CARMEN & KLAUS, parents of 4 children, outdoor lovers, movement nerds, and founders of Inner Smile Yoga & Health. Originally pursuing a careers as Architect and Engineer/Business Manager, we were always drawn to holistic health and various forms of movement and exercise.
Carmen first came in touch with yoga in 2001 while at uni in Germany and became a certified yoga teacher in 2007. A diploma in Thai Yoga Massage followed in 2010, and a Kundalini Yoga Certification (Level 1) in 2013. Currently, she is studying Ayurveda and will soon be able to offer Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultations that help you nurture your body and restore natural health.
Klaus is a long distance runner with several marathons under his belt (his PB is just over 3 hours!) and he loves kicking the soccer ball. He has been coaching junior teams for about 10 years and has recently added beach sports to his coaching repertoire. Soon he will be available for small-group exercise classes, and once he has completed his Cert IV you can also book him for PT sessions.
WHY DID WE START INNER SMILE YOGA & HEALTH?
We want to help people adapt a sustainable and holistic lifestyle – which begins with our individual health and wellbeing.
Instead of constantly fixing symptoms, we could avoid so much discomfort, pain and injury if only we took more care of ourselves in the first place! And we could save a lot of money spent on doctor's appointments, medications or expensive supplements...
Inner Smile Yoga & Health came into being in 2011. We started with specialised Pre & Postnatal yoga as we found that there was not much on offer for pregnant women and new mums, and Carmen already had a lot of experience in this field.
More classes were added over time, at different locations in and around Altona, but we always had the bigger picture in mind – a centre that offers yoga or similar movement classes along with holistic therapies, a place to grow a community of like-minded people and share our knowledge and experience.
Most of us are permanently under pressure - we need to get things done within a narrow time frame, expectations are high and down-times low. Everything has to be fast and intense, even exercise and yoga classes are designed "to fit the tightest schedule".
As a result, our body tends to get stuck in the "fight or flight" response and subsequently shuts down mechanisms that are not essential for immediate survival. If we don't allow ourselves enough time to switch back into "recovery" mode we are likely to develop serious health problems which in turn creates even more stress and anxiety.
Slowing down is the only way to break this vicious cycle and help our body heal itself!
Learning to Breathe
"Our breath is our number one priority, for without it we are unable to utter one single word or perform even the smallest of actions."
- Richard Brennan, The Alexander Technique Workbook
Isn't it surprising that although breathing is the most essential action of all we hardly ever spend a thought on how we breathe?
Technically, breathing is the exchange of oxygen and waste gases in our lungs. Proper oxygenation is essential for cell repair and replacement, which influences all our bodily systems. Apart from that, our breath is also an excellent indicator for our wellbeing. Being linked to the nervous system it changes frequently, depending on our activity, mood, and health status. Since we can also change our breath at will, we are able to influence our physical, mental and emotional health through conscious breathing!
Nature has equipped us with a tool that is more powerful than any pill, we only have to (re-)learn how to use it.
What is Mindful Movement?
“In order to recognize small changes in effort, the effort itself must first be reduced. More delicate and improved control of movement is possible only through the increase of sensitivity, through a greater ability to sense differences.” - Moshe Feldenkrais
Mindful movement is the art of not only being aware that we move but also how we move, and which consequences our way of moving has on our body.
Most of our daily movements happen on a subconscious level - like walking. Once learnt, we don't need to think much about it anymore. Unfortunately, if not "reviewed" regularly we easily develop postural habits that can restrict our ability to move with ease and joy. In fact, most ongoing or recurring pain is related to postural issues, even in active people. However, if you always keep rushing through your routines, you will neither become aware of what you do nor understand what you can do better.
So, we encourage you to slow down and put your mind to it!
The Art of Listening
"Great leaders talk less & listen more."
Great leaders understand what is happening in their people because they listen to what they are talking about - what problems are they dealing with, what do they suggest to solve the issue, what makes them happy and thrive?
The same is true for you and your body: Your body is permanently talking to you, giving you all the information you need to nourish it and maintain best possible health. Sadly, we hardly ever pay attention and only take notice once we are suffering from pain or illness. Listening to your body & taking notice of your feelings and emotions are essential steps on the road to lasting health and wellbeing. The more you practise the "Art of Listening", the more you will realise what a wonderful piece of art your body is!