5 things no one tells you about being a yoga teacher

Some yoga teachers are real stars these days: they teach in front of huge groups at festivals, write books, give talks, promote products on social media.

They have cultivated a glamorous image. As a result, many people think that yoga teachers are always in top shape, slim, well-dressed, healthy and in full control of their lives. Participants in teacher training courses report profound spiritual experiences and rave about their time in training.

But there are also things that nobody tells you before you become a yoga teacher. Here are five of them:

Your own practice is more important than ever

No, it is not enough to demonstrate the asanas to your participants. As a teacher, you will have to place a lot of emphasis on your own asana and meditation practice. Why?

First of all, it keeps you strong and supple. Both are essential if you want to demonstrate asanas regularly. It also relaxes you when you’re stressed. Yes, even those who teach yoga can be stressed or even suffer from burnout. Self-care is therefore essential.

In addition to these vital reasons, your own time on the mat is also a source of inspiration. Have you experienced a creative new sequence or a particularly beautifully guided deep relaxation? Then use this new insight for your teaching! Only if you practice regularly – both on your own and in classes – will you have enough ideas for your own classes.

You will then be able to teach them much better and more vividly, because you need to know what the asanas you are teaching feel like.

You will see everyday life with different eyes

You have probably become more mindful through your own regular practice and the intensive training period and experience many everyday things differently. But that’s not even what I mean.

When you start teaching yoga, you will see everyday life through the filter of what you have learned in your training. For example, you will evaluate and handle minor conflicts differently. In addition, everything becomes a source of inspiration and thus a potential topic for your classes. Has someone in your circle of friends or family told you an inspiring story? It’s quite possible that you’ll weave it into your next Dharma Talk.

Teaching is so different from practicing

You may be a very advanced practitioner and you may be able to perform physically demanding asanas with ease. However, this does not automatically mean that you can also instruct them well. Conversely, you may not be able or want to practice an asana, but you are still perfectly capable of teaching it.

Therefore, especially as a new yoga teacher, don’t be fooled if you have planned a supposedly simple class. People often think “I practice all the asanas in the sequence all the time, I don’t need to prepare much for this class”. Instead, you should really take another look at the exercises.

It is also important for the participants to feel them. Especially if you practice the asanas regularly, this may happen almost automatically. But it’s not enough to say “and now into Downward-Facing Dog”. Rather, you want to guide the individual steps that are necessary to move from the current position to the next. You want to direct your students’ concentration to specific areas of the body. You may want to accompany the asana with affirmations. All of this requires a certain amount of preparation.

You will feel like a newbie again

In your training group, you were perhaps the only person who managed the Scorpio pose; the person who could sink deepest into the forward fold and stay in meditation the longest. You grasped the theory quickly and felt like a yoga pro, ready to inspire people with your classes.

As a teacher, on the other hand, you are totally new after the training. Yes, the asanas may be familiar, but it won’t be familiar to make them accessible to others. Allow yourself to be a beginner again! All of us who teach yoga have had to find our feet in this new role. Give yourself this time and don’t let stage fright discourage you! It’s only natural that it feels unfamiliar and intimidating to look into expectant faces at the beginning of a course.

You don’t automatically become a “better” person

Let’s go back to the ‘perfect’ image mentioned at the beginning that some yoga teachers cultivate on social media.

Your life won’t change overnight just because you teach yoga. You won’t automatically become healthier, more energetic or happier. It’s not enough to teach classes – it’s important that you still see yourself as a student and progress on your own yogic path while helping others to follow it.

Every experience on the yoga path is valuable, especially teaching. I wish you many enriching experiences on your own journey!

Positive vibes: How yoga can make you happy

When we pursue a hobby that we really enjoy, we feel happy – and yoga is no exception. But yoga is so much more than a hobby and can do so much more than just make us feel good temporarily.

There is now even evidence that regular practice on the mat can have a positive impact on our mood. So let’s take a look at how yoga can make us happy!

What actually is happiness?

Each person will probably answer this very philosophical question individually, but surveys from happiness research show that we tend to classify happiness as a momentary experience, while satisfaction is seen as longer-term. However, it is also less pronounced and is perceived less intensely.

According to surveys, we are particularly happy in good relationships, during fulfilling activities, when relaxing or during joyful events.

Obstacles to happiness from a yogic perspective

Patanjali, an Indian scholar and author of the famous Yoga Sutras, identified three factors that prevent us from feeling happiness:

1. Genes (Vasanas): These are predispositions that work from our subconscious. They contribute to us being more or less susceptible to stress or mistrustful than other people, for example.

