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Be Inspired Featured

Time to embrace those darn feelings

Do you ever wake up and just feel “blah”? Don’t feel like doing anything else then watch meaningless TV shows and even that feels unsatisfying? Our emotions vary and our mood swings, but it is how we deal with them that determines the result of our wellbeing.

We can experience a range of emotions; happiness, sadness, anger, confusion, anxiety, you name it. And there are many things that can affect our mood. Hormones, expectations, our inner critic, lack of Vitamin D or simply the fact that some brains are more sensitive to the effects of stress then others and can end up giving you the blues. Life is like an eternal rollercoaster. Some days you wake up all bubbly and happy, the next you might feel sad or angry. And when we feel out of sorts we often avoid our negative emotions. Hide them, stuff them away in the back of our emotional closet, hoping they will go away.

But as it turns out; negative emotions don’t harm you. It’s your resistance that does.

Not sure you know what I am talking about? Well, let me ask you this: have you ever been afraid of being unhappy, sad or depressed? Have you ever tried to stop yourself from feeling insecure or anxious? Ever resisted grief, shame or guilt?

The more you allow your feelings to be, the easier it is to let them go.

Resisting “bad” feelings actually intensifies them. The best way to heal your emotions is to embrace them. But how the heck do we do that?

When a negative emotion rises to the surface, try to observe. You don’t need to act on it, just acknowledge it and most importantly, feel it.

It is what it is. Love it or hate it, but at least embrace it. You can´t (and shouldn’t) change it. A negative emotion will not last forever and most certainly not define you, so worry not. Try to accept that it is what it is.

Feel like crying or screaming, do so. Want to hit something, do it (something, not someone though). Want to talk about it, turn to a friend. Want to work through it, write it down. Whatever releasing it means to you.

Negative emotions are a natural part of who you are and with that awareness you will more likely respond to whatever is aroused in your behaviour. Accept that life is not perfect and you will feel so much better.

By: Henriette Danielsen

Events Previous Events

Finding peace within chaos

On Saturday 24th of February, we invited our readers to come join us for a stress management workshop, where Stress Management & Relaxation Therapist Rebecca O’Brien helped us stay centred in the midst of the everyday chaos.

With long to-do lists, duties and a high stress level, life can sometimes feel overwhelming. We wanted to change that! During the workshop we looked at the different ways stress effects our body and how to mange it, by helping you understand you own cognitive behaviour. Rebecca guided us through some deep relaxation exercises, helping us relieve the pressures and overwhelming thoughts and refocus our mind on joy, peace and well-being.

It was a much needed workshop, with tools to bring home an implement when stress hits again. Afterwards we all took the time to simply be, drinking tea, eating some snacks and enjoy each others company without rushing off, back to every day life.

Thank you to everyone who sat aside some time in their busy calendars to come and regain focus. Also a big thank you to Yos Yoga and our sponsors; NOA, Weleda and YogiTea.

Want to keep track on what’s up next? Take a look here!

By: Henriette Danielsen 
Be Inspired Mind

I changed the rules

For years, I’ve been living by the rules. Or what I thought were the rules. Turns out I was interpreting them all wrong.

Be nice: let others walk all over you.
Be respectful: do not utter your own opinion.
Be humble: stay within your comfort zone.
Be polite: do not stand up for yourself and constantly apologize.

Let’s say I have built up a fair amount of frustration over the years, until I realized what a waste of time and energy it was trying to please everyone. But it’s one thing to recognize it, and admit it. It´s a whole different thing to actually act on it. You can repeat to yourself that life is short, you can buy postcards with empowering quotes, but when you find yourself facing challenging situations, habits die hard.

When I turned 30 I told myself (I even wrote it down) that this year would be the one I do what makes me truly happy. 6+ months in the year it’s time for a check-up:

While my changes are neither “drastic” nor spectacular, I am proud. I stood up for myself on several occasions. In my own way, but I did. What I am probably most proud of however, is getting out of my comfort zone. I gathered the courage to tell people I liked what they were doing/wearing/standing for. I reached out to them and told them I felt the same way and that I had dreams and skills in spades. I shut up the little voice in my head saying “who do you think you are? Why would people care? You really think one else thought of that before you?!”.

And what happened? People reached back. People wanted to meet and brainstorm. In six months, I made more new friends and interesting contacts than I had in years, people who took me to where I am today.  And the best part: it brought me to the beautiful adventure that Best of You is.

