THE JOURNEY TO MY DHARMA

We all want to become something but before we can successfully become anything we need to become ourselves.

Nothing has changed my life so profoundly as studying to become a yoga teacher. Back in 2017 I immersed in a deep journey of finding my Dharma. One of the tasks given to us at the Purna Yoga 200-hour teacher training was to read a book called ‘The Fire of Love” by one of the greatest yoga teacher’s of the world, Aadil Palkhivala.

Before I read it, I never expected that I would be so profoundly impacted by it. Writing a report on the whats and the hows of it sounds very appropriate now.

As you might have guessed, the book has affected me deeply, and I think it truly magnificent. You can usually say that when, at times, a book feels like it was written for you personally. I have identified myself in many chapters, and the thing as a whole felt as wearing a broken-in pair of pants. Just right.

“The Fire of Love” gave me the tools to apply small yet significant changes to my life, towards to goal of making it more balanced, joyful, and purposeful.

Thanks to its exposition of the core elements of dharma, wisdom, truth, integrity, feeling, respect, balance, bliss, peace, and love, “Fire and Love” allowed me to cement my desire to find and express my true self, and live my dharma. This is something I had wanted to do for a very long time, but I was lacking the confidence and strenght.

The most impacting feature, for me, has been a simple realisation: being more self-conscious and present will lead to a better quality of life. In the past, I have wasted opportunities by living my life as “I am supposed to”. That was the result of poor self-confidence and a lack of trust in my inner voice. I have been so wrapped up into living my life as it was expected of me, that I did not spend any time focusing on what I really wanted. I was not self-conscious, and not present.

The book “Fire and Love” solidified my wish to embark into the journey of meeting my dharma. I have known what my dharma is for a long time, since the age of sixteen or so, despite my ignorance of the word itself. I have always been interested in sports and welfare, but being too immature and inexperienced, I chose what turned out to be the
wrong path. Luckily, even mistakes are a coin with two sides, and one can turn them to one’s own advantage, to learn from them and make better choices in the future.

I focused on business studies, as I thought that would me give better chances to a successful and rewarding career. I completed the studies, graduated, and worked in business administration and related fields for many years.

Unfortunately, that quickly spiraled down into unhappiness, as I felt out of place, something amiss. Never truly enjoying what I was doing, I often felt exhausted, angry, and frustrated.

I lost respect for myself, and found myself in a maze, unable to get out. Sleep was a commodity that was hard to come by, at night, as I feared that I had let my formative years go by and it was now too late to start over. That made me claustrophobic, it smothered me, and I was in sever distraught.

Deep inside me I knew I needed to act on these feelings, but desperation seldom leads to good decisions. Like in a classic textbook example of the sunk cost fallacy, I went as far as signing up for a bookkeeping course, thinking it would made me more employable after my maternity leave. I thought it was the mature, reasonable, adult thing to do.
That was a very impulsive decision, and I realized quickly I had made a mistake.

Before my second maternity leave, the company I was working for faced bankruptcy. That released a spring that had been too long forced coiled, and with time to reflect I came to the conclusion that it was time to follow my intuition and take a risk for once.

Taking the Yoga Teacher Training course was the first step in new chosen path towards finding my dharma. For many years, as a student of yoga, I thought that this was something I really wanted to pursue, but as I finally did it, reading “The Fire of Love” mashed the seed of doubt in my mind down to fine powder.

Thanks to “The Fire of Love”, I have found the courage to get out of my comfort zone, take risks, and jump into the unknown.

Get yourself the book ‘The Fire of Love” from Amazon.

Want to become a yoga teacher or to just simply deepen your knowledge in yoga and plunge into an exiting journey of becoming YOU? The next 200-hour Purna Yoga teacher training starting in October in Purna Yoga Helsinki

If you would like to bring more yoga into your life then check out my new schedule! Yoga classes starting on the 17th of August.

MATCHA TEA LOVE

I fell in love with the antioxidant-rich matcha tea about half a year ago and it has been part of my morning routine ever since. Nowadays I add green powder or moringa tea leave powder in it to make it even tastier and nutrient-rich. The latest addition to this drink is cardamom essential oil and I would say now it’s just perfect! 

This drink right here is so much better than the daily cup (or cups) of coffee. I basically quit drinking coffee over three years ago. I used to be very addicted to that one cup of coffee in the morning and if I didn’t get that daily does of caffeine I was not a person you want to be around with. Having two small kids at home, drinking that one cup in total peace became more of a stress than a relaxing me-time moment.

After diving more profoundly in the yoga and Ayurveda world I realized that coffee isn’t actually the healthiest thing you can pour into your body so I decided to accept a 21 day no coffee challenge. It was a good decision and I am so grateful I’m out of that caffeine hook.

Practicing yoga has made me really sensitive to the messages my body sends me and I can now easily feel when some food or drink just wasn’t good for me. I realized that coffee is too strong for my body, and especially my nervous system, to handle. I get easily hyperactive and nervous after one cappucino and if I drink it after midday it will ruin my sleep. This is why I changed the daily dose of coffee into a cup of green tea and was able to avoid palpitations, nervousness, or any other caffeine side effects. Green tea of course also has caffeine but very little and it seems to be absorbed slower which actually makes you more awake for longer. Plus, green tea has so many other health benefits which makes it a fairly healthy addition to your diet. 

