Some of them include devotional practices, like chanting the names of God, so it’s the name of the God from the culture Yoga came from. That’s it. If you’re into the God-thing – great! But you can also chant the Name of Jesus or Allah or whoever and don’t have to convert to Hinduism to become a “real yogi”.

Yoga is a philosophical system that includes mental and physical exercises to gain knowledge of the self and to cultivate inner peace and freedom. It’s designed to balance body, mind and spirit. It can bring you to a spiritual practice but you don’t need to be spiritual to start. Easy as that.

However, this philosophical system developed in a time where the Indian subcontinent was influenced by a lot of different cultural streams and the end-product you could say was Hinduism as we know it today. It was a mystical time where Rishis (seers, having visions in meditation), half-gods and all other mystical beings belonged to the materialistic world. They gave their wisdom to people who wrote these things down and some of these stories became epics. In texts like the Bhagavad Gita, for example, the two main characters, Krishna and Arjuna, talk about things like Karma, Dharma and Yoga. There are stories out there in which you can read that Shiva received in a meditational state of mind the wisdom of Yoga and without him, they say, Yoga would have never made it to the world. Therefore we name him God of the Yogis.

So again: Yoga is no religion, but you can’t avoid that you won’t find some deities on your journey through the yoga world because of the cultural background.

Yogi Soap Opera and what we can learn from it

When I came across the Hindu mythology, I inevitably fell in love with it from the first second on. And here is why: When you look at the stories of these gods and goddesses you may feel like you just stumbled across a crazy, wild and colourful soap opera.  Continue reading “Yogi Soap Opera – Why I love Hindu Mythology”

Leo New Moon – King and Queen of Hearts

Leo New Moon

Leo season is still running and this New Moon in Leo is going to be intense with the energies. Six planets are in retrograde and this means our feelings and inner worlds could be on a rollercoaster the recent days. Try to maintain an open heart, the courage to live according to your visions and the joyfulness and pride of the Lion. We are all kings and queens, now is our time to roar on and off the yoga mats!

New Moons call for new beginnings

The time of the New Moon is, in general, a nice time to set intentions, plant new seeds or start new chapters in life. The New Moon phenomenon appears because the moon is between the sun and the earth in this phase. The “dark side” of the moon gets illuminated here, the side we can’t see from earth. Taking this as a metaphor, the hidden parts of our feelings come now to the light. The darkness holds the full potential of every possibility that is out there in the universe. Use this time to set intentions (in your yoga practice, meditate or write them down) and connect yourself to your deepest wishes in life.

Leo New Moon & Mercury Retrograde

This New Moon is going to be under the influence of Leo. Leo’s energy is proud, self-conscious, fun, strong but with a good heart and honest intentions. Maybe you have already figured out which things in your life don’t serve you anymore and which qualities you want to integrate from now on. Take this information and build your intentions on them. Now it’s the time to step out of the corner into the spotlight. Show the world that you are a king/a queen and that you are perfectly fine just the way you are. Transform the ego dark sides and shine bright like the star you are. Now is the time to act according to what your heart whispers to you.

Continue reading “Leo New Moon – King and Queen of Hearts”

The Magic of the Lunar Phases

moon

Every night the shape of the moon seems different to us people on earth. This phenomenon is called the lunar phases or the lunar cycle. This occurs because when the moon orbits around our planet, it also changes it’s position to the sun and therefore the parts that get illuminated from the sunlight (the moon has no light on its own) change with the different positions. So far this is just the science behind it. While this phenomenon in the sky is beautiful to look at, you can gain much more out of the old wisdom about the lunar phases.

