Welcome to my Blog guys!
I will write about my life as a traveling teacher along with yoga, meditation and anything else that comes to my mind.
Always feel free to contact me if you have any questions or wishes.
July was a really busy month for me. I moved into a new apartment, I was teaching at a Festival in Vienna and flew to Barcelona to teach some Workshops. I totally lost sight of my daily routines. It was really hard to do tasks I needed to do like make or take phone calls, to set new appointments or to finally film new YouTube videos.
So I looked for ways to strengthen my mind and to make it easier to do things I have to do.
Here is what I started to do in August and how it changed my behavior
#1 COLD SHOWER
As I always share in my Instagram Stories, I love to listen to podcasts while driving. In one of my favorite podcasts the host is always mentioning that he only takes cold showers.
I decided to try it out and honestly it’s really challenging. It’s easy if it is a hot summer day and you look forward to a cold shower to refresh yourself. But after a long day teaching several yoga classes, coming back home around 11 pm and having to take an ice cold shower is tough!
So why should you do it?
First of all there are many health benefits! It improves your immune system, is good for your skin, improves your circulation and promotes faster muscle recovery.
It also helps to reduce stress. Just take deep breaths and try to stay calm (even though the water is freezing cold!). This will help you to deepen your meditation practice as well.
But I am doing it because it helps me to overcome something I don’t really want to do!
Sure I wish for warm water first, but after you took the cold shower you feel great!
It’s the same if you have a to-do-list and you finally finish a task – you feel good about it, relief. The same way you can train your mind to overcome things.
Stepping under the shower without really thinking if it’s good or not really helped me to improve my way in handling hard tasks.
Try it out – take ONLY cold showers for one week or 30 days! Let me know on your Instagram Story if you accept the challenge! #coldshowerchallenge
#2 intermittent fasting 16/8
One of my good yoga friends Flo (@Floyoga) is doing intermittent fasting over years now. He is in great shape and so focused on his career as a yoga teacher.
So I started reading about this way of fasting 16h and eating 8h.
The benefits of not eating for a longer period than at least 16h are many. Most people are doing this way of fasting (it’s not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating) to lose weight and to reduce fat. Sometimes we feel bloated after some heavy meals. Fasting puts your body into a fat burning state and is good for your digestion
But that’s not why I started to do this once a week.
I started to skip a meal and don’t eat for 16 hours again to train my mind.
I used to get really moody when I didn’t have time to eat breakfast or I skipped a meal. But I don’t want to spend a lot of time and energy thinking about food or being moody because I haven’t eaten.
Most of the time we eat because of boredom or to reward ourselves. When we are feeling sad or stressed we grab a piece of chocolate (or a whole bar) to calm ourselves down. And there is nothing wrong with eating chocolate, don’t get me wrong. But we can learn to control the need to grab food by training our minds and changing our behavior towards food.
When I did the fasting the first time all I could think about was food. I felt weak and tired, but I realized it’s all in your mind. You can easily live days without food so I reminded myself not to panic when I can’t eat for just a couple of hours. Instead of cooking, eating and cleaning up afterwards I used the extra time for something more effective.
Once you overcome the period of not eating (even though there is so much food around you, so better stay away from your kitchen!), you feel great!
And you are so excited about eating, you really appreciate it so much more.
Take your time to eat mindfully and enjoy every bite.
Try to do intermittent fasting one day a week and you will get more control over your mind and food habits leading you to feel healthier and appreciate food more!
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Whoever still thinks meditation is just for monks sitting cross-legged on the top of the mountain is not really up-to-date.
In this post I want to help you to create your own meditation routine to get all the benefits of this ancient practice.
Professional athletes, the US-Army and the world’s most successful CEOs all use meditation as a tool to release the stress and pressure of their daily life and to work on their mental health.
There are so many benefits of meditation, but to really get to know the impact of this old technique you have to try it for yourself.
I just uploaded a 5 min guided Meditation video on my Instagram TV, the link is below this post. This would be a good start for your own practice.
I know, to start meditation can be very challenging. Many thoughts are rising up in our mind and it is hard to even just sit still for a couple of minutes. We are so used to always stimulating our minds with our phones, television, music, etc. So we totally forgot how to live in the moment. When was the last time you waited for a bus and did not play with your phone? There are so many beautiful moments every day – but if we are not aware of our surroundings we can’t absorb the positive feelings.
