I'm Steffen and maybe your new yoga teacher. :) Until a few years ago, I was suffering from all the typical modern problems in the west: depression, addiction to all kinds of things, fear of people, etc. I had been in the fashion industry, but was always looking out for anything to improve my life; this was because what I did for work simply wasn’t aligned with my self and I pretended to be a person which I just wasn't. After some time, I discovered spirituality and realised that I have to look within me and connect with my emotions to explore my true authentic self. That felt bad in the beginning because I used to suppress all the uncomfortable emotions, but it brought some sense of truth into my life.
THE ONLY WAY OUT IS IN
I participated at the Inner Engineering workshop of Isha Foundation and was taught my first 21-minute yoga practice. I did the practice every single day out of desperation. Desperation because I had felt so imprisoned by suppressed anger, shame and fear, and also I had no clue what I wanted to do in life and how I wanted to pay my bills. The practice started to bring change within me more and more every week. Connection to my heart started to build up. My energy level increased a lot. And some kind of stability and positivity built up within me, which enabled me to go through life situations that I had completely hid from before. I realised that when I take care of my energy levels and establish balance, then my emotions, thoughts, and physical issues simply fall into their place. The effects were tremendous. It was during this time that I learned about the Hatha Yoga Teacher Training by the Isha Foundation and suddenly three months later, I found myself in an ashram in South India to attend the training. The intense training and a few more months staying at the ashram completely transformed me and my perception of life, which I couldn’t have imagined before.
"Do not think spirituality means having a nice quiet life. It means being on fire." - Sadhguru
So does that mean I’m 24/7 peaceful within me? No. But my willingness to accept whatever comes to me in the moment profoundly changed. First, yoga brought me to a point where I wasn’t running away from negative emotions, but rather standing in stability and taking them with arms wide open. Since then, I don’t seek for happiness anymore, but for intensity; I found so much more fulfilment in that, than I could've ever expected before from happiness. What is now opening up to me is much bigger. It is beyond thought and emotion and also very hard to describe with words. This all used to be a philosophy, but as time goes by and I intensify my sadhana (spiritual practice), it becomes more and more my true experience. Spiritual experiences and wellbeing can occur in the most ordinary things and moments. Sadhguru brought me to the understanding that every human being can experience that, not only monks who leave their whole life behind. It is my deep wish to make this possibility available for the western world, because every individual deserves freedom.