My rules haven’t changed, but they now have a whole new meaning:
Be nice: take care of yourself to be able to care for others.
Be respectful: always hear others out before letting them hear your voice.
Be humble: share successes, admit and learn from failures.
Be polite: never stop smiling.

Habits die hard. Key word being: die. Like everything else in life, with practice come progress.

By: Morgane Oleron

Guest Posts Mind

Enjoy the present not just the presents

My name is Morgane and I am an anxious person. (“Hi Morgane…”).
I usually put the barre really high for myself and expect people to expect the best from me. I excuse people but rarely myself. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember. Until very recently.

My Mom always said there will come a day, with experience (or age), when you start realising no one else has a clue and pretty much everyone is living by the “fake it until you make it” motto. However, I did not just turned 30 this summer and suddenly became calm & wise. No. It took a long journey to get me to where I am today. That is, slightly less anxious and with a tad more self-esteem. Part of that I owe to my relationship to yoga. Oh, how cliché I know. But I am not going to twist my life story to fit the part. So here it goes; I tried yoga about five years ago for the first time and hated it. Absolutely hated it. Then I picked it up again by myself but without really understanding the whole concept. It was when I travelled to Thailand on a kind of “eat, pray & love” experience, except that I ate way more than I prayed, that fell in love with it. Nine months later I was a yoga teacher.

Now that I have established my credentials, I would like to share some things that I strive to remind myself of in order to live more in the present moment and be more focused on myself (in a non-egocentric way), especially in times like these (the Christmas holidays) when everything can get a little frenzy: The pendulum of mind, a concept my teacher taught me during my training and which blew my mind.

As we all know, in life, just like in yoga, it is all about balance. Nature’s aim is to put everything into balance. Why do you think we say “after the storm the sun will shine”? In the yogic philosophy, there is something called the pendulum of mind. Kind of similarly to the concept of karma, according to which each action we take will, eventually, create an equal and opposite reaction, the pendulum shows that our emotions keep going back and forth between happiness and sadness. Meaning that if you are extremely sad, you will eventually be extremely happy, and vice versa. Because as you may have noticed happiness comes and goes.

You can’t do good if you don’t do you good.

It’s also said that to reach enlightenment (the state where you are free from Maya – the illusion that does not allow us to see the true matters of things) – you need your pendulum to stand still. How do you do that? By removing the battery. Which is? Your attachment to your expectations. Obviously, we are not looking to achieve enlightenment today or maybe ever. Let’s face it, a bit of illusion is quite nice in this world. However, it is still an important concept to have in mind in our everyday life: The higher your expectations and your attachment to them, the more exposed you are to disappointment. Plus, most of the time, the expectations depend on people or circumstances: we expect others to act or react a certain way, situations to unfold a certain way… but cannot control them or the outcomes. Who can you control? Yourself. And at the end of the day, who is the most important person in your life? I know who you’re thinking of right now. Your parents, your kids, your partner, your dog. But all that is wrong. The most important person in your life is: you. You can’t do good if you don’t do you good. You need to find your minimum level of expectation to be happy.

Of course, this does not mean we should not have hopes, dreams or be optimistic. It does not even mean we should have zero expectations. What we should get rid of is our attachment to them. Expectation is a belief that something will happen, and we can never be sure of that. Whereas being positive is a mental attitude towards events and facts, which is much healthier!

Forget the pendulum for a second and picture a Christmas tree. Imagine the bulbs are your dreams and hopes, the star on top represents your expectations. They are heavy and make the tree lean to the side, it’s unsteady, ungrounded and unbalanced. If you remove the attachment, the thing that binds the star to the top of tree, it is suddenly much lighter and falls back into place. Steady, grounded, balanced. See what I did here? A beautiful Christmas metaphor. You are the tree.

What the pendulum ultimately also tells us, is to enjoy the present more.

Sylvain Tesson a French writer who spent six months all alone in a wooden house on the shore of lake Baikal (so he had a good amount of time to reflect on those things) wrote something in French that goes like: “Between regrets and desires there is something called “The present”. We should strive to find our balance there”. Regrets are the past we constantly go back to, hoping we had done or said things differently. The desire is the future: the hopes we have for it, because it is always going to be better then, we can’t hardly wait. We are so preoccupied with waiting for it that when it actually happens we do not know how to enjoy it anymore. It comes and goes.  It turns from future to past without giving us time to call it the present.