Set a goal
To get all the benefits of your practice you have to be constant with it. A good start is to remind yourself why you want to do meditation. Do you need it to release pressure, do you want to increase your focus, do you want more time for yourself or are you just curious and want to try it out.
It’s like everywhere in life – once you have set yourself a goal, the way to get there becomes way easier.
And don’t forget, the goal of meditation is not to stop thinking at all. The goal is to learn to accept your thoughts and to be aware if they are positive or negative. And with time you can learn how to control your mind to stay in the present with positive thoughts and emotions.
How to sit
There are many photos on the internet of people meditating in a full lotus with different mudras (hand signs). But honestly you can just sit on a chair on your lunch break or on the ground in a comfortable cross-legged position and place your palms gently on your knees.
I recommend choosing a hard ground like sitting on the floor instead of sitting on the bed or a sofa. It is much more comfortable after a while and easier to keep your spine straight. To release tension in your knees you can role up and sit on your mat or use a yoga block below your tailbone. Find a position you can hold for the duration of your practice without feeling much pain.
Of course you will feel a little tension after a while in your legs or in your back, but be aware that there is a difference between discomfort and pain. You should not feel pain during any practice – no matter if it’s Meditation or Yoga.
Always listen to your own body.
In the beginning you can start by setting a timer with 3-5 minutes.
Just try to sit still without moving, without itching your body, touching your nose, … just sit!
With time you can increase the duration up to 10 or even 20 minutes from once a day to maybe even twice a day (morning and evening).
It is much easier to keep the practice if you make it part of your routine like waking up, brushing your teeth, meditating, eating breakfast, …
Otherwise there are some days you “don’t have the time” and then you fall out of your practice completely.
Find a place where you can be just by yourself for the time of your practice. Put your phone on airplane mode, close the door, switch off the tv or find a quiet place in nature. It is important that you have this time of the day completely for yourself. Even if it’s only for a few minutes.
If it’s easier for you, you can play gentle music. There are many calming songs on Youtube or Spotify.
Once you have found a place you can set an alarm for the duration of your meditation. It is a good feeling to know when the time is over so you won’t get lost with time or fall asleep. Especially for “busy” people it’s good to time the meditation so they don’t “lose” time.
(I don’t think meditation can be lost time but you know – it’s a busy world we are living in)
Sit in a comfortable cross-legged seated position, place your palms on your knees and close your eyes.
Give yourself time to arrive, wherever you are.
Breath naturally through your nose. If it feels more comfortable for you, you can exhale through your mouth.
Try to keep the back straight. Your shoulders are open and relaxed.
Slowly bring the awareness to your breath. Feel the air coming into your lungs, lengthen your spine – on the exhale relax your face, your shoulders, your chest.
Stay with your breath for a couple of minutes.
Inhale – Exhale
The breath is the most important and best tool to stay in the present moment. With every inhale you can think about the word “inhale”, and with every exhale you repeat in your mind “exhale”. Whenever your mind starts wandering, just come back to your breath without judging.
Counting to 10
It is always a big motivation if you see progress in what you are doing. But as we know, not every day is the same. There will be days where you could sit for hours without any problem, and there will be days you can’t sit still for even a minute. Accept it and go with the flow.
Another beautiful way to come back to the present is to count your breaths.
So on your inhale and your exhale you count “one” in your mind.
Next inhale and exhale you count “two”.
The goal is to come to ten without losing track. Whenever you catch your mind wandering or any thoughts are rising up, you gently come back to number one and start again.
This practice is one of my favorites and still challenging after 1,5 years of practicing meditation.
Like I mentioned before, it is very helpful to play gentle music in the background. If you are in nature like on a beach or in a wood, it is a beautiful opportunity to use the sounds of nature as a focus point. Try to listen to the sounds around you. Are there any rhythms? Which sound is the closest, which sound is further away? Try to find the loudest sound. And then bring your awareness to the most quiet sound you can hear. Be with the sound for as long as you can. And let go of all the tensions in your body and your mind.
