How to find your true passion
The story of Ylva, our yoga instructor who left Norway (her confort zone) to travel the world and find her passion
Most days I dream about the ocean, the turquoise water and the perfect lines that roll into shore. Maybe it's because I'm in love with surfing, and because the Fjord outside my house has absolutely no waves what so ever. It's on my mind anyway, and it keeps me going throughout the day. I'm not saying my days are not fulfilling and exciting, it's just that I feel like I need to move with the ocean, feel the waves under my board, and the sunshine on my face, the salt on my skin...
It's funny how this never was on my mind before I started travelling. I was happy with my life, I fact I loved my life, simply because I didn't know there was more to it. In my head I was living the life I should. I was doing track and field, I was even good at it. I used to run a lot and compete. All my friends were doing it too.
But thinking back, this was actually something I didn't enjoy. I was doing it more for the social reasons, I didn't want to be left out. Running made me feel good… after it was done. That's not enough for me. I need to do something I feel good at in the present moment. So I stopped running, completely.
It's funny how you can be lucky and unlucky at the same time. I have always had back problems, no pain or anything like that, but I'm always sore and stiff no matter what I do. So I tried yoga, and for the first time in my life, my back felt great! At least for a little while, then I had to do it again. I didn't love it right away, but it was exciting and new, and great for my health.
Yoga offers much more than just a way to exercise the body, it also helps us experience different emotions and connect to our essential self. It releases stress and calms both body and mind. to sum up; any reason to do yoga is a good reason!
If it wasn't for my back problems, I would never have discovered yoga. Today I'm actually a yoga teacher, and I travel the world working at beautiful retreats for a living. I can't complain, and if you would tell me this ten years ago, I would never had believed you! So due to my sore back, I didn't just discovered yoga, but also a career and a life path.
It all started when my sister and me bought a work and holiday visa to Australia. We were excited, and happy to travel together - and we did had the best time. After a few weeks of traveling, we ended up at a surf camp were we started working. In my free time, I had back problems (of course) and was dying to do yoga. I was too afraid of doing it alone at our stunning beach (in case I looked stupid) so I asked a friend of mine if she could to do it with me.
'Ok, but only if you are the teacher' she told me. I panicked, I didn't know how to teach! But luckily I had done enough yoga to remember a sequence. I went so well, and suddenly I was doing weekly yoga classes at the beach, and more and more people joined in. It was amazing! I felt amazing! I loved teaching so much I decided to do my yoga teacher training in India (a place I never before even considered traveling).
At the surf camp I didn't just become the local yoga teacher, but we also got introduced to surfing. How can a sport this FUN be good for you? I though I had to run, and feel the blood taste in my mouth to do a proper workout. And here I was, having the time of my life with great friends who shared the same passion as me, excercising! In the beginning the boards were heavy, and many of the waves challenging, but as the weeks and months went by, I could easily ride and manage waves. I was fully in the moment, soaking up the whole nature experience, every second of it.
The best thing about surfing is that you are outside in nature, in the wild open sea. I'm so greatfull yoga and surfing goes hand in hand, simply because I can't live with either of them. In both sports we are invited to a quiet mind, where balance and breath stay calm and focused.
People who do yoga will gain strength, flexibility and a lot of balance, which also is important in surfing. Yoga is actually told to be moving meditation, and we get this feeling in the surf as well. Between sets, it's a lot of waiting, and you see people just staring at the horizon, meditating without even realizing it. When I catch a wave, I can be so cough up in the moment that I forget how the ride was. Sitting there after, all confused thinking 'how did I get all the way over here'?
When people are brought together because of a passion, it creates the most beautiful friendships. I have met the most incredible people on my travels. Everytime I go somewhere, I just know I will meet like-minded happy souls. Friends who become family.
For me traveling is more than sightseeing, and laying on the beach. It's about the people you meet along the way, who lift and inspires you, making you become a better version of yourself.