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  • salty souls yoga

Why do yoga ? (Hint: It’s not about tightening your ass in a hot room)

I still remember the exact second I fell in love with yoga, almost four years ago. I had been practicing in the city for a while at this stage, but low-key thought this whole thing was a little overrated…

Written in my journal on July 13th, 2014, Ubud, Indonesia

“Yesterday, for the first time ever since I do yoga, I felt like crying at the end of my practice.

I was not sad. I was actually feeling wonderfully relieved!

Truly, what I felt is hard to describe… I have to admit, I was confused about what was going on inside.

I went on this trip with the intention of experiencing feelings I never had before. And it happened, right there, on this tiny mat, in the middle of a luxuriant forest.

For the first time, I fully experienced and understood the importance of letting go.

I was nowhere else than there, physically and mentally. I could hear the sweet melody of the birds, feel my heartbeat, the wind kissing my skin and even a drop of sweat slowly running down my cheek. I was neither hungry nor thirsty, nor was I thinking of anyone. I was experiencing the art of connecting your mind and your body to the exact same place.”

Four years later, what is yoga for me ?

(and what do I have to share with you.)

Home.

Yoga, for me is home. It has no walls, no roof, no address, but it is the place I always come back to, no matter the weather. It is where I make space for my greatest and clearest ideas to bloom.

There are days where life gets incredibly overwhelming. All things feel enormous. I carry in my chest that feeling you get when the elevator drops quickly. Antigravity.

I all wanna do is throw myself to the ground, and lay flat on my mat. Movement seems impossible, i’m trying to keep all the pieces together. If I move, I might fall, who knows when the end might come after all?

So I sit, or lay, in absolute stillness. Kaya Sthira.

Shifting my breathing patterns from unconscious to conscious/controlled. Pranayama. I inflate and de-inflate my whole being, until my cells regain enough courage and vitality to carry on.

I become an observant of my own thoughts, without engaging too much in any of them. I passively watch them flow — come and go. I meditate.

>> 9-day Surf &Yoga Experience for Women

salty souls yoga

Some other days, I wanna throw my head back, laughing loudly at the sky, because how epic and unreal life feels. WOFFFF. I feel alive, I move, flow, dance through expansion and contraction. Asana. Letting the openings and foldings shape my breath as it goes. I’m celebrating my body and the different movements are allowing me to loosen up tensions, tone up, increase flexibility, as well as the longevity of my vessel.

And beyond it all, yoga is exactly what stays unchanged and undisturbed throughout this whole rollercoaster. Yoga is the practice that allows you to both press pause and withdraw, as well as  stay centred, in-tuned and present in any condition. It is the union with oneself, and with all living things. The rise of energetic awareness. The realization that everything’s connected.

But before we get any further, I need to be true to you: I don’t think I’m your average yoga teacher.

I’m not vegetarian.

I am not into astrology, and know nothing about numerology.

My spoken Sanskrit is at level ‘0-3 years old’.

And, well, I can make wine disappear, if you know what I mean…

There you go, I’ve said it. I hope you will keep reading…

salty club yoga

I’ve for a long time internally battled the fact that I perhaps should be “more yogi”.

You know, wear a Mala necklace at all time, post pretzel-like poses on my Instragram, and talk about the retrograde of Venus when it comes.

I would mentally spank myself thinking I “should” love and practice yoga more than surfing, because, well, I’m a yoga teacher…

How do we actually know if we are devoted enough???

It all came to light; we are multifaceted beings.

You are not JUST an accountant. or JUST a mom. or JUST a teacher; We are a powerful combination of all that we love.

I am a woman, a nomad, an entrepreneur, a surfer, a wine lover, a visual artist, a university drop-out, an adrenaline junkie, a writer, and also, somewhere in the mix, a yoga teacher.

“Never dress like a yogi — wear your yoga on the inside” my teacher told us.

I’ve studied and travel in more than 40 countries, completed more than 400hrs of yoga teacher trainings in Bali, seen the light in way more people’ eyes than names I can remember, and experienced an interesting range of spiritual rituals & practices. I’ve tried various substances (yes, drugs) that have expanded my perception of life or given me a taste of heaven. I’ve also dance totally sober for hours, or got an orgasm by absolutely no other contact than the air in my lungs…

What I’ve got to share with you is infused by all of the above, and that is what makes my teaching different from someone made up of a different combination. This why I might lead you into a practice that will crack your heart open and make your whole spirit shiver, while your mat neighbour is just thinking ‘is it breakfast yet?”.

Either way, I’ve got the desire to share with you the fruit of my current knowledge and experience. What works for me, as we grow and learn together.
I am eager to help you navigate a world of subtleties and guide you to a place where your mind can relax, letting other parts of yourself speak.

I’ll rejoice if you somewhere along the way, you get to experience only one thing you had never before…

>>Practice Yoga at Home with Erika

>>9-day Surf, Yoga & Empowerment Trips in El Salvador

 

Photo by Nette Klement
Dressed by Maaji Swimwear

About the Author:

"I believe we all have the chance to live an extraordinary life if only we follow our gut feeling and seek challenging experiences." - Cofounder of Salty Souls

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