If you have a stunning view like a wonderful landscape on a mountain top or a breathtaking sunset on the beach, bring your full awareness to this moment. Try to see all the colors. All the sensations. Try to absorb all the beauty of this moment. Fill up your body and your mind with gratitude to be able to look at this this spectacular view. Try not to think to much. Just observe and feel the bliss.
There are many more techniques and I would love to write more about it. But for I think for now these are some useful tips for you to start your own practice.
Please remember to be patient. It takes years to get deeper into meditation, but it only takes minutes to get the benefits of it.
Try to stay with your practice, even if it’s hard sometimes.
Live this wonderful life fully without spending too much time reflecting about the past or planning your future.
The present is what you make out of it.
Enjoy your practice.
With successful I am not talking about money or any kind of material things. I mean success in living a happy and healthy life full of joy. That’s real success in my eyes.
#1 Getting up early
It easily can become a bad habit to get up last-minute, rushing into the bathroom to brush your teeth, skipping breakfast and hurrying to work.
Why not getting up a little bit earlier to use this special time of the day to start in a calm way.
Take time for yourself, read a good book, make yourself a wonderful breakfast, enjoy a delicious coffee, work out to kick up your metabolism for the whole day or do some yoga and meditate to prepare yourself for the upcoming tasks at work.
If you start your day with time for yourself, nothing will stress you out easily. Just try to get up 20 minutes earlier in the beginning. Once you feel the benefits you will probably add more time to your morning routine. And don’t start next week
– start TOMORROW!
Wherever I go I carry my little notebook with me. If there are any creative thoughts coming up, I can always write them down so I won’t forget them. No matter if it’s about my work as a yoga teacher, ideas for videos, my blog or what person I want to become, I make quick notes.
A big part of my daily journaling is also writing down my dreams & goals, my daily and weekly to-do-lists as well as some diary entries to remember special moments.
Did you know that the chances to achieve your goal are 42% higher if you write them down? It helps you to stay hungry to do what you need to do!
No matter how big your dreams are, write them down.
But you can also use your journal to record your worries. Once you list all your problems, they will not be able to stay in your mind and take all your positive energy.
Free your mind, write things down.
The benefits of a daily meditation practice are endless. Starting with probably the biggest and most important benefit nowadays – it reduces stress. To take time to just sit, without worrying, without thinking, can make such a huge impact on your daily life.
You can’t really explain the feeling of meditation - you just have to try it.
In my next Blog post I will write about how to start your meditation practice. In the meantime you can try to sit still for 5 minutes without doing anything. This will be already challenging if you have never practiced meditation before. Be patient and remember – it’s not about stopping all your thoughts, it’s about learning to accept them and to lead them into a positive direction.
#4 Stop caring what other people might say or think
This was definitely one of the most challenging things in my life, when I started to do what I am doing now.
“Should I start writing in English. What will the people from my city think about me? What if I make mistakes? Should I really start talking in my Instagram Story? Should I start a Youtube channel? What if there are negative comments?”
All these and many more thoughts were running through my mind.
But there is this beautiful quote of Aristotle which really opened my eyes
– “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
There will always be people who won’t like you or what you are doing. But like my Yoga Guru always said,
“Not everybody can like you – you are not pizza.”
The moment I stopped caring what other people might say or think about me was the moment I unlocked my passion to 100%.
You must live your own life, making your own choices. If you feel comfortable in what you are doing, who you are as a person, why listen to ANYONE else?
Why changing yourself just to be accepted or following any others path if you can create your own?
Your opinion counts in YOUR life – Not the opinion of your parents, your friends and especially not of any strangers you don’t even know.
When I came back from my world trip and started to work as a yoga teacher, so many people asked me “But how do you want to live ONLY working as a yoga teacher?”, “and what is your real job?”
Looking back to this time it was really challenging to keep doing what I loved. There were moments where I wanted to quit everything and to just go back into the family business, working from 8 to 5.
But I believed in myself and reminded myself why I am doing what I am doing – because it makes ME happy.
Once you have found your passion nothing will ever stop you. Believe in yourself!
#5 Eating less / no meat
When I did my first teacher training in India, we were not allowed to eat meat for one month. My first thought was to just go on the weekend without telling anyone to get my protein. I really thought I could not live without meat and honestly I did not know about all the plant based protein sources on the market.
