I’ve been a full time Yoga Entrepreneur for 10 years now. It’s been a long and deep journey of getting to know my body and understanding what true physical health really means. I used to think it was some sort of perfect state of being, tirelessness and hyperactivity. Through the practice of Yoga I have come to realize that true health really lies in the ability to listen to ones body, to feed it what it needs, to allow it to rest when it’s tired and to express love for this physical vehicle we have.
Regardless of age, nationality, race, religion, profession and life attitude, everyone wants to be happy, and everyone wants to be healthy and at peace. Living in a world dominated by Instagram pictures, online hypes and tangible possession, we seem to sometimes forget that true happiness lies within. I used to think that money would bring me everything. I was focused on the exterior much more than the internal experience of happiness. Always worried about what people thought of me being single, not owning a house, not driving a BMW, not being super slim as a Yoga Teacher is supposed to be, drinking wine occasionally, being impatient or smoking a cigarette on a night out.
Through the practice of Yoga I have come to realize that everyone is full of judgement. Not only towards others, but also towards ourselves. Even the most happy looking person on social media, suffers from insecurities, limiting belief systems, misunderstandings about themselves and about life, and a significant amount of self-criticism. As in my work I mostly teach women, it has become clear to me that most women really are afraid to fully love themselves, and with that accept their female bodies. It is almost like it is a taboo to be female, to have a beautiful body and love yourself for it. We watch supermodels on Instagram all day, yet are afraid to show ourselves in a bikini because we are 3 kilo’s “overweight”. When somebody gives us a compliment on how good we look, we wave it away saying: “Oh no, I look like crap today!” We strive to be perfect, and suffer when we are not living up to society’s, families and our own misplaced expectations.
If there’s one thing Yoga has taught me, besides using my body to my advantage and feeling strong and happy in my own skin, it is that all these judgements we carry are merely assumptions. They are not based on anything, and only exist in our minds. They were created once upon a time, but when is the last time we stopped to think whether those beliefs are actually still serving us? Mind mastery is the key to happiness. Yoga teaches to meditate, practice and become quiet, so you can hear more clearly who you actually are, and what your true Self is telling you. All those negative, limiting thoughts subside through adopting a different way of thinking. And that is what Yoga Teaches us: Physical discipline, and emotional freedom.
Photography: My dear friend Dexter