Ancient Wisdom

Throughout the times, the moon was worshipped by many different cultures. Mostly represented in form of a goddess but there are also moon gods, for example, the Hindu god Chandra. Luna was always a symbol of change, for the cycle of death and rebirth, the mystic, the unconscious. A symbol of feelings, the feminine and mysterious aspects of life. Moreover, calendars were constructed according to the moon (the word “month” derives from here) and up to our present time, these calendars were very popular among farmers or elderly people and were used to plan farming, gardening, householding or important appointments. The people of those times have already known about the influence of the moon’s gravitation to the life here on earth just by observing it. A lot of eastern religions still have festivities that follow the moon calendar and even in our Gregorian calendar, a lot of holidays fall on special days according to the position of the sun or the moon.  Right now we’re living in times in which more people wish to come back to their roots and to live their lives more in tune with natural cycles of nature, thus moon calendars are getting more popular again.

Spiritual Meanings of the Lunar Phases

But how can we use the wisdom about the lunar phases for our well-being? Well, first, there is another dimension to the moon phases than just the gravitational influence. It’s the spiritual meaning, the spiritual teachings of these subtle energies. We can use these meanings as metaphors and see ourselves as little “seeds” that grow, bloom and then transform. It’s easier to go with the natural flow than to fight it. Modern times try to standardize everything but life comes and goes in circles and we are affected by these natural cycles as well. Why fight this when we can use it for our best? If we try to live more harmonious with these cycles, then we can use this power to manifest the things we really want in our life.

You can divide the lunar cycle into either four or eight phases. It’s basically the same, but the eight phases give you a little bit more detail than just “growing”, “full” or “waning”, so I’m going to give you a little information on all eight phases.

1. New Moon

It’s the phase with the lowest energy level and you may feel introverted and introspective. This time, in which the moon cannot be seen, calls for new beginnings. A blank page, the dark and mystic potential of creation that holds every possibility that exists within. Use this time to set a vision for yourself, a goal, an idea, a dream. Set an intention and really try to feel it from the bottom of your heart. Plant that seed.

Continue reading “The Magic of the Lunar Phases”

The powerful Auquarius Full Moon

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

On Friday, July 27 this week, we will have an event in the sky that makes the hearts of moonchildren & the moonstruck ones beat faster. It’s a full moon, a blood moon. Nope, no bloody-women-stuff. It’s called blood moon because it will be a lunar eclipse and the moon appears to be red then. And it’s the longest lunar eclipse we are going to experience in this century.

The Aquarius Full Moon – Changing times are coming

Well, I know I’m repeating myself but the sign the full moon will be residing in this Friday night is Aquarius. A sign corresponding to the element of air and the quality of light. The free-spirited, group-oriented and creative energies of Aquarius are accompanied by Mars who is in retrograde motion, acting with ambition and sometimes aggression but because of retrograde, these energies are more focused on our thoughts & feelings. Furthermore, Mars is in square aspect with Uranus, so the energies just give us a full load of impulsiveness, spontaneity and non-conformist behaviour.  One more planetary energy is “slowing down”, Mercury is going retrograde too, so the sender of energies helping with business, communication and information-gathering goes a little into a “sleep state”.

 

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

– Rob Siltanen

The Universe just wants to heat it all up and get things going. It’s full moon, the peak of the moon energy, harvest time. Yet, a full moon comes with the sun in opposition so it’s about being in between things. The sign the sun still is ruling and where it feels at home is Leo, so energies of confidence (but be careful with arrogance), fearless expression and love might influence us.

Sounds a little chaotic, fast, tensed and if one thing is for sure, then that skies want to tell us that there are big changes ahead.

Continue reading “The powerful Auquarius Full Moon”

Moon Magic & Yoga

moon

The Moon. A symbol for the feminine, the mystical, the subconscious. A symbol for cyclic transformation, feelings and the shadowy parts of our inner worlds.

Yoga. An ancient philosophy system, a tool-box with a lot of tools for everyone on the way to knowledge of the self, to union with yourself, others and everything around you, for we are part of a bigger picture.

And then we have humans. Energetic but also physical beings. Humans, living in a big ecosystem that responds to the gravitation of the moon. Beings made out of molecules, fluids, bio-electrical circuits. And equipped with a gift called consciousness to witness all the magic happening around them.

Connecting lunar phases & the yoga practice

Why do I talk about these 3 components, humans, yoga and the moon? Because when you combine the wisdom about lunar phases with the wisdom of yoga, a human being can profit out of this combination. Let me explain further.

