Yoga journey changes with life stages

One morning I wake up to check the surf with a tea in my hand. When it’s not good out there, I step onto the yoga mat and start my day with some slow Hatha. Another morning I sleep late, walk like a zombie and just chill out by the fire. Some days my yoga practice happens on the mat, sometimes it’s a walk in the forest. Sometimes it’s just a thought of a savasana. Yoga practice has changed and will change further with the ebbs and flows of life situations. And that’s ok.

Competitive heart at the hot yoga classes

I started practising yoga in Helsinki, Finland when I was a university student about 12 years ago. I was in my early twenties and had just stopped playing competitive volleyball after spending my whole youth at the sports halls of Finland. Being competitive and young, I thought to try out this thing called hot yoga, since it was a darn cold dark winter again and a heated room sounded quite nice. Well, it was! I loved it. I practised for a while once a week hot yoga or hot bikram specifically, more for the euphoria of moving and sweating in a heated room. It was great to see the development of my body starting to bend into some cool poses (which I definitely cannot anymore do :D).

From an accident to listening to the body

This was until I had a snowboarding accident in Switzerland and broke one of my ribs. Anyone who has had a broken rib knows, how it’s actually not fun to laugh, cough or get up from bed in that situation. I could feel the rib in my yoga practice even a year later, so I moved slowly towards gentler classes. For some reason, I once tried aerial yoga and a non-heated hatha class at the same yoga studio and found out, that the heat in my body didn’t need to come from an external heater, my own core and body was the heater I needed. This opened my eyes. Hot yoga was then history for me.

Eventually, I tried a stint doing ashtanga yoga, which didn’t suit me. I can’t remember how I found the Authentic Flow yoga classes of Satu Tuomela, but somehow I did. This practice suited my body so well! Fluid flows with fun handstand variations and yummy movement paired with music was something that hit me hard. I was then interested to do yoga teacher training, but life had other plans for me.

Back to hatha and yin through teacher trainings

When I lived in Australia, my yoga practice took again another turn towards a more traditional Hatha. I loved my teacher’s approach, strong moving hatha classes but with a lot of spiritual learnings in them. She had (I think still has) a mud studio in the middle of Australian bush close to Torquay at the Victorian coast – why wouldn’t that be a perfect fit for my salt-graving soul back then? I ended up doing a 300h hatha and 100h yin training with the teacher, Sally Louise. I loved my life which consisted of yoga, surf, fun times with friends and work.

Family reasons suddenly forced me to decide to move back to Europe and since I wasn’t going to live without the ocean, I found myself at the small fishing, nowadays also surfing, town, Ericeira. I taught at Sandhi House hatha and yin and got more into restorative yoga practises to take care of stressful mind and body. What really did it for me though, was the Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga. I don’t know how I pumped into it, but I did a weekend workshop of it in Holland with Esther Van Der Sande, which was so inspiring, that I decided to undertake the entire 300h facilitator program online next Autumn. The training combines hatha yoga as well as research, attachment theory, psychology and trauma theory. This training changed fundamentally how I teach yoga classes, how I am with human beings and how to face people in any kind of job. It made me more empathic, aware and go back to the roots of my yoga practice = mindful movement.

Allowing the practice to be what it is

Now my yoga practice moves between a restful yin and restorative yoga practice to moving hatha practise to strengthen my body. I love movement in general but I also know I need rest. And like my friend once said: “It feels so good to rest while awake!”.

Through my own yoga journey, it’s maybe illustrated how yoga practises moves with the stages of your own life. Different situations, times, motherhood, work, other hobbies.. It changes. I’m sure if you practise yoga and read this, you can relate to this feeling, that a yoga practice is an ever-changing practice.  But if you have once been bitten by the yoga bee, it’ll never let you go. You’ll come back to yoga, in a way or another.

I welcome you to practise with me online this January and February! For a limited time, I’m offering two classes a week: Monday evenings a hatha flow and Thursdays restorative yin. In these classes, I combine all the learnings and techniques I’ve studied. If interested, I can also be booked for privates and for Trauma-Sensitive Yoga workshops.

See you on the mat! More info of the classes and sign up here:


// Hanna