Don’t be authentic… all the time!

Authenticity is not just a word that’s somewhat hard to articulate, to some degree it’s also overrated.
Being yourself and being who you really are, expressing what ever is within you and being true to that – sure, it has its validity. But before we throw unfiltered emotions, thoughts or excuses upon the world and the people around us, and instead of repeating old patterns that don’t get us anywhere, we should hold in and see where the need to be authentic comes from.

Does it come from a space of inner freedom and love?
Does it serve others, the world and me?
Or does it keep me small and stuck and does it feed my illusion of being in control?
Do I just try to get what I want to eradicate a feeling of lack and deficiency?

If we always act in an authentic way, according to what’s “true” for us we would never be able to change, to grow, if we hold our limiting beliefs about others or ourselves to be true.

“The only way to leap, the only way to make a difference is to be better in …whatever… than we think we are.” (Seth Godin)

“Fake it until you make it”
If you want to let go of old patterns and you don’t know how, then start to act like you were free of your limiting beliefs. Resist the urge to act on your fears and the need to control the outcome.
This can be really uncomfortable and you might experience resistance, doubt and pain but once you arrive on the other side you discover a new, a more free and really authentic you.

The feeling of “being a fraud”
When we do what we love and we reach a goal in a shorter amount of time than we had assumed, or if we get to a place we didn’t even dare to dream of, we might feel like a fraud sometimes. But go on, don’t let the fear of failing or the fear of “not being good enough” stop you. Do your work, study, and if you continue to be successful then it’s time to believe that you might actually be good at what you do.
Surround yourself with people who uplift you, who believe in you, who make you be more confident and who have the courage to give you constructive feedback.

The comfort zone
Often, and I know it’s not all the time, being authentic can be used as an excuse to stay within our comfort zone.
And this is the key: Be authentic if it requires to leave your comfort zone and don’t be authentic if it keeps you in your comfort zone. Because life begins at the end of our comfort zone.

Instant Life Transformation

Every transformation in life begins with one thing:
A doubt. The doubt of what you are thinking about your self, about others or about the world might not be true.

Up until I was 17 years old I was convinced that I was ugly. I felt too skinny, my hair was too thin and I didn’t like my face or my freckles. I remember when I was a little girl before falling asleep I was praying to wake up the next morning and be pretty. I wanted long, black, straight hair, blue eyes and a more beautiful smile.

It was a sleepless night on a train on the way back from a school trip from France to Austria when someone I had just met asked me if I was a model.
With an inner laugh about the ridiculousness about me being a model I left the conversation at some point and I found myself standing in front of a mirror for quite a while.

Instead of repeating the usual judging thoughts about my self that went on in my head I just looked into the mirror and remained in silence. In this moment of stillness I began to doubt those judgements and I began to wonder if I was actually prettier than I believed myself to be.

That night on the train and actually the whole trip to France changed how I had perceived myself.
I remember clearly how I was thinking on the way there: “No one knows me in this country and I am leaving in a week, no one will ever see me again, so I can be who I really am!”

It took me another 3 years until I got into Life Coaching when I realised that (my) looks didn’t matter as much as I thought. I had another insight that again turned my perception about myself and the world around:
I started to understand that the fact that I am alive, that I breathe, my pure and raw existence in this world makes me valuable and worthy of love. And not just me but everybody else, too.

We all once were babies who pooped in diapers, who couldn’t speak or walk or do anything and yet whenever one of those giant people looked at us their eyes lit up with love and they cared for us – day and night.

Part of us still is this little, fragile human being, our bodies might have grown but the essence, this innocent and clear presence still resides within us and it will never leave.
We might not be aware of this presence, of our own worth, as it’s hidden underneath judgements, insecurities, fears and pain we collected along the way as we grew up.

But if you allow yourself to spend a moment in silence and consider that what you think or believe about your self, about the world, or about others might not be is not true, if you allow yourself a moment of doubt, you can transform your life in an instant.

Island Life P-Review

It’s been almost 2 years since I moved here. Not really knowing what will happen I packed my stuff into my car and drove all the way to Ibiza.
Many times I heard people say to me that they admire my courage for doing this, but you know, it actually didn’t need much. I guess this is something I owe to my parents – not just my trust in life that comes along with the courage to do something new, something that’s unpredictable. But also knowing that they will always be there and have my back and let me move back in if things go down, allows me to take some leaps that might involve one risk or another.

