Willpower and How to Stick to It!

Just as your body needs practise to perform a yoga asana, your brain needs repetition to learn a new language, your mind also needs training to effectively serve you to live a calm, happy and healthier life. When you train your mind, you’ll also gain willpower and determination. These characteristics help you to, for example, make that yoga asana an advanced posture or open yourself to experiment with new vocabulary. A calm, trained mind can do anything from disconnecting from your limiting beliefs to living a happier, healthier life while following your calling.

Why should you train willpower?

At the start of something new, everything seems exciting, but whoever you are, wherever you are from, the excitement starts to fade and after a while and you get frustrated, lazy, indifferent or unconcerned, and give up on our goals. Training your willpower will make your process more motivating by setting realistic processes and end-goals.

‘As long as you want it, everything is possible’ is a myth.

This is striving for superficial happiness. Happiness doesn’t make you successful, and success doesn’t make you happy. Happiness can bring success if you know how to, and continue to, balance pleasure, strengths and fulfillment.
You could say: ‘As long as you’re striving for the right thing, it’s possible’. 


Ready to learn how you can actually stick to your willpower and determination?


1. Letting go of unrealistic goals

These are goals that take up too much time and goals that are not in your reach right now. Wanting too many things at the same time requires too much effort from your body and mind and in the end limits your success. Choose quality over quantity!

E.g.: working out 7 times a week, exhausting yourself and, as a result, not wanting to return to the gym after a couple of weeks.

Or: Working your bum off on your online business, hoping to see your bank account grow from 0 to 10.000 in one month.


 2. Replacing those goals with realistic goals

To achieve and have success, we need to combine pleasure, strengths and fulfilment by taking small steps. Taking smaller steps gives you the opportunity to celebrate your little successes and actually grow according to where you are in life right now. You’ll feel less competitive, less frustrated and instead, calmer, more grateful and happier.

E.g.: Work out 3 times a week and you’ll notice you have more motivation and maybe even miss the gym on the days you don’t go. This will make you stick to your routine longer and have a more positive effect in the long run.

Or: Starting a business takes time, patience and effort. Lowering your expectations will make you feel less defeated when you don’t reach your goal, more determined when you do reach your goal and will surprise you when you overachieve (do better than your goal).


3. Routine and habits (check out our earlier blog about routines and habits).

Rituals and routines are the only accepted methods when it comes to automatic behaviour. People with a (healthy) routine are more likely to reach their goals, fulfil their wishes and meet deadlines.


Your body truly integrates a (healthy) habit after 66 days and thereafter will start to miss it when you’re not performing it. Therefore, give yourself time to adapt to new and healthy actions in your routine and stick to them. Need help with shaping your routine? Read the ‘blame the brain’ blog and download the worksheet.


4. The words you use or tell yourself 

Speak positively to yourself and your actions will change. Your brain doesn’t like words such as: ‘not’, ‘none’, ‘never’, ‘no one’. Telling yourself things such as: ‘I’m not going to eat sugar anymore’, or ‘I’ll never get up late from now on’ are first of all unrealistic and unnecessary, but it also takes time for the brain to then find out what it’s supposed to do instead! Telling yourself: ‘I’ll eat more fruit instead of sugar’, or ‘I’ll set my alarm and get up earlier’ not only sound more achievable but the brain also understands what it’s meant to do straight away.


5. Doing it, not just thinking it 

There’s no such thing as ‘the right time’ and no one else to blame but yourself. ⁠Here’s a list of the top 5 best excuses used by professional procrastinators:

  • ⁠‘Now’s not the time.’ or ‘I’m not good enough’. (worrier)
  • ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ or ‘Monday, or next month’. (defier: someone who resists)
  • ‘First, I need to…’ or ‘I can only do it when I have …’ (perfectionist)⁠
  • ‘I must do it all, or nothing at all.’ (over-doer)⁠
  • ‘But do I need to do all of that myself?’ (dreamer) ⁠⠀


Do you recognise yourself in any of these? Do you know why you procrastinate? Or what type of procrastinator you are?


Procrastination consumes your willpower. The more the think of something you need to do,⁠ the more your brain thinks it’s already doing it. The longer you procrastinate for, the more tiring it gets and you’ll end up not doing it at all or doing it reluctantly and therefore not to the best of your ability.


Continuing Education Membership

In the meantime, check out our Continuing Education Membership for multilingual yoga teachers. This membership offers professional and personal development for yoga teachers that want to start teaching worldwide; online or abroad. Develop your communication and teaching skills while obtaining continuing education hours with our live and recorded classes and teacher training sessions!