Nowadays, matcha latte has become a stable part of my mornings without being addicted to it. If I don’t get my matcha in the morning that’s ok, the world is not gonna come crashing down because of that. And since the kids have grown up a little bit, I can usually enjoy that big cup of matcha in total peace. 

Here is my current favourite matcha latte recipe:

INGREDIENTS FOR 1 SERVING

Oat milk 3 dl

Matcha tea powder 1 tsp

Moringa leave powder 1 tsp

Cardamom essential oil 1 drop (make sure you use 100% pure, food-grade essential oil. I only use Young Living essential oils which are 100% pure, therapeutic grade oils. They have a special +line of essential oils that are actually labeled as food supplements.)

HOW TO PREPARE:

  • Heat the oat milk in a pan util it’s almost boiling.
  • Add the matcha and moringa powders and mix vigorously with a bamboo whisk until the powders are well mixed with the oat milk. You can also pour the hot oat milk, matcha and moringa powders in a blender and blitz until smooth.
  • Put one drop of cardamom essential oil in a cup and pour the oatmilk, matcha, and moringa mix on top.
  • Mix with a spoon and enjoy!

MAKING YOGA PART OF YOUR DAILY LIFE WITH ARDHA UTTANASANA

The best and most useful asanas for your overall wellbeing are the ones you can easily integrate into your daily life, and into every stage of your life. That’s how you can truly make the physical practice of yoga a part of your day-to-day life and reap the fruits of a daily practice.

Here’s one of those kinds of asanas and my all time favourite:
A R D H A  U T T A N A S A N A

About four years ago I was practicing Ardha Uttanasana / The forward fold at the airport in Münich while waiting our flight to Venice.

One of the greatest benefits of this asana is beautifully explained in my Purna Yoga teacher training manual:”

After doing Ardha Uttanasana you will feel relief from the stresses of day-to-day life that build up in the heart and lungs.” 

I can so feel that every time I practice this in the middle of a busy day. It gives me this AAAAAHHHHHH feeling when after doing the dishes, cooking, lifting and carrying kids or heavy groceries, I place my body in this position and stretch out all the tensions I feel in the body. It’s not only a physical relief but a mental one as well. This is a great position to exhale the business out of your system. Afterwards, you really feel realigned both physically and mentally.


With few small modifications Ardha Uttanasana is accessible to pregnant women and women who have recently given birth as well. This is a pose that every woman should include in her daily self-care repertoire because when done regularly it can prevent menstrual cramps.  And to all the mother’s of small babies out there: this is THE pose to practice between feeding and taking care of your baby because it opens all those parts of the body that easily get tight from all the lifting, carrying, and hustling.

You don’t need any specific props; just a little bit of empty wall space, bench, table, or a big branch at the right hight where to place your hands on.

Going for walks in the nature with my kids is one of my favourite things to do. We often got ho this place in the nearby forest where there are many good places to do stretching and other body workouts. This spot right here is perfect for Ardha Uttanasana.

After doing most of my asana practice either lying down or sitting for three weeks due to my ankle injury, this was the first standing pose that was accessible to me. My ankle doesn’t yet allow putting all my body weight on it or moving it laterally. In ardha Uttanasana the weight of my body is equally supported by both of my legs. In this pose I can ground through the both of my feet, strengthen the quadriceps, and safely stretch the back of my legs.


I still limp when walking which creates a lot of tension in the hips and lower back and negatively affects on my posture. In Ardha Uttanasana I can free the lower back through the traction and stretching of the hamstrings.

Almost not a day go by without me practicing this asana. I do it pretty much every time after spending a lot of time in the kitchen, when traveling, during walks in the nature, at the end of a run or a whenever I feel like my body and mind are in the need of a good stretch & release.

Here are the main actions of the pose:

Ardha Uttanasana is the best thing one can do after spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Cooking and doing the dishes can easily make your upper back, neck, and shoulders achy and create tension in the chest. Ardha Uttanasana brings freedom to all those parts making it an essential part of my daily life.

If your hands are against a wall, then push the hands forward like you would try to make the wall fall down and at the same time move the sitting bones away from the hands.

If you are pregnant, make sure your legs are wide enough so that here is no pressure on the belly. In the postnatal period keep the feet hip width apart.

Ardha uttanasana opens the hamstrings, stretches the sides of your waist and rib cage, opens the armpits, chest, and shoulders, and reduces heart rate. It can prevent stomach pain and cramps during menstruation. I would say that’s a pretty impressive list of benefits for such a simple and accessible yoga asana. Go ahead and try this out. I can guarantee you will love it!

This picture is part of the many beautiful pictures Susanna Iovene
took of me in Sardinia last summer. Exactly seven years ago today she started to take her firsts shots and now she is well known and extremely talented, fully self learned photographer in Italy. I am so proud of my sister-in-law! She is a true living example of what you can accomplish when following your dreams and doing what you love.