2. Imprints (samskaras): By imprints, Patanjali refers to subconscious patterns of behavior and evaluation. We acquire these through our upbringing and the influence of society and our immediate social environment. This also includes the so-called “Antarayas”, mental blockages, which, according to Patanjali, you should always be aware of. For example, is it important to you to always be right? Think about this and ask yourself whether it’s really always necessary or whether you can sit back and relax without having to prove anything to others.

3. Disturbing forces (Kleshas): The Kleshas have the most far-reaching effect and are considered to be the cause of all forms of suffering. These include: Ignorance (Avidya), the misconception of oneself (Asmita), greed (Raga), aversion (Dvesha) and fear (Abhinivesha).

The bad news: According to Patanjali, we will never be able to completely overcome the Kleshas. Abhinivesha in particular, which ultimately stands for the fear of death, is too profound.

The good news is that we can mitigate them somewhat through mindfulness.

Autopilot mode off for more happiness

In everyday life, our brain often runs in autopilot mode. It interprets everyday life against the background of what we have already experienced.

On the one hand, this is good because it allows us to grasp situations quickly and act efficiently and saves us a lot of brooding and thinking – for example, when driving a car, when you don’t think much about how to shift into the next gear.

Alongside these advantages, however, autopilot mode also has a disadvantage. It prevents us from consciously focusing our attention in everyday life. As a result, unpleasant factors are perceived as particularly intense and disturbing, because our brain is geared towards keeping us safe – not happy. Beautiful things are therefore often not perceived in autopilot mode.

If we switch off this mode, we can also experience happiness. Yoga practice invites us to do this by implementing mindfulness.

Asanas for more happiness

In addition to the mindfulness that is very common in yoga classes, practicing asanas also sets physiological processes in motion that help us to reduce stress and minimize it in the long term.

Our oxygen metabolism improves, the concentration of the stress hormone cortisol is reduced, cholesterol levels and blood pressure drop. This also strengthens our immune system.

When we practice asanas, we address either the calming or activating part of the autonomic nervous system, depending on the postures we choose. This even allows us to gently regulate our mood. Of course, you won’t get out of an intense funk or even depression just because you do a yoga session with lots of backbends. However, this asana group generally has an activating effect and can help you if you are feeling sluggish, listless or tired.

In general, exercise is good for happiness. Research shows that exercise has a positive effect on our mental performance and also on our body, regardless of which form of exercise you choose.

In yoga, we move in harmony with our breath. We often flow into one position when we inhale, and exhaling into another. This rhythmic movement helps to relax the brain and activates the body’s own reward systems.

Meditation for more happiness

Meditation is inextricably linked to yoga and has a positive effect on our sense of happiness even without practicing asanas. When we meditate, the hypothalamus releases oxytocin and dopamine – which in turn leads to positive emotional states.

If you keep at it over a longer period of time and meditate regularly, your serotonin concentration in the blood can increase. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that puts us in a good mood. It can also improve our sleep and digestion.

In the long term, permanent changes can occur in the brain’s nerve cell network, especially the activity of the front left area of the cerebral cortex is increased. Meditation stimulates this area of the brain, making the nerve cell network there denser and stronger. If this area of the brain is active, balance and calmness of mind are stabilized – which also leads to a greater sense of happiness.

Exercise guidelines for more happiness

Just get on the mat and get started? Sure, even then you’re bound to feel the positive effects. But these three tips will make it even better:

1. Inner alignment: it’s important what your inner attitude is when you get on the mat. This doesn’t mean that you can only practice in a good mood. I myself have unrolled my mat several times because I wasn’t feeling well and wanted to counteract this. However, you shouldn’t be reluctant to practice because you’ve read that it can help. If you force yourself to practice, the effect will be counterproductive.

2. Focus: direct your practice towards a specific focus that contributes to happiness. How about gratitude, for example? This aspect will then also be strengthened in your experience and support feelings of happiness.

3. Form: Get fully involved in the external form of each asana. This may sound abstract at first, but it can be very effective. The warrior poses, for example, are very proud and radiate confidence. Connect with these qualities and let them spill over onto you. It works in the same way with security, which is associated with the child’s pose, or with patience, which is associated with forward folds.

