Elin Yoga Doktorn - Women living outside the rules of society

Name: Elin Sandberg

Age: Soon to be 29 (but feel like 23 ;))

From: Hofterup - Lund - Skåne, Sweden

Describe yourself with 3 words: Always in change...

3 things you are the most passionate about: Connection and community, personal development and empowerment, playfulness - not taking things to serious.

Where do you live and what do you do for a living?

I live in Örebro, Swedens 5th biggest city and am a medical intern at the University hospital. This means I am working 80% as a doctor and 20% with my PhD where we research the effect of dancing and yoga on girls with recurring abdominal pain. In addition to that, I work as a yoga instructor. I hold yoga courses and retreats and run Yogadoktorn - a podcast where I interview people related to yoga, medicine, personal development and health. I have just moved into a large apartment in a very beautiful house, where I want to host yoga courses - in my very own little yoga studio! Among other things, I will teach yoga for teenage girls age 16-20 where we will focus on relaxation, body awareness and personal development.

What is your educational background and how does that reflect what you are doing today or have done up until now?

I have studied medicine in Örebro. I have always known that I wanted to become a doctor, but halfway through my studies I realised that I want to work with more than medicine. Therefore, as soon as I graduated, I went to India to become an yoga instructor. I then got the urge to combine medicine and yoga, and the idea of the Yoga Doctor was born, and I got a chance to integrate both of the two worlds into one!


Have you always been this driven/entrepreneurial, if so, why do you think that is?

Yes ... I've always wanted to do my own thing. I grew up in a family where no-one had a regular 9-5 job. My dad ran his own business and never worked 40-hour weeks and my mother started several companies, which always has given her a lot of freedom. Also, my grandmother and my grandfather have had their own business and done their own thing - so I think it runs in the family. We want to be free, and have difficulty adapting to rules and systems that someone else has decided for us

I'm also lucky enough to have grown up with parents who always encouraged us to do what we believe in, that everything is possible and that the most important thing is having fun. We have never been fed with the idea that we should do something for anyone else's sake than our own - when it comes to work and profession. Not in an ego-driven way, but rather with the attitude that what we do must bring joy to ourselves. If we feel happy and radiate that kind of energy its like a great gift both to the world and our fellow human beings around us. They have also thought us to take responsibility while believing in ourselves, I am convinced that it is the best gift we could have received.


Tell us about your most rewarding experience in your career?

It must have been when "yogadoktorn" was born. I understood that I could never become a "regular" yoga teacher and at the same time be a doctor. I often got the question how I, as a doctor, could "believe in something like yoga" and how I, as a yoga teacher, could "believe in school medicine". So, I decided to combine it and take the science of yoga to patients and staff at the hospital. I have received a lot of positive feedback from fellow doctors and have my own little cheerleading team of doctors who believe in what I do. It truly warms my heart along with the positive comments that fall into my inbox and requests from doctors who want me to keep yoga or read them. Those small, small steps. They mean the most!


Hitting the wall or Fatigue syndrome is a common issue amongst young females today. Do you have any personal experience of this and what is your advice to stay healthy and happy while doing something you love?

There were many times during the medical program when I was thinking about quitting. I was depressed during periods and even ate antidepressants in periods. My mood was terrible, and sometimes I had such anxiety that I barely got out of bed! I put a lot of preasure on myself, to take care of myself, take care of both the studies and the internship, the yoga training among other things. In times it became too much - it's hard to live as you learn. Something I'm still struggling with ... I think the solution is to take a step back, understand that we're not in a hurry somewhere really. If we do not have the time and the opportunity to do it wholeheartedly, its not worth doing. That everything takes its time. And it's okay not to spoil everything, it's okay not to be the best, it's okay not to be perfect. And it's okay to say no and save it till later.


If you could go back in time 5 years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

Believe in yourself! It's okay not to be like everyone else. Go back to yourself, follow your own heart. You do not need to feel FOMO (Fear of missing out) - life is a long journey and will contain everything you wish for! You have the opportunity to invite just what you want, and you will get it - in its right time! Enjoy what's now, and the rest, you can enjoy later.


What can we expect in the future from you and Yogadoktorn?

My dream is to work with healing and therapy in an overall perspective that includes the medical, bodily, emotional and spiritual perspective. How, I do not know! I think the work I do inspires people to think bigger, both patients and people who work with different types of therapy. If it happens through personal meetings and therapy, research or education, I do not know yet!


Do you have any recommendations for inspiring people, companies or foundations to look into for young female entrepreneurs who are looking for inspiration and support?

Nordic woman gathering! A truly amazing network of sisters - personal development, where you get the opportunity to grow, but also find support in your fellow women and sisters. Strong women who support each other is one of the most powerful thing you can experience as a woman. I went to Nordic Woman gathering last summer and brought me new energy and inspiration though amazing meetings. I will definitely continue to go every year! Try to find something like it where you live - sisterhood circles exists all over the world and are such a great source of support and inspiration!


Cheesy we know, nevertheless - life mottos/rules to live by/rules to break etc, do you have any to share with girls who are looking to do their own thing?

Follow your heart! Its cheesy, but true! Always tune in to your own inner voice and do what feels best, not for someone else's sake but for your own. Because you create your own reality, and only realising it, you can create magic!


And finally, which Salty Boho ring is your favourite?

Luna!!

This or that

Yoga festival or music festival? A festival that contains both ;)

Pancake or Waffle? Pancake

Hatha or vinyasa? hrmm...

Autumn or spring? Everything

Saturday or Sunday? Saturday! I like to have Sundays ahead

Organised or messy? An organised mess

Sweet or sour? Sour

Being able to fly or time travel? Time travel!


Follow Elin on her Instagram Yogadoktorn or tune into her Podcast (in swedish) - Yogadoktorn on iTunes

Sofia Parker