Have a look at all that’s included here.

The Key to Your Happiness

You might think that money, success, power, popularity or a partner bring you happiness. And even though they fill up your heart with joy, these external and superficial ‘things’ only bring you temporary satisfaction. The key to your happiness is a combination of three things: pleasure, strengths and fulfilment. 

To find out in which things you find these three key elements you could ask yourself what you’d do if you only had one more month to live, or a week, or a day, or a few hours. This thought might  sound surrealistic, but ask yourself and take a minute to think about your answer. ‘What would you do if you only had a limited time to live?’ Or: ‘If you died now, what regrets would you have about the way you are living (your life) now?

The answer to these questions are the things that you’re bringing into action today, not tomorrow, next week or whenever you have time; TODAY!

Did you answer you wanted to have more time with your parents? Then go visit them. If you can’t, video call them. If you wrote down you would have wanted to be more creative or write a book, start today. Studies have shown that if you do something that brings you pleasure, in which you can use your strengths and find fulfilment at least once a week, you’ll experience significantly more happiness and satisfaction in your life. 


Some handy definitions to find the keys to your happiness:


What do you enjoy the most? Now, don’t tell me that it’s ice-cream or a morning of self-care. We all do! And though there’s nothing wrong with that, I’d like you to become curious about your deepest senses of pleasure. Ask yourself: ‘What do I truly desire?’. Write down your answer or say it out loud. If you don’t have an answer, repeat. Repeat today, tomorrow, the day after or as long as you need to find your answer to where you find true pleasure.


Your strengths are your superpowers. Focus on your strengths instead of improving your weaknesses. Working on your weaknesses requires a lot of your energy and doesn’t get you much further. This doesn’t mean you can ignore your weaknesses, but spending time and energy on something that will only have little effect, is demotivating. Focussing on your strengths, however, isn’t only more enjoyable but you’ll also see true development straight away and it provides you with the possibility of becoming an expert in your particular strength. When choosing what strengths you want to focus on, consider the following questions: 

  • ‘Does it inspire me and give me energy?’
  • ‘Do I experience personal growth when I use it?’
  • ‘Do I consider this strength part of me?’

If all of these questions have a positive outcome. You may well have found your answer to your ‘calling’ – read down below. 

If you find it difficult to name your strengths, have a look at VIA Character Strengths. They have a fun, free test for you to find out your biggest strengths.


A feeling of satisfaction you experience when you live up to your values. Your values are the things that give you meaning and you find truly important. You don’t create values; you have them. If you don’t know them, you’ll need to uncover them.
Be curious: talk with others, write and journal, think of the things you would want to be remembered for. In the end, it always comes down to ‘having made a positive impact in someone’s life’. Whether it’s teaching or providing someone with their perfect pair of shoes, we all have our own ‘calling’. 

It is important to keep a balance between pleasure, strengths and fulfilment. Focusing too much on one of them actually works counterproductively. When you spend an equal amount of time on these three elements, you get into the so-called ‘flow’. This same flow is used to describe your yoga class!

Yoga flow:

Yoga Flow: Fluid and dynamic movement through asanas combined with a focus on the breath which generates a meditative state and feeling of presence or being in the present moment.
Flow (as used in mindfulness training): where pleasure, strengths and fulfilment meet.

Psychologist Csikszentmihalyi researched the concept of flow and came to the conclusion of six components: 

  • Intense focused concentration in which time seems to go as fast as it is slow.
  • Intense presence and motivation in which you find true pleasure in what you’re doing.
  • Merging of action and awareness: not thinking of the end-goal but carrying out the steps.
  • Loss of self-consciousness: you’re not distracted by anything or anyone.
  • Sense of control over the situation or activity, but still having a clear goal.
  • Balance between pleasure, strengths and fulfillment: it’s not super easy, but not too challenging. 

How do you get into this flow? 

Flow exists, but it’s not up for grabs. However you can create your own flow by living up to your values and train your awareness and mindfulness on a regular basis. Focus on what you have now and enjoy the process, instead of listing all the things you want to achieve and getting frustrated with yourself because you haven’t done them yet. 


Create more flow in your life, today…

Continuing Education Membership

Check out our Continuing Education Membership for multilingual yoga teachers. This membership offers professional and personal development for yoga teachers that want to start teaching worldwide; online or abroad. Develop your communication and teaching skills while obtaining continuing education hours with our live and recorded classes and teacher training sessions!

