„Yoga is the journey
of the self,
through the self,
to the self.“
– The Bhagavad Gita
Okay now, but what does that mean?
It’s about getting to know yourself, through different practices and techniques.
It’s never about anyone else, always just about yourself.
If you ever think it’s about something exterior, it’s really just trying to teach you something about your interior.
Yoga is a cat, a dog, a crow, a tree, an eagle and also just laying on the floor (they call it savasana). These are all names of poses. Movements you do, while linking them to your breath. Odd shapes, that are meant to make your body flexible and strong, in order to be healthy. The funny sequences make your mind flexible too, so you can adapt to new situations better.
This is the yoga that most people think about, when they wonder what yoga is.
But actually… Yoga is – so. much. more.
Yoga is choosing the no-animal option at dinner once.
Yoga is taking a deep breath before saying something in an argument.
Yoga is leaving work early, to watch your favorite show on TV.
Yoga is turning your phone off during a walk in nature.
Yoga is getting up in the morning, even though you don’t want to.
Yoga is knowing, that the rudeness of other people is just wounds that need healing.
Yoga is trusting your instinct, when the world has a totally different opinion.
Yoga is smiling at the grumpy person on the bus.
Yoga is not barking at the person you dislike.
Yoga is the feeling of the first ray of sunshine after weeks of rain.
Yoga is counting your blessings.
Yoga is sitting in silence.
Yoga is speaking up.
Yoga is for everyone.
Yoga is everything that’s done out of the pureness of one’s heart.
Yoga is getting to know yourself. Healing the wounds that need healing. Nurturing the seeds that are willing to grow. It’s spreading love. And light.
So, what is yoga?
Yoga is what you make it. Yoga is freedom. Yoga is life.
Time flies. I still remember, when I saw those cute puppy eyes in that Facebook post for the very first time. Immediate love. I adopted her six months ago now and it still feels like we’re getting to know each other. Every day there is a new thing she does or a different noise I recognize or another quirky habit she establishes. Let me start with the basics.
Roya is now 10,5 months old and has been in my life for six months and three days (not that I’m counting). She weighs 21kg and has a shoulder height of about 52cm.
She is still a rather anxious dog, but I’ve come to terms with the fact, that she might stay like this forever. This personality trait also allows me to take her with me everywhere I go, which is exactly what I wanted. She is the most well-behaved puppy during my yoga classes. I literally couldn’t wish for a better version of her. All she does is lay on her little blanket, watching me teach, while she slowly dozes off.
Her biggest fear are strangers – especially men – and driving a car. I try to be cautious with her in these situations, but also try to confront her with them gently, in order to show her, that whatever she might have experienced before, is not going to happen again.
Speaking of gently, another important topic to mention here is dog training. Roya and I did a 10 part program, that we started right after I adopted her. I chose this particular dog school, because I had heard good things about them, from a person I know. Looking back, I should have done more research. Now, I’m not trying to say, that everything they told me was bad, I just want to state, that their approach is not for me/us. I finished the whole course, mainly because I had paid for it already and I am glad, that I had someone outside of my family to turn to for advice regarding the puppy training, but if I’m being very honest, my gut feeling wasn’t the best from the start. Logically speaking, for an anxious dog, a very dominant way of training isn’t the best idea. Especially if the owner isn’t a very dominant, pushy person herself. Again, I am thankful for everything I’ve learned in that process, but I’ve now decided to go with what feels right in my heart, when it comes to raising Roya. She needs a steady, loving lead and I am overly happy to be that for her.
Onto the hilariously adorable things she does. Every time someone prepared her food, she will stand behind that person and poke her/him in the butt. On very exciting days, she even makes her way in-between the two butt cheeks of that said person.
When I go on walks with her, she spontaneously decides to turn on her crazy mode and run in circles or zigzag around me for approximately 5 minutes until she is totally exhausted.
If you belong to the few people she trusts, she will jump onto your lap as soon as you sit down at the kitchen table. The special part about this is, that she will only hop on with her two front feet and then scratch your leg with one of her back feet until you decide to pick her up, so she can lay on your laps completely.