If you are not yet a yoga fan and after the first point of the exercise guidelines think “then yoga is not for me to increase my happiness”, you are mistaken. You don’t have to be completely enthusiastic about yoga to benefit from it. The important thing is that you go to the mat with an open mind and without pressure. For many, it’s love at first sight – it wasn’t love at first sight for me, but maybe for you? I wish you lots of luck 😊

Stressed out? The three best yogic methods to calm down

It’s a paradox: In contrast to the life of our grandparents, our everyday life has become a lot easier, supported by modern technology that simplifies and accelerates many processes. However, this acceleration has also somehow taken on a life of its own – at least that’s how it feels for many of us. While it used to be perfectly normal not to get an immediate response to a request, today we have the pressure to respond to emails as quickly as possible. Even in our private lives, we often get a half-worried, half-annoyed “are you okay?” when WhatsApp messages aren’t answered within a certain period of time.

It is not least this constant accessibility, this expectation that everything has to happen very quickly, that illnesses such as burnout are spreading. Stress seems to have become a widespread disease, and stress-related symptoms such as tension are almost normal.

But even if some people proudly display their stress in order to appear particularly productive and important: stress is not glamorous. In the long run, it can even make you sick.

Yoga is a wonderful way to relieve stress. After a hectic day, it’s a great way to unwind and find yourself again a little more.

Here are my three favorite yogic methods against stress.


Do you know that feeling: an important meeting or presentation is coming up, you are under time and performance pressure, you feel nervous – and suddenly you notice how shallow your breathing has become? The fact that our breathing speeds up in stressful situations is quite normal, but it is not a one-way street. Just as our sensation can influence our breath, so can our breath influence our sensation. If we consciously breathe slowly and deeply in a hectic situation, we signal to our brain: Everything is under control. No need to worry. You are safe.

Taking a few moments to breathe deeply in and out, paying attention to the movements of the abdominal wall and chest, can already help well. If you want to go a little further, you can practice yogic alternate nostril breathing.

Here’s how:

  • Find a relaxed but upright position
  • Rest your left hand on your left thigh. Bring the tips of the index and ring fingers of your right hand to the base of your right thumb.
  • Close the right nostril with the thumb of your right hand. Inhale on the left for four seconds.
  • Then close the left nostril with the ring finger as well. Hold the breath for sixteen seconds.
  • Open the right nostril, keeping the left one closed. Exhale through the right nostril for eight seconds.
  • Then breathe in again on the right for four seconds.
  • Close the right nostril so that both nostrils are closed again, and hold the air for sixteen seconds.
  • Open the right nostril, keep the left one closed. Breathe out through the right nostril for eight seconds.
  • Then inhale again on the right for four seconds.
  • Close the right nostril so that both nostrils are closed again, and hold the breath for sixteen seconds.
  • Open the left nostril, keeping the right one closed. Exhale through the left nostril for eight seconds.
  • This completes one round. Begin a new cycle by breathing in through the left nostril. Repeat as many times as you like, ending the exercise with the exhalation through the left nostril. Then reflect for a moment.


Our brain means well with us. It warns us when we are potentially in danger to keep us safe. In the past, this was necessary for survival to escape saber-toothed tigers. Nowadays, “threats” tend to come in the form of demanding bosses, interpersonal conflicts, or difficult situations. Sometimes we can’t really distinguish whether our situation is really that bad at the moment.

By means of meditation you “train” your brain. Practiced regularly, it gives us the ability to recognize when our thought carousel is getting out of control again and also the ability to collect ourselves better in such a situation.

If you are particularly stressed, you will probably find it rather difficult to sit quietly and meditate for several minutes. Therefore, make meditation a habit when you’re feeling well so that you’re prepared for emergencies.

Relaxing yoga exercises

Whether your stress manifests itself in fatigue or restlessness, there are yoga asanas that will help either way!

Forward Folds: The seated forward fold in particular has a calming effect on our autonomic nervous system. If your hamstrings are so shortened that you can’t hold the forward fold comfortably, make a yin posture out of it by building a small tower out of pillows or a bolster in front of you to rest your head or upper body on. It doesn’t matter how deep you can sink into the asana.

Sun Salutations: actually, sun salutations are meant to get us going rather than bring us down when we are stressed. However, if you feel a strong inner turmoil, it can be very helpful to move in tune with your breath, especially if you do it consciously and slowly. So connect the poses of Sun Salutation with your breath. Make sure your breath is deep and try not to get out of breath. Feel free to insert an intermediate breath once in a while, for example in downward looking dog.

Child’s pose: Take up this yoga pose when you feel like everything is getting too much for you and you’re in over your head. If it doesn’t feel good for you to rest your head on the mat, let your upper body and one temple rest on a bolster or large pillow.

Folding forward and child’s pose are also good poses for sleeping peacefully afterwards – an important factor in preventing and reducing stress. Feel free to combine all methods in whatever way feels best for you.

