Body & Mind

Ask And It Shall Be Given

Body & Mind | 28.8.2014 | Katja Kokko


Here is an update on the lab experiment on my life.

I have a notebook that I take with me wherever I go, and in it are notes about anything and everything – from memos made in business meetings to dreams and the workings of my mind. God help the person who finds it and tries to make sense of it, were I ever to lose it.

A month ago I scribbled down an affirmation in the pages of that book, saying I would be presented with the opportunity to become a yoga instructor. I’m don’t care for overpriced yoga instructor courses aimed at helping other advanced yogis at weekend workshops, but believe rather in the traditional method where knowledge and practice are slowly taught by one’s own teacher through the practiced assistance of students of all levels.


Today, as I was mopping the floors of the yoga studio, an opportunity to be mentored by y own yoga teacher was presented to me. Starting next Tuesday, I will be practicing assisting in his classes once a week, in addition to which I will take part in a two-day anatomy workshop, once a month. We have an agreement that I will be mentored for the next year, at least. (But I have leave to go to Asia, if that opportunity presents itself.)


I believe that my own history with yoga will help me on this path. I myself began practicing yoga at a time when my body was stiff enough that I struggled to touch the floor with my finger tips, my arms were so weak that I could scarcely finish a press-up, and could barely catch my breath. I’ve also injured my back due to bad back-bending technique, but I rehabilitated it through the same yoga practice, taking small steps, learning a new technique – and eventually rebuilding my entire practice from scratch. This took over me over a year. I believe, therefore, that I know what it feels like not being able to bend one’s legs into a lotus position.

Although awareness of one’s own body does help, I know from having taken part in a few assisting workshops the challenges of assisting in yoga. It is therefore with great humility that I begin this journey, and I will gratefully receive all the knowledge that it brings me. So if you happen to practice at the same studio, please be kind!


As I was trawling through Facebook yesterday, I saw the following quote by Marianne Williamson: “Ego says: ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll find peace.’ Spirit says: Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.”

This is the essence of the lab experiment on my life. It is about finding the faith and peace to let life flow by itself, to let things to click into place effortlessly. A few other things have clicked into place this week, besides yoga, but I’ll go into that a bit later. I am immensely grateful that I’ve had faith, listened to my body, and luxuriated in my idleness.

Together with his daughter Jenni Kauppila and his wife Riitta, my yoga instructor Magnus Appelberg holds Rööperin aamujooga (Rööperi’s morning yoga) classes in Punavuori. With his joyful demeanor and superb understanding of anatomy, Magnus has had a great influence on my yoga practice. All of Rööperi’s morning yoga classes include a breakfast lovingly made by Riitta, enjoyed together with other yogis. The atmosphere at the studio is light, open, and happy. You may begin your practice at the basic level on Fridays from 8 to 9 am, all year round; Mysore-practice is at 6 to 9am.

_04A3714 Photos Dorit Salutskij

Translation Katja Nikula

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