She still sleeps in my bed (probably will forever) and besides little misunderstanding of her thinking the bed, pillows and blanket all actually belong to her, not me, she crawls as close to me as possible, the second she realizes I’m awake in the morning. She moves like a little caterpillar until her face is right next to mine and we start our cuddle session.
Last but not least, her nickname is “Gummi-Hund” because her joints are so flexible, it sometimes looks like she’s made out of rubber.
As I’ve addressed at the beginning of this post: I’m still getting to know this baby and she is still getting to know me. It’s the funniest, most exhausting journey ever – I wouldn’t change it for a thing. She makes me realize so many things about myself, positive and, well, not so positive ones. She makes me overcome my laziness and gives me so much love, words couldn’t describe.
All that’s left to say now is:
Thank you, universe, for sending me this soul. She is what I needed.
Pari and Roya
What a week.
We all have those, right? Those weeks, those days, maybe even those months, where everything seems to be so difficult. I’ve had one of those, or should I rather say: I’m having one of those. So many things happened, that I needed time to process. On top of that, I had to make a decision, that seems like one of the „super huge, life changing“-decisions. Man, freaking out is so easy sometimes. Letting your mind get foggy is so easy sometimes. Feeling the urge to crawl under a rock and never face reality ever again, is way too easy sometimes. This is what I’ve felt like this past week.
Then with all the mental debating, doubts come up. About pretty much everything. I fall back into old habits, old thinking patterns and would rather work a 9-5 job, dress in black and white, never open up my heart, blend in with everyone else and just never take a risk anymore.
Life is easy, when you’re playing it safe. You always know what to expect, no surprises, no fears. But also, no excitement and no miracles. Is „easy“ really the end-goal? Easy isn’t beauty-ful, easy isn’t wonder-ful, easy is just that – easy.
On the good days, I don’t eve think about easy. I take the risks and deal with whatever comes up, I’ve learned to push the belittling voice inside my head aside.
On the not so good days, I’m so scared. Fear is the most negative emotion. I know, shocker, it’s not hate. The root of hate is always fear. Those days, I feel overwhelmed by what could happen and end up not wanting to do anything, being too afraid of all the worst-case-scenarios.
This week, being „one of those weeks“, I felt more fear than I have in a long time. Not to say it isn’t a valid, legit emotion, that just came up irrationally – no, it popped up for a reason. Everything is always a lesson. This weeks my lesson is:
Act out of love, not fear.
Love can be scary. Love can be overwhelming. Love can be difficult. But it doesn’t have to be. For me, holding onto the „what ifs“ never ends well. Take the jump. Don’t count to three and kick start the thinking-train. Just dare to do it, straight away.
Truth be told: I’m still shitting my pants about the decision I had to make. But I consciously chose to choose love. And for that, I’m hella proud of myself.
The funny thing is, this week I focused on heart-opening-poses in my yoga classes. How’s that for synchronicity?
You know how, when you’re younger, everyone is talking about their twenties? How, in their twenties, everyone is figuring shit out, technically is a grown-up, but has no clue about anything? For me it’s different. So far my twenties aren’t hard at all, they are actually pretty damn amazing.
I always wanted to be an adult. Even as a kid, I felt so smart and couldn’t wait until I could do all the things on my own. My biggest pet peev was that people didn’t take me seriously, looked down on me, just because I was young. But then, the night I turned 20 – everything changed. It was almost as if that heavy weight I’d been carrying around had dropped off my shoulders and I was free. Sounds so dramatic, but I can honestly say, I feel like a totally new me. Ever since then, I’ve been doing things differently. All the statements I made in my last post, are products of that change, it made me be who I am today and only the universe knows who I’ll become in the future.
All the things I used to be.
I used to be a very cocky, strong teenager, just because I thought, what was going on on the inside, wasn’t “cool” enough.
I used to be very good at school and university, going after the goals I “was supposed” to have.
