Dear Sara, do you have a special morning routine that grounds you for the day?
Sara: If you have the opportunity, as I do today in waking up at our shooting location in sunny Munich, I would definitely recommend a morning walk. Mornings are sacred for me for then I can be my most creative self. Usually, I get up at six o’clock and, as my first classes begin at around 7:30 a.m., I prepare myself either coffee or tea. Afterwards, I love to read a book or, every couple of months, sign up on an online course. My morning ends with a meditation session and journaling. So, to be ready for the new day, I always check my needs before all my responsibilities begin.
How did you start with yoga and what brought you to it?
Sara: I used to play tennis at the age of five. Since it’s a one-sided sport, my body was a bit uneven and I had problems with my knees. So, my mum signed me up for a yoga class when I was 17. It was Lyengar Yoga, where you practice the moves precisely and have to hold positions for five minutes. At first, it wasn’t that exciting for me, but I felt great afterwards. Also, I was inspired by the teacher, a lady between her 60s and 70s. She was so optimistic, flexible and kind, that attracted me and since then I am in love with yoga.
Three years later, I went to a yoga retreat where the practice was mind-blowing for me. The teacher there made me try things I thought I couldn’t do at all - whenever I would limit myself she would say why don‘t you get it of out your head and try it and, suddenly, I was making progress. It was the coolest thing I ever experienced and I realized: I will do this for the rest of my life. And now I’m doing different styles of asanas every day.
Which is your favorite style of yoga?
Sara: I think it depends on the teacher. If I vibe with the persons in front of me, I‘m happy to do whatever they do together with them. Be it a challenging, perspiring Vinyasa flow, a super soft Yin Yoga or singing mantras and meditating.
Next to a yoga teacher you’re also known as an influencer. You are an inspiration for so many women. What is your personal secret of happiness and what do you do to be a positive-oriented person?
Sara: To feel satisfied with yourself, the following is important: Creating space for relaxation, nourishing your body the right way, staying hydrated and getting out into nature. Then, socializing is vital for your wellbeing, so make sure that you’re staying in contact with your loved ones, your energy givers so to speak. Don’t miss taking time out for yourself, it’s important to be alone with yourself. And, of course, gratitude, appreciating what you have. Having a purpose in life helps you to become aware of your inner needs, what you really care about and to release those superficial things you really don’t care about. Try to focus and discipline your mind on what’s important for you.
You’ve recently published a journaling guidebook "Date with yourSelf" to give everyone a particularly clear and simple approach to journaling. Can you briefly explain what journaling means and why you recommend it?
Sara: After going through a challenging period in my life, I started journaling. It allowed me to express things I couldn’t talk about, for it is a special self-therapy tool that helps you to get more in touch with yourself. When you’re writing, you become more aware of your thoughts. As you can’t write as fast as you think, in slowing down your thinking process, you begin to see things more clearly. You may decide how you want to look at your different emotions. Usually, this is the most difficult, as you wish for everything you write to sound nice. The truth is: you don’t have to come to a conclusion, you can let things out. It may be a poem, sentences written at random or something you may want to say only to yourself. So, you can cheer yourself up like a good friend does: most of the time we’re so harsh to ourselves. Journaling is a great tool to make peace with our past and create our future self at the same time, which is amazing.
What tools of mindfulness would you recommend that can be easily integrated into everyday life?
During which moments do you feel connected to yourself?
Sara: Definitely in the morning, it is my most sacred time but also in the evening, I have also created a healthy routine before going to bed. I don’t use my phone when I have classes in the morning and in the evening, my best-case scenario is reading a book before sleeping or going for a walk.
It is becoming increasingly clear that people are consciously dealing with the energy available to them. Energy givers and energy takers are a concept that many persons may struggle with. Who and what are your energy givers and how do you incorporate these into your everyday life?
Sara: My energy givers are all my routines I mentioned above and definitely choosing persons that have empowered and energized me. It is important to say “no” from time to time when you feel it in your body. Maybe the first time can be uncomfortable for you, but you have to spend your energy wisely, so don’t be a people pleaser.
What do you recommend for those who have just begun dealing mentally with their alignment?
Sara: To be curious and open-minded, there is so much to learn and to discover. Also, seeking help is important. Other people can support you by carrying the burden with you and, if you’re uncovering hurtful incidents from your past, it isn’t necessary to solve these all by yourself. Take your time and be aware of the connections that these bring and most important: Be kind to yourself, always.
We are very happy that we could win you for our image shooting. What do you find special about working with us?
Sara: I enjoy my collaboration with MANDALA very much. First of all, MANDALA is a company that is aware of its global impact. I believe, that’s extremely important, so I am indeed happy to support such an eco-friendly and attractive brand. Having had positive experiences with the MANDALA team has also been essential for me. Knowing the company’s values and the persons behind them makes me simply love the MANDALA styles and I enjoy wearing them – not only for yoga practice but also in everyday life.
Interview: Eva Poll