Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

Happy Hips December 17, 2011

Filed under: coaching,Yoga — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 5:48 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

A strap, a tennis ball and a yoga mat. +100 people and Rusty Wells. In a workshop. The quote of the day:

If you want to be happy – think happy thoughts. If you want to fall in love… open your hips.

So there you have it – the master has spoken 😉 And this is how you could do it: (Rusty – where are your YouTube videos? 😉

Happy Saturday all.


Oh – why? The focus of this workshop was to “open your hips and invite freedom and fluidity into the space around the entire hip and pelvis area. We’ll flow through a vigorous practice that is designed to liberate and deeply release this space in the body that tends to be a dumping ground for energetic and physical residue.” So by doing that you will reach benefits such as letting go of the past, feeling more relaxed, grounded and present. Makes perfect sense, no?


Shared Happiness, Double…? October 17, 2011

Filed under: coaching,Inspiration,Yoga — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 6:51 am

Shared happiness, double happiness, that is – in most cases – an obvious outcome.

With one of my best friends in town, I was eager to share with her my yoga practice. :O  This time we went to Pradeep’s session. Level 1-2. But it was not a game. By the time we get to the bicycle crunches I had gotten both the questions of how long time the class would be (“TWO hours!?”) and “did you say this wasn’t called “POWER Yoga?!”. And these bicycle crunches didn’t seem to end. I was wondering what nugget would come – he couldn’t do the same as Rusty last time. But he just kept going. Movement in variations. The sound effects in the room started getting loud and varied. Suddenly I look to my right and my eyes meet Ylva’s. She stops – stares at me and says clearly:

“Johanna, I will never again come and visit you.”

The world stopped for a second. And then the next song started playing…

Killing me softly. We love you Pradeep. Going forward we were both laughing and singing, in a relaxed stretch. What can you not create with a little bit of humor and music?

Just as my friend Anna labeled the yoga last weekend: “Detox, Joy and Reflection”.

Make love, not war,


Want to meet Pradeep?!


Smokin’ Hot October 13, 2011

Yeah – Smokin’n hot! And I am not talking about a man – I could, but I shouldn’t – I am talking about freak’n awesome Urban Flow Yoga with Rusty Wells. I know, I love this practice. It makes me high. And I am not the only one.

Yesterday afternoon a little email came out saying:

Just a little note to let you know that I will be teaching tonight (Wednesday) at 6:15 and then again tomorrow morning at 9. Yipee!

After that, I will be in Europe for a wee bit
(*see schedule below).

Rushing to the class after a conference call, a tid bit late, I sneak in when the chanting has just started. The room is already smoking of heat. The windows are foggy. (What expression would you use?) And I wouldn’t say the heater was the contributing factor. You could think it was Thanks Giving. The room was packed.

Ahh – there are so many nuggets coming out of this class. I’ll pick three.

First: being back in to yoga gives a great and powerful feeling. Suddenly in one pose, which usually is a stretch, the vision of the Blue Angels photo from Tuesday’s post comes up in my head. Feeling like a blue angels airplane breaking through the wall of sound – that is quite a powerful pose! And picture. It is good to have metaphors, whenever you use them.

Secondly: There is a parallel with yoga and coaching – more specifically your body in yoga and circle of life exercise. You go through areas that are strong, happy, flow with ease – and others that are totally stuck. That particular area could make you fall out of the pose instantly, unless you hear a voice saying “Don’t let life pass by you. Breathe through it.”

Thirdly: I wish I had heard all the 15 reasons what makes the perfect yoga bicycle pose – hopefully you can see the transition: you are lying on the back on the floor with 150 other people, pumping, almost rushing through with the rather fast music, this abs exercise of crunching while paddling a bike with the legs in large circles and meeting your elbows with opposite knee one after the other. By now you have already gotten quite a good workout. Your face probably say exactly that. (See the picture…) Right then the guidance come of what makes “the perfect yoga bicycle pose… because you love it, you know it is right, you believe in it, you feel every part of the movement, you slow it down…” AND then I couldn’t hear more! 😉

But I am sure it was smokin’ hot!

I am just saying… try it. It may not be for you. But try it. Below is the schedule in Europe, for all of you over sea. Working on adding Stockholm for the June visit.



Global Bhakti Flow
Join Rusty in Europe this October!

