Today I’d like to introduce you to Anja, we connected through our yearly training with our teacher Shiva Rea. She’s an inspiration that truly lives her yoga. She’s a yoga teacher, trainer and an ayurvedic practitioner (check out her websites below). It’s an honour to have her on the blog today, let’s hear what she has to say.
1. Tell us a little about yourself
I am an eternal Yoga student, a Yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner.
I am dedicated to a continuous study, practice and teaching of both Yoga and Ayurveda – the philosophies and the practical application in daily modern living.
Now sharing my love for self-empowerment and self-love through these sciences is my life – along with a bit of travel, lots of reading, baking, being in nature and with family and friends!
2. Everyone who has ended up on a yoga mat raising their arms in their first sun salutation has a story of what led them there. What’s yours?
I have always had an interest in yoga. But as a teenager in early 90s in Copenhagen Yoga wasn’t very available. It was still a bit “hippie” and had a reputation of being almost cultist. But eventually I found a class and teachers I really loved. For me it was an enjoyable way of moving my body (I never enjoyed sports). It felt like coming “home”. The connection between mind, body, emotions and energy was exactly what I was longing for.
3. What keeps you returning to your yoga mat?
My yoga mat is my way “home”. Whether I feel anxious, stressed, low or super excited this is where I can take an extra breath, get grounded and balanced.
4. How has your yoga practice filtered through to your everyday life?
The yoga mat is just a tool for us to connect to our whole being and enquire how we react and respond to various sensations and situations – such as a challenging asana. But it is translated through how we flow through life and our day-to-day life experiences. Do respond in the same way to a difficult yoga pose to a difficult situation with a family member or work situation? Can we learn to find an appropriate response on the yoga mat and then translate that into our life off the mat?
5. What is your favorite yoga pose, breathing practice or mantra?
My favourite asana is Natarajasana, dancers pose. I love the lightness openness and balance of the pose. It’s graceful and powerful. Nataraj is dancing the Tandava. The dance of life and destruction. Yoni mudra is my favourite mudra. It helps me connect to my centre and roots.
6. What advice do you have for those just starting out on their yoga journey?
Enjoy the journey. It is never ending and always evolving.
7. How has your yoga practice evolved over time?
It has changed a lot. And continues doing so. I have practised on and off for two decades moving through more meditation, more asana, more yoga nidra, more mantra…. and then less… I continue to study all parts of yoga. I am deeply committed to explore the yogic, ayurvedic and tantric philosophies. As an ayurvedic student and practitioner I apply these principles to my yoga and my life too.
8. What are you loving right now?
Candle lights, music and baking. Spending time in nature and appreciating the changes of the seasons. It’s a balance from being self-employed and a bit of a workaholic. I also love developing new project and ideas. And always writing new projects, workshops, lectures or courses.
9. How do you nurture yourself?
See above! I try and practise what I teach. I can teach a whole yoga class on self love, nurturing and nourishing. About how to use ayurveda and yoga to support us. And after the class realise that I was trying to teach myself something! I’m learning to “walk the talk”.
10. What wisdom has your yoga practice revealed to you that you’d like to share with us?
That is a good and very deep question. There is wisdom revealed all the time. I am learning to be still, to meditate and listen within. Our yoga asana practise, ayurvedic lifestyle and self enquiry can definitely support our ability to find stillness, contentment and peace.