Yoga, breathwork and mind & body connection
Exclusive Interview: https://breakawaydaily.com/yoga-lap
Michaël Bijker has helped many people from all over the world find their true purpose in life. He has been studying the workings of the mind and body since the age of fourteen and is now dedicated to serving humanity by helping people become more awake, healthy and truly self-realized beings. He is a certified 800hr YA teacher with a Yoga Therapy Certification from the Paramanand Institute of Yoga Science & Research in Indore, India. He currently lives in Portugal where he teaches yoga and meditation.
Michaël is the founder of the Life Awareness Project: YogaLap. The eight-week online course covers breath work, mind training and meditation. Students will learn techniques to strengthen and open up the body and mind, become more focused, heal themselves, and become aware of their connection with something much greater than themselves.
“If you can breathe, you can do yoga.”
How long have you been practicing yoga?
Since 2009, and I have been exploring the techniques of mind work and meditation since I was fifteen.
What was the turning point that led you down the path of yoga and helping others?
I had a big car accident which left me with my right arm paralyzed, as well as a broken spine and hip, when I was eighteen. The doctors said I might not recover completely. This was a big push for me to start healing myself and tapping into the divine power to get healing. To get connected with the greater Life and intelligence we are part of, and start to tune in to become healthy, happy and strong. This same accident also made me realize how fragile life can be and how much we should appreciate things. It helped me to put things into perspective.
Can you talk about your online breathwork, mind training and meditation program called the Life Awareness Program?
This is a program for people to systematically learn the techniques to develop health, happiness and a connection into a greater self to start to create their own life.
Why do you think these three forms of practice are so vital?
Through our senses we experience this reality: we feel, see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. This information gets processed by our mind and this gives us the experience of life. How we experience this life depends greatly on our state of mind. Our state of mind determines how we see things, how we interpret reality, but our state of mind also determines the possibilities we see and believe in and the choices that we make. How you create and experience your life depends on your state of mind.
The breath is very connected with the mind. If you feel stressed or upset your breathing pattern is very different from when you are relaxed and calm. This works both ways: through our breathing we can start to influence our state of mind and emotions. With the breath we can also influence our cardiovascular system, immune system, endocrine system and nervous system. The breath can work as a remote control for all the other systems in the body and especially for something as subtle as mind and emotions.
We have to learn to slow down and connect with our center in this day and age where we are always busy and preoccupied. That state of connecting with our center we develop in meditation. When we connect enough we can start to live from this center.
How can people try and incorporate more breath work, mind training, yoga and meditation into their daily lives?
By setting their priorities straight. How important is health and happiness for you? People spend hours a day looking at their screen and working on their careers. But people take almost no time to look within their own mind and heart and work on health and happiness within.
Do you have any practical tips for people who aren’t sure where to start?
First, learn to breathe properly, and every now and then during the day, make a little “mind break” by taking three calm breaths to center with your source again.
Second, before falling asleep in bed, take five deep breaths and then think of three things you are thankful for and learn to generate a state of contentment and happiness. Feel it with your whole body and mind. The more you do this, the more your brain gets wired to feel this state also in daily life.
Do you feel anyone can enjoy and gain from yoga?
Absolutely! Yoga is not just about fancy and difficult poses. Yoga is about creating unity within my breath, movement and mind training. Old and young and even disabled people can do yoga. If you can breathe, you can do yoga.
What has yoga done for you as a person?
Health, vitality and strength. It has given me the ability to systematically take care of my mind and body and to connect with a higher self. To realize I am more than just flesh and bones and that there is a divine life, a divine intelligence flowing through each living being and we can live in connection with that.
Keep connecting with the wonderful techniques of pranayama & meditation.
Wishing you all the best with that!