THIS IS MY STORY
If someone had asked me 12 years ago about where I would be today, I had said that I would still be out on the streets, fighting my battles for a better world. That life is long gone. I have gone from being a police officer to a full time yoga teacher and this is my story.
When I was young I was attracted to sports which gave me a physical challenge and I practically grew up on the wrestling mat, working my way up as one of the first female wrestlers in Sweden. When I look back, I realize that I have been a pioneer with most of what I have pursued.
In my twenties I decided to join the Police Academy and I ended up working as a police officer for 10 years. I loved the training which came with the job, the excitement and the high pace. I lived my dream and my aim was to become the first SWAT team female police officer in Sweden. But things did not go as I had planned.
THE DAY MY LIFE CHANGED
One day my dream was stopped when I was working as a police officer during a demonstration. I was out on the streets and was suddenly hit from behind with a wooden pole straight down on my head. Because of adrenaline I continued to work a few hours until my commander took me out of duty and I was sent to hospital. The verdict was concussion and a minor brain bleeding. Two weeks later I was back in duty. My love for the job was strong. I had no time being sick when I was on mission to train hard for SWAT. Little did I know the following years would lead me to burnout and depression. As well as a starting point of something new.
With one hit, my life changed into hell bringing years of suffering from chronic pain, strong migraine attacks and with doctors not being able to help me in any way, just feeding me with medication. When that day came when I hung my uniform in my cabinet I just knew. It was the last time I would see it. When I realized this, it was like my life was taken from me. My identity. I got antidepressant medicine and I became bedridden.
One day a yoga studio opened up next to my house and I decided that life needed to take another turn. I refused to accept the diagnose I had been given; no more training and no running. As Napoleon Hill said: ”The starting point of all achievement is desire”. My desire turned out to be yoga and my injury the perfect gift for growth.
YOGA AWAKENED ME
The more I practiced the more I realized I needed the art of yoga to be given more space in my life. I started practicing at another studio as well and one day the owner of the studio asked me:” Why do you think you were the one being hit by that pole and not any of the officers next to you?” She also told me I needed to breathe. I took my first yoga teacher training with her.
During that first training I pulled away my morphine patch I was wearing around the clock. Something deep inside of me knew I no longer needed it. During that training I also went back to the police force and worked part-time, but no longer on the streets. Progressively I felt that my heart was no longer within the police. I longed for more yoga and sharing yoga with others.
I continued to study yoga and took a therapeutic yoga teacher training that lasted over two years. I also started deepening my studies in yin yoga. I got support and guidance from a mentor and yoga therapist and I decided to trust my feelings that I should no longer be a police officer.
For a while I thought leaving the police force was failure. But it was crystal clear what I needed to do. With all that knowledge I had gained practicing and studying yoga and knowing its healing abilities, not sharing it would be disaster.
I have always loved the ocean and after becoming in love with yoga I wanted to try the combination of yoga and the ocean, which is what drove me to practice SUP yoga. I craved for surfing and my first yoga pose on a SUP board is imprinted in my body and mind. I felt yoga belonged on the board and it enhanced my practice. To share this passion, I asked a surf shop, Surfbussen, in Stockholm to trust me to teach SUP yoga classes. They didn´t know what it was, since no one had been teaching SUP yoga in Sweden at the time. Nevertheless they were stoked and we became SUP yoga pioneers of Sweden. In the near future I was sponsored by Roxy.
Since many years back I´ve been teaching yoga full time, specializing in SUP yoga and Yin yoga. My main work is leading teacher trainings in both styles of yoga. I constantly immerse myself in anatomy and philosophy, amazed of the potential of the human body and mind. I have a deep love and respect for yin yoga, which literally got me to where I am today.
Taking a functional approach instead of an aesthetic or performance related view of yoga comes from my teacher, Paul Grilley. My teaching is based on stressing the ”why” in addition to the ”how”. My purpose is creating a meaningful individual experience and encourages my students to customize yoga for their own individual benefit. SUP yoga is perfect for that. Try making it ”perfect” and you´ll splash.
Those doctors who told me I could never run or train like I wanted was wrong. Not only SUP, but running trails and ultra-marathons have become a love affair. Being out there in the trails, mountains and oceans have become part of my way of living.
You see, yoga has amazing tools. It gets you to where you belong and it can make you trust your body and its potential. It awakens passions, visions and your true self. Combined with the healing powers of water, yoga is beyond awesome.