I used to be so scared of everything, which resulted in me not wanting to feel anything at all most of the time.
I used to never wanna leave my home.
I used to be the biggest perfectionist, everything had its time, place and order.
I used to have a plan for everything, without one I would feel so lost.
I used to never leave the house without make-up, thinking my bare face wasn’t pretty.
I used to never say no, wanting to please everyone, but me.
I used to get black-out drunk, trying to escape reality, just for a couple of hours.
I used to be so pessimistic, that “fuck my life” was actually the slogan of my year 2016.
I used to be such a heavy person, I couldn’t find lightness in any situation.
I used to feel overwhelmed by most things, so I just watched TV-shows on end.
I used to hate any kind of physical movement.
Here’s to all the things that changed.
I am now sharing so much of what’s going on inside of me, with so many people, believing the only way out of a situation is through it and by speaking about what you’re going through, you’re taking its power over your mind away. Openness is the real “cool”.
I am now following my dreams. The things that I want to do, being unconventional, not acting on what others think I “should” do.
I am now facing my fears. Purposefully doing the things that scare the shit out of me. Going on a solo-trip to a place I’ve never been to. Skipping a semester at university to go to California, just because I can. Getting a dog, knowing it is a huge responsibility. Opening up my heart to new people and situations, knowing I could get hurt.
I am now a big travel-lover. The thought of visiting a new place excites me every time.
I am now letting go of old patterns. Not freaking out every time something wasn’t in its exact spot.
I am now switching things up on purpose. Doing things differently, forcing change. As my mantra says “Change is my constant.” Not getting too comfortable with a routine, not wanting a plan for the next two years. Going with the flow, life will unfold.
I am now only wearing make-up on very special occasions and for the right reasons, knowing my face is goddamn beautiful, without that color on it. (Still cocky, as you can see.)
I am now thinking about offers, questions, favors more carefully, making myself the priority, even if that means I will piss people off or seem selfish.
I am now not drinking anymore, I haven’t been for the last six months and am so proud of myself for dealing with situations in a healthy way, instead of escaping them.
I am now trying to keep my mind the happiest, most colorful, bright and sparkling place you could imagine. The goal is to take up so much optimistic space, that the pessimistic words need to leave.
I am now so much lighter, in every aspect of life. Dragging all that weight around with me was exhausting.
I am now tackling one thing at a time, knowing how amazing it feels to get shit done. Also, knowing what shit doesn’t need to get done, helped a lot.
I am now a yoga teacher. Moving my body is my job, my passion. I am now so freaking awesome, 16-year old Pari would think I come straight out of a horror movie. I am moving, I am active, I am alive.
I am now alive. I am living this life, trying to make it the best I could imagine. Working hard on the parts that need to be worked on and letting go of the ones that I don’t need anymore.
This blogpost might be the most personal yet, opening up about so many wounds that needed to be healed. It’s funny how much people change. Meeting someone I’ve known way back is very odd. How do you tell someone, that you are still you, but also a totally different person? Like, yes, I still have the same face, body, my name is still Pari and the smile you remember is still here, but my attitude changed, I have a completely different world view now and am probably nothing like you remember me.
That teenage-Pari is still a part of me, I needed her. All of that was necessary to get to where I am now and many more changes will be needed to get to where I will be in the next decades to come.
But for now, I am me.
I always have been.
This post is something special. The upcoming week is my birthday week and everyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with my own birthday. I can act like the queen I think I am and people won’t even judge me for it – it’s brilliant.
The following lines are inspired by many conversations I’ve had while meeting new people and also by the picture you can see above, which I absolutely love! It is the perfect representation of what I’m all about. I like to say, that I can’t be put into words. I am too many opposites combined. The kind of “you have to see it, to believe it”-person. Let me try to give you a couple examples.
I was born and raised in a culturally Austrian household, but look like a standard middle-eastern girl.
Most of the blood that runs through my veins is middle-eastern, but I don’t understand any of the languages, that I should have inherited.