Fact is we never know what’s going to happen, no matter where we go, nor if we stay where we are. Of course, staying in a place or a job, in a familiar environment gives us a sense of security and safety, but in reality nothing is guaranteed.
And at some point you got to choose if you want to feel safe or if you rather be free.
If someone had told me I would live on Ibiza one day I wouldn’t have believed it. What would someone like me (who doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t do drugs, doesn’t party) do on a party island?

Well, the first months I spent discovering the other side of Ibiza, the side with Yoga, meditations, healing, beautiful nature and beaches; I began to learn Spanish, I made some new friends and finally I moved into the apartment where I am right now and where I truly feel at home.

Things started to come together, opportunities came up, the island basically welcomed me with open arms and showed me clearly that this is my place to be.
Now I’m not saying that everything is perfect and that my life is better than it would have been in Austria…(well, maybe a little better… 😉 ) Of course, I miss my family and friends, on days like today quite a lot, actually. But I know that I am exactly where I need and want to be. And my new family and friends here on the island make my life so beautiful as well!

So I finally decided to commit to the island, to my life here and I started my own business. I’m in the process of getting Spanish licence plates for my Austrian car that moved my stuff about 7 times since I am on the island and that’s now an essential part of my business: For the massages, Shiatsu treatments and the Yoga classes that I’m giving now in 3 different languages all over the island.

IMG_1854It feels like a whole new chapter has begun, I’m taking it up to the next level and I’m so excited for what this season is going to bring.
I feel like I have grown so much over the past 2 years, not just as a Yoga teacher and a (Shiatsu) massage therapist, but also the confidence and trust in myself has expanded enormously.
I am continuously getting out of my own way so I can be who I am supposed to be and do what I’m supposed to do.
I do what I love and what makes my heart beat faster. Sometimes because I am nervous about leaving my comfort zone, but trusting and accepting the challenges.
So bring it on, summer season 2016, I am ready for you!

Love,
Annika

DIY-Retreat

Ibiza is full of retreats where you can do yoga, detox, cleanse your body, mind and soul, where you can enjoy any kind of treatments and massages. There are beautiful retreats, there might be some crappy ones, too, but what most of them have in common is, that they are quite expensive. Probably worth the money, but for some it’s just not an option. If you’re one of them then this might be for you!

If you want to
• re-treat yourself
• do yoga
• enjoy the beaches and the sun of Ibiza
• be free of any schedules
• enjoy a massage, Shiatsu or any other kind of treatment
why don’t you create your own retreat? Do it your own way…

It’s simple and you can save a whole lot of money.
Click here on this link to find out HOW…

Ampuku – Abdominal Massage

Our digestive system is sometimes referred to as our second brain. It is a separate, autonomous and complex nervous system that plays an important role, not just in our digestion but also in our physical and mental wellbeing. However, the correlation of the two brains is yet to be researched and understood by scientists.

We might not be aware of our “gut thinking“, but it can detect danger, and we all have experienced that our intuition often has (or would have) saved us a lot of stress or worry.
Speaking (or actually, writing) of which, when we have stress or when we are upset, many times it affects our digestion or appetite.

Relaxation is often times the best way to find release of stress related digestive issues. Effective are techniques like Meditation, Mindfulness training, Breathing exercises or massages.
Ampuku, abdominal massage, can help find relief of bloating, constipation or diarrhea, a lack of or an increased appetite.
It balances and improves the function of the digestive system by increasing the blood flow. It reduces pain and supports your body to release toxins, as it stimulates other internal organs, like the liver and gallbladder.
Performed about a week prior to the expected date of the menstruation a lot of women experience reduced menstrual symptoms or cramping.

Apart from the improvement of the physical wellbeing it also helps to relax mentally and emotionally and to find peace of mind and release stress.
If you are interested in getting a “brain massage” on Ibiza get in touch… 🙂

What is Yoga…?

Yoga is in everyone’s mouth, behind every corner and there is hardly anyone out there who isn’t doing Yoga or who doesn’t know someone who has done Yoga.

There are so many different styles of Yoga and even more interpretations. So I can only talk about what Yoga is for me.
I didn’t get hooked the first class I took. I was more confused. And bored. But one day I gave it another try and coming out of class I felt completely at ease, nourished and in love with myself. That’s what got me into it.

Yoga is an instrument to reveal your inner world to an outside experience, expressed through moving the body.It is a moving meditation, that keeps your body and mind engaged and it brings your focus to the present moment.

Being constantly distracted from outside events, being constantly fed with outside information, Yoga draws the attention to what’s going on inside of you. Right here, right now.
When we become more present, the mind gets still and we can connect to that which lies behind our conscious mind – our true self.
In Yoga we use the breath and asanas (poses) to unite body, mind and soul. On the mat we practice to be present and focused while our bodies become stronger and more flexible. But Yoga goes beyond that.