3 Tips to add Depth to your Yoga Classes

“Yoga… that’s just stretching and relaxation.”

Does it bug you too when you hear this prejudice? It annoys me even more when it often comes from people who have never tried yoga and just blurt out their false impression without restraint. Because those of us who have discovered the practice for ourselves know: Yoga is far from being just stretching and relaxation.

It’s important to note that stretching and relaxation are both part of a balanced yoga practice and every yoga class. Of course, doing sun salutations quickly can make you sweat. They may even leave you with sore muscles the next day. Yet, yoga is so much more than “just” a sports program.

More than a workout – yoga is versatile

As a yoga fan, this will be clear to you. However, if you’re fresh out of yoga teacher training, you may not be quite sure how to design your classes to be different from the athletic approach you take at the gym.

Here are three tips to add depth to your yoga classes.

Choose a theme for your yoga class

There are no limits to your imagination here – anything can be a theme! Both physical and psychological aspects, spiritual and Ayurvedic themes, as well as things you’ve read or experienced that are on your mind. Sometimes an inspiring quote is enough, which you can choose as a motto for your lesson.

Examples can be: Yoga for a healthy back, yoga for stress and tension, yoga with teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Ayurvedic yoga suitable for the season, or yoga for more resilience in everyday life.

Just the fact that there is a theme gives your class some significance. Share the theme with the group in the “Dharma Talk” at the beginning of class, revisiting it in between and noting, for example, how a particular exercise fits in.

Clearly emphasize the benefits

Yoga is good for you – but how exactly? Always explain briefly and clearly how an exercise works or why one follows the other. For example, explain how the child’s pose is a nice balancing exercise for backbends. Also feel free to explain, if it makes sense, the energetic effect of an asana.

People who come to a yoga class usually want to do something good for themselves, not only physically, but also mentally. By occasionally weaving in how asanas or pranayamas work, you give your participants the good feeling of doing something meaningful for themselves.

Make it suitable for everyday life

Some people come to a yoga class with doubts in mind. They have heard about the benefits and want to benefit, but don’t really trust it yet; or they have been “dragged along” by a yoga fan from their circle. Among the most common doubts or prejudices is the assumption that such an old practice is no longer up-to-date at all, or that it is totally out of touch spiritually. Convince your yogis and yoginis otherwise! How?

– Ask yourself in which situations yoga has already helped you and how – and then share it! In this way, you give the exercises a meaningful, comprehensible reference and make yourself even more authentic and approachable as a teacher.

– Some of your exercises can also be done in the office, on the train or in bed? Draw attention to this! This shows that yoga is suitable for almost all situations.

– If appropriate, make a reference to current world events; for example, refer to “grounding in uncertain times” or “strengthening the immune system during flu season.” This makes it effortlessly clear that yoga is definitely timeless.

Just the repeated reference to the breath, as well as tracing and reflecting after certain exercises, is what differentiates a good yoga class from a fitness session. But with these three tips, you can make your classes even more meaningful and enriching.

Still have additions? Share them with me in the comments!

A Guide for Yoga Teachers – 5 Steps for planning the perfect Yoga Class

The time after yoga teacher training can feel strange. On one hand, you want to continue teaching exactly as you learned and feel safe with old familiar lesson patterns. On the other hand, you want to break out and develop a style all your own, putting an individual stamp on your lessons.

Then, once you’ve been teaching for a while, you often have your own lessons that you give over and over again, so you sometimes feel bored with your own concepts.

As both a new and experienced yoga teacher, lesson planning is essential if you don’t want to feel like a broken record. A framework of five simple steps can help you.

What is the level of the students?

This is the first question you should ask yourself. If you’re teaching a clearly named, level-based course, the situation is clear. However, if you are teaching a specially designed course or workshop based on something other than level, you need to ask yourself what audience you are targeting. Who is your course or workshop for? Is the topic appropriate for beginners as well as advanced learners? Who do you prefer to teach?

What is the topic?

Speaking of the topic, what is the “theme” of your class or workshop? What is the focus? Maybe you give a lesson on “Yoga for the back”. Perhaps you have planned a lesson from a spiritual or Ayurvedic point of view. Keep point 1 in mind when choosing – not every theme is suitable for every level. 

Which asanas fit that topic?

Each asana has physical, mental and energetic effects. Which ones fit your theme? Gather a selection of asanas that particularly support the goal you want to achieve with your lesson.


You link these asanas together in an intelligent way so that transitions make sense. This means: include more energizing asanas during the warm-up and less before Savasana; and make sure that the transitions are as smooth as possible (even if they are held for a long time!), so that the students don’t have to constantly get up from the floor to stand and back again. If necessary, incorporate asanas for filling, so that the practitioners stay well in the flow. Always take into account balancing positions and include enough time for tracing at the appropriate point.