Continue reading “Moon Magic & Yoga”

Yoga & Mountainbike Retreat

Summer is just around the corner and maybe you haven’t planned your vacation yet. If you’re into yoga, mountain biking, hiking and nature, then maybe this could be something for you.

I will be teaching on an activity holiday from 07. July to 11. July 2018 and 11. August to 15. August 2018 in Maria Alm, Austria. There will be two yoga classes per day, one in the morning and the other one in the evening (if you book the yoga package; if you book the adventure package, you can join a few times) and I will also host some workshops on the topics mindfulness/awareness and self-love/self-trust.

Flyer Workshops Maria Alm

Be Mindful: In this 90-minute workshop, I will first talk about the stress in our lives and what stress looks like on a physical, emotional and psychological level. Then we are going to talk about mindfulness: What is it? Why is it so helpful in stress-reduction and what are other benefits? The last part of this workshop will include various simple exercises that are easy to integrate into your daily life so that you can start working on your well-being immediately.

Trust Yourself: Another 90-minute workshop on the topics self-love and self-trust. We often are afraid to go new ways or try new things and often we think “I can’t do this”. In this workshop, I will explain why we lose trust in ourselves, why thoughts are immensely powerful and why self-love and being mindful is super important in the context of confidence. After that, we will talk about how you can gain your confidence back and you are going to learn different techniques to apply in your daily life, so you can walk easily through life without doubting yourself.

Meditation in Motion: On this 2.5-hour hike we are going to try to be as mindful as possible. I will lead you through different exercises and meditations, for example walking barefoot or walking in silence, just to name a few. Let’s walk a bit together and experience nature in a conscious way. (Not included in the booking; 12€ p.P.)

Self-Care: This is a 90-minute private class. No matter if it’s back pain or tight shoulders, emotional or life-issues, you name it, we work on it. After we found out on what aspects of your life you want to work, we are going to put together a feel-good-self-care-program just for you. This can include yoga, breath work, meditation, journaling or creating little personal rituals. If we are going to include yoga-asana, then we’re going to also work on your proper alignment in the poses to set a firm base for your home practice. Treat yourself to a personal self-care package that you can take home to your everyday life. (Not included in the booking; 75€)

Accommodation & Booking

The retreat takes place in the Hotel Eder, a 4-star lifestyle and wellness hotel in the center of Maria Alm but at the same time close to nature and placed in the scenery of the Hochkönig area. If you are interested in this retreat and you want some more details, head over to the webpage of the host, Alpin Tours.

Note: I’m not getting any money for recruited guests. I just want to inform you, that there is a cool vacation-retreat-booking and that I will be the lucky one to teach you yoga, meditation and mindfulness.

Ready for Summer?

So, that’s it. It would be super cool if we are going to meet at these dates for yoga, nature and a good time. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or reach out to me if you have booked this retreat. I’m curious about who is going to come 🙂

May you all have a wonderful summer full of sunshine, love and laughter.

Peace and Love,

Namaste-No-Background

Laura Jane

Rituals, Magic and the Moon

Today is a special day for all those that want to make this year a great year! I’m a strong believer in the power of the moon. For me, it’s not just made up nonsense that people go crazy on full moons. The moon’s influence on the tides is well known and think about it… the moon moves water and our bodies contain a high percentage of fluids, so how could the moon not have an influence on us?

Rituals can be your source of well-being in your everyday life. I’ve got several ones, for example, every evening I note down things for which I am grateful, or I got rituals for special occasions and moon phases. First, it sounds a bit witchy and awkward but let me tell you, even the “witches” back in the days just believed in the power of nature, pacha mama and the cosmic constellations. A ritual can connect you with your true self, give you a sense of peace, wholeness and grounding. It might bring back your trust in life or deepen it and it can create a special framework for you to work on yourself.

This article is going to be about today’s new moon in Capricorn, how you can set up a ritual and why this could help to manifest your dreams into reality.