Have a look at all that’s included here.

Awareness Before Anything

Imagine your computer crashing and shutting itself down. You restart and for a while, it works, but then it repeats the same action. Would you ignore and just keep restarting hoping that the problem eventually solves itself? Or would you contact a technician and sort the problem?

In our modern society, we often live on autopilot. We do the things we do unconsciously, without awareness, just because it’s a habit. Think of this simple question: ‘How are you?’ How often have you answered: ‘I’m good’ straight away, without thinking? 

Today, I’d like you to bring some awareness to how you really feel inside the body and the mind; emotionally and physically and, if you like, spiritually.

Train your awareness before anything.

During the day, your body gives off a countless amount of unpleasant sensations that are signals that you are very likely to ignore. A tingling in your limbs, shrugged shoulders, even losing your train of thought. They’re globally accepted and waved away as if it’s nothing. In the moment it’s nothing to worry about, but it’s your engine trying to draw your attention to your body’s needs which you’ve lost awareness of. 

Why do you want to be aware of your body?

Being aware of the body helps you to stay goal-orientated, waste less time (online), consume more healthily and eventually become happier, stress-free, and live a more fulfilling life. 

What stops you from being aware?

There are many factors that ask for our attention. Every day you look at your phone, laptop or whatever device, probably multiple times. You might have children, a demanding job, meetings and social gatherings (online). But, don’t start blaming all these external distractions! 

It’s the way you interpret these interactions. 

The number one factor that stops you being aware is stress. From mild  to chronic stress. 

Do you get stressed out by a full email box? A queue in the supermarket? Or your screaming (grand)children?

The way you handle so-called ‘stressful situations’ says a lot about how you feel in your body. When training your awareness you’ll find ways to calmly navigate these situations rather than letting them affect your wellbeing time after time. 


Fun fact:

Open posture and lifting the corners of your mouth lower your stress levels and increase your happiness! Ever heard of the term ‘herd animal’? Your mind works the same. If you smile, the mind thinks that you’re happy and follows what happens in the body.


Ready to train your awareness? 

Check out our Continuing Education Membership for multilingual yoga teachers. This membership offers professional and personal development for yoga teachers that want to start teaching worldwide; online or abroad. Develop your communication and teaching skills while obtaining continuing education hours with our live and recorded classes and teacher training sessions!

Have a look at all that’s included here.

How to stick to habits, routines and New Year’s Resolutions

And why you didn’t succeed before.

Isn’t it wonderful?! The new year gives you a brand new chance to start over! A new beginning and an opportunity to clear limiting beliefs, set goals and get excited about giving yourself a fresh start. 

Many, including myself, set new year’s resolutions. We’re optimistic and hit the new year thinking that this year everything is going to be better, healthier, easier or  whatever. 

Two weeks into the new year, these resolutions suddenly don’t seem that easy anymore. You fall back into ‘old’ habits, lose your excitement and they start to fade. 

Sounds like you? That was me year after year. But, not anymore and I’ll show you how to turn YOUR New Year’s Resolutions into a part of you as if it’s always been that way. 

Download this worksheet that will help you to really stick to your new habits and routines.

Let’s have a look:

1. Remembering your reasons why 

When doing anything in life, the most important thing to know is the reason WHY! Before we start a project or learn something new, there always IS a reason WHY we want to start it in the first place. Think of the reason why you eat. It’s obvious, because you’re hungry and need fuel for your body. 

Now, why do you practise yoga? Or why do you want to improve your English skills? 

The reason why is your motivation. When we forget the reason behind our wish or desire for change, our motivation starts to fade. We don’t see the importance of it anymore: we simply think it isn’t as necessary as we thought initially and, eventually, we give up.

Think or write down your New Year’s Resolutions or a desire or wish you have to change. If you have written them down with me during the New Year’s Resolution Setting Workshop, go to your page or paper and lay it in front of you to answer the following questions:

  1. When did you first think of this change you wanted to make?
  2. What was your motivation at the time? What is it now?
  3. Where will you be (physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually) after you’ve achieved this change?
  4. How will you feel after you’ve achieved this change?
  5. Who could help you or hold you accountable while you’re making this change and maintaining it?
  6. Look at the answers above and summarise WHY you want this change. 

If you’re doing this with a friend, exchange your ideas. Reading them out loud to yourself in the mirror could also help you emphasise your reasons why and motivation

2. ‘Replace’ instead of ‘restrict’

In ‘Blame the Brain’ we’ve already mentioned it. Restriction is asking for trouble. The more we tell ourselves not to do something, the more we want it. Just telling yourself not to  give in, especially when it’s a long-term habit, has a positive effect only for very few people.