The details

The framework of your class is now in place – time for the details that will make your class more than just a series of physical exercises.

Start with a short introduction, a so-called “Dharma Talk”, in which you explain concisely, but clearly and sensitively, what the goal of this lesson is for you. Feel free to make a personal reference to why this topic is important to you to make yourself more relatable.

During the lesson, have suitable notes on certain asanas or sequences ready so that the participants get an impression of which exercises are good for what. However, do not overburden them, but let the comments flow in a well-dosed manner.

At the end, think about a suitable meditation or visualization for Savasana that fits the topic. This will round off your lesson nicely.

You may also want to give your class a personal touch and include something that you particularly like. For example, I always have my participants write a little and have journal prompts ready for them. Maybe you are a fan of essential oils or art – weave these components into your lessons!

Finally, I’d like to include a little note about the title of this article.

Always be aware that your lesson doesn’t have to be “perfect.” In the middle of teaching, you may suddenly realize that a different asana might have been more appropriate; afterwards, you may wish you had chosen a different meditation… so, rather than striving for perfection, strive to create the most enriching experience possible for your participants.

First aid: Yogic tips for nervousness, anxiety and panic

As a perpetual candidate for the mental merry-go-round, I have always been more nervous than others when it came to exams, job interviews, or other important situations. So nervous, in fact, that it sometimes degenerated into anxiety. The fact that I have very extreme emotional reactions to certain things is still the case today. However, with yoga I have found a wonderful tool to deal with it better.

Here are my top 5 tips for nervousness, anxiety and panic.

Please note: These exercises do not replace therapy!

Alternate Breathing Variation

The classical alternating breathing is about harmonizing the two hemispheres of the brain and gaining more concentration and inner peace. If you perform this exercise in the usual way, you inhale through one nostril, hold your breath and exhale through the other nostril before starting a new round by inhaling through the same nostril. Attention is also paid to the length of the inhale and exhale. A variation of this breathing exercise is particularly suitable for nervousness, diffuse anxiety and bouts of panic. In this variation, stopping is omitted and how long you breathe in and out doesn’t matter – you just breathe as deeply as you can.

Here’s how: Find a comfortable, upright seat. Rest your left hand on your left thigh and place the index and middle fingers of your right hand at the base of your wrist. Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale deeply on the left. Lower your right hand, exhale through both nostrils and inhale again. Close your left nostril with your right ring finger, exhale on the right and inhale again. Lower your right hand, exhale through both nostrils and inhale again. Close the right nostril again and exhale on the left. This completes one round. Repeat this exercise as many times as feels good to you.

Calming Yoga Poses Like Forward Folds

There are asanas that you can use to positively affect your autonomic nervous system and calm inner turmoil. The most popular: child’s pose, seated forward bend, savasana, and viparita karani, the supported shoulder stand – alternatively, you can lie down in front of a wall and rest your legs against it. Yoga Nidra is also wonderful. For guided “yogic sleep,” you’ll find numerous resources online that you can play for free.

Mini flow with humming

This little flow provides more inner peace with simple, flowing movements in harmony with the breath. A humming sound on the exhale additionally ensures that your thoughts are calmed.

Here’s how: Get into child’s pose on your mat. With an upward inhalation, straighten into tabletop position. Exhaling round your back into cat pose and hum as you exhale. Inhaling, arch your back into cow position. With the next exhalation raise your hips, come into the dog looking down. Again, make a humming sound. Inhaling, come back to cow pose and then with the next exhalation and the associated humming sound, lower yourself back into child’s pose. Repeat this sequence as many times as you like.

Golden Milk

Milk is ayurvedically an ideal way to calm Vata – the dosha that is usually behind when we feel agitated, restless and anxious. So our grandmothers had a good nose when they used to make us warm milk when we couldn’t sleep. Golden milk is a jazzed-up version of this old home remedy, and with ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon, it does something for your immune system, too.


Yogic hand gestures can also work well to help us achieve a little more inner peace. Here are three simple mudras you can easily perform when your mind is racing:

Dhyana Mudra

This mudra is used in many Eastern meditation traditions, as it is said to provide inner stillness. It is meant to signal to the mind that now is the time to come to rest. Even if you don’t want to meditate, you can use this to take the edge off stressful situations.

Here’s how: Place your hands in your lap like two bowls, so that the palms are facing up. The right hand is on top. Your thumbs touch each other.

