Balance Longing for a slower life, closer and more connected to nature, Swedish yogi Mirja Zetterman lives in a small cabin in the beautiful archipelago on the west coast of Sweden.
Like many other islands in Sweden's beautiful archipelagos, the island of Brännö, located southwest of Sweden, is filled with small cabins where locals escape over the holidays and summer months for peaceful stays outside the city. But Brännö is also the home of just about a thousand residents who live there permanently in favour of a calmer lifestyle and a meaningful connection with nature. One of them is Mirja Zetterman. Born in Gothenburg, just across the sea from the island, she has been permanently based in Brännö for almost a decade. Her need for a stronger connection to nature and a slower life led her to the island where she currently lives in a small cabin by the ocean.
'I have always lived by the sea, but I moved here because I wanted to be even closer to nature and the ocean. I wanted to be in a place where I don't need to be anywhere, where I can set my own pace. I wanted to be able to swim, to be around clean water and clean air. I feel the most relaxed when I'm in nature – being surrounded by tranquility makes me calmer.'
'I was introduced to the yoga practice fifteen years ago, and I’ve been practicing it since then. I try to teach that yoga is very individual. I want people to turn it into their own experience. It’s very easy to come into a yoga class with a mindset of comparison, and with the goal of achieving something that we can add to ourselves. But I want to remind people that we are whole as we are.'
'It's not about finding the perfect posture.'
'I always try to encourage people to listen to their own experience, to not compare themselves, and also to be gentle and have patience. Being curious and attentive to your own breathing is all you need. It's an internal journey to what happens inside of you.'
'I want it to be something grounding that makes you feel expansion but at the same time calmer. Being with your own breath is something so basic, but we don't use that tool that much. I guess that's why people go to class, to get that reminder about what happens when you breathe.'