I don’t even know where to start from.. At least I can safely say that this January at the yoga teacher training (YTT200) was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life so far! And taking this time for myself.
In this post I’ll share a bit of my background and what led me to do a yoga teacher training. The next post I’ll share more about the training itself and how it was – the teachers, facility, learning & doing the training in Canggu, Bali with The Peaceful Warriors Yoga.
And it’s also my first blog post in English! I’ve been writing my blog already for 10 years and it’s only been in Finnish. Also my youtube & podcast are in Finnish but youtube material coming in English too soon. And in my instagram (eevsku) you can already follow me in English. 🙂
So if my English grammar is not perfect I hope you still get the point!
I’ve been thinking about doing my content more in English for a looong time but now it is good time for that. Thank you for being here and welcome to follow my journey here and in my other channels! ♥
Fin: Tämä postaus on tosiaan englanniksi, mutta löydät blogistani, youtubesta & podcastista runsaasti materiaalia (lähes kaikki aiempi) suomeksi! Tulen jatkossa tuottamaan materiaalia myös englanniksi, mutta minulta saa myös aina kysyä suomeksi ♥ Ja jos olet seurannut minua jo kauan, niin kiva jos pysyt mukana englannista huolimatta! Osa sisällöstäni tulee silti olemaan edelleen suomeksi ja osa molemmilla kielillä. Näen englannin mahdollisuutena uusille jutuille sekä myös englannin kielen ylläpitona ja lisäoppimisena. 🙂 Tässä postauksessa avaan tosiaan taustaani ennen joogaopettaja -koulutusta ja seuraavassa postauksessa kerron lisää itse koulutuksesta. Siihen liittyen saa laittaa kysymyksiä täällä tai instagramin puolella! Kolme aiempaa postaustani koulutuksesta suomeksi löydät tästä: Eevsku x Yoga Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Why I booked a yoga teacher training?
I actually booked this training in the middle of my competition season last fall. I was still fully focusing on my sports and competing (women’s fitness), to reach my biggest goal and dream – to be the world’s best in what I do.
I booked the yoga teacher training because I knew I wanted to change my life after dedicating so many years for the sports. I have been thinking about doing this course for many years. I’ve used yoga in my career as a tool for better recovery, mental clarity and also being more flexible. In the ytt I also realised how much I’ve used yoga tools and philosophy with my life and career already even though I haven’t studied so much yoga itself.
But it wasn’t a good time for doing the training before this year because I was so focused on my career for 8-10 years. And I regret nothing with that – I learned so much and got to live my dream as a professional athlete. And on the side of that I also created my business, work, company and ofc grew as person so so much. I wanted to quit the sports career after achieving my goals and to focus on new things in my life. Being an athlete was amazing but it’s also a very hard job to do. You dedicate to that so much and almost all your attention is in your training, recovery, competition so on.. I got to do that enough and now I want to do something else.
So now it was the perfect time for the course and I’m more than happy I did it! Even though in the beginning I was questioning a lot if I’m on a right path or not. The transition from the athlete life to “a normal life” or just figuring out what to do next is challenging but at the same time I’ve been enjoying this emptiness, space, new opportunities.. So many options what I could do next! I want to also give myself some time to recover, process and really think about what I want to do now with my life and not just rush to the next project and set new goals.
That is easy to me & I know very well what it is to push your limits and achieve your goals.. But life is more than that. If you just workworkwork, set goals and think your worth is in the accomplishments – you can find yourself feeling empty everytime you’ve reached your goal. It’s never enough. And if you do nothing you may feel worthless. Been there and still learning to feel enough and worthy without accomplishing and working all the time. I’m enough and so are you!
A bit more about my background before the yoga teacher training – sports, teaching, yoga
So my background in sports is mostly artistic gymnastics but I’ve almost tried all the sports you can imagine.. I’ve always loved movement, sports, challenge, doing with my body. And the past 8 years I committed my life to fitness sport called women’s fitness where I won the world champion title (2019) and also decided to end my career after that. I’ve been very interested in all kinds of movement styles and now especially free movement, flow, dance, handstands and of course also yoga.
I think I did first time proper yoga class 2010 when I was working abroad as an activity leader for a travel company (TUI). There was a yoga retreat for our customers but we got to attend to the classes too. I think the classes were asthanga in the morning and yin in the evening. And I loved the classes a lot! After that I actually also teached some “morning yoga” for the customers. But back then I didn’t really think about the yoga philosophy or other aspects than physical – I only realised it made me feel good and calmer. And now it’s almost other way around.. Of course I still like the physical side of yoga too but even more the mental, emotional and spiritual sides of it.
For the past 10 years I’ve tried different kind of yogas; vinyasa flow, hot yoga, asthanga, yin, katonah… Yoga was a way to calm my mind and body from the sports, work and other stressors in life. The past few years I started to understand more about the mind & body connection and got more into meditation, relaxation, gratitude and breathing exercises.
