Otherwise I wouldn’t be here – Mysore Reflections…

So after my practice today I got this longing feeling to be back in Mysore soon. Instead of practicing at home this morning I was in the Yoga Shala. I love the space which feels much more special or sacred in a way, since it’s the only purpose of the space to serve as a practice room. At home the „sacred space“ serves as well as a passway from the kitchen to the bedroom, from the couch to the balcony… However, even though I feel less distracted there it’s such a different feeling to be in the Shala with your mat alone, feeling almost lost in this huge field of empty squaremeters where I can listen to noone else’s breath but mine. Especially during those times of teaching, when there is absolute silence and only the rhythmic sound of many students breath is noticeable. Usually I am so present with my students that I just feel as part of the whole scenario. But I admit, there are times, when I get a little bit jealous and long for just being part of „the breath“. So this is the time when I can’t think of anything else than being in a Mysore room myself again. Which led me to pull out my India/Mysore journal of the bookshelf to reminisce about my experiences there… and stop on 14th December 2014, exactly 4 months ago. I was sitting in my all time favourite breakfast place in Gokulam, Mysore, at Santosha Cafe, eating the most delicious ragi pancake with hummus, tomato and spinach, and listening to a wonderful playlist of the owner Arun, in the background. So for myself and for you as well, I’d like to share „my morning“ of this day, according to my journal. There might be some song titles thrown in, that where playing while writing…

Happy… for my way of thinking. Steely Dan – Rikki don’t lose that number. I am free… I am flexible… Having a good talk with a friend sitting next to me who states: „There are three types of people: 1) The „housewives“… the ones who stay at home, are happy with that and don’t need so much to change…explore… move on…. 2) The „dreamers“… the ones who would like to do… who have a bunch of dreams, ideas, wishes,… but don’t start to „do“… Free – All Right Now. and 3) The „travellers“, „liver’s“, „adventurers“… who transform, change, move on, seek for the new, the unknown, who know they have a second family around the whole world, away from home.“ Having that said and reflecting on what group we „obviously“ belong to (being in a small place in Soutindia for several weeks or months) the friend carried on „We are the lucky ones, I guess.“ A big smile is appearing on my face…Boston – More than a feeling. And yes, I am quite happy to feel like and decide to be one of the 3rd kind… Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. In Mysore. Right now. Without a job. With a job. Whatever. Without my boyfriend for two months. Without knowing what comes net. Whatever. NOW I am HERE. How exciting that is. It’s transformation time. It will be something NEW. Next chapter. I like change and I need change. I need transformation, creativity. I like to live my dream. It all started 6 years ago… My life of change. My life of growth. Of exploration. Of new terrain. Sometimes you can only know afterwards of how big importance a certain thing has been. Over time I realize more & more, again & again, what a milestone of my life my „Worldtravel“ in 2008/09 has been. John Lennon – Instant Karma. After which my life changed. My way of thinking changed. To the better. My mind got flexible. My body started and experienced Yoga. My soul found Love. Animals – House of the Rising Sun.

World Yoga Day 2015 – Austria, Spain & USA in Bergheim

14 begeisterte YogiNis, 3 verschiedene Nationen und ein toller Spendenerfolg an einem bewölkten Sonntag-Vormittag…


9. Welt-Yoga-Tag – und wir waren bereits zum 3. Mal dabei! In den zwei Stunden von 11.00-13.00h richteten wir zuerst unsere Aufmerksamkeit nach *innen* um unsere Energie danach 90 Minuten lang in einer geführten Ashtanga Yoga Klasse zu vereinen. Nach einer kurzen, einfachen Pranayama Einheit und einem längeren, herausfordernderen Utplutih zum Ende der Stunde ließen wir die Entspannungsposition Sukhasana zu den engelshaften, bezaubernden und tiefenwirksamen Klängen von Klangschalen und Windspielen „ausklingen“. Eine Premiere war diesmal die jüngste Teilnehmerin der letzte 3 Jahre mit ihren 10 Jahren, wobei die Gruppe bunt gemischten Alters zwischen 10 – 60 Jahre alt war. Die Sonnengrüße sowie alle weiteren Asanas wurden in unserer kleinen Yogashala von den 3 Nationen Österreich, Spanien und den USA vertreten. Ashtangi(ni)s die regelmäßig praktizieren, Yoga-Übende aus anderen Traditionen, aber auch Neulinge, die zum ersten Mal eine so lange Einheit ausprobierten, kamen zusammen, um ihre Energie, Kraft, Ausdauer, Balance und Flexibilität einem guten Zweck zu spenden.
Eine wunderschöne Klasse die mit einem kraftvollen und energiereichen OM begonnen sowie beendet wurde. Im Anschluss wurde noch frisches Bergheimer Bergquellwasser (aus der Leitung) sowie Früchtetee genossen und neben frischem Obst die ein oder andere vegane ;) Manner-Schnitte genascht. Von 27 teilnehmenden Yogagruppen in ganz Österreich waren wir in Bergheim eine von vier Gruppen in Salzburg.