Vayu Mudra

Nervousness and anxiety are often the result of excess Vata dosha. This mudra, associated with the air element, helps with Vata-related problems – including emotional ones.

Here’s how: Bend your index fingers in so that the tip of your finger touches the base of your thumb, then place your thumbs on the top knuckle of your index finger.

Garuda Mudra

The “eagle gesture” is said to balance energy to the point where the carousel of thoughts slows down and moods can be better controlled-.

Here’s how: Raise both hands to chest level and cross your wrists so that your palms face your chest. Then interlace your thumbs, place your hands flat on your chest and spread your fingers.

For all mudras, it is ideal if you can find a quiet moment to hold them for a few minutes and connect them with deep, calm breath.

I wish you much joy in trying them out and always a peaceful mind!

Yoga before, during and after air travel

The vacation season is in full swing and many of us are drawn to faraway places. Discovering foreign countries, immersing ourselves in exotic cultures and landscapes, discovering new favorite foods – to experience all of this, we often have to spend a considerable amount of time in the confined space of an airplane. A challenge for the body and often for the soul.

As in so many situations in life, yoga can help here, too. With targeted exercises before the flight to prepare the body for the long sitting and to calm the nerves in the case of mild fear of flying; with pleasurable stretching after the flight to mobilize the muscles again… and even during the flight! This way, your vacation already starts at the airport.

Before the flight

Being jittery when you know you’ll have to sit in a cramped space for the next few hours? Not so good. Before the flight, get yourself into a calmer mood so you can relax and watch a movie, read, or sleep and, if necessary, calm your nerves.

Moon Salutations

Side bend
Goddess Pose
Star Pose
Low Lunge
Yogi Squat – from here back to Skandasana, then go through the sequence backwards until you’re back standing

Practice a few relaxed rounds of moon salutations in tune with your breath. This sequence of movements is more balancing than the related Sun Salutation, less stimulating, but at the same time mobilizes the body wonderfully before it has to sit still for a long time.

Straddled Forward Fold

All of the forward bends are good for getting down and calming nerves, but with the straddled version, you’ll give yourself an especially good stretch – a nice contrast to the seated position you’ll be in on the plane.

Yogi Squat

Not only does this stretch your hips wonderfully, but it also stretches your lower back. Try combining this pose with standing straddled forward fold and flow from one asana to the next.

During the flight

Despite the limited space, you can also include a few exercises here. But why always focus on the physical aspect of yoga?


Finding a few minutes in your day to just sit still is often not easy. On a flight, you don’t really have a choice. Time to put on your headphones, block out the airplane noise, and let yourself be guided through a beautiful meditation.

Eagle Arms / Cow Face Arms

You don’t need much space for these exercises. They are wonderful for giving your shoulders and arms some attention.

Seated Cat/Cow

You don’t have to get down on all fours for this popular spinal exercise. It works just as well from an upright sitting position – your back will thank you for it.

Simple seated twist

Sitting for long periods of time, often in uncomfortable poses because you fell asleep in front of a movie, can be stressful on your back. An easy twist is the perfect complement to the cat/cow exercise.

Eye exercises

The air in the cabin dries out our skin and eyes. You can do the latter some good with yogic eye exercises, moving the eyeballs mindfully and slowly in all directions without moving the head. Start with a round of “left – center – right”, then continue with “top – center – bottom” and close with “top right – bottom left” and vice versa. Give your eyes a rest between rounds by rubbing your palms together and gently placing them on your eyelids.

After the flight

Once at your destination, you’ll want to move for sure. Give in to that need!

Recharge Exercise

Find a comfortable stance with your feet about hip-width apart. Inhaling, raise your arms above your head at your sides, interlocking your fingers. Hold your breath and tilt your upper body first to the right, then to the left. Exhaling, lower your arms again. Repeat this exercise five times, then shake your body out.

Upward Facing Dog

The position on an airplane tends to be more like a forward fold, as we often sit slumped over. As a balance, the upward facing dog is great as it combines strength in the arms and stretching the legs with a backbend.


More relaxed than the upward facing dog, but with the same benefits, is the sphinx, where the forearms rest on the floor. Why not combine this exercise with a thigh front stretch by alternately bending one leg and pulling it closer to the buttocks at the foot.

Legs up the wall

Our legs don’t feel great on flights – there’s a reason thrombosis stockings exist. Give them some relief by sliding as close as possible to a wall and resting your legs against it. A relief after a long flight!

With these exercises, you’ll be ready for your dream vacation. Where are you going? Tell me in the comments!