I am a yogi, but like to swear damn much.
I like to meditate and maintain a calm attitude, but I feel road rage on a totally new level.
I love sunsets, but get anxious by nighttime.
I like to start my day early, but not getting enough sleep is worse than any hangover.
I have the sweetest soul, but meet me in a bad second and the bitch-mode is real.
My mindset constantly switches from caring about every- and anything, to not giving a shit at all.
I am a well-behaved lady, but love that ghetto vibe.
Converse are my jam, but give me a reason to dress up and I’ll gladly rock those high heels.
My most used phrase is “fuck you”, but I would never wish anything bad on anyone.
I am very sensitive when it comes to aggressive behavior, but have no problem with standing my grounds in an argument.
I am super anti-religion, while my whole life revolves around spirituality.
I am the most tolerant person you will meet, but show me your intolerance and I will not have the slightest sympathy for you.
I promised myself to never be self-employed and couldn’t wish for a better work setup now.
I was pretty sure, that my yoga teachings would work out in the long run, but couldn’t have imagined it happening this quickly.
My sassy, happy, go lucky spirit is paired with a fair amount of pessimism.
I believe in the pure good of this world, while watching the news breaks my heart.
Being scared is a familiar feeling, but I make the most fearless decisions.
My heart is so big, sometimes it feels like I could love the whole world, then at the same time it’s hard to accept the being loved by others part.
I wear the cutest rosé sweater in front of the most beautifully blossoming magnolia tree, while casually flicking you off.
I guess my Yin balances out my Yang pretty well.
Basically, it’s easy.
Welcome to the first recipe of my #parisophieeats category here on the blog.
This is one of the few recipes that I’m very confident in. It serves about four portions, perfect for making it for a couple of people or to have leftovers. I usually make a huge batch, just to survive for a longer period of time.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 zucchini
- 1 white onion
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 250ml of plant milk (I recommend coconut, almond or oat milk)
- 2 cups of basmati rice
- 1 scoop of coconut oil
- 1 scoop of curry paste (or to taste)
- your choice of frozen herbs
- tumeric, curry powder, salt, pepper
Start by chopping the sweet potato, zucchini and onion. Feel free to add any veggies you have at your house. The onion is optional and you can also use a red one instead. Simultaneously heat up the coconut oil and plant milk in a big pot. Once that’s hot, put the vegetables and chickpeas into the mix and let is simmer until it’s all nice and soft. Modify to your liking here, beans, lentils, everything is possible.
While you’re waiting for the veggies, make the rice. The way I like to do it is the Persian way, which goes like this: Put a scoop of coconut oil into a pot and let it melt. Add two cups of basmati rice (very important, has to be basmati) and four cups of water. Throw a pinch of salt into the mix and then wait for the rice to soak up all the water by using medium to high heat. Once the water is gone, turn down the flame to the smallest amount possible and cover the pot with a tea cloth and a bowl, to not let any of the steam that’s created get out. Let it sit there for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Back to our curry, next are spices. Add a scoop of curry paste to the vegetables, this will make it spicy, make sure to start with a small amount and slowly work your way up. Disclaimer: Curry Paste is not vegan! It has shrimp paste in it, which is made of shrimp – duh. If you want this dish to be 100% vegan, skip this step. I personally have already had this product at home before I realized it wasn’t vegan, so I’m using it up. It’s about progress, not pressure. Now that we have that covered, also put in the tumeric, curry powder, salt and pepper to your taste. This is very individual.
Once you’ve mixed it all up and are happy with the result, all you have to do is wait for the rice to be done and then it’s time to serve the whole thing.
Make sure to tag me in the pictures and use the hashtag #parisophieeats, in case you try it.
Other than that, voilá – enjoy!
I’ve touched on this topic before, but it’s so present in my own life right now, that I wanted to write about it a little more.
The term “me-time” is very popular at the moment and while it sounds a bit cliché, it is so very important. The last time I addressed this issue, it was focused more on feeling good yourself in order to help others feel good. This time I’m taking the egoistic approach of things: feeling good yourself in order to just feel good for yourself!
