LONDON · PARIS · NY
FROM FASHION WEEK TO YOGA
HOW YOGA CHANGED MY WORLD
As with so many of us who find our way to yoga, my actual career was what you might consider the opposite to the yogi lifestyle. Well, I was young and enjoyed some glamour (occasionally I still do).
So in 2004 I moved from Düsseldorf to London to pursue my career in the international fashion industry. I was self-employed working for every big brand you can think of.
Victoria Beckham, Tom Ford, Stella Mccartney, Vivienne Westwood, Julien Macdonald, etc etc.
I had fittings with Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz - you get the idea. At one point I had my hands on Shakira's world-famous bum in a helicopter enroute to Glastonbury.
Sounds more exciting than it is, although my male friends might disagree on that one...
At the same time I also started to soothe my exhausted body and soul with yoga. Although daily running gave me a little headspace, it was the opposite to what my body needed:
Increasing Cortisol (our major stress hormon) even further, my immune system was going downhill. I had elevated bloodsugar levels, skyrocketing inflammation and terrible autoimmune responses, resulting in chronic fatigue and depression (no wonder).
Stability. Focus. Stillness.
Upon a friend's suggestions I found myself one morning on a yoga mat. I still remember my very first class. I felt like an uncoordinated mess. I could barely balance on one leg, my knees were stiff and my body puffy from the inflammation.
But that little rectangular of a yoga mat felt safe, the practice felt safe. I needed more of that.
Strong. Mindful. Confident.
Every morning before work I was back in the studio, I felt at home with the yogis. And I started to feel at home in my body again.
What initially started for me on a purely physical level quickly opened my heart to an infinite world of ancient wisdom and knowledge.
I began reading about Buddhism, yoga philosophy and the scientific research of yoga. In 2009 I travelled to India for the first time, and every year after that.
Throughout the years I stayed at various yoga schools and ashrams (I also ran away from some). I studied at Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute & Research Centre, one of the oldest and foremost yoga research institutes in the world.
Vipassana was another milestone on my yoga journey. I spent 10 days sitting cross-legged on a cushion in stillness. Ten days of complete silence, ten days of not talking and no distraction, observing the constant chatter of the mind. I can't even put that experience into words...
Contemporary Ashtanga Vinyasa
In 2013 I finally made the cut and completed my yoga teacher training in traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa in the Himalayas. I longed for an intense training, rooted in the origins of yoga and embedded in the culture.
Ashtanga is an ancient system of yoga that was codified by K. Pattabhi Jois in the 20th century. It is one of the oldest and most important teachings of yoga. It is also one of the most demanding forms of Hatha Yoga.
Over the past 15 years of daily practice I developed my very own style, inspired as much by my students as by the variety of incredible teachers I had (and continue to have).
With Contemporary Ashtanga Vinyasa I blended the demanding Ashtanga Primary Series with softer Hatha postures to create a flowing, comprehensive sequence. Movement as medicine. Translating ancient yoga traditions into the demands of our modern, crazy world.
Humble yet Empowering.
Since moving to Ibiza, waving good-bye to the fashion industry and teaching yoga and meditation I am the most fulfilled I have ever been. Seeing my student's growth on and off the yoga mat is my biggest inspiration.
Every day yoga reminds me how expansive body and mind really are.