Planting Seeds of Yoga
by Julia Andorfer
I am Julia, a 30-year old woman from Austria. I have always been a natural planner and constantly in my thoughts. While Yoga has been very beneficial for my mind over the years, I look back now and realise how rarely I had been “thinking” with my body and gut instinct.
A big shift then happened in my life during the summer of 2016.
I quit my job in a renowned consultancy firm from of a strong sense of “Ï have to do this”. Suddenly I was left with no plan of how to continue my journey onwards. My old life instantly felt so far away and my security was gone but a new beginning soon arrived. With this change, a process of transformation started. I increasingly became more of the person that I wished to become – listening to my heart, accepting my doubts and insecurities and making use of my strengths and skills. I stopped comparing my way and me as a person so much with others but finding inspiration and support from like-mind souls.
By loosening the rigidness in my life, things started happening and the way was paved one step after the other. Being “on my way” meant looking more to the left and right side instead of trying to force it to be “the way” to go forward. My trust in a good life was strengthened. It was amidst all of this flux that I chose to do my Yoga teacher training with Routes of Yoga in 2017. What a spontaneous and intuitive decision it was for me - pure serendipity, as I call it. Ever since, ‘serendipity’ has been my favourite English word. It had finally become my motto. Becoming a certified yoga teacher was a gut decision and combining it with my profession as a psychologist, it was the best decision I could have ever made.
Life has continuously taught me that it is full of surprises, unexpected twists and turns!
My teachers, Daphne and Anton, helped me to grow steadily, live mindfully and teach consciously. I learnt to better accept my body and my unique anatomical constitution (including my slightly “deformed” back). These two wonderful and admirable teachers challenged me and encouraged my constant personal development.
My YTT was definitely a journey of both self-development and self-acceptance. In the beginning, it was my biggest struggle not to permanently compare myself with the other students. I tried to copy and “pretend to be” more than trusting myself, my way and my style of practicing and teaching. As I progressed through the course, the experiential understanding that there is no need, no wish, no aim for perfection started to anchor in me more and more! In fact, the quest for perfection itself may prevent one from growing. The process of growing and transformation is still ongoing – I guess, this is life!
Where is Julia Now?
In addition to my profession as a psychologist and coach I now work as a yoga teacher. This decision stemmed from a deep call to plant the seeds of yoga in my students and to share my gained knowledge and experience.
Today, I teach regular group and private yoga classes in a studio in Vienna and hold yoga retreats in cooperation with wellness and spa hotels in Austria and Italy, combining yoga and meditation with psychological workshops on mindfulness and personal development. This holistic approach is not so common yet in Austria and I feel privileged to share my expertise as psychologist and yoga teacher with my students and participants. It is all about grounding and connecting with oneself. I try to encourage others to listen to their inner voice and commit themselves to following their own paths by saying “yes” (JA! In german which are my initials, my logo and my message) to oneself.
Furthermore, I teach yoga in a high school. I still remember the exact moment during my YTT in Bali, when an inner voice urged me to introduce yoga to this target group. My motivation was to help teenagers to live a life without comparison and pressure to perform which can be particularly challenging in the process of growing up. I wished I had such a role model and teacher when I was a teenager…
To fulfil my desire, I approached my own high school! I now run a weekly yoga class for 14-18-year old students as well as a separate class for teachers who have proactively asked for a class themselves. To see the teenagers growing and becoming more self-aware and self-confident as well as to observe the teachers calming down, relaxing and relieving tension is the best feedback for me. It reassures me that my work is purposeful, helpful and effective for them. I notice my students really absorb my gained knowledge and they leave the class with a happy smile on their face. Teaching them about yoga philosophy and self-love touches me deeply each and every time.
We often ignore our inner voice and think too much. However we intuitively know how to live one’s own life and how to love oneself. My mission is to inspire and encourage others to listen to their inner voice and allow these good, healthy thoughts to grow. In my role as a yoga teacher, and more than that, as a human being, what greater gift could I ask for than to continue planting the seeds of yoga and to witness how the little plants blossom and prosper?
Julia Andorfer | Personal Development
yoga retreats 2019:
ZEIT FÜR MICH @ Falkensteiner Hotel Bad Leonfelden, Austria
NATÜRLICH ICH @ Hotel Schwarzschmied, Italy