7 tips for dealing with stage fright as a yoga teacher

The training is done and you want nothing more than to finally get started and share your passion with others… if it weren’t for the stage fright that hits you before every lesson?

I know the feeling. Anyone who saw me before my first teaching rehearsal during yoga teacher training probably wondered “did I miss something?”. Is this about more than a simple teaching rehearsal right now?” that’s how excited I was.

In the meantime, several years have passed during which I have taught a lot. I would like to tell you now that during that time the stage fright has disappeared, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. A bit of it remains – fortunately it is usually only really acute right before a lesson or workshop. As soon as I “put on the teacher’s hat”, it usually goes away.

This also brings me directly to my first tip – the first of seven tips against stage fright for yoga teachers.

Take on the role of the teacher

Very important: settle into your new role, get comfortable with it until it feels natural to you. It’s certainly unfamiliar to switch sides, but once you’ve completed your training, you have every right to take on the position of the teacher as well. By the way, when I talk about a “role,” it doesn’t mean that you should get an alter ego. Of course, you should remain yourself and teach authentically. But gradually get used to the fact that you are no longer “just” a student – but this new role belongs to you just as much as the previous one.

Teach a lot

And what’s the best way to get used to it? By diving right in and teaching a lot!

Take advantage of opportunities to assist, substitute for others, and pitch your own teaching ideas to studios near you. The more you teach, the less daunting the task will seem over time. Also, you’ll see that people don’t come to your classes to evaluate you. They come to unwind, feel comfortable, and are most likely to be very less harsh with you when you make a mistake than you are.

Start with friends and family

Speaking of evaluations, no one will be watching you as much as your friends and family members. They don’t mean that in a bad way, they are just curious about what you have learned during your training and how you teach. So practice with them and get their feedback. Because they are close to you, they will be open and honest with you.

Then, when you teach strangers, you can remember: to these people, you are nothing more than a teacher. They come to you to do yoga, not to see how you do in that role.


If you’re prone to stage fright – write about it!

Put your fears and worries on paper, even let your mind wander to the worst-case scenario… and then let go. This helps in two ways: By giving yourself a small timeframe to imagine the worst possible occurrences and then consciously shutting down, you stop the mental merry-go-round. Second, the things you fear may not look so threatening written down on paper. 

Meditation with visualization

Reflect on the fact that a lot of things can go well! In fact, it’s the much likelier scenario. Therefore, get into a positive mood before a yoga class by visualizing the course of the class as ideally as possible. Imagine yourself in your mind’s eye, confidently leading your class, giving appropriate adjustments, talking fluently, etc. Then imagine your students relaxing in this class, enjoying the movement and feeling balanced and satisfied afterwards.

Relaxed nerves thanks to Pranayama

To calm your nerves, practice a variation of alternate breathing, exhaling and inhaling through both nostrils when you would otherwise hold your breath.

This variation is especially good for calming nervousness and tension – ideal if your heart is beating a little faster due to stage fright.

Spiritual attunement

If you appreciate yoga not only for its physical aspects, but also for its spiritual ones, it may help you to tune into your class on that level.

Recite a mantra, perform a small incense ritual, connect with your favorite deity… the sky’s the limit! A spiritual practice can give you quite a bit of power.

With these seven tips you are well prepared for stage fright! Never forget to believe in yourself – you’ve made it this far, so you deserve credit even if you mess up when teaching 😊

Common fears that might keep you from taking a yoga teacher training course

If you’re passionate about something, you want to share it. Yoga is no exception. Once you’ve experienced firsthand the positive effects the practice has on your body and soul, sooner or later you’ll want other people to benefit from it, too. At the same time, the desire to learn more about yoga itself and to delve deeper into its origins, underlying philosophy and anatomical aspects also becomes stronger. Since such details are rarely taught in yoga classes, many opt for yoga teacher training.

But taking the step to actually enroll can be difficult and take some overcoming. Some dream of such a training, but don’t really dare or have doubts. That’s what happened to me – and years later, I’m more than happy I took the plunge.

Here are the most common fears that might keep you from becoming a yoga teacher – and why they are unnecessary.

“I’m afraid to speak in front of people”

Do you dread lectures, speeches and presentations? You think that’s why you don’t want to stand in front of a yoga class? Then I have good news for you: teaching, especially teaching yoga, is very different from lecturing. It’s more like instructing than lecturing. The yogis and yoginis in your class are ideally with their attention inside, more engaged with themselves and their practice. No one expects you to be particularly confident, poised – it’s about relaxation, empathy, precise announcements, and pleasant adjustments.