I am the most important person in my life. Some of you might think I’ve totally gone mad now, but I absolutely mean it and I think everyone should start implementing the same pattern into their own lives. Why? Well, I am the person, I’m spending the rest of my life with. I am the person, who’s thoughts I’m listening to 24/7. I live in this body that carries me my whole life. I feel the feelings that occur throughout the day. Also, I am the start of change, if I want to change the world. I am the role model, that I want to see in others. I am the start and end of everything that’s happening in this lifetime.
My focus for this post is not just to take time for yourself, when you feel totally drained and don’t know how to move forward anymore. I want to point out that it’s equally as important to give yourself space, in times where life is bloody awesome. The times where your career is taking off at full speed and you love it so much, you could work all day long. The times where you’re totally falling in love and could spend your time with the other person for days on end. The times where the sun is shining so brightly and you’re out and about with your friends all the time. I’m talking about the good times, the really, really good times of life. Claim your alone time in those phases too. You need it to process. You need it to sort out your thoughts and calm your energy.
When everything goes right, we tend to be on some sort of “high”. Like we could take on the whole world and are almost invincible. Now, don’t get me wrong, ride the high! Enjoy it! Memorize every single second of it. Just make sure you do it consciously, mindfully. Be 100% present, with everything you have. I find, in order to do that, you need to process that high. It’s still just as high, if not even higher, by claiming your space, you’re just able to relax into it more.
Another thing that’s important to mention here: figure out what your alone time should look like. Some people like to go for a walk, some want to mindlessly watch a TV-series, while others would rather meditate for hours. Get to know yourself, find out what calms you most and then keep on doing that.
Be by yourself, you’re amazing.
7:30am. Saturday. I’m sitting in a bus to Munich. Tired. Leaving the house while it’s still dark outside is not my favorite. We start driving and slowly leave the city. As we drive onto the highway, it happens. The sun starts to rise and I’m internally freaking out about how awesome it looks. Orange, pink, purple sky, with the bright fireball rising behind the snow covered mountains of Austria. Breathtaking. I look out the window, my mouth wide open, stunned, as I notice, no one else is impressed. No one of the other passengers seem to even realize, what an amazing spectacle is going on. Right in front of their eyes. Right outside the window. I look back at the sky, it gets more beautiful by the second. Me, still mesmerized. Sipping on my black tea. My heart happily dancing to the song of nature. We keep driving. The colorful sky begins to fade, as we move further and further away from it. This miracle happened, with only one out of 21 people noticing. I wonder, how many miracles have I missed?
It’s funny how the title of this post is German, but I’m writing it in English. Just going with whatever feels most natural here. I’ve been meaning to write about this particular topic for a long time now. Literally two months. For some reason, I’ve been putting it off though. Well, the reason is, that I’ve been waiting for the right moment. For the right event to pair this with. The right picture to go along with it. But no, this isn’t about perfectionism. This is about me sharing thoughts, that are close to my heart – how ironic, considering, I mostly think with my heart.
Glückskind. I’ve heard this word hundreds of times growing up and still, every time, it has something magical to it. Sometimes I wanted to yell and call bullshit for someone saying it, but most times, I felt incredibly humbled by it. Translated it means “lucky child”, but it’s one of the very few words, I find, the translation doesn’t do it justice. This word has to be said in German.
Here is the story behind it: All my life, my mom has told me
“You’re a Glückskind, Pari, everything you touch is destined to be great.”
Many times that was the response to me worrying about something or asking whether or not I should do that one thing. She always said it in a way, as if there was no doubt at all and that she wouldn’t waste another second even thinking about it. It made me feel very loved and supported as a child, while it made me angry in my teen years. How could someone claim to be so lucky, that they couldn’t fail at anything? How could she make it seem so easy, when all the things I was doing, were hard work? Thinking about my mindset back then, makes me realize how much I’ve truly changed. Now, today, I know – My mom was right. (Duh, they are right most of the times.) I am a Glückskind. I’m privileged enough to have the background, resources, support system and values to do whatever I want in this lifetime. I don’t say that in a cocky way, I feel overly humbled by it and I don’t want to waste it. I want to spend my life doing good things for the world, for the people and especially for myself. Change starts with yourself, so me wanting to make this world a happier place, starts with me being a happier person.