Bottom line: Enjoy the present, don’t get attached to things you have no power over, and do you good.
Merry Christmas <3

By: Morgane Oleron

Events Previous Events

Just breathe

On December 17th, we had a yoga workshop in collaboration with Subhechha Yoga at Clarion Sign in Stockholm. Mikaela and Morgane, the two lovely souls behind Subhechha Yoga started off talking a little about how to stay centered in the midst of the Christmas chaos, before guiding us through a 75 minutes Hatha yoga class, leaving us feeling relaxed and centered.

Christmas for many can be stressful, and it was nice to see so many beautiful yogis show up and dedicate that time for themselves. Such an amazing way to welcome the holiday.

We want to thank Grounded Factory for lending us their beautiful mats, Clarion Hotel Sign for letting us host the event at their amazing hotel and Run & Relax for a whole outfit for one lucky winner to bring home! And of course; NOA, mymuesli, Tidningskungen, Holistic Sweden and Nova Concept who helped us create goodie bags filled with lovely treats.

For more pictures, head over to our Facebook page!

By: Henriette Danielsen / Photo cred: Ellinor Ravelin


With a passion for sustainable health

When Peter Munteanu went through a rough burnout, he was missing someone to provide him with high quality support on his time and terms. So, he took matters into his own hands and founded the online platform Yogobe, a tool for physical, mental, social and spiritual health and wellbeing.
By: Henriette Danielsen Featured image: Banana Bloom 

Yogobe is a platform for sustainable health and wellness, offering online classes with 50 of the leading yoga and wellness profiles in Scandinavia. Their goal is to inspire you on the road to better health and more balance in life.
– We live in a fast-paced society where we don’t move our bodies nearly enough. As a part in this reality we also find excuses as to why there isn’t enough time in the day to go to the gym. Yogobe helps people with their discipline and in finding a few moments in their every day for me-time by creating sustainable routines, Peter explains.

Yogobe was launched in 2013 and is now available in three Scandinavian markets; Sweden, Norway and Finland, and has quickly become a fast paced community-based company. 

Given todays hectic society, do you think online workouts from home will take over completely?
– I believe physical venues for sports, health and wellness will play an even more important role in the future. I believe in working together and it’s my firm belief that blended learning is the way forward. That means that the best results in terms of health for the individual will be obtained when we can combine practicing on our own, as part of a collective and with professional guidance, be it online or in real life.

Within a few clicks you have the high-quality guidance you desire.

Who are your main customers?
– People who wish to lead sustainable lives in our new constant climate of change. Our main source of revenue today is online subscription where users get access to an ever growing abundance of video tutorials and inspiration within yoga, meditation, mobility practice, pilates and much more. For the people who have challenges finding time in the day for movement and meditation, those who travel or those who wish to work out at home or at the office, Yogobe is the perfect help and tool. Within a few clicks you have the high-quality guidance you desire.

Privately, Peter practices yoga daily and a while back he passed 1500 consecutive days of meeting himself on the mat.
– For me it’s a symbol of caring for, connecting with and being present with myself. Some days I only have a few minutes, but the best workout is obviously the one which you actually end up doing, he says.

What is your view on fitness?
– When I hear the term “fitness” I think about initiatives which lead to a level of physical physique desired by a certain individual without respect or regard for the body as a complete system. I believe it would be a more sustainable term if it would more explicitly involve the perspective that the physical is more than you can see in the mirror or how heavy you might be able to deadlift. We aspire to live long lives, right? So, let’s make responsible decisions in terms of our physical, mental, social and spiritual health and wellbeing. Inside out.

Peter explains how Yogobe aspire to inspire and guide people to sustainable health.
– More and more of us have lost the ability to regularly shift between ON and OFF in our lives. Being constantly switched to ON-mode results in us not giving our bodies and minds enough time and space for reflection, rest and rejuvenation. In short; we strive to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Peter Munteanu
Age: 34
Lives: Stockholm, Sweden
Favorite workout: I am a huge fan of my foam roller at the moment!

Wish to learn more about Yogobe? Head over to their website and check it out!

Be Inspired

The art of being yourself

In a world filled with pressure and expectations from friends, family, partners, colleagues and even society you might lose your way and what’s truly you. The dreams, the passions and curiosities are put on hold or forgotten. The question is – who are you and how do you stay you?

I’m sure most of us has felt that you have to hide the true you in a group of people, maybe at work or in school? As kids we seldom did. Sure, we could be shy and a bit cautious, but that was just a tiny part of the whole you. Until the age of 6-7 you felt like the greatest and could do anything you wanted, nothing was impossible. Why is it that so many of us lose this ability?

