10 Jun Alexa: «Strive to be a student forever»
BIO: Alexa, why did you start yoga?
Alexa Vollenweider: I started with Iyengar Yoga during my bachelor program to find a way to handle my (mainly self-imposed) pressure to perform. Yoga class gave me the opportunity to fully focus on my body for two hours, and with that, calming my mind.
By now, I practice daily. For me, a practice can mean a five-minute mediation or 20-minute loosening sequence up to an hour or more on the mat when I find my flow. My practice brings me focus, an improved body awareness and a soothing inner calmness.
You trained as a yoga teacher in Bali. What was your most important learning?
Strive to be a student forever. There is so much to learn about all the different aspects of yoga. Confront old and new topics time and time again, discuss them with others and stay open-minded for other opinions. Teach, what you teach best and feel comfortable while doing so. This may well evolve and change over time.
You teach the Hatha Flow at BRING IT OM. How should one imagine this lesson?
We often start by bringing awareness to the breath or with self-massages. Little by little I teach the components of more complex movements, such that you have the time to digest the information. By the beginning of the final movement sequence you will understand what each of your body parts is (supposed to be) doing and will be able to carry out the flow with ease in body and mind. I believe in progressive strengthening of muscles and sustainable mobility in joints. At the same time, you will enhance your body awareness.
What pose are you currently working on in your personal practice?
Currently, I am working on handstands (Adho Mukha Vrksasana). I am fascinated by the strength, mobility, outstanding body awareness and, especially, focus that is necessary to perform a handstand. With regular training, progress is easy to observe. It feels so good, once you find that point of balance and just stand there for a few seconds. This feeling of joy is what keeps me motivated.
How do you integrate yoga into your daily life?
In my opinion, yoga starts in your mind. In my head it manifests as a positive attitude towards life, the readiness to evolve, and a healthy dose of love and energy, that you are happy to share with others. To be more concrete: I pay attention to my thoughts – am I overcritical towards myself? How could I phrase that in a positive way? Do I behave differently, because of prejudices I have? I treat myself well – I eat healthily, move and foster relationships with people, who are good for me. I breathe – deep breaths full of awareness. Over and over again throughout the day. A few times a week I meditate and practice asanas. The most colorful sequences for classes come to me during my own practice, when my body and mind feel connected. For me, teaching is a way of Yoga as well. I share my knowledge and my energy with the hope, that others can draw from it and learn.
Who do you recommend your Monday evening class to?
I recommend my Monday class to everyone who wants a stopover on their way home to awaken their body and calm their mind. After class you will continue your journey home relaxed and present in the moment to enjoy the rest of the evening.