An dieser Stelle ein GROSSES *D*A*N*K*E* an all die lieben Teilnehmer heute, welche sich großzügig an diesem Charity-Event beteiligt haben: Die hölzerne „Spenden-Herzerl-Box“, die ihren Platz unter einem bunten Strauß schönster Tulpen fand hat ingesamt eine Summe von €165,- in sich aufgenommen, welche heuer an das Bildungsprojekt Thriving Scholars von TARA gehen, eine Organisation welche Bildung als Menschenrecht ansieht und fördert.

Wenn ihr von der Yogapraxis heute begeistert wart, freue ich mich wenn ich euch in den nächsten Kursen, die ab März starten, wieder sehe.


14 motivated YogiNis, 3 different nations and a big donation success on a cloudy sunday morning…

9. World Yoga Day – and we joined it already for the 3rd time! Within the 2 hours from 11.00-13.00 we started by drawing our attention inwardly in order to then put the whole created energy into a 90minute Ashtanga Yoga Led Class. Coming to an end, after a short, easy Pranayama session and a longer, more challenging Utplutih we created some lovely, angelic and touching sounds created by windchimes and tibetan singing bowls to make Sukhasana a very special experience. Being only 10 years old we had a premiere with the youngest participant in the last 3 years, although the practicioners ranged from 10-60 years this time. Sun Salutations as well as all following Asanas were represented by 3 nationalities: Austria (well, obviously), Spain and the US. Asthangi(ni)s who practice frequently, Yoga practitioners of other traditions but even Newbies who experienced a class of this length for the first time gathered together, to donate their energy, strength, endurance, balance and flexibility for a good cause. A beautiful class that started and finished with a powerful and energetic OM. Afterwards we all enjoyed refreshing spring water or fruit tea and had a bite of some fresh fruit or traditional and vegan Manner-wafers ;). Out of 27 participating Yoga groups in Austria we were one of 4 representing groups in Salzburg.

I would like to give BIG *T*H*A*N*K*S* to all lovely participants today, who generously donated for a beautiful Charity-Event: The wooden donation box which was almost hiding underneath a colorful bouquet of tulips collected a total amount of €165,- which will be 100% forwarded to the educational programme Thriving Scholars from TARA, an organisation that puts its effort to education as a human right.

If you enjoyed the Ashtanga Yoga class today as well I am looking forward to meet you in one of the upcoming courses again.

Mehr zum World Yoga Day 2015 findet ihr hier.
Mehr zu Saschas monatlichen Ahata Nada Klangreisen findest du hier.

Von Herzen nochmals ein großes *DANKE* an alle die dabei waren.

Namastè, Claudia.

YogaRocks Crete: „Nature is the teacher“ with Danny Paradise

So we are back over a week now from this amazing Yoga Retreat at YogaRocks in Crete, Greece. And still, once in a while some pictures, emotions, memories are popping up in my mind. As I just completed a „How-satisfied-have-you-been“-Survey for the hosts I became aware again of how beautiful and outstanding this week was. Meeting Danny Paradise, who has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga since 1976, was another great experience. Very much into shamanism and indigenous rituals we got a light feeling for what his concept of „Nature is the greatest teacher“ is. It’s believed (and I do so as well) that you can receive all information just sitting in nature and asking for help & guidance. Yoga hence is a tool to communicate with ones true Nature, it’s about a meditative communication with nature. Furthermore Danny’s belief also corresponded very much with Krisnamurti’s teachings, as he said „I’m not a guru. I don’t follow a guru, I don’t believe in Gurus. You yourself are the Teacher.“ Beautifully said, and with such great depth in it. From our first to our last breath we meet so many Teachers in our life. But Gurus? You Yourself are the highest Teacher. What truth could one teach you that is not already inside you anyways. Ultimately Yoga is a private journey, even though people or teachers can accompany us, guide us.

Since talkings came towards death I want to share some thoughts & talks with you as well. At first, there is no death, there only is transformation. And death itself can be a very much delayed process if you use these ancient tools of which one is Yoga. Yoga shows you how to age with vitality, clarity & tranquility. It gives you a clear indication of how to age. As you create life you also create death. So if you want to die as a yogi, live like a yogi. Use & practice Yoga as a way of healing. Trust the process and surrender. Don’t try to understand each and everything, since healing is way beyond the rational mind. Always do we search for causes of crisis, disease etc. Though the root cause of depression is: NOT TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAM. Meaning not taking the necessary steps to realize your dream. Yoga helps to create & expand your dream, since it is constantly expanding your focus. Everything is an endless process. Or as Krishnamacharya said „Yoga is for fulfilling your personal destiny.“ So the idea is about manifesting your dreams. And manifestation is a result of intention. As intention therefore creates reality, the intention is what is important, what we need to give attention to.

There where these four simple yet deep questions we talked about and which should be considered by everyone:
Am I happy in what I am doing?
Is what I am doing adding to the confusion on earth?
Is what I am doing adding to contentment & peace?
How will I be remembered?

Worth thinking about. Remembers me also on a quote of David Swenson I heard in one of his and my very first Yoga workshop: A Yogi is someone who leaves a place a little nicer than it was when he arrived.

And not only did we have the chance again of such deep & fulfilling talks with a great Yoga teacher, also was there one experience I won’t forget for a while… During Pranayama lesson, it was again and again, that one of the cats and some birds came over and joined us during the practice of breathing techniques. Danny mentioned then, that the animals can feel our calm and steady breath, so that we are on a same energy level, on a same frequency of breathing… It didn’t seem so logical at first, until we experienced the pure magic of it in the afternoon: Bildschirmfoto 2014-10-02 um 00.12.25Floating in the turquoise blue sea, just off the shore, with the waves, and right at the point before the waves were breaking we floated with mask and snorkel so we had nothing other to do, no rowing, getting up to breath or anything interrupting… When I realized that these small fishes were coming closer and closer to my body, 2,3,4 of them, just floating WITH ME in an intimate distance of maybe 3cm only, and acting as if I would be one of these huge fishes, or a blue whale, just staying with and besides me, calm, trustful, relaxed, for as long as I went in there… We just floated together, and I could feel this togetherness. Oneness with nature. Same energy, same vibration, same frequency. It just felt as the most natural thing. No separation between the sea, water, fishes, the moving stones at the bottom and myself. Just like an entity. And the mind became quiet. The heartbeat became calm. The breath became even… NATURE IS THE TEACHER.

Ashtanga Yoga an den Ufern des Ganges in Nordindien…

Wieder einmal ein kleiner Rückblick in unseren Reiseblog, Ende September 2013, Indien-Rishikesh: …Eines Nachmittags waren wir mit Markus und Alicia am Ganga Beach, wo sich am Strand keine Leute befanden und wir sogleich einen Insider-Yoga-Hot-Spot ausfindig machten – Begleitet von einem typisch indischen Straßenhund, mit Bisswunde am Ohr, der sich jedoch als sehr treue Seele rausstellen sollte und den wir (weil am naheliegendsten) „Rishi“ tauften. Er folgte uns auf Schritt und Tritt. Auf Wunsch unsere neuen Wiener Travel-Buddies, die eigentlich aus dem Ländle bzw. Espagnol kommen, haben wir dann eine kleine Ashtanga Yoga Beginner Class an den Ufern des Ganges im weissen Sand eingelegt, stark geprägt von ein paar Surya Namaskaras (Sonnengrüße). Zwei super aufmerksame und interessierte „Yoga-Students“, und das mitten in Nordindien :). Es war sehr bedeutend und schön, wiedermal ein bisschen Ashtanga Yoga „weitergeben zu können“. Da ein zweiter Hund auftauchte mit dem sich Rishi schnell anfreundete, spielte und umhertollte, haben wir diesen „Kesha“ getauft… Wir wollten ja dem Ort treu bleiben und nicht die Yoga-Praxis unnötigen Namens-Brainstormings nachstellen ;) … Die Sache wurde jedoch etwas „uncool“ als die lieben Hundtis dann unsere Yogastunde etwas gestört haben, wild bellend rumsprangen, umhertollten, „spielten“ und uns ungewollt mit Sand beschossen, als dieser durch die Luft wirbelte. Alicia und ich wurden immer besorgter, als sie uns in ihrer wilden Spiel-Rauferei immer näher kamen. Dafür haben wir sehr endlich und wirklich sehr „erfolgreich“ unseren NOT(!)-Alarm-Piepser den ich zuhause noch schnell im „Travelsafe“ Shop gekauft hatte, ausprobiert. Er sollte laut Verkäufer natürlich jeden (Straßen-)Hund auf dieser Welt erschrecken, verstören und verjagen, da die Hunde das Geräusch nicht vertragen würden. Da uns die Hunde dann echt nervten und etwas zu wild um uns rum spielten haben wir den „Alarm-Stecker“ gezogen. Ein schrilles „Wiuwiuwiuwiuwiuwiuwiuwiuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu“ heulte durch das Gangestal…und die Hunde… – ÜBERRASCHUNG….. hat es natürlich Nüsse interessiert! Keines einzigen „Ohres“ wurde die „Sirene“ gewürdigt. Pff…. Na, sehr beruhigend… da fühlt man sich gleich sicherer mit dem Super-Not-Heuler der sich mehr als westliches Möchte-Gern-Accessoire rausstellte. Aber eh nicht verwunderlich. Indische Straßenköter eben. Das sind DIE von der „harten Sorte“. Sind wohl etwas mehr Lärm und Geräusche gewöhnt als die süßen, verwöhnten Haustier-Hundis in Österreich – die wahrscheinlich als „Test-Objekte“ für die „Safe High Technology“ dienten und für welche das mikrige Alarmpiepserl wahrscheinlich die größte Panik auslöst. Der gelungene Aufruf von Rishi & Kesha unsere Yogastunde somit (nach gefühlten 20min.) zu beenden animierte uns also dazu, den Rückweg in den Ort anzutreten. Anyway.. es war eine sehr schöne Zeit an den Ufern des Ganges und die Ashtanga Yoga Stunde wurde spät Abends nach dem Essen im „Beatles Cafe“ theoretisch – mit einem schnell skizzierten „Practice Sheet“ ins Tagebuch unserer neuen Buddies – sowie praktisch – mit ein paar Vor-, Seit- und Rückbeuge-Demonstrationen zwischen Bodentischen, Teppich und Sesseln – zu einem schönen Ende gebracht. Zumindest ein paar Basics waren sodann vermittelt um der künftigen „Self Practice“ der beiden auf ihrer noch lange währenden Backpacker-Reise nichts in den Weg zu stellen :) .

Ashtanga Yoga Weekend Workshop with Ann Arnesson

A weekend full of energy, power, oneness and love with Ann Arnesson came to an end yesterday noon. With gratitude, deepened knowledge and highly inspired I want to look back and acknowledge 1,5 days of great teachings and the very first Ashtanga Yoga Workshop that took place in Bergheim, giving me the chance to host an amazing teacher from Northern Europe.
Weekend WorkshopAnn Arnesson from Sweden, who is teaching Yoga since 11 years and has been traveling to Mysore, the source of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, several times, shared her passion, love and knowledge about this wonderful Yoga method with 16 motivated and interested Yoga practitioners in our lovely Yoga room. We were lucky to spend touching and transforming hours with practice and lectures.

The lecture times included a great introduction into the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. From being a „conscious person“ over the search for the truth inside of us to the important principle of moderation in every sense we came to faith, the probably most important aspect we should never forget. „Ishvara Pranidhana“… just faith. Believe. Without an explanation, without questioning, without a goal. Have faith in something and it will come…
Elephant storyWhile talking about Yoga philosophy, Ann let us think about trying to see things from a different perspective, about standing outside ourselves and about always having and keeping this beginners/students mind. Learning through observation. Taking one step back once a while in order to move many steps forward. And not to forget to recognize and embrace that there is constant change happening, nothing stays, everything is in constant transformation.

Transformation also plays an important role when practicing Mysore Style. This very unique, individual way of practicing Yoga. This wonderful connection with OUR OWN practice, that inspires, creates self esteem and strengthens our drishti/focus. Experiencing a Mysore Style class with this very mixed-level group has been an amazing experience. Raising humidity up to 85% (and therefore breaking the record of World Yoga Day ;) ), heating up the room & the bodies, sweating, receiving individual attention from our lovely guest teacher and overall this ONE AIR that has been breathed by all Yogis & Yoginis, this one air, that flew through 32 nostrils („Nasenlöcher“ – to avoid misunderstandigs) in and out, continuously, creating this high level of energy and togetherness. O N E N E S S.

Led Class
A 1,5 day workshop with great new insights, with an energetic Led and Mysore Style Class, with lots of great questions & answers and therefore interesting discussions all about Yoga…
All participants who have been part of this weekend, made this workshop possible and happen.

Thanks to Ann Arnesson.
Thanks to all participating students.
Thanks from HEART.

„We are all teachers. We are all students.“

Namastè, Claudia.

You can find pictures of the weekend workshop on facebook.