yoga starts now. what does this sentence mean to you?
This moment is all we’ve truly got. The past is gone – the future is unknown. We can drop into unity now if we allow a dropping of identification with past and future.
what was your first time doing yoga?
The very first time I did yoga was when I was twelve. I was working at a farmers market. At that time I suffered from really terrible debilitating anxiety. Across the booth where I was working was a wise looking bearded man, selling his meditation tapes and books. I was drawn to his wise and peaceful aura and would sometimes ask him questions as I was desperately seeking relief from my anxiety and fear. One day he gave me my very first yoga book – Autobiography of a Yogi – and all of his meditation tapes. I did his guided meditations and began reading the book. This is where it all began!
with twelve… did you continue?
I continued with meditation until I met my first yoga teacher- Nancy Goodfellow – when I was 19 in Costa Rica. Since then I’ve been hooked …
you spoke about your anxiety. you consider fears as a manure for the soul …
I believe that our fears are necessary and medicinal to a degree. That they are some of the most beautiful mazes that we grow bravest aspects of ourselves out of. It’s like the manure you need to grow vegetables. Our fears – when they’re faced and not ignore, rejected or suppressed but rather inquired into and understood, can be the best source of fertilizer for our growth.
in the first part of the workshop at the yogaloft you said: uncomfortable moments can be the most beautiful in life. could you explain it again?
We’re conditioned to not want to feel unpleasant things and so therefore we have a tendency to run away from a certain aspects of our human existence that we may deem as uncomfortable. In doing so, we shut down to an immense amount of potential life energy. So, if we let ourselves explore deeper into these different aspects and layers, we can recollect lost power. Along the way we receive the highest education, gifted to us from the journey of our own unique Life experience. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about pain or discomfort from pushing oneself into a pose. I’m talking about an internal quest to come to know every flavour that expresses itself through the gift of every moment.
you mean we need the emotional shit to grow …
When we let ourselves digest unprocessed information that will often manifest in the emotional body, we develop overtime a sweet inner resilience and strength. At first the intensity of our inner experience may seem too scary, almost unmanageable however, once you let yourself feel deeper into the sadness, deeper into the frustration, deeper into whatever the discomfort and relax into it then you realize that it can’t do anything to you – except take you deeper into yourself. And the traveling deeper into yourself unfolds these rich aspects of life that you can’t experience any other way. Nobody else can take you to these layers of life. The only way to travel to them is through yourself. And when you travel through them you develop also a deeper understanding of the universe.
sometimes exactly this needs a lot of courage.
Yes, because these deep layers of ourselves can be the most uncomfortable ones. And the doorways to this vast and rich part of life are often the most misunderstood. It’s the road less traveled for which there is no map. We often leave them unexplored because we don’t understand them.
let’s talk about confusion on this path.
Confusion can mean, that something is shifting, something is changing. Something is recalibrating and there is nothing known to grab onto. There’s nothing known to hold onto. It’s a beautiful and transformative place to be if you can let yourself relax into it remembering that it won’t last forever and what maybe on the other side of it is a more expanded version of yourself. When I’m in a state of confusion I feel like I’m downloading a new software program. You know when it’s downloading and you can see on your screen it goes from zero to hundred as the computer is processing. So when I get confused I see it like I’m downloading a new program so my whole body is recalculating, with all systems readjusting to this new program. While this is happening there’s nothing to grab onto. Like being in-between worlds. Then finally once the program has been downloaded the program it takes time to learn to use it … That is a whole other thing!
is it happening a lot while you’re teaching – that people get confused?
It happens a lot in teacher trainings. It’s intense. If somebody is confused something is shifting. The mind no longer can grasp to the older program or identity. I encourage them to relax and hold space for them so that they can go through their process. I do not see Confusion as bad or negative. I see it as a place of potential, of shifting, of transformation.
and yoga is a method for recalibration?
I see that yoga has the potential to recalibrate all systems back into optimal harmony, and therefore back into optimal communication. I see this happening within the individual body as well as extending out, harmonizing the individual in sync with all of Nature.
In many of the practices of yoga as one moves and breathes creating heat, twisting, bending, etc., the outcome is a washing, cleansing and recalibrating on every single layer. So that’s how I see the recalibration. Once you start to move, twist and turn, energy starts to move. As the lines begin to be flushed and open up again, there’s a mass recalibration, recalculation and strengthening that can begin to take place through all systems.
you’re travelling since three years. does this chance your self-practice?
Yes, my practice changes depending on where I am in the world and what my schedule looks like. When I lead Teacher Trainings I get up everyday at 5 am and practice. When I’m having downtime, I practice usually later in the morning. When I’m in cities my practice often will look more yin like. In nature it can get wild. This morning I did a yin practice and than massaged my belly with argan oil. It’s changing. But I practice every day.
is there an Asana you like most?
At this moment I like the headstand. These days I love plugging my brain into the earth.
rooting the brain – the opposite side of daydreaming…
I think daydreaming is an important meditation. You can listen to your own vision and just get lost in your own insights. I think it’s an important tool for creation and manifestation. To let yourself go, free from rules and boundaries and shoulds and impossibilities… You can discover the visual and sensational hints to your highest capacities.
so let’s get lost again. let’s get back to practice! thanks for your time!
The Interview was held with Tanja Schneider in 2015