Yoga is what happens once our mat is rolled up in the corner of the closet. It appears in all life events, and in all our relationships including, or especially, the one with ourselves.

Yoga is more than just poses. It is not about getting the perfect alignment, but about getting comfortable with our imperfections, with who we are. It’s about finding our Self and our truth.

• Be present •
• Lose track of time •
• Fully arrive in your body •
• Connect to your breath •
• Move and flow mindfully •

Aside from private and one-on-one classes I also teach group classes for all levels at the Pure Om Yoga studio in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza, where I also offer workshops. Click here to find out when I teach.

For more offers click here, please…

The importance of relaxation

There are four main factors that have a direct impact on the health of our body, mind and soul:
1. Breathing: How deep and conscious we breathe
2. Nutrition: What and how (much) we eat and drink
3. Relaxation: How much stress we have in our life and if we find time to switch off; the quantity and, more importantly, the quality of our sleep
4. Movement: How (much) we move (strength, flexibility, stamina, balance, coordination)

Yes, relaxing is as important as eating, drinking, breathing and moving! 
You might live longer without relaxation than you do without eating, drinking or breathing, however, long term studies show that relaxation is a necessity and we all know where chronic stress can lead to.
Sadly many people wait too long and only start to begin taking care of themselves when their bodies show some sign of imbalance, like pain, discomfort, complaints or in the worst case, disease.

If you never recharge your batteries sufficiently you will not be able to perform with your full potential. So make sure you look for and find ways that work for you! Go for Yoga classes, get some comfortable running shoes, meditate, treat yourself with a massage every now and then… Do anything that works for you personally.
Make sure you find time to relax, to switch off to maintain and improve your health and to regularly recharge the amount of energy you have available to go through life.

The Fire Type

Summer is here! The season of the fire element. This element represents transformation, versatility and rebirth. It is about celebration, happiness and love.

Fire has contradictory qualities, as it gives light and warmth, prepares food and forges metals and on the other hand it can have an enormous destructive power.
It is the element with the strongest Yang-character and the energy is concentrated on the surface which enables ease and openness.

While the wood element represents growth, the fire element is nature in full blossom. With excitement, curiosity, enthusiasm, and joy the fire type burns through sensuality, inspiration and strives for finding a deeper meaning behind things in order to live life fully, rather than to survive.

If the fire energy is balanced he knows what fulfills his life and that he will keep struggling if he doesn’t follow his path. He is sensitive to other people and gains energy when he gets attention and recognition and when he inspires others.

Imbalance
A lack of fire energy shows up as a lack of excitement. Doubts, worries and insecurity capture his courage to open up, to put himself “out there”. Drama, irrational feelings, attachment and the inability to draw boundaries are not just in relationships a huge challenge for everyone involved.

An overflow of fire can result in fanatism, jealousy and in the dependence on attention.
The rising energy of the fire needs an anchor and grounding: Learning how to be alone is essential for the fire type, and also to find time to focus on what he really wants.

On a physical level an imbalance affects the main organ of the fire element: the heart.
When there are no organic disorders, a lack of expression of the fire energy can result in symptoms like a racing heart, twinges, etc.

Too much fire on the other hand can result in an imbalance of his psyche, like anxiety, nervousness, or an irrational emotional rollercoaster. Also sleeping problems and speech disorders are linked to an imbalance of the fire element.
The passion of the fire type, however, often leads to high highs and low lows, which is quite common and just a result of his strong and open heart.

How to balance the fire element
Movement is important for the fire type. Running marathons, however, or achievement-oriented sports does not exactly express the bubbly and lively energy. Dancing is the best way to do so, or any form of movement that is fun and where he can express himself and bond with others. Especially physical sensuality and sex are an important expression of the fire energy.

Nutrition-wise the best thing a fire type can do is to eat in good company. Also, bitter foods and drinks have a cooling effect that helps to balance the fire.

Finding joy in what he does keeps him sane and healthy. So does taking some time out to go inwards to re-focus the dispersive energy. Yoga can be an incredible tool for that.
Working with people, anything that involves communicationart and the expression of the self, and to live his full potential is more important to him than the financial aspect.

Fire is not tangible and constantly changing its shape, reacting to external influences; hence the physical characteristics of the fire type are less significant than his nature. However, some of his visible features can be: small hands and feet, a rather short and compact body, liveliness and that “spark in his eyes”.

