I Am A Yoga Girl - Lilian Brauer

To be real - I was extremely skeptical when I first encountered yoga. My parents just separated and there I was, being an angry teenager, when my mom became friends with this woman who was into yoga.

Looking back it was probably due to those unfortunate circumstances that for years I was "anti-yoga“, I merely couldn’t grasp the fascination people had for the practice and just found it overall "weird“.

But somehow I feel like yoga always wanted to be a part of me and my life, I only had to let it in. It was maybe two years after I met my mom’s yoga friend when, out of the blue, my PE teacher wanted to convince us of all the benefits yoga would have for us. Not long after, my coach (I was a competitive horseback vaulter during my teenage years) suddenly became really into yoga and even booked yoga teachers for our training camps. It wasn’t until I hurt my knee, had to stop my beloved vaulting and started college that I gave yoga a real chance. I took classes and started practicing at home seven years ago, almost a decade after my first run in with yoga.

About three years into my practice I went abroad for six months. Until then I mostly saw yoga as a good work out and stretch. However, being abroad made me realize that yoga can be so much more: For the first time I experienced how dropping into my practice makes a place feel more like home, a lesson that carried me through all my following moves. No matter which country or city I was in – yoga had my back. Now, one of the first things I do in a new apartment is deciding upon my new yoga spot making a little note in my had "this is where I practice from now on.”

Today it’s like yoga keeps the pieces of my life together. My spiritual interest. My education and the critical thinking I learned in university. It’s actually thanks to yoga I don’t lose touch to my studies, as theories I discussed then are part of the discourse in the yoga community now. Actually – those trains of thoughts are more interwoven in my thinking now than they’ve ever been. Yoga, of course, still is my favorite workout and gives me the opportunity to learn new shapes I can put my body in (something I always loved and one of the reasons I was drawn to vaulting back in the days). But yoga is so much more. Yoga helps me to listen to myself. Thanks to yoga I realized I desperately need a career change. While working to manifest this new dream, yoga helps me to get through my days. Dropping into my breath I manage to stay away from office drama and thanks to my practice I find peace again when I get home. Yoga gives me the tools to express the confidence I always wanted to have, to believe in myself and find my path.

Here I am, being a yoga girl – and though it’s not easy, life is so much better than my 12-year-old self could ever have imagined.

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