Paris – Rasa Yoga Rive Gauche
October 15-16 (Saturday and Sunday)

Amsterdam – Svaha Yoga
October 21-22 (Friday and Saturday)

Antwerp – Antwerp Yoga
October 23 (Sunday)

London – Jivamukti
October 29-30 (Saturday and Sunday)


Wrapped in Love & Devotion August 18, 2009

Vacation is over, summer is soon gone, budget season has kicked off – the fall is here. The great thing with living in San Francisco is that the annual Indian Summer is soon to arrive (September – November is the best time to visit!) What a bonus! Also; Rusty Wells is back with some loving kick-butt yoga. Last night I attended the more mellow class.

Mellow Flow is an opportunity to connect with the interiorization of ones practice. There is a strong emphasis on connecting the breath with each and every movement and micromovement of the body. Students are invited to work as deeply as they desire. The environment is set to complement the quiet nature of this all-level flow experience. Come find yourself wrapped in love and devotion.

That can’t be wrong?! The door opens at 8pm and I am met by this heat wave from a slightly heated room filled with 100 students. The yogis are soaking wet, with a relaxed smile on their faces, people are meeting and greeting, the lounge type music is pumping in the back-ground while they leave the room and a new group of 100 students are finding their space with their mats on the floor. Yep – those classes are popular.

The class starts. It goes from heartfelt chanting to pretty intense poses. I am keenly aware that the strength that I have built up needs to be focused and present. I am wondering where or how will the feeling of being wrapped in love and devotion show up?

Suddenly I find myself in a position as if I am trying to make a knot of myself. Some kind of Marichyasana – a squat position with the left arm thrown around my bent left leg from the front side and back, and the other arm in the other direction around my back, fingers locked together in the level of my waist. Rusty guides something like: “let go of all the struggle and breathe into this place. Let go of the intensity and density. Breathe deeply, relax your jaws and smile. Open up and make space and rest in that you are exactly in the right spot right now.” Mmm… that’s what the class description related to. It totally shifted the experience.

In what situation in your daily life can this serve you?

Wrap your arms around your self and give yourself a big warm hug. Let go of any struggle, take a deep breath and know that you are exactly in the right spot, right now.


  blog it

3 Swedish Radio Hits July 23, 2009

Filed under: Inspiration,Johanna Nilsson,Loving Life,Yoga — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 4:23 am

I heard a discussion about vacations on the radio the other day. The lady who was interviewed always went for reading vacations to a sunny beach with a carry on suitcase filled with books. That way she could experience everything under the sun that she wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. My vacation so far has more been like a work camp with gourmet food and great company, or … yoga retreat. I have listened a lot to the radio, and there are three hits that seem to reoccur constantly:

1. I’m in love in a fairy tale by Alexander Rybak. I guess there is no secret that all Swedes secretly love the Eurovision Song Contest. This years winning song from Norway goes warm on the radio all day long. Last week when the singer Alexander performed at the Allsång på Skansen (Sing Along at Skansen) in Stockholm it also seemed like all Swedish girls are in love in a certain Norwegian fairy tail…

2. Hope and Glory with Måns Zelmerlöw, the Swedish counterpart who apparently also competed with this song in the Swedish Song Contest, but didn’t quite make it to first place. “Don’t stop – I’m still standing for hope and glory, I’ll be fighting for my love story, I’m still standing for hope and glory now. All the battles I lost and the battles I won, this will be the one, this will be the one…” Looking at youtube I find that also Måns apeared at the Sing Along at Skansen – this video made me laugh out loud – it shows more how a classical catchy “schlager” song would be back in the days when I would have recorded the program, written down all the lyrics, learned the choreography and dreamt of winning the contest (and that is a looong time ago… – still dreaming though 😉 ). See here for the 3rd and more soft version:

3. Radio ad for Bauhaus – I can do it myself. Or is it that they talk about the ads for Bauhaus and make parody of the painted idyll picture and a comparison of the families and couples who dogged maintain their summerhouses because they should be able to do it themselves… This week my mom and I have done it ourselves. I found myself standing in a backbend leaning out of the window towards the water grabing in the windowframe inside in order not to fall out, reaching higher, stretching my other arm, raising up in relevé in order to paint the whole area on the facade above the window and under the roof. The pose made me think of my yoga teacher back in San Francisco, Rusty Wells. I heard his voice, as he often state when we are in the more advanced unfomfortable poses: “if I took a photo of you now and sent to your mother she should not be afraid that you were dying – SMILE!” So I smiled. And my mom took a photo. If this had been at a yoga retreat they would have called it karma yoga, I’m sure.

This was a litle report from Sweden, or as they say on the radio show from Minnesota: “the land where the men are beautiful, the women are strong, and all children above average”…




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