Speaker, teacher and coach Caroline McHugh explains the art of being yourself and how it all works from her perspective. Take a look at her Ted Talk and find the beautiful you again. You are in there!

By: Victoria Thoors


The power of positive thinking

There are a lot of benefits to positive thinking. Having an optimistic outlook on life in general can improve your physical health, your mental health, make you happier, and make your relationships better. Sometimes it’s hard to get in that mindset, though. 

Take the following for example: You’re reading motivational quotes and stories until you finally feel like you get it. You feel like you’ve grasped the concept of positive thinking and know that this is what it takes to be happy.  You set goals and intentions for your day, you chant mantras, try yoga, and start drinking green smoothies. You feel like it’s working – and then suddenly it’s not. The next day you’re back to feeling sluggish, lots of negative self-talk, and you’re dreading the start to your day. Not so optimistic.

Where did the motivation go?

Let’s talk about positive thinking for a minute, why it’s so important, and how to grasp it. Positive thinking and self-talk, or optimism, can affect our mental and physical wellbeing. According to Mayoclinic, there are some potential health benefits of positive thinking:

  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of stress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical wellbeing
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships

Makes you want to give it another go, right? If you find that you’re naturally inclined to pessimism (negative thoughts/self-talk), here are some ways to work on it:

Identify it
The first and most important step for becoming a positive thinker is identifying your negative thoughts and what causes you to think or feel that way. Identify what you feel negatively towards; and work in small ways to change your focus. For example:  if your morning commute causes stress, try listening to podcasts or relaxing music.

Practice mindfulness
Be mindful throughout your day. Try taking a break from working every hour to breathe deeply for a few minutes. Get out and go for a walk and try to notice what’s around you. When you go out to eat at a restaurant, try to be mindful of how things taste and smell. You can even keep a mindfulness journal about how you’re feeling throughout the day and reflect on those and a possible cause.

Have humor
It’s important to laugh. Try to laugh once a day whether it’s from hanging out with people whose company you enjoy or finding a funny video on YouTube.

Hang out with positive people
This one is important.  Have you ever heard of the term emotional vampire? Don’t be one – and don’t hang out with people who have that affect on you, either.  Hang out with people who have a positive outlook on life and you’ll start to see it wear off on you! Having a circle of friends you can trust and who lift you up when you feel down is crucial.

Live a healthy lifestyle
Ever wonder why healthy people just seem so darn happy all the time?  One of the benefits of regular exercise and eating whole foods is the release of endorphins that make you happy, and eating whole foods gives you energy and will fuel you without dragging you down. Find something you enjoy doing and focus on that; not everyone is a runner or a yogi. Don’t force yourself to do something you don’t enjoy.

Positive self-talk
Practicing positive self-talk can feel like a chore, especially if you’re someone who regularly talks negative to yourself. Try to treat yourself the way you would treat others and try to counter every negative self-thought with something positive.

Try the following:

  • Instead of saying “I’ve never done this before”, try thinking “this is an opportunity to learn something new!”
  • Instead of saying “I didn’t workout today,” try thinking “I listened to my body and let it recover, tomorrow I will exercise if it feels right.”
  • Instead of saying, “I’ll never get any better at this,” try “I’ll give it another try.”

Set a routine
Having a routine can bring a sense of calm to a situation that might otherwise feel hectic and overwhelming. Something that helped me immensely was setting a morning routine. Having an extra hour to set goals for the day and get organized will help you have a more positive mindset going into the day. If you’re someone who struggles with having a calm, peaceful morning, I highly recommend to try it!

I hope you can put these practices into work and that you start to see a more positive shift in your thoughts and relationships around you.

This post is contributed by Samantha Thayer, Online Outreach and Education Specialist from What’s Up, USANA?. For more information on health, feel free to visit their blog or find them on Twitter @USANAInc.

Be Inspired

7 things to do when you are feeling down

Sometimes the world can feel like a dark and hopeless place and the only thing you want to do is to stay in bed and lock everything out. Here’s a little list of things to do that will help you feel a bit better.

Terrible things happen every day everywhere. Media constantly feed us with images of war, conflicts, accidents, natural disasters and the misery continues when you step out of your home with beggars and homeless people around every corner. This makes many of us frustrated, we want to help but where to start and how to go about it? What can I,a little tiny human, in a big world filled with so much injustice do to make it better? We feel just the same, but by taking one step at a time, we can help and fill our days with love and in that way make the world a better place.

