In year 2000 I had tried building muscles at a fitness club in Sweden but obviously got bored quickly and tried something called Body Balance (from Les Mills). After quitting the advertsing firm I had been employed at and redirecting myself more towards working with cultural projects by taking a course in Project Management, I was trying to get myself out of a slump and releasing some bad experiences when I asked the director at the fitness club to share my ideas of a "health coordinator coaching-business". The meeting was successful and completely in sync with his own vision and plans to expand his fitness club. After I did my presentation, Patrik showed me his and signed me up to make me part of the move and develop their promotional magazine. As part of their payment, I was allowed free classes.
After practicing Body Balance, my teacher Anette started to offer classes in Poweryoga which I attended for a couple of years both at Forum and later in other facilities. We used to have great talks in the sauna afterwards and I had just started taking my university degree towards becoming a Professional Lifecoach and continued to develop my own business-idea with a more focused approach on Organic and Eco-friendliness. I took a little hiatus in 2004 after her recommendation when my mother passed away to be able to be really present in my heart with it. Instead I started dancing African dance to release more stress, worry and grief and get into shape.
About a year later in 2005, I resumed practicing Poweryoga (Ashtanga) and have ever since. I usually do an hour long program once a week, I even did while I was detained in Honolulu on the floor in my prison suit in the SHU. It provides me with a good stretch physically, especially as a warm-up and getting back on track with time management and provides me with clarity of mind.
In comparison to Qigong, I find that Yoga is more focused on muscle groups and building strength with the assistance of breathing through the throat-chakra, whereas Qigong works on a more subtle inner plane directly opening up our spiritual channel for healing.
The side effects of Yoga is the decrease of our Egos (in order to be able to override it), but mostly to our own detriment in today's society where so many seem to instead have it blown up in other situations than on the mat to compensate and be able to compete. Likewise, it's important to refill ourselves afterwards unless you plan on starving in a cave alone which I don't. It also clears out my heart which makes me at peace, but not necessarily more loving, compassionate and receiving, which for example chanting the Buddhist Nam Myo Reng Kyo-mantra and dancing Hawaiian Hula does with much more of an opening to really connect with others. The good side about Yoga is developing a much more profound awareness about my own body and how I am placing myself physically with weight and balance that enables me to become a better dancer.