What’s the state of your inner fire? Are you allowing it to burn, taking the risk to burn yourself sometimes? Or do you rather keep it small and controlled? Then you might be interested in my blog post about the metal element which will come… when the time is right 🙂

Watch out for the next blog post about the related organs of the fire element: The heart, the small intestine, the pericardium and the triple heater.

The Wood Type

In spring nature awakens and grows almost explosively in all directions, it’s shining in all colours and shapes. In no other time of the year we experience such a dynamic expansion. This also lies in the nature of the wood type. However, so much concentrated energy can, and most likely will create chaos, as it is not his strength to organise and structure.

His strengths are creating and doing. Creativity, activity, adventure, determination and initiative, freedom and a huge compulsion to move are characteristic for the wood type.
He is full of energy, restless, ambitious and driven. It’s not just the planning, but also the execution of the plans that lies within the power of the wood type.
Change is a necessity, and so is the protection of his personal space – space to grow and to expand. Not just on a physical level, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

One of the qualities of the wood element is aggression. Aggression is commonly linked with destructivity, however, in psychotherapy to a certain degree it is seen as a necessity to move on, to get things done, and to overcome obstacles. It is a natural impulse of expansion, and if it meets resistance in most cases it will lead to anger.

Anger is the related emotion of the wood element which easily arises when it meets stagnation, pressure or a lack of freedom. Anger is an important force to get or to stay in movement.
However, if you find yourself exploding over little things you can start taking a look where in life you might feel restricted or limited.

Challenges
A challenge for the wood type can be finding the balance between activity and relaxation. To avoid exhaustion or burn out, it is vital to find the time to slow down, and to relax. Being very competitive and an achiever makes this even harder.

If the wood energy doesn’t find its way out it can result in quick temper, frustration, depression, and if aggression doesn’t find a valve it usually turns against oneself, becoming a ticking time-bomb.
On a physical level it can lead to migraines, irritable eyes, high blood pressure, to a stiffness in hip and shoulder joints, to rheumatic diseases and much more.

Body type
Wood types are athletic, wiry, muscular, they are flexible and have strong hands, big feet, and are usually tanned from outdoor activity. They have a high muscle tone and are very energetic.

Balancing the wood element

  • The strong energy of the wood element needs to find expression, the best and most effective valve is movement. Wood needs to burn to release energy. A burning fire brings joy – the emotion associated with the fire element.
  • Find challenges, set clear (and just a few) goals and follow through. Instead of spreading the energy on many different things it is important to focus the energy on the most essential ones. Because many plans that aren’t put into action can also lead to frustration. Find out what your heart is burning for and take action.
  • Nutrition-wise it’s more important for the wood type to take the time to eat, to chew, to digest rather than focusing on what to eat. Sour is the taste related to wood, and anything that cooles down the heated body of the wood type is good for his often overloaded system.

Read here the next post about the related organs and meridians: Liver and gallbladder.

Finding balance within

We all unite the five elements within us, in our personalities, as well as physically. Some elements, however, are more distinct than others. Categorising bears the “danger” of stereotyping, at the same time it can give us a better understanding of who we, or who others are, and maybe even why we are the way we are. So we can let go of judgement and replace it by acceptance more easily.

By having a greater understanding about our tendencies (and that’s all they are; they are not common facts that are true 100% of the time) we learn more about ourselves and we can more easily find our inner balance and become more happy and healthy.

The personality, our condition, is strongly shaped by upbringing, by our parents (mostly through what or how they live rather than through what they preach), family, friends, school, etc. But then there is also our individual nature, our essence.
Sometimes we – or others, might expect us to be or act in a certain way which doesn’t feel true to who we really are. And instead of trying to fit in, or trying to please others, or forcing ourselves to be someone we are not, we can also just understand and accept that we are the way we are. Because this understanding of ourselves is the first important step to be able to change, if we even want to.

The constitution, our physique, is greatly shaped by genetics, but also by what we eat, how much we move and how much we rest. Our energy level reveals the balance (or imbalance) between Yin & Yang within the body.
It’s very common that our condition differs from our constitution. Knowing about them, however, can help us, to improve our happiness and health and to increase our energy level by finding inner balance, as well as focussing on nutrition, exercise, relaxation and breathing.

Are you, generally speaking, an active person who is more comfortable moving than sitting still?
Do you recharge your energy when being around other people and do you enjoy to be in the spotlight?
Do you love to invite your friends over to cook dinner for them and to play board games?
Is making plans and to-do-lists an urgent necessity and cleanliness and structure important for you?
Are you more introverted and do you love peace and quiet, as in meditation or thinking about life and its meaning?

Stay tuned to find out more in my next blog post…