My first visit to a yoga class was almost a decade ago at a local gym close by. The one-hour-long session felt like a prolonged workout. Some people were doing crane-like poses like it was no big deal while others were already feeling doomed at the sight of a downward dog pose. You get the picture.
A differentiating factor between gym-based and studio yoga practices is the spirituality aspect. It all comes down to your expectations: do you want to get physically fit or are you also seeking to harmonise your mind and body connection.
With years of practice, I still feel like I’m only scratching the surface. To understand the practice on a deeper level, I’ve brought a dear friend of mine and true yogi Kristina on board.
VP: How did you discover yoga?
Kristina: Everything happened organically. I intuitively felt that yoga was exactly what I needed at that point in my life. It didn’t take long until I signed up for my first class.
Ever since then I’ve been hooked. For years, I was into horseback riding but once I lost my beloved horse, I realized it was time to redirect my thoughts and energy into a new activity.
VP: How has the practice influenced your life?
Kristina: Initially, I was very excited about physical changes such as increased flexibility, stamina, and having a more toned body. But as I started practising regularly, I began noticing my emotional and spiritual changes.
I started doing yoga when my son was one year old. After childbirth, I experienced postpartum depression that continued throughout the year. Once I started yoga, I was challenged in many ways. I encountered myself face-to-face and had to decide who I wanted to be now and in the future. The practice brought up fundamental questions such as how I identify myself and what kind of life I want.
These challenges turned out to be a blessing in disguise as they opened the door for me to live a more conscious life. A life with a completely different understanding of myself and my environment. This resulted in a harmonious connection with myself, my family and the world.
VP: Where do you currently teach?
Kristina: I’m a yoga teacher at Body Lounge. The studio has been in existence for over 10 years, and the current team has been working together for half that time. During the past decade, it has served as a hub for people who are passionate about practising yoga, pilates and callanetics classes, as well as interested in various awareness events.
VP: What’s the best way to start practising yoga?
Kristina: Leave your assumptions aside when you come to your first yoga class and then simply come back a second time. That’s all it takes. Sometimes people who come to a group practice might get put off as they are mixed with more advanced students.
We are all different and need to accept it with love. In yoga practice, we do not seek results but we learn to enjoy the process itself. In our studio, yoga classes are held in small groups of up to 10 people, so you will always receive advice and support from your teacher.
VP: What are the criteria for a beginner to choose a yoga studio?
Kristina: Mostly, people choose their yoga class in relation to the teacher. What do I have in mind? I’m talking about the energetic vibrations, they have to be in alignment between you and your teacher. As a teacher, you want to have a connection with every student that comes to your class. Only then can you enjoy a smooth yoga practice, which also tends to have an effect on your spiritual growth.
Remember when I said: show up the first and second time? Keep on repeating the process. Consistency is key to reap the benefits of yoga, even if you’re practising at home.
VP: What is the average cost of lessons? Does one need to book a lesson in advance and if so, what is the best way to do it?
Kristina: Those wishing to attend only yoga classes can opt for membership of four times for 39 Euro; eight times for 49 Euro, and 12 times for 59 Euro. A one-time visit costs 11 Euro. Registration is required for each lesson and you are welcome to do so via our website, email or you can give us a call.
VP: Share 3 yoga tips with us:
- Do not eat or drink caffeinated products for a couple of hours before your practice.
- If you have the opportunity, bring your own yoga mat.
- Remember the sun salutation you learned during the class, and start doing it at home each morning.
VP: Where can we find you in the digital sphere?
Kristina: You can find all the relevant information on our website.
VP: Thanks Kristina, for sharing your story and thoughts on all things yoga 💛