Reconciling the opposites of everyday life

Fabian: What is your understanding of yoga? How did you find “your truth” in yoga in some way?

Claudia: For me, yoga is a way to stop my mind spinning. Releasing tension, at whatever level, and also balancing the duality of training relaxed awareness and being in harmony with oneself. I see yoga as a holistic philosophy. I think it is important not to limit yoga to asana (postures), but to carefully incorporate all aspects of yoga into the practice. Otherwise it would feel as if you were living in a huge palace but only using the terrace.

Yoga asana, that means the postures, convey power and strength and literally make you more flexible, so you can deal better with life’s interactions. We also experience tension in the postures. We feel what we are holding on to and equally discover what we can let go of – and how we can find relaxation.

Through breathing techniques (pranayama) we train ourselves to consciously perceive and control our breath again to activate our life energy and make it flow – to extend the breath, so to speak. And through meditation (dhyana) we train ourselves to simply leave the outside world behind. I also like to say “taking a shower for the mind”.

What yoga is not is the connection of mind and body. They are always connected, for example through the interactions – if your body is not well, then your mind is not well either. Yoga is the harmony between interactions. Joy and sorrow, tension and relaxation, speed and calm. Bringing these opposites, which we inevitably encounter in everyday life, into harmony is what yoga is for me and what I also practise.