But once I realized how many different options there are and how much better I felt after only one week, I did not eat meat the whole two months in India.
Once I came back to Austria it was quite challenging to be vegetarian. If the only vegetarian meal you can order in a restaurant are french fries, you don’t really know what to eat haha
But I think vegetarian and vegan options are getting more and more popular in the west, because people are feeling the benefits of a plantbased diet.
I am not talking about being 100% vegetarian or vegan, but when you reduce meat you will feel much lighter and have more energy.
Just think about how you feel after a delicious salad with couscous and vegetables and maybe some fruit for dessert and how you feel after eating spare ribs.
Your stomach needs a lot of energy to digest heavy meals so you have less energy for all the other activities like concentration and work. There are also many studies about the health benefits of having a vegetarian diet.
If you are trying to get in a better shape this is also a good way to lose some extra kilos. And don’t forget to think about the intensive mass animal farming.
You could start to add one vegetarian day per week. I did it this way and ended up with one meat meal per week up to almost no meat at all. Find your diet and see what works best for your body and your health.
#6 To focus on my talents
Once you stop wasting time on things you don’t really like and start focusing on the things you are really good at and you enjoy, your life will change to the better very fast.
Everything we like we are doing well. We all had our subjects in school we hated and of course our grades related to our “love” to this subject.
Write down all the things you like to do or you would like to do. Then write down all the things you are good at. And then out of this you can find your purpose, your dream job.
I know many people would say “I can’t give up my job to follow my passion.”
But no one talks about quitting immediately. Maybe you are good creative work and you would love to spend more time on creating beautiful paintings to make someone a birthday gift. Maybe you love taking pictures and you can arrange some local photoshootings on weddings in exchange of good food and crazy party at the wedding. Maybe you really enjoy writing and you will start your own blog (no matter what other people might say or think :P) and you can earn some extra money.
Use your time to focus on things you love doing. It will bring a lot of joy into your life and beautiful things will happen to you!
#7 Talking to strangers
I know in the western world this is something totally crazy. But why not walking up to a stranger and ask him about his day? Why not giving someone a smile for no reason?
You won’t believe in which situations I came on my travels only because I started talking to strangers or because I smiled at them.
Starting from tips where to eat, help in any kind of way up to free meals and a free stay in a hotel. Yes, a free stay in a hotel. And no – not what you might think :P
That is what happened: I was flying to Bali and would have to spend the night at the airport to wait nine hours for my next flight. Next to me in the plane was a very friendly woman from Ireland. I started talking to her and when we landed in Kuala Lumpur she found out that I have to stay at the airport overnight, so she invited me to stay in her hotel room.
She had already booked a room and the transfer was included. I tried to pay for the room but she did not take any money. I ended up in a beautiful room and cozy bed for myself instead of sleeping on my yoga mat in the freezing air-conditioned and loud airport.
And all this happened because I decided to put out my headphones to ask where she was from and how she’s doing.
Start talking to strangers. Every person you meet will tell you one thing you can learn. Just keep your eyes & ears open, connect, smile and spread some love!
#8 Stop watching TV, listening to the radio, reading newspapers
I stopped watching TV many years ago. I got really annoyed by all the commercials and never really enjoyed what they were playing on tv. Once in a while a like to watch a movie on Netflix because you can decide the program and there are no breaks. It would be a lie if I tell you I never watch modern family or how I met your mother.
But during my travels I don’t really have the time to watch anything.
Instead I enjoy reading a book or having a conversation with someone I care about.
Some people might think this is ignorant and I already had some discussions about this topic, but I stopped listening and reading any kind of news for four years now.
Whenever I am at my parent’s place and they are listening radio and the news are coming up, I switch off the radio for the coming five minutes.
The motto of every newspaper is “Only bad news are good news”. (I worked in a radio station for one month. Then I quit.)
How should your day become good if the first thing in the morning is to hear about something bad happened? Accidents, political problems, celebrities who are cheating on their partners, … Do you know how many people die every day?
Instead of being sad about losing people we don’t know we should start appreciating more about being alive and have the chance to do whatever we love to do.