1. Give warmth
Open up your closet and dig out that warm sweater you never wear. Bring it to a place that will give it away to people who needs it or give it to someone you think might need it.

2. Sit on a bench
Turn off you phone, go outside and find a park, sit down. Look at everything that happens around you, then close your eyes and listen, what do you hear? The world is magical and we will find ways to cope, just listen and watch.

3. Support someone you believe in
Maybe you really like that not-so-famous musician you listen to from time to time on Spotify or maybe you even dowloaded it for free? Why not buy the album or that favorite song? Telling the artist that you think their work is amazing.

4.Show appreciation
Think of the nice person you know. Write them an email letting them know how much they mean to you. Or why not say it to their face the next time you meet?

5.Acknowledge the people around you
Whether it is the bus driver who takes you to school or work, or if it’s the beggar in the street, stop for a moment and say “hi”. Ask them how they are doing, acknowledge their existence and give them a smile.

6.Spread the love
Buy post-its and write down “you matter”, “Breathe” or “everything will be ok” and carry these notes with you, leaving them in the office bathroom, in elevators, on wind shields. Keep a few for yourself to remind yourself.

7. Help out
It doesn’t have to be a big thing, maybe help someone carry their luggage or buy a beggar something to eat. Why not ask a colleague if you can help them in any way when they seem to be overthrown with tasks.

By: Victoria Thoors Photo: Ian Schneider

Guest Posts

When you don’t have the time to relax – that’s when it’s time to relax

You know, one of those days when the sun is shining and all of your friends are busy, so you decide to spend the day with yourself. But when you get to the crowded park, you realize your phone is dead and the book you were supposed to bring is still at home. Do you feel; panic or relief? strength or worried? secure or hopeless?
By: Therés Enström Photo: Sandra Svensson

In the moment we spend time with others, we can meet ourselves but we can easily forget the magic of meeting ourselves when we spend time alone. Think for a moment, how do you feel about yourself and what thoughts do you have about yourself?

What we think affects our emotions as well as our physiological responses and actions. Our brain sorts out impressions and information after a negative, positive or indifferent experience and when the brain believe that the information is negative and a threat it will automatically connect to our body’s defenses which make us ready to fight or run.[1]

We live in a world where we are supposed to be “perfect “, where we shall fight until we bleed, get back again and continue until we reach the “top”. Where demands are constantly increasing, and the time and humanity is reduced. Where the image of the “ideal self” chasing us to sleepless nights, retouched images on Instagram, hurried coffee breaks, more projects and more working hours.

You have just as much value as you had before you passed an exam or finished a project

We know that stress is dangerous in the long run, but despite this more and more people are burned out. Stress is linked to the reaction of struggle and flight, and the body, brain and psyche’s different reactions to pressure and challenges.[2] Stress and control belong together and when we struggle to maintain our control a certain situation, a stress reaction is created.[3] This could happen when you meet what you think are the obstacles in your life and you lose control.

The question is how you treat yourself when it occurs?

There’s no right and wrong in this. Fighting is good, want to become better at something is a good thing, but we must never forget that it’s okay to be enough, dare to love ourselves in all our shapes, colors, thoughts and patterns. Dare to be confident that you’re awesome just the way you are. You have just as much value as you had before you passed an exam or finished a project. It’s great that you want to get better, sweat, grow and learn, but remember that you are valuable no matter what you accomplish, or don’t accomplish. Your value will not change with the numbers of your medals. The important deal is to love yourself and be happy with all your choices and thoughts.

A wise person once said that if you feel you don’t have the time, that’s when you take a beak and say something nice to yourself. It’s by far my best advice to reduce stress. When I feel stressed out, I lie down, relax and say something nice to myself, sometimes I really have to force myself to do it. But I make sure I do it.

Next time you feel all stressed up – and do not have the time – that is when you should take a break!

Name: Therés Enström
Age: 28
Occupation: Lead singer in the rock band King Albatross and the band Juniper Stream and soon-to-be health counselor
Lives: Borlänge Sweden

Listen to King Albatross
Check out their Facebook page for tour updates.

Sources used:

[1] För att förnya arbetsmiljöarbetet. Näringsdepartementet DS 2001:28 (2001)
[2] För att förnya arbetsmiljöarbetet. Näringsdepartementet DS 2001:28 (2001)
[3] Theorell, T. (2012). Psykosocial miljö och stress. Lund: Studentlitteratur.