This is interview two of my traveling yoga teacher interview series. Each month, I will post a new interview of a yoga teacher I meet along my travels.
If you know someone who you think would be a great fit to this series, send me an email! I would LOVE to hear from you!
This month’s interview features my dear soul friend Janina Roeseler, founder of:
♦How long have you been traveling and teaching?
I left Germany in 2014 and started my teaching yoga journey in NYC with Yoga to the People which was one of the best decisions I have ever made! From NYC I continued traveling down to Central America where I lived and taught yoga for six months. I met a beautiful soul from Australia and continued traveling to Australia and South East Asia. Eventually Bali became my second home where I lived for almost a year. Bali will forever be in my heart and I am going back this fall.
♦What type of yoga do you teach?
I teach mainly yoga classes for beginners. I love to introduce them to the beauty and magic of asanas, pranayama and meditation. Seeing how yoga radically yet subtly can impact people and their mindset is one of my favorite things about teaching. I love to just hold space and facilitate the process of the inward journey. I am a trained Vinyasa teacher but I love teaching Hatha, Yin and Restorative Yoga as well. All my classes are very body positive and focus on a smooth and steady breath.
♦What is your current favorite yoga pose or pose you’re working on?
I am working on my back bends. I am rather bendy and back bends have always come natural to me. They are one of my all time favorites. However, I haven’t always been very back-friendly in my own practice, jamming into major low back compression. At the moment I am re-learning back bending taking the whole integrity of the spine into consideration when I bend. This includes a lot of middle and upper back strengthening and opening postures. Back bends never felt like so much work.
♦What are your three must have items while traveling?
My phone, my Jade Traveling Yoga Mat and coconut oil.
♦What travel tools do you recommend using?
♦Journi (a beautiful way to journal if you don’t have a pen and paper handy)
♦Trail Wallet (great if you have tight funds and want to keep an eye on your travel expenses)
♦Moon (I love to know where we are in the moon cycle. Helps me layout my days and things I need to do in alignment with the Universe)
♦Runtastic Results (I love Yoga above everything but sometimes my body, mind and soul just need a super sweaty workout or a good run. Running is one of the best ways to explore new cities and places too!)
For my business:
♦What yoga mat do you use while traveling?
My Jade Traveling Yoga Mat. THE BEST! Not the lightest but it has a good grip.
♦What is something you learned on your first trip/job abroad that you think is key for other traveling teachers to know?
Nothing will last forever. Unfortunately every high will pass eventually but so will the lows. Learn to embrace the cycles of life. Be grateful for what you have, ask if you can do something about your current situation if it doesn’t make you happy and if you can’t change the situation learn to surrender and accept it. This will make your life so much more peaceful.
♦What is the day in the life of a traveling yogi like?
Honestly, there is no such thing as a typical day. Every day is unique. I really made sure to stick to my morning routine though. Traveling to all those different places can mess you up sometimes. First things I do in the morning no matter where I am include: oil pulling, tongue scraping, meditation, pranayama, yoga, coffee or tea ceremony and writing in my journal. If I am lucky and close to the ocean, I always start my day with a morning swim. Usually I taught a class in the morning around 7:30. Afterwards I enjoy a wholesome breakfast and commence with emails and business related stuff. The afternoons vary most of the times but usually I teach another class around 4 and 6. Most of the days I am in bed by 10/10:30.
♦What meditation or mantra are you currently living by?
I work with my breath a lot. I draw an affirmation card in the morning and integrate that into my day and yoga practice. I love the Goddess Guidance von Doreen Virtue. Her cards changed my world!
♦Where is your favorite place you have traveled to?
That is a tough one! I guess Bali has to be one of my favorite places in the whole wide world because I really had the opportunity to connect with locals during my stay. Being part of such rich culture was something I have never experienced before. I also loved Guatemala! The people, the nature.. If you leave the mainstream aka the Gringo paths you will discover hidden treasures that leave you speechless. New York City was special, too. Since Sex and the City it had always been one of my biggest fantasies to live in NYC for a while and walk in Carries shoes. Unfortunately, I don’t own pair of Manolo Blahniks but, still I had the most wonderful time in the city! In terms of best feeling, it has to be the time my boyfriend and I traveled through Europe in a VW bus chasing the best waves in Portugal. And France just never disappoints you when it comes to good cheese and wine! Another highlight was Nairobi. Seining wild life in real life was breathtaking and reminded me once again that we are not the only ones inhabiting this Mother Earth. And India – The BEST chai on earth! I guess I could go on forever 🙂
♦What is something to be aware of as a traveler?
I would advise everyone to use common sense! Walking around at night alone, drunk and lost is never a good idea. I never felt threatened or in danger but I tried my best to stay away from sketchy situations and places. I don’t eat meat and felt pretty good eating fruits and veggies. Avoid things that are raw if you are not sure about the hygiene standards of a place. Stay hydrated and use sun block even when it’s cloudy. Don’t show off your valuables and keep your money and passport in a safe place when you go on a trip. But other than that, I would just say, go with the flow! Sometimes taking local chicken bus’s can be an adventure in and by itself! Don’t be scared to try local food. Ask for help if you need it. Every traveler is overwhelmed, confused and homesick at one point. You are never really alone and there is always someone who has been in your shoes.
♦What should a first time traveling yogi know about the professional yoga life?
Whatever you do stay true to yourself and remember why you started in the first place! There will be many moments of doubt and uncertainty. Find your own, unique voice out there. I started out just subbing for other yoga teachers until I eventually got my own classes. Show that you are committed to teaching, connect with other teachers and students and become a part of the community. Last but not least: don’t give up when life gets tough!
♦What does your dream yoga position or career look like?
I want to help inspired women cultivate radical self-trust so they can start doing the great things in the world that they are being called to do. I believe the mainstream path doesn’t work for everyone (and, since you’re here, it probably doesn’t work for you). Innovation and living on the leading-edge of your life requires breaking the rules. My dream career helps you do exactly that. I mentor women from around the world on breaking through belief systems, choosing freedom, overcoming limitations, manifesting, creating life on your terms, stepping up to your purpose and, if it’s right for you: how to start and grow a small business. This isn’t about fantasy — it’s about the beauty and freedom of designing your own reality. I hold a safe space for my students to grow and learn.
Practice with Janina Roeseler- Founder of: heart Mondays.
Janina is a traveling yoga instructor, originally from the Baltic Sea – a small city close to Hamburg, Germany. She is currently teaching both group and private classes in Freiburg and the surrounding area and online via Skype. You can contact her for all things travel, yoga, and meditation here.