Start living your life and use the time for things that really matter. Spend time in nature, go for a walk or hang out with your friends and family. Start living your own life instead of watching other people living theirs.
#9 Stop thinking too much about the past or worrying about the future
There is another beautiful quote about living in the moment.
“Past is a place to be learned from, not a home to be lived in.”
Grow from your challenges, learn from your failures and remember your mistakes. Stop thinking about them 24/7. No matter how hard you will try, you won’t be able to change what has happened.
What you can do is to can learn from your past and to avoid making the same mistakes, choosing the same types of partners, following the same bad habits, etc.
Same with future. Most of the things we fear about won’t ever happen!
Take a deep inhale and stay in the present moment. Life is beautiful.
#10 Avoiding negativity
The last but probably the most important life changer for me was avoiding negativity in any possible way.
I started with not listening to any kind of bad news to stopped hanging out with people who are just complaining about their life. Their negative energy and their negative words will always affect your own mood and your own mind.
It is not that you should not care about the problems of others, but don’t make them your own. Take care of yourself.
If there is someone complaining in a restaurant, I try not to listen. If there is someone shouting to someone on the street, I change to the other side. If there is someone complaining about the weather, I just smile and say “There’s not much we can do, right?”
Once I read in a book that we are the average of the five closest people we spend time with.
If all your friends are athletes you will automatically be more into sports than if you hang out with people who are spending most of their time playing videogames.
Surround yourself with people who have the same goals as you. The same lifestyle, same interests. People who bring out the best in you. Who support you.
Even if this means to slowly quit some friendships. You know who is good for you and who is just sucking out your precious energy.
Always be aware of your surroundings, they will affect you in many ways.
I am always happy to hear your thoughts about my blog and new topics you want me to talk about!
I hope I could have helped you to find your way into living life more fully. :)
Get up early, smile to a stranger and have a wonderful day! Namaste!
This is probably one of the most asked questions I receive on Instagram.
And my answer is – no.
In my opinion yoga is a beautiful way to work on your mental health AND physical fitness, but it is not enough to build muscles or to lose bodyfat.
Depending on your goal, your body type and your lifestyle you should choose a mix of exercises to reach your personal fitness and health peak.
I used to go to the gym 4 times per week before I started to work as a yoga teacher. But honestly I never really enjoyed it 100%.
It was part of my tasks I thought I need to do to be fit, healthy and to look good.
But being surrounded by people, who upload their whole stress of their busy work days, talking about chicken and rice and how much you have to eat to gain weight, being in a queue to use a machine, etc. did not feel right to me.
Of course I enjoyed the effects of a good weight training, building muscles and feeling fit, but there are many other ways to feel good in your body.
I stopped going to the gym and started to do body weight exercises at home or outdoor, what also saved a lot of time.
I bought a chin-up bar and a book called Body By You: The You Are Your Own Gym Guide by Mark Lauren (Deutsch: Fit ohne Geräte) which I highly recommend!
Some of this body weight exercises I add into my yoga practice to create powerful flows with push-ups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, etc. to really feel heat and to strengthen my body. This is a great way to combine yoga with fitness in one workout.
I also go running, swimming or surfing and I love to play squash, basketball, football and tennis.
To stay fit I do almost every day a 10 to 20 min HIIT (high intensive interval training).
Usually I start my day with yoga and do a workout in the late afternoon.
If you’re worrying about my recovery time – I rest during the day in between both sessions and at night. I always try to get at least
7 hours of sleep and try to eat enough (3-5 meals) to give my body what he needs.
My diet is pretty simple.
I avoid fast food, fried food, sugar, saturated fat, soft drinks, sweets and alcohol.
My focus is on drinking 3l of water every day, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and to eat once or twice a week fish / seafood. Since I started to eat less meat my body changed to a leaner shape and I feel healthier than ever before.
I get my protein from eggs and plants like beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
As a traveling yoga teacher it’s sometimes very hard to follow my fitness routines. For example to find a spot to do chin-ups or to stay with my healthy diet, can be quite challenging.
But if it’s part of your daily routine, you feel different when you don’t work out. And let’s be honest – you can do squats and push-ups everywhere, anytime.
