Who am I?
I grew up in a small village in the middle of Switzerland. The fact that five of my siblings died from a hereditary disease in infancy definitely helped to make me who I am. I was usually the only comforter of my mother in her pain – the comfort and motivation of people has remained one of my topics. On the one hand, I am a cheerful person, on the other hand, I have also experienced the seriousness and gravity of life – Asthma brought me to the brink of death at a young age. At the age of 56, I had a serious accident which kept me bedridden for months. – But I am a very positive-thinking person and the difficulties I experienced have helped to bring me closer to the universal consciousness which has shown me the beautiful aspects of life again. – As a child I already thought about the question of „Where do I come from and where will I go when I die?“ At the age of 36, I became depressed – that’s when I started with yoga – since then, I have been depression-free. I completed the Yoga Teacher training course with the BDY (Professional Association of German Yoga Teachers) and have since attended a series of advanced training courses. From 1986 until 2016, I ran a yoga school in Zurich and trained yoga teachers at the Yoga Centre in Ulm for 15 years. From 1988 I started researching mudras and my first mudra book was released in 1998. Even though I do not teach yoga today, the daily practice of yoga, mudras, mantras and meditation will definitely accompany me throughout the coming years. I feel that as I delve deeper and deeper into the subject, I can feel the changes that are taking place within me – I am on a spiritual path. In my life I have met many teachers and companions – I thank them most sincerely. I have received great inspiration and motivation from many books – a thousand thanks to the authors.
The following interview took place with one of my publishers and gives an insight into why I write books.
Who are you and why do you write books?
How did you discover yoga and why do you write books?
At the age of 36, I had severe asthma, allergies and pain in my back and limbs. In addition, I was depressed, something which runs in my family. I felt that my life was totally senseless and couldn’t see the point of it – it felt like a total void and emptiness.
Then I started practicing yoga with a teacher who not only taught the physical side, but also taught the philosophy and spirituality of yoga. With yoga, I healed the body, mind and soul. I want to use my experiences and my knowledge to help other people. I want to give them courage and show them that there is more than just emptiness and nothingness – that there is something to which we can turn at any time and any place which will help us, support us, protect us and unconditionally love us.
What does health mean to you?
Health does not only refer to the body. It means being free from physical discomfort, having a cheerful mind and a constructive way of thinking. Health is not a static state but must be constantly re-addressed. Often more rest and relaxation is needed as well as targeted physical exercise, exercise in fresh air as well as a healthy and nutritious diet.
In your opinion, what is especially important during a yoga session?
It is important to ensure that every joint is worked on in a yoga session and that every part of the body (legs, arms, back and front torso) is strengthened and stretched. Furthermore, the individual exercises should be practiced with care to ensure that the back and neck are not overly stressed.
Yoga relaxation – what is special about it?
In the so-called Yoga-Nidra, each individual part of the body is consciously addressed and relaxed, thus effectively reducing stress and tension. – Because relaxation is becoming increasingly important, the so-called Yin-Yoga has been developed. Here you lay for a few minutes stretched over a cushion and breathe into the strain. This is a wonderful and effective way to reach relaxation, peacefulness and serenity.
Mudras – are they important?
The hands play an important role in the physical as well as the mental and emotional aspects. Hand massages, hand exercises and hand gestures (Mudras) have an influence on every level. You can find more about this in my books.
Mantras – what are they for?
Consciously thought, spoken or sung syllables (for example OM, La, Va, Ram, Ya, Ha, Huu), words or entire sentences produce vibrations that develop inwardly as well as outwardly. You can find more about this in my book Mantra-Praxis.
Meditation – there are many forms.
What form do you practice?
I often seek my inner core in meditation and connect with divine power, strength and love. In my mind, I discuss what is occupying me and my ongoing projects. In meditation, I also see regularly how and what I have, what I am and what I would like to do – how it should be. – Or I sink into the silence by concentrating all my senses on my breathing or recite a Mantra – speaking or singing.
What is the most important thing you have learned in yoga?
The mastery of thought – transforming negative thoughts into positive ones and following yoga ethics which is integrated into the life-time and ground-breaking philosophy of the great yogis.
Yoga also follows a code of ethics – which is the most important?
Do not treat anyone badly in your thoughts, with words or actions.
What does spirituality mean to you?
Complying with the yogic laws of life, mindfulness towards yourself, your neighbour as well as nature (a lifestyle oriented to sustainability). It is about seeing the Divine in everything and everyone and showing respect to all those you meet. The most important thing is the constant connection with the Divine.