It warms my heart, looking at all the things I’ve accomplished and all the things that have led me here, to this day. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but it was all necessary. I’ve realized this around the time I came back from Thailand last year. Now, every time my mom says this sentence to me, I get a little emotional. I truly feel like I’m at the right place, at the right time, wherever I go. That is a gift, that I’m lucky enough to recognize.
Most people that know me in real life, will know that I have a couple (quite a few) tattoos. I’m not big on sharing them and their meaning on Social Media. They are very personal to me and most of the time I don’t even like the question “What does it mean?” or “Why did you get it?”. This one has to go with this post though, frankly it’s what this post is about. You can see the picture above, it’s wonky, newly done, covered in foil, my arm hair is shaved off and the access ink is coming out, but I love this shot.
I feel so lucky, for so many things, constantly.
Morgen ist Faschingsdienstag und ich möchte das zum Anlass nehmen, um über die Ernsthaftigkeit des Lebens zu schreiben. Ich bin kein großer Fan vom Verkleiden, aber davon, mal die Masken fallen zu lassen. Diese Seriositäts-Masken, damit wir alle schön erst genommen werden. Was soll denn das überhaupt heißen? „Erst genommen werden“. Wer will denn sowas? Ich will lieber leicht genommen werden. Leicht sein, nicht ernst.
Natürlich gibt es Situationen, die nicht lustig sind und ich bin die Erste, die sich für wichtige Themen einsetzt. Für Gerechtigkeit zum Beispiel. Aber im Alltag, ist ein Großteil von den Dingen, über die wir uns den Kopf zerbrechen, die wir analysieren, pfurzegal. Gut, das ist vielleicht auch etwas überspitzt ausgedrückt, aber über Dinge endlos nachzudenken, hilft uns meist auch nicht die Probleme zu lösen. Es kommt sowieso so, wie es kommt, da wäre es doch zur Abwechslung mal ganz gut, es mit mehr Leichtigkeit zu sehen.
Außerdem sollten wir unsere Phantasie mehr fordern. Wir trainieren tagtäglich unser logisches Denkvermögen, aber was ist mit dem Unlogischen? Es macht nicht immer alles Sinn, so ist das Leben. Trotzdem ist es sinnvoll. Unsinn – einem Kind zu sagen, dass es nur Unsinn im Kopf hat, ist doch wohl eines der schönsten Komplimente. Je älter wir werden, desto weniger denken wir über den Tellerrand hinaus.
„Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.“
– Alice im Wunderland
Los! Denk dir sechs unglaubliche Dinge aus. Und glaube an sie.
Elephanten haben einen Schnabel. Meine Haare sind lila. Ich liebe Karotten. Die Welt ist eine Scheibe. Geld wächst auf Bäumen. Alle Menschen sind glücklich.
Fordere deine Phantasie heraus. Trainiere dein Gehirn mal umgekehrt, nicht logisch, sondern unlogisch. Sei verrückt! Ach, verrückt sein. Mich macht es am glücklichsten, wenn mir gesagt wird, dass ich verrückt bin. Ver-rückt. „Du bist doch nicht normal!“ Ja, wer will das schon sein? Und was ist normal überhaupt? Abnormal. Von der Norm abweichend. Je mehr Menschen das tun, desto normaler wird es. Weichen wir doch alle mal ab! Machen wir abnormal zur Norm. Stellen wir die Welt auf den Kopf. Mal alles kunterbunt und ganz anders. Pipi-Langstrumpf-Style. Ja – diese Woche, seid mehr Pipi.
Was kann schon schlimmes passieren?