Here is one of my favorite 10 Min Workouts
1 min push-ups
1 min bouncing squats
1 min squats
2 min lunges (both Legs)
2 min butt lift (both legs)
1 min mountain climbers
1 min burpees
Try not to rest in between or choose an interval like 40 seconds exercise - 20 seconds break
If you need any help (workout ideas, diet, yoga,… ) always feel free to send me a DM. I really try to answer all of your questions.
I often post my HIIT workouts in my story on Instagram and I will also upload new workout videos and powerful flows on my Youtube Channel.
For healthy and easy recipes you can follow my food account on Instagram @marcel_clementi_cooking or on my blog in the section simple.healthy.fast.food.
I hope I could help you on your way to a happier & healthier lifestyle!
The beautiful thing about daily routines is that you don’t have think about what to do – it’s always the same structure.
It is already a fixed part of your day.
No matter if it’s the way you start your morning, your workout routine, the time you use for self-care, your diet, …
It always gives us a feeling of being “home”. No matter where we are there will always be a part of the day we know what to do and what we can expect.
My daily routine starts in the morning before sunrise and consists of reading, yoga or fitness, meditation, a cold shower and a healthy breakfast. It is important for me as it sets me up in a positive way for the rest of the day.
As a traveling teacher it is sometimes hard to follow a routine, for example finding a healthy breakfast in the airport or a calm place to meditate. However, I adapt my routine to fit in with my environment rather than quit it all because of one element that is missing. Whether it is 10 minutes or 90 minutes of routine I always feel calm, relaxed but also strong and ready for a new day.
A good routine needs some planning.
If you want to get up early you know you can’t go to bed too late.
Of course I make exceptions if I am out late but normally I always try to get up early before sunrise.
Back home in Innsbruck during the colder period of the year it was sometimes very hard for me to get out of my comfortable bed, practice yoga in the dark or take a cold shower.
But if you set yourself a routine to work on or a goal you want to achieve – maybe better health, greater fitness, more time for yourself etc. – you will benefit in all areas of life.
Success is made of daily repetitions and choices we make.
You will see that small and daily improvements after a longer period of time will guarantee better results.
“Dreams don’t come true while you’re sleeping.”
I would suggest you to set your alarm in the beginning 10 minutes earlier and use this time to read, meditate, do a short workout, yoga or practice gratitude.
You will notice how much impact this will have on your whole day, if you start your morning with awareness and time for yourself instead of rushing to work.
Find your own routine, try different activities and add more time if it works good for you.
As you repeat the routine you wish to add to your lifestyle, it becomes easier.
And make sure you have eaten something healthy for breakfast to have enough power for the challenges your day will bring! J
Do you want to start yoga but keep putting it off because you are embarrassed attending a class with other people?
But there is no reason to be afraid!
If you are completely new to yoga I would suggest you look for beginner videos on YouTube. There are many good yoga teachers who offer free online yoga videos. Feel free to check mine, link below this post.
If you prefer not to practice with videos you could always choose 5-7 asanas (yoga postures) you feel comfortable with and build your own sequence. Once you have chosen your favorite postures check for the right alignment, benefits and the target area you want to stretch or strengthen. Try to hold the asanas for around 20 seconds and slowly increase the time. You could start with standing asanas and with time add new postures into your sequence. Make it your daily routine and it will not be long before you notice the changes in your body and the benefits of doing yoga.
Maybe you know someone who is already practicing yoga for a longer period of time and you get some tips.
Once you feel ready, look for a studio or yoga teacher in your area you feel connected with and go for a drop-in class. Most of the studios offer special discounts for your first visit.
My first yoga class was in a gym and after the class I thought I will never practice yoga again – now I am teaching yoga for a living.
There are many different yoga styles and different teachers on the market, so make sure you take your time until you find the right teacher and to try different styles.
Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you can’t do most of the poses in your very first class. Maybe you find a beginner course or you can get a 1 on 1 training.
Be patient with your body and your mind. It is the same as if you go to your first tennis class. You can’t take one lesson and the next day you play a match.
Yoga is not about performance, it’s a journey.
Try not to look at the people around you, try not to compare yourself. Just listen to your body, connect with your breath and grow as a student and person.
Enjoy your practice.