Replace your habits, unwanted actions, thoughts and behaviour with the things, like needs and wishes, that you actually desire. 

When your body and mind are used to getting something or if you experience regular cravings, research shows that the easiest way to deal with these feelings is by  ‘tricking’ the body and mind. Going for a healthier option, but still meeting its wishes in a way.

This way it’s not only easier for you to stick to your new habit, eating patterns or resolutions, it will also help prevent you t from falling back into old habits


If you want to ‘quit eating sugar’ – eat a piece of fruit when you have a sugar craving instead, or replace it with nuts, natural (pea)nut butter or raisins for example. Your body will still get some of what it feels it needs. If you replace processed snacks containing added sugars with the natural sugars of fruit or the beneficial fats in peanut butter and nuts, you’ve immediately replaced your unhealthy craving with a nutritious one. You’ll have satisfied your craving to some extent, so you won’t need your old habit so badly.

If you’re looking to limit your procrastination – go for a walk instead of spending hours browsing social media. During your walk your brain gets stimulated and most often inspired. You might even want to listen to a podcast that encourages you to keep up your good behaviour.

3. Turn your failures into a learning experience

During my yoga teacher training I learned to celebrate my wins and let go of losses. If you focus on the things you have achieved and let go of the things you didn’t do, you don’t only shift your focus, but it also stimulates and pushes you to do more. It helps you to cultivate a ‘gratitude attitude’, boosts your self-esteem which altogether leads to more success.

Embrace the concept of trial-and-error and don’t be afraid of making mistakes or falling back into old habits/relapsing from time to time. Know that errors are necessary to learn, make progress and understand your path, yourself and those around you better. 

I can’t stress it enough: practise and all will come. And if you lose patience or feel defeated, remember all the things you have achieved already! A loss is only a lesson learned and has given you new experience to grow and improve for the better.


You wanted to start the year productively, but it’s the 9th of January and you haven’t done anything on your to-do list. You feel useless, desperate and don’t understand how you’ve been able to let it get out of hand already. 

What did you do instead? Did you spend time with your friends or family? Self-care? Yoga asana? Nothing? Even when the answer is nothing, I’m pretty sure that maybe you needed it. Maybe you needed to charge your batteries to get started. Or you needed this time to realise that NOW is your time to do or start something new. 

Don’t beat yourself up. Yesterday is gone, and today is not too late to start! At least you’re rested and feeling less rushed now! 

4. The power of support and community

For a long time I used to be a lone wolf: a person who enjoys doing things alone, my way, simply because I was stubborn. 

Sometimes we choose to do things alone because we’re embarrassed or think these changes are too personal.

But have you ever heard of a one-man success? Have you ever heard of a one-man success? Neil Armstrong didn’t make it to the moon alone! How could any business be successful without its customers? We need each other.  

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 2020, it’s the power of community and support. Surrounding yourself with people that have similar interests and beliefs or who are going through a similar process or phase in their lives, understand each other. They have something to share. They recognise themselves in you, and you in them. This creates companionship and the voluntary willingness to support each other, help each other AND hold each other accountable. 

People are social beings and want to share with and learn from others. Sharing and learning with others not only makes you feel part of something, it also makes you feel seen, heard, understood and cared for. 


Our community is loving, caring and very involved with each other and I would absolutely love for you to be part of it. But, go with your own gut and search for the people that you click with. You know yourself and your needs best, but don’t try to do it all alone, because this will set you up for failure. 


Continuing Education Membership

In the meantime, check out our Continuing Education Membership for multilingual yoga teachers. This membership offers professional and personal development for yoga teachers that want to start teaching worldwide; online or abroad. Develop your communication and teaching skills while obtaining continuing education hours with our live and recorded classes and teacher training sessions!

Have a look at all that’s included here.

Setting New Year’s Resolutions

And making plans you can actually stick to.

How are you feeling about ‘next year’? 2020 has been a whirlwind of emotions and happenings and certainly tested our patience and motivation. We spent hours watching and reading the news and having discussions, trying to understand this new reality. But no one really knew what was going on or which bits of all the news we received were trustworthy. 

We’ve spent our salaries (or savings) on masks, sanitising products and gels, comfy clothes for being at home, and probably ate twice or triple the amount of chocolate, crisps and other junk as we normally do per year. Thinking that maybe by the end of 2020 this joke would be over.