Anyway.. I was 2 years abroad after the high school and when I came back home (spring 2011) I started to work with my new goals in fitness sport and also started the studies in university of applied sciences (bachelor of sports). I worked as a gymnastics coach and also at the gym – instructing different kind of group training classes. My favorite to teach was lesmills bodybalance which is a mix of yoga, pilates and tai chi. I loved the movements and especially the end of the practise where we started to slow down and I got to speak the customers through relaxation. I remember I always felt so good and calm also myself after teaching.
My teaching background actually started already when I was around 14 years old – first with kids sports, camps and gymnastics. Then all kinds of movement and sports for the adults and now the last 3 years mostly online coaching, some teaching & lectures; bodyweight training, gym training, handstands & overall wellness, mindset and also recovery -coaching. In addition to my bachelor of sports studies I’ve been very interested in learning and studying both physical and mental sides of the sports and the coaching. I’ve done many courses and I’m always ready eager to learn more! But I think the best learning happens in your everyday life and how you can use the tools you learn from the books, courses etc in your own life, relationships, career..
More about my story & why yoga
The more years I had in the professional sports the more deeper I got into the other aspects than the physical. Or course training is a huge part of the sports but for me the game changer was when I started to really look inside.
Everything started first from the external things like focusing more in my sleep, nutrition and training. Those are the very basics which needed to be in a good balance to be able to perform at my best, recover and get results. But back then (10 years ago) I didn’t really realize the importance of inner work, relationships and taking care of my mental and emotional side. I thought if I just work hard enough everything will be good. So I worked harder and harder and ignored the signs with my mind, body, spirit, emotions..
And the result was? I burned out mentally and physically. My body shut down and I was an emotional mess in so many ways. I had built strong guards to protect me. I thought I was so strong and I hated to show any weakness or vulnerability. I thought showing them would make me weak and not able to reach my goals in sport, life, career. I tried to be a superhuman.
That was 6 years ago, spring 2014. I was on my way to my 7th competition in fitness in 1,5 years. At the same time I had started to build more my company, personal brand and I did coaching – almost full time. I also moved to Helsinki from a smaller city in Finland and didn’t take care of my relationships. Afterwards I’ve realised I was so locked and scared to show the real me or tell my real needs. I quit many relationships just saying goodbye, with no explanations. I couldn’t give more or build deep relationships. I was also still dealing with the relationship I had in my teenage years – almost for 6,5 years, which ended when I was 22 years old (2013).
So yes, basicly I was a big mess in 2014 and 2015 when I finally gave out the imaginative superhuman I thought I am. But it was hard, very hard. To admit I’m allowed to be vulnerable and ask for help and it doesn’t make me weak. And through the years I realised it actually makes me stronger. It made me stronger. It helped me to find better connection to myself, to others and to my goals. I achieved all my goals I set 9 years ago because I allowed myself to feel, listen to myself, prioritise my own wellbeing and have been working with all the sides of me – not only the physical. And by doing that I have had so much more to give to others too.
So how did I recover and gained back my health, wellbeing, strength? I had to really stop and think what makes me happy. I started to say no and put limits. I started to make big decisions with my career even though they were so scary at first. But I dared to listen to my heart and intuition and those lead me here where I’m today. All the decisions I’ve made by listening to myself deeply have been the best ones even though they may have been very hard and felt impossible at first.
I took some time off from competing and started to build everything (almost) from the scratch again. I was trying different things with different coaches and tried to figure out what would the best way to combine my sports and entrepreneurship (and freetime or relationships). It was so hard at first but through the years I found a way to build my business the way I could live as a professional athlete. And still have some time for a good relationships and myself. (I’ve been doing both coaching & social media / having sponsorships as a work – now the last 3 years basicly only social media & online coaching. I have many online courses (Eevsku Training) already but they’re only in Finnish for now.)
To be able to do all that I worked hard of course but with more balance in my life. I started to take better care of myself and my relationships. I started to realize how essential it is to find the right people, team, family around you to be able to reach your goals. And not only to reach your goals but to feel safe, cared, loved and supported – to be happy. You don’t need many people for that but you definitely need some good, deep connections. To have people who want to see you shine. And that all starts with yourself not with the others.. You need to love yourself and love others – forgive and be grateful for every experience you’ve had. Those all made you the person you’re today.
Better mindset, tools & growing as a person I wanted to be
I came back to competing in the spring 2016 but with new knowledge, tools, support and mindset. I wanted to do things differently and by appreciating my health. I didn’t want to lose it again – not any goal is worth of that even though of course you need to do some sacrifices to be able to do high level sports or basicly anything in the top (business, performing.. you name it).
Even though I had done the NLP courses already 2012 & 2013 I started to really realise the power of your thoughts only after my burnout. And that I also need to deal with my other feelings than being happy. I had to become friends with all the feelings and thoughts. In 2016 I studied more the self leadership and started to realize what really means to that you need to grow to the person you want to be. And I wanted to be the world champion so I needed to grow as a one. I was already on the way but there were definitely still some big steps I needed to take to be able to reach that.
In 2017 I took a year off from competing again. Mainly because of a back injury (disc tear in the lower back) and I still wasn’t fully recovered from my burn out. At first it was so hard to deal with and I thought my career was over. I was so tired, overwhelmed and overemotional. Later I saw it was one of the best things happened to me – like the burn out was too. Because of the injury I continued the internal work and realised even more that my external problems are the reflections of the internal stuff. Beginning from the childhood (and it doesn’t mean your parents weren’t good). It can start from so many things. We all have traumas regardless the childhood background – they’re just different and showing differently.
