From Travels, Yoga, To A Healthy Rewarding Job,
Alex Wanderer Inspires Us
By Alex Wanderer | 2nd March 2017
This month is our first #WhatGetsYouOutOfBed as well as International Women’s Day and the first inspiring friend we talk to and write about is someone we’ve known for a while.
We’ve always been fond of her determination with whatever she invests herself in. From working in production and location in the outback of Australia to giving her first yoga class on the Portuguese beaches to managing Orion Retreat Centre Koh Samui in Thailand, she is one friend we always look up to! And it’s good to remind ourselves that the people we know and surround ourselves with should be our main source of inspiration!
For our first WhatGetsYouOutOfBed and right for International Women’s Day, we asked Alex Wanderer what gets her out of bed every day, motivates and inspires her to keep living the life she wants. Here is what she shares and it may surprise you:
I always wanted to travel and have always been looking at jobs that allowed me to do that. After leaving Germany and a few years of the rat-race in London I moved to Australia and “saw the light”. I realised life can be so much more and so much better with sunshine, the ocean, good quality food and a light-hearted attitude towards life. I am deeply grateful for my time in Australia and for all the wonderful people I connected with whilst living there.
I had my first yoga class in Sydney about 7 years ago and I loved the “work-out”. My first ever class was a super strong Vinyasa class. After an excruciating 90min I crawled home and curled up on my bed and fell asleep for 3h at 10am in the morning! I couldn’t believe people would actually go to a yoga class BEFORE work to RELAX and get ENERGISED!
I am not easily defeated so I went back the next day and signed up for the beginner classes and it’s been a rollercoaster journey ever since…
In 2013 I travelled to India as I wanted to experience the colours, smells and the buzzing life there but mainly of course THE yoga. I ended up staying for almost a year. It was one of the best and emotionally most challenging times of my life. I met incredible people and made incredible connections. But most of all I practiced yoga. A LOT! Everywhere and in a way as if my life depended on it. I wanted to become really good at it, master it even. I believed that if I am really good at it, it will make me a better/a really good person. I was looking for all the answers and for all the solutions in each practice. I was so busy looking and “trying” hard I never got to feel and listen.
The Universe listened and provided and sent me to a wonderful Hatha teacher in Rishikesh. I connected with his teachings. I felt he was genuine and his practice came from the heart. After a few weeks practicing with him I eventually signed up for a teacher-training course purely to learn more from him and his understanding of this thing called ‘yoga’. He taught me back then what I just managed to understand last year and what I have now fully embraced in my life. To back off!!! To be gentle and soft. To not always fight fire with fire. To give space and allow the YIN to be just as present in order to create balance. Fire can just as affectedly be fought with salt water – tears and the ocean can be very powerful allies. I strive for a practice that serves me at every given time. A practice lead by the heart and not the ego. That goes not only for the practice of asana but just as much for my life and work practice.
What made you become a yoga teacher?
I never intended to teach, however over the years the Universe gently pushed me into this direction and I have started slowly to lead through classes. I don’t see myself as a yoga teacher as such and I don’t see yoga (as in the practice of asana) as the sole tool to lead a healthy life. I think it’s a wonderful way to move the body and connect with the breath. This is what I like to share in my classes. I learned and I am still learning every day to honour, appreciate and respect my body as it is in this current moment in time. The best and hardest part about yoga for me is the teaching of acceptance and non-judgement. Not to judge my body but mainly not to judge myself via the look of my body. The belief of “if my body looks hot I am awesome”. That’s just crazy!!!! The most awesome kind-hearted, loving and inspiring people I have met over the past few years are people that will not make it into magazines for their body size/shapes but for their incredible personalities. This is what I love most about our work in our detox centre. None of us in the team believes and advocates this messed up body image idea. Quite the opposite, all of us on the team have fought our own demons so we can relate to our clients and be supportive.
What made you join a detox, holistic healing and well-being retreat in Thailand?
How could I not have? Of course the location played a big part in the (easy) decision-making. Who doesn’t want to work on a tropical island? The main reason was, however, my desire to work in an environment that feels more than just a job or work; It’s a life-style, my life-style and it’s a rewarding one. I wanted to earn money in a more conscious and fulfilling way. It’s wonderful to see the changes we manage to achieve in people through our work. We help healing, we bring positive changes, we sometimes even inspire (our client’s words, not mine). I worked in the TV/film industry before and never felt like this after getting home at night after a long day at work.
What is the one healthy thing you never compromise with?
I eat what serves me! I don’t follow a specific diet other than my personal wholefoods one. I need my carbs so I eat and love them but the ones that serve me – brown rice and red quinoa are my favourites.
I had severe skin issues (bad eczema) as a child. I grew up on a proper German diet of loads of meat (mainly pork) and potatoes and bread. Loads and loads of bread! The connection between certain foods and occurring skin problems was never made back then.
In my adult life these unpleasant skin flare-ups kept re-appearing and I really wanted to find out why and get to the bottom of it. Whilst studying Nutritional Medicine in Sydney I did a lot of research and eventually completely changed my diet. I stopped eating meat and wheat and my energy levels and skin improved so much. Having said that I do eat chicken and fish whenever my body craves it. I listen to my body and I am a big believer of wholefoods, the less processed the better. It serves me and my skin.
What is your mojo/motivation?
I prefer the word “inspiration” as inspiration comes from the heart. To me motivation is ego driven. So far all of my ego driven decisions in the past didn’t work out so well and haven’t served me. So I wish to lead more and more from the heart.
And to summarise it all this is the one tip Alex would give without hesitating:
Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work.
Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.
Alex can be found at Reiki & Reflexology Retreat.
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