We’re approaching the end of 2020 and borders are being shut, again. Many of us are obliged to stay at home. We (still) can’t see our grandparents, family, friends and have to be inside the house at a certain time. We stay up late and play school camp at home, because our workplaces are closed or we’re on holiday anyway. 

This is just a brief summary of the year that, to me, sounds like that of a shitty fantasy movie about the world going under, but it became our reality.

I’m sure that in your personal and professional life much has changed as well, and now I’m wondering: ‘How do you really feel about this year?’. 

For many the answer is something like this: ‘It’s a year wasted.’ ‘I haven’t been able to do anything.’ ‘All my plans are being put on hold.’ ‘I can’t wait for this nightmare to be over’. 

Some may say: ‘I’ve never been more creative.’ ‘This was a sign from mother nature to start taking care of myself’. ‘I finally got my head round things around the house I’ve been wanting to do for ages.’  

Whichever answer aligns more with you, I’m inviting you to sit down with me and reflect on the year. Reflection, if done with an open mind and willingness to observe instead of judge, can boost your mood and positivity. It helps you to form a fresh perspective, express your gratitude and gives you insight into your wellbeing (mentally, physically and spiritually). 

If you’re reading this, you’re like me and interested in understanding yourself and the world around you better. Chances are that you’ve done quite a lot of reflection this year already. Chances are that you’ve opened up to new learnings and development, and now you’re ready to start 2021 motivated, optimistic, eager and ready to make it your best year yet. 

Before we start, let’s take a moment and acknowledge our past, become present to then dare to make plans for 2021.  

New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve always loved the new year, but I’m especially excited about next year, because I believe it’s full of new opportunities. It’s a new beginning that gives you the chance to clear limiting beliefs, set new goals and get excited about giving yourself a fresh start. 

Now, looking back on all that’s happened, how fast did this year go compared to others? Even though, from day to day, you noticed very little changes, this year has probably given you some new insights due to the little amount of external distractions

We’ve gotten used to meeting on Zoom, come up with brilliant inventions and started to work from the comfort of our own bed, online, or maybe found comfort in spending more time in nature.  

But who doesn’t want a fresh start? There’s always something we’d like to improve, right?

Here, I’d like to present to you my type of reflection and goal-setting for the year ahead. During our New Year Resolution Setting Workshop on the 30th of December, we’ll be going through this process together and we’ll share our experiences in a nice online gathering, as we do anno 2020. 

Here’s a little overview of what to expect:

  • Reflect on the year
  • What to improve
  • In-depth goal-setting
  • Planning for success

At the end of 2020, I did a live New Year’s Resolution Planning workshop with you in our Facebook Group. Still want to say goodbye to the old year. Click on the yoga class below to help you! 


If you’re busy, would prefer to do this on your own or make a start by yourself: download the worksheet.


Continuing Education Membership

In the meantime, check out our Continuing Education Membership for multilingual yoga teachers. This membership offers professional and personal development for yoga teachers that want to start teaching worldwide; online or abroad. Develop your communication and teaching skills while obtaining continuing education hours with our live and recorded classes and teacher training sessions!

Have a look at all that’s included here.

Practice Self-Compassion for Self-Confidence!

4 techniques to say ‘bye’ to your inner critic, ‘hi’ to your inner nurturer and stop judging yourself.


Earlier, we spoke about feeling guilty after overeating or a moment of indulging. We explained that these negative feelings often have to do with the fear of being judged, either by yourself or by others. These opinions come from your upbringing, society and personal beliefs. The way you speak to yourself and decide whether to either love or hate yourself has everything to do with your inner voice. Your inner voice develops in childhood and is, among other things, shaped by the way we are spoken to. In this blog, you’ll learn to practise self-compassion to gain self-confidence.

Think of your thoughts and ‘that’ voice inside your head. We all have a voice that tells us whether things are good or bad. It decides whether you’re right or wrong. It also tells you whether to do or not to do something. It protects you, but can also ruin you.


What is your inner voice?

Now, before we dive into this, I think it’s important to highlight two terms you might have seen before. Your ‘inner critic’ and ‘inner nurturer’. 
Your inner critic is the voice inside your head that judges whether things are good or bad. Critic comes from the verb to criticise which means to judge. Makes sense, right?

Your inner nurturer is your support. It cheers you up, validates feelings, desires and thoughts. It offers comfort and soothes you. It’s there to help you grow and keep your feet on the ground. Think of it as your friend.