So that year I found even more dancing, breathing exercises, meditation, some trauma releasing work and gentle yoga. Those were almost the only things I was able to do for many months because of my back and also just being so tired. But I started to gain back my energy and started to give myself the time to heal. I wanted to trust my body and myself again. That was also a year to build my business to the next level to be able to focus more on my training, recovery and competing. And to be able to hire all the help and professionals I need to be the best athlete I could.
The next year – 2018 – was a breakthrough year in many ways. It was the year I was able to hire my first assistent so I got more time to rest, train, focus and create. I found more confident in myself and at the same time gave myself a permission to rest if I needed. And it was the first time I could do that because I didn’t need to work all the time with coaching or other things.. It took me years to build my life to that point but finally it started to pay off.
World Champion & the time after it
And then there was last year, the year I got to harvest all the hard work I had done the past almost 10 years. I put all in and wanted to enjoy every moment with my last year. Even though I didn’t think it actively, I knew deep inside it will be my last year. I just felt it. I felt that I’m ready for that and I will be the best me. And hopefully that is enough to be the best in the world – it was. The competition day was so magical.. I’ll never forget it.
And to not to make it too disney story – it wasn’t easy in anyway. I had to work veeery hard the whole year and it took many choices (sacrifices), days full of exhaustion and feeling that I can’t do it or none of it makes any sense. At the same time last year I did more than ever before self-work; meditation, breathwork, journaling, talking, sharing, intuitive movement.. And that helped a lot with everythings. I really wanted to look things with 100% honesty and ask myself if I’m really giving my all? Using all the tools I’ve learned and not only thinking about them? And still at the same time remembering to listen to myself and my limits. Pushing hard but not too hard. And I’m happy all the years before that teached me to listen to my body and my limits. I knew when I was too tired and I rested when I needed. That was a game changer because in many years I pushed too hard and my body and mind got too tired at the end of the season. And especially after it..
After winning the world championships 2. of November it was only 2 months before I was going to leave to Bali and to the yoga teacher training. Luckily I had that time between because I had so many things in my mind after winning. I wanted to process everything I had gone through to get to that point, all those years.. And of course I wanted to celebrate the victory, really enjoy that feeling. And I did! I had an amazing celebration with my family and friends, had a vacation in Lapland and then my birthday, Christmas and New Year.. Ah. It all made me so happy.
It was lovely but also very emotional 2 months. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to leave to Bali but it was good that I had booked the course and I “had to” leave. When I arrived here I was feeling thankful and at the same time a bit sad & confused to be honest. It felt that now my career is really over. The competitions are over and the celebrations are over. It was time to move on and open the new chapter but it was so hard. It was hard to let go. Who am I and what is my life without my life going around the sports and the goals?
The start of the YTT 200 & letting go
The first almost 2 weeks at the course I was still processing all of that.. My life, my career, the winning, ending my sports career, all the things that happened on the way. I was to thankful and happy about everything but also sad inside. I had to deal with the sadness and letting go. Even though it was my own decision to retire from the sports it is not easy to let go. I could still continue but I don’t want to. I gave it my all and I have no more to give. And the sport/ that career can’t give me more. We grew together and that was all it could give.
It would feel more safe to just continue and go back to my basic routines at home. But it wouldn’t really make me happy anymore. It is time for new things, new life, new chapter, new me.
At the end of the week 2 I felt the shift finally. I could let go. I could think about it all feeling the deep gratitude. I don’t know about my future yet but that’s also fine. I don’t need to know everything yet. And that’s also something I’ve needed to learn.. To trust. Not to try to control everything. Because there’s only limited things we can control and otherwise we need to let the life flow. It goes how it goes. Focus only on the things you can control. It’s not always easy and I’m still learning.
The other 2 weeks in the course I worked more with my new chapter and started to find deeper connection with myself. I found a lot of things I have been blocking when I’ve been just focusing on my goals. And it’s ok, and just a beginning.
Of course I learned also a lot more about yoga asanas, teaching, philosophy and made amazing new connections.. But we all were still there for ourselves and for our own lives. The yoga teacher training is so much more than getting the certification to teach yoga. Not any certification actually means anything if you can’t use those things in your own life. That’s the most important thing and then you can teach and help others.
Heal yourself and you heal others. Love yourself and you love others.
So here my new journey, chapter in life begins. I’ve been in Bali for 6 weeks now and I’m not sure when I’ll be back in Finland. I love Finland and I’ll be back but I want to explore and use this time here first.
If you’re in Bali too this spring, hit me a message in instagram and let’s connect!
As I promised in the beginning, in the next post I’ll tell you more details about the yoga teacher training itself. If you have any questions about it you can leave them here or in my instagram! Video also coming. 🙂 Until that you can watch my world championships winning routine from here.
Sending you love from sunny Bali! Or actually Nusa Lembongan, today back to Bali.
Suomeksi joogaopettaja -koulutuksesta: