How did I start to practice Yoga?
Since I can remember, even as a child, I was intuitively searching for activities that would allow me to turn off my mind for a moment, stop thinking and just be. Not knowing or understanding what I needed, I moved through many different practices and trainings that were allowing me to turn my awareness inside. I tried roots theater, traditional theater, ethnic singing, choirs, physical practices such as kalaripayattu or tai chi, many forms of fitness and even creative writing. Each of these experiences gave me something valuable but it wasn't what I needed.
My life-long adventure with yoga started during my master's studies in Cultural Anthropology. Through research about India I became more and more interested in Indian philosophies and suddenly that abstract idea of peacefulness that I was searching for started to take shape. When I joined my first yoga class I could feel instantly the calming and relaxing effects that quiet, conscious movement and breath had on my body and the state of my mind.
In a short time I became dedicated to my daily yoga practice. Slowly I started to understand that yoga is not just a simple gymnastics, it is rather a way of bringing thoughts, senses and emotions under control. Free from those reality filters we can see what is real and what is unreal.
Through yoga I've learned how to be patient and kind to myself, accept what is given and to recognize what is really important and what is just a distraction.
Before I got into the daily practice of the classical Hatha Yoga (based on the famous Rishikesh sequence of Swami Sivananda) I've tried many other yoga styles like Ashtanga or Vinyasa and discovered that Hatha Yoga suits me best, because I like simplicity and stillness. It is a quiet, meditative practice that requires deep concentration and creates enough space to simply enjoy every step, every breath and every movement.