For many people, however, the inner critic is more present than the inner nurturer and on top of that, overly critical. A highly active inner-critic can bring you down tremendously. It has a massive impact on your emotional well-being and self-esteem. It causes your feelings of insecurity, embarrassment, guilt, fear and anxiety. 

What is your inner critic?

The inner-critic hides in your subconscious or your subconscious mind. It’s been there since you were a child, replaying the same thoughts and ideas like a broken record. Repetition will help you to remember and eventually believe. When we learn a language for example, we recommend repetition, but when you repeat thoughts and ideas that are negative and self-destructive, you create low self-esteem and those famous ‘limiting beliefs’.

If you don’t fight this voice, your inner critic will be most dominant and forever leave you with feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. It’s self-sabotaging and there’s no one to blame, because it’s all happening in your own head. Even though this voice is strong as hell and challenging to fight, it’s not impossible.


Practice self-compassion to gain self-confidence.

For years, I’ve been dealing with an extremely strict and over analytical inner voice. And I would never want to give you the impression that I’ve been able to completely win this game. But, by practising self-compassion and therefore developing my inner-nurturer I’ve overcome jealousy, controlling behaviour, serious eating disorders and extremely low self-esteem. 

What I’d like to share with you today are tools you could use to start training your inner nurturer, acknowledge your inner-critic, but detach from its limiting beliefs and feed your mind with new ideas and a fresh perspective to become more confident and feel at ease in your own head. This will not only help you to limit self-sabotage (such as overeating or not eating at all), but also improve your relationship with others. 


1. Write down your thoughts (every day).

This is by far the most used technique, and for a good reason! Writing about emotions activates a different part of the brain than inner reflection (the internal dialogue) or speaking out loud. The positive effects of writing 3 days in a row will remain for three months, if not more.


When you notice your inner critic downgrading yourself with thoughts such as ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I can’t do anything right’, ‘I’m absolutely useless’, ‘I am a mess’, ‘I’m so stupid’ or ‘I will never succeed’. Write these things down.


Seeing your thoughts on paper instead of only hearing them will make you look at them with a different perspective (go to tool 2).


Reading your thoughts might be painful, especially if you’ve been dealing with self-sabotage for a long time (read your whole life), but here’s where your inner nurturer could give you some support.


2. Let your inner nurturer speak as if it’s speaking to your friend.

Your inner nurturer might have been quiet for a while, but you too have one inside of you. Your inner nurturer probably uses the same vocabulary as you use when speaking to a friend. Go to your journal and look at the things you wrote down during a moment of self-destructiveness.


What would you tell your friend, if they’d told you: ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I can’t do anything right’, ‘I’m absolutely useless’, ‘I am a mess’, ‘I’m so stupid’ or ‘I will never succeed’.


Would you agree? Would you emphasise how bad they’ve been? Would you tell them to give up? Would you acknowledge their worthlessness? Probably not! But it’s often what you do when it comes to yourself.


3. What could your inner nurturer tell ‘your friend’ (yourself) instead?

Write down the support, compliments, and positive wishes you’d tell and share with your friend, e.g.: ‘It’s okay to feel shit, but it’s unrealistic to downgrade all your efforts. Instead look at how far you’ve come’. Or ‘you may feel useless at the moment, but instead learn from your mistakes. Next time you will know where you’ve gone wrong, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes twice’.


4. Ask yourself what you need and create self-compassion!

If you suffer from self-pity and feel like everything is your fault, ask yourself how realistic these thoughts really are. It’s easy to sink deeper and deeper and eventually lose all self-belief. Ask yourself positive questions to create more self-compassion.


For example: ‘What do I really need?’. The answer could be: ‘a listening ear’ or ‘a shoulder to cry on’. And know that that is okay! Another example: ‘What if I don’t have to achieve as much as I believe or tell myself I have to?’. The answer could be: ‘I’d be more rested’ or ‘I’d have more time for my family and friends’. And the last one: ‘What if I loved myself the same as I love my partner?’. The answer could be: ‘I’d be more accepting of myself’ or ‘I’d be more self-compassionate’.


Explore questions like these for yourself and come up with your own answers. You’ll be flabbergasted by how hard on yourself you actually are.


5. Gain self-confidence by cultivating a gratitude attitude.

In the modern world, it’s so easy to sink into an ocean of negativity and find yourself comparing yourself to others, their successes and achievements. We often strive for the same as they have and, preferably, even more. But don’t forget what you see is maybe 10% of what’s going on in their real life. You don’t see the efforts they make or the time and energy they spend on making things work. Instead, shift your perspective and focus on gratitude for what you already have accomplished, your talents, your skills and your capabilities.


