In my whole life I took maybe 5 selfies. I never liked to see myself on photos. Sharing something personal about myself had never been easy for me. Limiting beliefs like "who am I to share", "I don't have anything interesting to say", "if I show my weakness nobody will love me" ... held me back from opening up and showing my real self to others. Being rejected was my biggest fear.
In January 2014 I completed my 200h yoga TTC in India. The person I described above...that was my state of being. I didn't feel ready to teach after the course was over and also I wasn't sure if I ever want to be a yoga teacher. Actually, I wasn't sure at all what to do with my life. Certainly I was not looking for another yoga training, but rather for something that would help me to find my purpose, to understand what I'm supposed to do here in this world.
But then life just gave me what I needed most, I guess. And only a few months later I found myself participating at a 300h advanced yoga teacher training on the island of Koh Phangan for 6 weeks. Jivani Yoga. The slogan was "awaken. heal. transform". It didn't mean anything to me, I had no idea what they intended to say with that slogan. But clearly there was such a strong inner voice or intuition that called me to sign up for the course - even if it was not in my budget, even if rationally there was no reason to do an advanced TTC without having worked as a yoga teacher at all.
I trusted my intuition. And it was then when something started to awaken. It was then that I turned my awareness inwards and first became aware of the self-destructive voices in my head, critizing pretty much everything about myself. There was no self love. Saying out loud "I love myself" was just impossible. I realized that the idea I had of love was very distorted. I thought I have to be perfect and perform in order to be loved. Receiving without giving wasn't an acceptable idea. Being worthy meant earning it. The idea of loving myself felt arrogant, egoistic and selfish.
4 years later and a lot of inner work, self love practice, incredible support, encouragement & love from so many wonderful people... and here am I posting one of my very first selfies. When I look at that photo, I feel so much Iove.
Because she is worthy.
Because she is lovable.
Because she is loved. Unconditionally.
And it all started with a yoga TTC... Thank you from all my heart to all the wonderful souls who have been there for me in the last years helping me to fall in love with myself again. And thank you so much to Emma and Jivani Yoga for supporting me to wake up. This is the most vulnerable post I've ever shared. But I hope it might inspire some of you to bring more self love into their lives as well. My course in 2014 took place at Serenity Residence - the same location where we will be offering The Spirit of Yoga TTCs, and it would be such a pleasure to hold space for you, to guide you and support you as well on your journey to yourself.
By Anja Maier