Yoga class with Sabrina van Maltha
In today’s blog post, we will join Sabrina’s yoga class. She will tell you how she started the journey of her healthy life. Everything happened 10 years ago when she realized that it wasn’t the carbs standing between her and a healthy diet. It was rather her mindset which revolved around counting calories, avoiding bread and Nutella. When it comes to positive mindset, how your body feels will highly impact it. Most of us are confused with the meaning of ‘healthy’ so she decided to help people defining it. As Sabrina suggests, it is important to find balance between your food and exercise. The main focus of this interview will be on yoga to boost your body, mind, and spirit.
You started your health journey 10 years ago.. so when exactly was your very first introduction to yoga?
The first time I participated in a yoga class was years ago. It wasn’t the right time for me. I was young, active and didn’t have the patience. I was looking for more vigorous and active types of workouts like: body-pump, spinning, running etc. At a later age I realised yoga was a great fit for me and that it actually really well completed my life. I realized it was not what my body was craving at that point. I also feel yoga is very personal. It really depends on the teacher, the energy they’re transmitting and the style of yoga.
At what point did you decide that you wanted to teach?
That was almost 2 years ago and since then yoga had become part of my routine. The reason I decided to teach is because I love to serve others and create an experience. Besides that, I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and have learned the importance of self-care. I wanted to be able to give that to other people. And yoga for me has been a way to practice self-care.
For how long have you been teaching now?
I’ve been teaching now for about 1 year. I teach mostly one-on-one yoga classes but I have taught group classes as well. I get a lot of gratification from the one-on-one sessions because you can tailor the session to the client’s specific needs. Somehow I wanted to find a way to combine two of my passions: hospitality and wellbeing. So I have been offering and teaching a lot of classes in luxury hotels and private membership clubs.
We all have challenging moments in our careers. What has been the most challenging moment for during your yoga career?
My most challenging moment was definitely during my Yoga Teacher Training. This course was organized for the first time. For them also, it seemed to be a learn as we go situation. There were a lot of things that had to be improved to enhance the learning experience. After the course, you could imagine I didn’t feel ready as I didn’t feel confident in my teaching skills. Besides that, the yoga classes were taught in Spanish and since it’s not my first language it was extra challenging for me.
What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice?
So, my biggest struggle has definitely been at the beginning of my yoga “career”. My biggest milestone however, was overcoming my fear and starting to teach classes. Even though I felt insecure and super nervous, I started…It has taught me to just start and do. I realised that the only way to gain confidence was through experience.
On a lighter note, can you share with us your favorite yoga pose?
My favourite yoga pose..hmm..that’s a difficult one. You have to explore yoga to find what suits you the best. Can I only pick one? I feel yoga is releasing a lot of built up stress and tension in the body. When I first started yoga, probably my favourite yoga pose was the shoulder stand. It has had such a positive effect on my back. I still love this inversion.
Also the meaning it has for me, bringing the heart above the head as opposed to the usual position where the head is always above the heart. In today’s world we tend to act using our head rather than following our hearts’ desire. This pose is very special to me. Another one of my favourite is the wheel pose, the seated wide legged forward fold and love twist for the lower back and for better digestion and for cleansing the body.
Do you have any recommendations for people who want to start practicing yoga?
Try different yoga styles and different yoga teachers. Have patience and explore what works for you and your body.
Many people turn to yoga to improve their overall mental well-being.. can you suggest things that people can take away from yoga and implement it to their everyday life?
To daily take a moment to be mindful. A moment to disconnect from the external/outer world and reconnect with their internal/inner world. As far as the physical side of it, yoga is an addition to my training. If you are like me and love to work out. Yoga can hugely benefit you, improving your fitness and promoting overall health and wellness. Also, yoga has made me move more consciously and with intention. Using correct breathing and really focusing on the muscle you are trying to target.
And how about you? How does yoga influence your healthy lifestyle?
I have become more conscious of my breathing. Also, I have noticed a huge difference in how my day goes when I start my day with yoga. It makes me feel more zen, more relaxed. I approach situations differently and generally feel less stressed. It makes more focused and a lot more present.
Besides that, yoga has alleviated my back/shoulder pain. Before I started practicing yoga, I was dealing with a lot of back pain, preventing me from sleeping well, causing stress, leading to more back pain etc. It felt like a vicious cycle. I spent a lot of money on chiropractors, physiotherapists, masseuses. I even invested in a new pillow and mattress. Not long after did I realize, I needed to make a lasting lifestyle change if I wanted it to change. A friend of mine recommended yoga and I fell in love with it. My back pain disappeared and my sleep improved. Practicing yoga for me is like giving myself a deep tissue massage.
Finally, can you explain how you live a healthy life?
I believe that the body will become better at whatever you do, or don’t do. If you don’t move, your body will make you better at not moving. If you move, your body will allow more movement. You just have to explore what feels good for your body.
The same goes for food and basically everything you do in life. When I was young my diet/fitness was all about my physical appearance. Sometimes at cost of my own health. As I grew older and became more adult, I noticed that my method wasn’t sustainable neither enjoyable and wanted to find a way that was. Also, it didn’t make sense to only look good I also wanted to feel good. It has been a journey and a process, starting with a diet but turned into a complete healthy lifestyle.
What does a healthy lifestyle means for you?
For me, a healthy lifestyle doesn’t only mean eating well. I believe that we nourish ourselves, not only through the foods we eat. We nourish ourselves through non-foods: authentic healthy relationships, inspiring work/fulfilling career, enjoyable regular physical exercise/movement, soothing spiritual practice.
They nurture us on a much deeper level. It’s a holistic approach. It think it all starts by loving and accepting yourself and then you will naturally feel the need to take care of yourself.
If you would like to explore yoga and a healthy lifestyle with Sabrina van Maltha, go check out her website: http://www.sabrinavanmaltha.com/