14 Jan 2012

Strong Yoginis

My dear friend Anriikka just got to Mysore after her adventure in South of France. Anriikka and I met years ago in changing room after practice and our friendship started from that day. We have travelled together before and just talked hours after hours about this practice on and off the mat. We both are very passionate and fiery about things and our opinions often crash against each other. But that’s the reason, why I like Anriikka. She is intelligent, not afraid of an argument and very spiritual. I like to speak with her, because she is talented showing me different sides of matters. Her side is often spiritual, mine is more down to Earth. Anriikka loves to analyze things, I am often too impatient for that. The key of our friendship is that we both highly respect each other. There is a lot of power in friendships like that. Power to test your limits, challenge you and your thoughts.

I saw Anriikka first time here last night and also my other Finnish yogini friends Carita and Anna came over. We had a very good chat about relationships, travels and master plans for the coming years. It will be really interesting to see, where we all are after five years – and with who. If I should describe all of us with one word, that would proparly be strong. Ashtangi women are extremely strong. And this seems to be a problem (or at least a challenge) what comes to relationships. It seems to be rare that men can really stand strong women. Of course we all have our soft spots, but yoginis’ strong will, dedicated practice routine and fearless nature mixed with a good heart seems to be suprisingly demanding for the opposite sex. I can assure you that we don’t bite, but we bark a lot. This practice makes our minds strong and firm. But very lovable, too. What’s the point to agree on everything? Life is just so much more interesting, when you disagree sometimes.

When I earlier spoked about my back with Sharath, I said that I have to become stronger so that my back will last. He smiled. I bet that he was thinking in his head: ”Oh no! One more.”, because he already has a room full of strong Finnish yoginis. Today my practice was strong. So strong that I got fever during the afternoon. The beauty of this practice is to find balance. To be strong and soft, determined and flexible. Scratch the surface to find the hidden beauty.

Sometimes it’s hard to find the balance on the mat and in life. Today I was too strong, but not mindful enough with my practice. Tomorrow I will get a new chance. Time-to-time I like to shake on the mat and shake my life, too. Not having the easiest choice, challenging myself, but in a wise way. This is what keeps this practice, relationships and friendships interesting.

Strong yoginis might not be the easiest choice: they can shake your life, but luckily they know, how to balance, too.


  1. Perhaps a little view from the other side of the fence is in order. I dated a strong female Yogini for ten months, a strong practice, a strong personality, strong but feminine body. Each of our passion being Ashtanga Yoga. Was the most intense relationship that I have been in, intense in every way. I had to subdue myself all the time in order to allow her to be the control person in the relationship. This is not the reason why we broke up, but certainly is the reason why I shall never get back together with her. In her case a strong personality and practice go hand in hand.

    1. Thanks for your comment! Really interesting. My text was a little bit provoking on purpose, it's good to hear also other gender's ideas.

      I believe that this practice should make us more balanced. For some people this practice is obsession and it's not always bringing the best out of them. Balancing is hard for sure. I think that that's why a good teacher is so important, somebody to watch your back and tell you, if things are getting off the track.

    2. You are on track! Keep on rolling!! :-)

  2. I have now been over 4 yers with one of the strongest Finnish yogini. I can´t even look those anorechtic yoginis whos biggest part of the hand is elbow. And I really need strong personality too, otherwise I got boring too fast.

    In 2002 I put my own yogashala up to Helsinki. And main principe was teach like Guruji, but same practice for mans and womans. Nobody belived that at that time. Then came first ladys who took up karandavasana, did all lift ups and slow streigh-leg handstands. Nobody belived me even then. Seriosly, they start to say it´s from somekind of mutant genetics. They didn´t belive it was in food, practice and resting. And ofcourse that, you need to practise everyday, not twice a week. My princip was allso, if you can´t practice more than 3 times a week. It´s better to find some other yoga, this is really not for you. And it has not been. Nobody of those few times a week practisioners don´t practise at all anymore. It´s totally waist of time, go zumba or something. Then came one day I send 5-6 Yoginis to Annankatu, just to practice primary, do all lift ups, whole vinyasa. I was starting to learn about the extreame back bending, so this "if your body is strong youre back is stiff" was totally wrong, all those girls who did all lift ups, grap the knees in the back bendings.

    Now this sonday I was keeping led primary, and it´s really beutiful to see that all students did all the vinyasas right in first series. There is few girls who has practice with me. It´s the best thing to heard, they travel to Mysore every year, just like I have done.

    Yesterday we had this wierd meeting with other teachers. And they went throug how to take up Utkattasana?! But then they say, "but there is only few teachers who can take up Utkattasana". In my shala, ALL teachers and many of student took it up -really. Practice is really going to weak way down in Finland. Here if you wanna practice this strong tradition, it´s gonna be difficult to find teachers.