“My practice is not advanced enough”

It is not necessary that you have been practicing for years or that you have mastered all the asanas before taking a Teacher Training. Your practice will deepen automatically with the training. At the same time, it’s not necessary that you can do all the contortions you’ve seen on social media afterwards. First, asanas are only one aspect of yoga, second, you don’t have to master, teach, or demonstrate all the asanas, and third, there probably isn’t a yoga teacher who can.

“I have physical limitations”

Whether they are significant limitations, such as a chronic illness, or minor ones, such as effects of an old injury that don’t otherwise affect you: You can definitely do yoga teacher training and teach, too. The very thing you think is a shortcoming can be your unique selling point. Many who also think they can’t practice will feel inspired by you. Those who have a similar affliction as you will benefit from your experience.

“I’m not spiritual enough”

While yoga is definitely a spiritual practice, there are enough interested people who are more interested in the physical aspect. These are the people you could reach. And for exactly this target group there will also be a corresponding training. Most providers have information events before the start of the training, where you can find out whether you feel comfortable with the atmosphere and the yoga style. Choose an offer that suits your personal preferences.

“I do not see myself in the role of a teacher”

You don’t have to! It’s perfectly okay to take the training just to deepen your own practice. Many people do that. I myself actually just wanted to dive deeper into the subject matter, but then realized in the course of the training how much I enjoy teaching. Who knows – maybe you feel the same way? And even if not, the training period will certainly still be an experience you won’t want to miss.

Are you currently thinking about getting trained? Do you have any concerns that make you hesitate? Share them in the comments!

Creating space – seven tips for more flexibility

“I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible.”

It’s a phrase we’ve all heard or even said ourselves. In fact, lack of mobility or flexibility is a big factor in why some don’t even dare to take a yoga class. Still others crave more flexibility for health reasons: sitting for long periods of time or not moving enough in general has led to muscular shortening, which in turn has triggered back pain or headaches. Do you want to become more limber too? Then try the following seven tips for more flexibility.


Staying on the ball is extremely important. So try to incorporate smaller exercises more often, rather than just once a week for an hour. Maybe you even plan fixed appointments for yourself, which you then keep. The more regularly you exercise, the better your body will get used to the exercises and you will feel it gradually becoming more supple.

Not just stretching

Just doing a few stretches every day is not only boring, but also not really productive. So use your yoga practice to become more limber! Not only will it be more fun this way, but you’ll also combine stretching with exercises that build strength. This combination is important to avoid injuries.


Yoga blocks, yoga straps & co. are your best friends if you are not yet that limber. Asanas that might otherwise feel uncomfortable become more comfortable, and you can gently approach poses like seated forward bends. Straps and blocks can be an extension of your arms, allowing you to gently try out asanas while remaining correctly aligned. If you need inspiration on how to use yoga props, check them out here.


Connect with your breath as you practice. You really should always, but especially if you’re focusing on being more flexible. Deep, emphatic exhalations help you release tension and sink deeper into the stretch. Deep breathing also plays a crucial role in the next point.


You can’t do it without relaxation. Becoming more flexible also means letting go. Tension is an obvious contradiction to the suppleness we strive for. Therefore, make sure that relaxation is not neglected in your practice, both at the end in the form of savasana and in the exercises themselves. As mentioned earlier, the breath plays a big role here: if you breathe shallowly and quickly, you are telling your head that you are in a stressful situation and cannot relax.

Flexibility starts in the head

Speaking of the head: It also gets involved when you’re trying to get more limber. Maybe you’ve noticed that you have a harder time with balance poses when you’re upset inside? Our minds and bodies are inextricably linked, and mental imbalance translates into physical imbalance. It is the same with flexibility. If your mind feels soft, flexible and wide because you have pleasant thoughts, you will find the exercises easier than if you are worried and your mind feels all hardened and narrow – for example, when you are sad.

You can also extend your practice by visualizing, for example, how with each exhalation you are releasing more and more tension, becoming softer and softer, and thus sinking even deeper into the stretch.

Patience and love

Becoming more flexible doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that must be done gradually to avoid injury. Therefore, be patient with yourself and try to have fun along the way instead of constantly peeking at the destination. It is very important to be loving to yourself. Don’t force yourself into positions that your body is not yet comfortable with. Challenge it gently, but don’t exceed its limits. Respect it and do not compare it to other bodies. Keep realizing that you are exactly where you are supposed to be on your path – there is no one you need to outdo. Pay more attention to how an exercise feels to you, not how it looks or how you think it should look.

More flexibility is good for you! Better flexibility can prevent pain, tension and injury. So regular practice pays off – I hope you enjoy it!