DIY NIGHTTIME FACE SERUM

Beauty care has never been more fun and easier!

I’m a person who appreciates easy & simple beauty care routine. I just don’t like to spend hours every morning and evening shuffling with all sorts of creams and what not. Plus I don’t even have all that extra time. My kids barely let me pee in peace let alone to spend one hour styling my hair!

There’s a little hippie girl inside me that got out of her cave few years back when I learned to appreciate, and totally fell in love with, my bare beauty and all its simplicity.

I’m also a person who believes that our skin & hair really doesn’t need five different kinds of creams, three shampoos, countless hair styling products, and a luggage full of make up.

When you add all the hundreds of different kind of ingredients we don’t even know how to spell, our beauty care routine easily becomes a cocktail that does more harm than good to our wellbeing.

Whenever I manage to substitute a commercially made product with a self made one I feel like a winner! I really get enormous satisfaction for being able to create my own beauty products with only few ingredients that are 100% natural and safe. It just can’t get better than that!
It’s so empowering to be in charge of what I put on my skin and into my body. Less is more!
Healthy and radiant skin & hair really just needs few good quality natural products that supports their own wellbeing and balance.

This serum doesn’t only support your skin during the sleep but also promotes good night sleep and it just might knock you out after applying it. Here’s what you need for this face serum and how to make it. You can also check out my Instagram stories under the highlight ‘DIY beauty’ for video instructions + step by step guide how to properly clean reuse your empty essential oil bottles.

DIY FACE SERUM:

Here’s what you need:

  • 15ml empty dropper bottle
  • 10 drops of Frankincense essential oil
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops of cedarwood essential oil
  • Organic rosehip seed oil

Here’s how to make the serum:

  • First add the essential oils into the empty dropper bottle
  • Then, fill the bottle up with organic rosehip seed oil, close the cap and swirl the bottle around few times to get the oils mixed up well. No need to shake, just gently swirl.

Apply the DIY face serum on a clean skin before going to bed and enjoy it’s calming effect.

And here’s a little bit about the benefits of the oils I chose for this face serum:

FRANKINCENSE

Frankincense essential oil is a resin oil and it’s topical use smooths the skin and maintains the radian appearance of healthy skin. It evens out skin tone and balances dry skin. Frankincense is a key ingredient in many face creams. On top of the great benefits this precious essential oil offers to the skin, it is also one of the best oils to assist relaxation.

LAVENDER

Lavender essential oil helps to reduce the appearance of blemishes, soothes sensitive skin, and supports healthy and youthful glow. Lavender is one of the most used essential oils and especially loved and appreciated for its calming and sleep supporting properties.

CEDARWOOD

Cedarwood essential oil offers cleansing and moisturizing properties and can help maintain the appearance of healthy and youthful skin. Cedarwood is also a resin oil like frankincense offering deeply grounding and relaxing benefits.


ROSEHIP SEED OIL:

Rosehip seed oil is a fatty carrier oil which is nourishes and smooths the skin. This is an excellent oil for more mature skin. It is considered as a precious anti-wrinkle oil to nourish and revitalize the skin. Rosehip seed oil is particularly valuable for mature, damaged, or problem skin.

Stay tuned for a basic DIY hair serum recipe. Coming out soon 🙂

HOME MADE CHOCOLATES

chocolates

Some years ago I decided I won’t buy muesli anymore because the homemade version is so much tastier and healthier. Store bought muesli is usually packed with sugar and raisins and have only some traces of the healthier stuff like nuts and seeds.

Now I made the same decision about chocolate (well, I still sometimes buy chocolate but make sure it is at least 85% cacao and as low in sugar as possible) . Sugar is usually the second most used ingredient in chocolate making it not so healthy choice even when it’s dark chocolate.

Yesterday I made chocolates (recipe slightly modified from the book I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program and Cookbook ) for the first time and I was blown away by how easy it is to make and how delicious the chocolate is! In about 15 minutes I had prepared 25 chocolates fondants that were super delicious, vegan, and sugar free! I used only 1,5 tablespoons of maple syrup to give some sweetness. Adding coconut milk makes the chocolates creamy and sweet enough so you don’t even miss sugar or milk. These little chocolates fondants are a good conscious dessert that works great for the after meal sweet cravings. And you need only few of them to feel satisfied.

I prepared three different versions:
1. Peanut butter (or any other nut butter of your choice)
2. Peppermint Essential Oil
3. Orange Essential Oil

Here is a recipe for the Peppermint Chocolates:

chocolates recipe

You can make Orange Chocolates just by replacing Peppermint Essential Oil with Orange Essential oil. When using an essential oil in cooking make sure that it is 100% pure essential oil and that it specifically says in the label for internal consumption or something similar. If you don’t have peppermint or orange essential oils you can use natural food flavouring as well.

If you make Peanut Butter Chocolates, then leave out the Essential Oils. First pour a thin layer of the chocolates mixture in the small cups. Then add about a teaspoon of peanut butter (or any other nut butter of your choice) and fill the cups with another layer of the chocolates mixture.