Can you imagine that I am practicing Yoga for about ten years, teaching Yoga since 1.5 years and NEVER did a hand- or headstand? Does this make me a less successful yogi? Does it affect my qualities as a teacher? For me the answer is no. I firmly believe that practicing Yoga has as many aspects and qualities as there are stars at nights sky. And I am also convinced that there are thousands ways of practicing, and teaching, and that everyone can cultivate a practice that is just right for oneself.
What Yoga made me realize…
I started practicing yoga because my back was hurting from sitting too much. Over the years I witnessed my body becoming stronger and more flexible. And I also recognized my mind becoming calmer, my „monkey mind“ (jumping from one thought or worry to the next one like a wild race) becoming more calm and my stress level declining. All of this happened because I took time for myself on the yoga mat, watching myself carefully: my thoughts, my feelings, my sensations. Starting on the mat I took this qualities more and more to my everyday life.
You are enough!
I remember talking about yoga with friends. When I started teaching yoga, some friends said things like „I would like to come to a class but I am not .... enough“ – insert things like „not flexible“, „not strong“, „not sporty“. Hearing something like that always makes me sad. Yoga – in the way I understand and live it – is for everybody. There is no need to be flexible/strong/sporty if you want to come to a yoga class. Actually, there is no need to be anything in your whole life. You are enough, just the way you are. Repeat after me: „YOU ARE ENOUGH!“. If you are in pain because of sitting too much – move yourself. Go to yoga or for a walk. If you have a monkey-mind – calm yourself. Do some pranayama and meditation,.... All of these wonderful tools are FOR you to make you feel better, to get to know yourself better. None of these tools have been invented to push yourself for not being flexible/strong/... enough.
Come as you are…
On my flyers and any advertisements for all my yoga classes I always put the words „come as you are“ – Yoga should be a safe place to do something good for yourself, and not another place for judgment and competition. That’s what I dream of: everyone learning to love and accept themselves just the way they are. And if my classes and words can contribute to that vision, I am the happiest kid on earth <3!
Love, Helene aka yogaelli
Helene Janous Is a long time practitioner of yoga. Her strength and delicate nature give a balance and depth to her teaching. Helene is a registered 200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher. She teaches in Austria.