Writing and expressing your gratitude not only helps you to lower the chances of depression, loneliness and anxiety, but it also stops you from comparing yourself to others, feelings of jealousy and envy.


It helps you to enjoy the little things more and make them more worthwhile. It’s contagious; when you are grateful, others pick up on it and, in the long run, causes a domino effect. It stimulates positive feelings, even when life is taking its toll, you’ll be able to focus on the positive side instead of the negative.

Continuing Education Membership

In the meantime, check out our Continuing Education Membership for multilingual yoga teachers. This membership offers professional and personal development for yoga teachers that want to start teaching worldwide; online or abroad. Develop your communication and teaching skills while obtaining continuing education hours with our live and recorded classes and teacher training sessions!

Have a look at all that’s included here.

Indulge Without the Guilt

Indulgence and the feeling of guilt are very good friends. Most of us have experienced this at least once. No matter your age, gender, origin, the feeling of guilt after a moment of indulging is human.

Indulgence is finding pleasure in something you desire or consume and taking more of it than is necessarily good for you. In principle there’s nothing wrong with it, though many of us experience guilt after such a moment. Especially when it comes to food and drink.

Around the holiday season (and maybe at birthdays, other celebrations and ‘that’ time of the month), we often indulge in food and drinks in the company of our family and friends or alone (secretly). And while there’s nothing wrong with indulging in food from time to time, many among us do so more than we wish and feel shitty about it. These feelings of resentment can build up so strong that we get restrictive. These restrictions then lead to obsessions and, if not taken care of, can result in serious mental and physical health problems, such as an eating disorder or addiction.

You’re not alone!

As I was searching for pictures to display the topic of this week, I had a hard time finding one of me eating. I’m not a fan of people taking pictures of me with food, because most of my teenage years I dealt with serious eating disorders which were part of me until my early twenties, they left a scar and still can be found in my sometimes unhealthy relationship with food and self-image. 

An eating disorder though, in the end, hasn’t got so much to do with your relationship with food, but more with characteristics such as perfectionism, a need for control and being sensitive to the pressure from our society as well as a negative self-image and non-existent to little self-compassion. When we feel out of control, we know or think we can be in control of our consumption which then leads to obsessive behaviour and could, for example, evolve into an eating disorder as described above. 

After I overcame mine, it still took me years to drink calorie-rich fluids other than alcohol and I’d force myself to fast and work-out after every moment of indulgence. Firstly, because I was fearful of gaining weight, secondly because I felt guilty and ashamed that I couldn’t eat like ‘normal people’ do. 

Though, there’s a standard and recommended consumption per day, but there’s no ‘one way’ that works for everyone, everybody or every body type. Given my experience, today, I’d like to share what I’ve learned to indulge without the guilt and hopefully inspire you to find your own way.

And literally, if I can do it, I know you can too!


Save these tips by downloading this worksheet.

First off, what is guilt?

Guilt is a self-conscious emotion that involves reflection on actions, thoughts and feelings. We interpret these reflections negatively, and believe they have caused harm to oneself or another person. This can be after a fight between friends, after doing something you know you weren’t allowed to and also overeating or indulging in food. 

Guilt is a natural emotional response and experienced in many different ways. This feeling of shame or embarrassment very often comes from the things you’ve been taught in your youth. When you grew up as a child, people probably told you to do or not do certain things related to cultural behaviour, morals or religion.  

For example, as a child, I was overweight. Doctors were trying to help me lose weight, and the kids at school bullied me. The feelings I experienced then were fear of not belonging, rejection, embarrassment about the fact that I couldn’t achieve to lose weigth and shame of my body because I was bigger than others or not the same. 

Sometimes guilt isn’t related to misbehaviour. In these cases, guilt could come from factors that are not in your control, but still feel like ‘your fault’ or ‘guilty pleasures’ – feeling guilty when you do something you enjoy. Some of you will think of singing along to ‘80s pop hits about heartbreak, others think of eating a tub of Ben & Jerry’s watching ‘The Wedding Planner’. 

Feeling guilty after something you sincerely enjoy doing comes from the feeling of judgement, either by another person, but also by yourself – again based on morals, but also productivity and self-control.

As you see, these feelings of guilt are closely related, but most often come from believing you’re doing something that ‘isn’t right, isn’t morally accepted or is being judged’. In other words: your inner-critic. 

What’s indulging exactly?

