Photo credit: Marina Kozlova

I’m so excited to present to you the latest Interview about very inspiring people with whom I connect one way or the other through the Berlin Yoga Conference project.

Today, I would like to share with you a story of a powerful young woman who has turned her life around after being hit with a major depression. Now she is studying to become a Life Coach, gives workshops, guides many young people of both sexes through the pitfalls of appearance-focused careers, writes about spirituality, yoga, and meditation on her very popular blog, and is planning to create a wholistic health self-care center for women. Meet Marina Kozlova, the founder of Grawlife.de

Q: When did you first come in contact with the spiritual aspect of life? How did you start doing yoga and meditating?

A: Spirituality never has been unfamiliar to me. Since I have been a kid I remember my mom doing yoga, meditation and reading a lot of books about spirituality. Yet I haven’t been interested in doing so myself for a very long time. When I was 17, I got into modeling and that was the beginning of a very interesting but also challenging time. I think this was the time, when my first real struggles in life began. As a kid who was given a lot of love at home, I was not used to getting plenty of criticisms. There where always people who told me, “you are not beautiful enough”, “not skinny enough”, “not tall enough”, “not extrovert enough” and so on. When you are a young girl, you don’t understand that this is not about your personality or about who you really are. You just think you are your body and you are not good enough.

Even though I liked this job in the beginning, you know, being the cover girl, I eventually got really stressed out and ended up having bulimia and depression. And I tell you, this were the most horrible years in my life: I was really struggling with hating myself. On the outside I was the “picture-perfect” girl, who kept this big dark secret, and on inside I was dying. There was this addiction to an unhealthy lifestyle, even though I didn’t really want to live such a life. After not finding a doctor with whom I felt good, my mom took me to my today’s spiritual master. This was the first real connection I felt to my spiritual journey. From this day on something happened inside of me, and a beautiful journey of healing began.

Q: What are the most important lessons you learned about Life through practicing Yoga & Meditation?

A: First of all, it completely turned my world view upside down. I learned that life is working for you, and not against you, and that there is always more good in the (what seems to be) bad. Life seems challenging to all of us, but that’s only because we need to evolve to appreciate it. I learned not to identify with my body or my thoughts, trusting love as the most powerful guide in life. Trough meditation, I started to feel that I am whole, and that everything is already in me. Trough yoga, I started to understand that everything is possible.

Q: How did the idea of Graw Life come about?

A: The word “Graw” is a combination of two words. “Grow” and “raw”. Since I went through a beautiful journey of growth, I understood that I had to let go many things, like ego, or certain thoughts about myself, and become raw again. In those hard times, I wished that there had been an online platform which informs men and women about these really important topics around spirituality, yoga, personality development, self love, self confidence, health foods and lifestyle; a platform which would contain certain information and provides it in an attractive [and understandable] way for young adults. I now understand that there was a reason why I went through what I did, my spiritual journey, and Graw Life is the result.

Q: What do you find particularly challenging about Blogging these days? How do you try to overcome these challenges?

A: The online world keeps booming right now: it is very-very fast growing. First it was all about blogging, now podcasts are running the show, so its important to find a good balance, not trying to chase every trend. Better prepare one good quality post than a lot of small posts on every kind of social media platform. I try to see which platforms work for me best, and just go for it.

Q: Aside from working as a model and managing Graw Life, you also provide Coaching Services. What topics do you feel especially strong about in Coaching?

A: Currently I am doing an education as a Life Coach. Having the ability to help people who are struggling with situations like I have been in, makes me thankful and happy. I believe that absolutely everyone deserves to live a full and happy life. A life full of love, abundance and joy. As a Life Coach, I support people in building a healthy and fulfilling relationship to themselves, others and to their lives in general, implementing their vision of life and getting through difficult times, or the processes of change, as well. Also, when people already know what their next destination should be, I accompany them and help them grow.

Q: What’s next for you? What are you plans for the next year?

A: Through Graw I met some wonderful women who have great businesses and beautiful visions. Together, we want to open a holistic health center for women, where we are going to provide our services for mental and physical health. Besides that there are going to be some more workshops, including one for young girls and boys stepping into the model industry. I believe that it is very important to set a cornerstone right at the beginning, in order not to fall into corresponding traps, as I did back then. And of course, there will be more blog posts about mindfulness, health, nutrition and interviews with interesting women on grawlife.de

Thank you so much, Marina, for sharing with us your touching story! You can find Marina on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with her work or for further inquiries, say hello@grawlife.de