Continue reading “Rituals, Magic and the Moon”

Coming back to Writing.

It’s been a few months since I’ve been actively posting something here. It’s not that I had no ideas, my focus was just elsewhere. Some of you may know that I am attending a vinyasa yoga teacher training since September 2017. And it’s such a beautiful but also an intense time in my life. Intense on so many levels. My practices changes and deepens, I get more details on different aspects and also learn new things like anatomy. My fellow teacher trainees are a bunch of wonderful people who support each other and we all learn also new things about ourselves. Everyone has their ups and downs.

When it comes to writing, I do write about things that I’ve experienced myself or about things that changed my perspectives or touched me in a certain kind of way. It’s not that I just write so I can post here and maybe someone reads it. I want to share content with a meaning that maybe resonates with things you like or maybe make you change your perspectives or give you a good mood or whatever. Something positive. Things to try by yourself.

Being totally immersed in this teacher training and all it’s up and downs, my focus over the last weeks was to be a good student, learn all the things so I become a super good teacher that can do good to the people. But I had like a script what to learn. I’m thankful for that opportunity, but on the other hand when you are “told what to do”, there’s little free space in our thoughts. If something like this occurs, we focus on what the outside gives us and don’t listen how our hearts respond to it. Don’t get me wrong, in my case, it’s not that dramatic because while studying I personally grew and came across a hundred things I could write about, I just didn’t feel like I wanted to put them into an article right that moment. I was focused on the exams and so on. But right now, the theoretical part is done, and I feel like it’s okay to sit here for a couple of hours to think about this post and write it down.

What I want you to maybe think about is: Where in your life you are told to do certain things? What are those things? Who tells it to you (yourself, your family, media, society…) How do you feel about it? Does it feel good or does it stress you out? Does it feel like it helps you grow or does it block your creativity, your ideas and dreams? One of my goals in 2018 is to live life more according to my feelings. I wanna listen more to my intuition and live authentically. I just don’t wanna do things because somebody wants me to or because everybody else is excited about it. If I don’t truly resonate with it, I simply do not do it, say it, feel it, eat it. It’s a process of work, but a worthy one. Life gets easier, you’ll maybe be happier.

So right now like I said I feel like I have lots of ideas and time and space to think more about it and maybe write them down and be more active here. I also noticed the past weeks in which situations I try to step out of being responsible for what amount of time I have for “me-time”. Now I learned if I really truly wanna do something just for myself like having a relaxing bath or because I wanna share positive content, that nothing stops me from it. The “but first I have to clean the room and then I have to do grocery shopping and then I have to study blablabla…..” it’s just thoughts. You decide what you do. Pick a few things from your to-do-list but make sure there’s space every day for something you really would love to do with compassion. Write that book, go learn how to cook, meditate, create a painting, learn a language….whatever makes you feel excited and happy.

I hope you find things that make you happy this year. Always remember you are the one in control. You are in charge of yourself. Do no harm, but take no shit. According to this mantra, let this year be the goddamn best year. Every single day.

Peace & Love

namaste

Jane

The 8 limbs of Yoga – One: The Yamas

Some days ago I wrote an article about how the 8 limbs of Yoga can help us to improve our well-being and to live in peaceful coexistence with others. I would like to take this series deeper starting with the first limb – Yama.

The 5 Yamas

First let me refresh your memory. The first limb of the eightfolded path is yama. With yama, Patanjali provides us some sort of ethical codex. Within this codex, there are 5 aspects that help you to live in peace with other beings and yourself. Sounds pretty nice, but let me say in the beginning, it’s not as easy as it sounds but so so worth trying to work on it everyday. So let me present the 5 Yamas in short.

Continue reading “The 8 limbs of Yoga – One: The Yamas”

Enjoy the silence

DSC01763
Look what is inside

Me and my love are going to take 3 days off. Into a shack in the middle of nowhere. There will be no electricity and no internet and I am really looking forward to just enjoy simple life and recharge. See you after next thursday, hopefully loaded with a bunch of inspiration for this blog.

Peace and Love, Jane

namaste