‘Indulgence is finding pleasure in something you desire or consume and taking more of it than is necessarily good for you’.

The things enjoyed in a moment of indulgence are often the things we enjoy in our moment of guilty pleasure. Think of types of music, films, food or drinks, spending a day in bed, spending hours and hours on social media trying Instagram filters or eating an entire packet of crisps by yourself. 

There are various ways of indulging, some people prefer to involve other people in their indulgences because doing it with someone else sometimes helps you justify it to yourself. Others are more secretive about it, due to shame or embarrassment and prefer to spend these moments alone. 


7 simple yet effective techniques to prevent extremity or limit indulging in food:

1. Keep healthy snacks with you.

Eating small amounts of healthy foods like nuts, vegetables, fruits or high-protein goods throughout the day will keep your sugar levels more balanced and your cravings weaker. Studies have shown that your willpower drastically decreases when you’re hungry and that it’s therefore terribly hard to make mindful decisions.  

2. Follow a mediterranean diet

I’m personally not a fan of calling your type of consumption a diet, due to my background. A diet to me has a negative tone which I think is unnecessary and useless. Following a mediterranean eating pattern which is rich in carefully prepared dishes like soups, purees, grills, flavoured vegetable dips, cheeses, oil rich salads, meat and even alcohol like a glass of red wine aren’t actually bad for you if you eat in a balanced way and don’t ignore your body’s sign of ‘satisfaction’.

3. Good old homemade

Cooking at home doesn’t only allow you to choose to make the dishes you like, it also gives you the opportunity to decide on the amount you make and the ingredients you use.
In comparison to the way they prepare food in many restaurants where they often make more use of salt, sauces, fat and sugar, when we cook at home, we are more likely to pick local and fresh products which automatically are healthier than processed foods.

4. Watch your plate(s)

The size of your plate and how full you make your plate can make a big difference when it comes to overeating. Using a smaller plate will automatically make you put less food on it. Though if you haven’t got a smaller plate, consciously putting less food on your plate and observing your portion instead of the size of your plate, could also work.

5. Quality over quantity.

One technique I learned from my mum, was that your second, third and fourth piece of chocolate all taste the same or even less delicious because there’s nothing like ‘the first time’. When you feel like the temptation for overeating is there, ask yourself ‘Do I really need this?’ ‘Is this going to taste as good as I think it will?’ or simply tell yourself ‘The next bite will taste the same or not as good, what’s the point?’.
I know this might sound like a joke, but try it and be persistent and experience it for yourself.

6. Make it a moment

What do you do while you eat? Do you watch TV? Read the paper? Scroll through social media? Do you speak to a friend on the phone? Or talk to your family if you’re eating at the same table?

What you do while you eat has a massive impact on how much you consume, your digestion, connection and relationship with food and whether or not you enjoy it.

The next time you’re eating, instead of just filling your mouth and stomach to stop your hunger, take a bite and ask yourself: is it cold or warm? Is it salty, sweet, bitter, or sour? What specific flavours can I detect? Does it melt on the tongue or do I need to chew?

Mindful eating: becoming aware of the flavours of your food, the temperature, the texture, the signals it sends to your body, the satisfaction and fullness you experience after eating it, all helps you to digest better, enjoy more and strengthen your relationship with food. 

7. Keep note or write down your thoughts and emotions

When you feel your craving coming and you’re about to give in, ask yourself what happened just before.

  • Are you actually hungry? Or is this your mind and body’s reaction on a feeling or something that’s happened?
  • What are you craving for? (e.g. sweet, savoury)
  • Do you feel emotional about something? (e.g. lonely, hurt, bored)
  • What could you do to distract yourself?
  • What could you do to limit your craving? (See ideas above)

Keeping a diary or note of these things, will not only help you to distract yourself and overcome cravings, it also gives you insight as to when they happen, what’s going on in your life, body and mind and help you understand your cravings for indulgence better.

Like with anything in life, yoga and self-development, this is a matter of time, practice, and trial and error. Be patient with yourself and take your time to explore these ideas to manage your indulgences. 

Check out more blogs to read about the things you can do to recognise your inner critic, turn judging yourself into acknowledgement and live life with less self-restriction.  

Continuing Education Membership

In the meantime, check out our Continuing Education Membership for multilingual yoga teachers. This membership offers professional and personal development for yoga teachers that want to start teaching worldwide; online or abroad. Develop your communication and teaching skills while obtaining continuing education hours with our live and recorded classes and teacher training sessions!

Have a look at all that’s included here.