My love story with yoga
My love story with yoga

Yoga is the practice to unify body, mind & soul. 
A practice to be and embody presence itself. 

Yoga for me brings together, what sometimes can feel separated – which of course is always an illusion. I, myself lived many years more in my head than in my body. Thinking myself through life. As I discovered yoga asana (the practice of bodily postures) in 2011, I felt instant relief.

Not only, did I arrive in my body and allow the breath – which had become so shallow due to stress – to finally deepen again, but also did I find a way to direct my thoughts. Choose more kind and loving thoughts towards myself. At times, the practice of yoga even lead me to experience inner stillness and peace (for a little while).

Back then I was more than shy. It was a huge challenge to even walk into the yoga studio, being surrounded by strangers. But the strong benefits after every practice made me come back. Though at times I was sore in my body for a whole week. (What I learned only much later was, that I was being introduced to the ashtanga primary series.)

I was hooked!

Hanna Winkler April 18 Bali + Dean Raphael-20

Very quickly yoga became an every day practice and my passion. I even forgot my shyness and one day, I woke up in the morning, knowing I had to become a yoga teacher.

I was about to complete my Bachelor of Science degree at university in Germany. But I was determined to make it both happen. Long days, early mornings in the shala and study weekends followed.

I part of my YTT, I also started to practice ashtanga Mysore style, with Lucia Andrade (one of the few female certified teachers) teaching in Frankfurt that time. 

I remember being so in awe and wonder about the atmosphere in the room.. only hearing the waves of breath, feeling the deep silence in the room.. pure focus.. and on the outside stunning control of the body, flying in and out of poses. I never thought, I would reach very far, being quite weak, yet super flexible at the time. And I continued any ways.

Exactly 8 years later, as I am writing this, I still feel that love for yoga. I have “achieved” what I had dreamed of: To reach third series, teach yoga & guide a Mysore program. And I gained much more through it – being assured of my strength and endurance in life.


Hanna 2020-Dean Raphael-23

Yoga now is way more to me than just asana or studying scriptures. It has become a much vaster concept. A spiritual experience purifying the way I see myself and the outer reality.

The state of yoga can arise in and beyond any yogic practice. I no longer need discipline to make me feel good about my progress in asana or life, nor do I need to advance in outer poses or any series on this planet, in order to be content. 

Over the years, I had so many aha moments in this practice. I also learned again to be truly in my body. Furthermore, I realized that I am far more than this body. I started to observe certain inner personalities playing out in my life (voices of judgement, desires or fears) & could therefore release their power. Choosing my inner driving forces more consciously.  And most importantly, I started t wake up from the illusion of reaching any place else with this practice.

The me who is "doing the practice" then matters less, the outcome then looses importance.
Also the form of it doesn't really matter anymore. 
Inspired by
Mooji & Lao Tzu

The paradox of yoga asana in my eyes, is to learn how to be in the body, how to unite the breath with the movement and focus – to then see that on the path of practicing true yoga, we already are! There’s nothing really to learn. Nowhere to reach. Everything already is – if we’re doing this practice or not.

I feel, I am finally starting to practice true yoga. Uniting – bringing together, what before I saw as black and white.

But instead of a mere grey, there is now an ocean of colors – iridescent – radiant & inseparable. This is, what I am aiming to practice. And my intention, as I share spaces to practice yoga with my students.  


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