Coaching to Hygge

May 8, 2021

“Less is more.- Robert Browning”
Louisa Thomsen Brits, The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well

“It is about keeping in mind that you live right now, allowing yourself to focus on the moment and appreciate the life you lead, to focus on all that you do have, not what you don’t.”
Meik Wiking, The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living

Spending time alone, preferably with a few you deeply care about, just being, not worried about how you show up, authentically, spontaneously, without pretension and frills.

Hygge means to hug, in the mind, heart and energy state; not necessarily physically unless appropriate. Hygge is cozy intimacy, with self, and as often as possible with a few others, you care about. Hygge is about happiness. Hygge is about what happens within when everything resonates without.

Can you coach to Hygge in Hygge?

(If by now you haven’t looked up etymology and pronunciation of Hygge, don’t worry, read on)

Acknowledging Meik, I borrow his terminology to adapt to coaching. This is how Hygge coaching looks to me:

– There is no need to do any seeking to have anything, contracting or agreeing to an outcome. How have these ever helped you in the past?

– You always seek in greed more than whatever you achieve, never accepting in gratitude. Just be open and be happy, receiving whatever happens in total gratitude.

– Be present in this moment, feeling comfortable and safe, trusted and trusting, in harmony with yourself or partnering together with others and the environment, feeling you belong.

– Communicate in silence, using few words as needed, empathetically, spontaneously, intuitively, generatively, harmoniously, non-judgmentally, and mindlessly.

– Personal growth and learning happen on their own, without effort. Whatever happens, is good.

Mindset of the Hygge coach stems from the self-awareness and well-being of the coach, which promotes healing. I look at these as minimum conditions for a Hygge coach to center on.

Whether at rest or in motion,

–  let the spine be flat or erect,

–  with the neck tucked in, not allowing the head to loll back or to the front.

–  This allows proper breathing and energy to flow through the system.

If you are sitting, let your knees be below your hips, and legs a bit stretched not tucked.

When you bend, bend from the tail bone, and with knees bent, not bending your back.

Breathe slowly and deeply 

–  through cycles of deep inhalation from below the diaphragm, holding the indrawn breath a couple of seconds, exhaling at least twice as long as inhalation, and holding the exhaled breath for a couple of seconds, each cycle lasting 12 seconds at least.

–  Breathe always through the nostrils. It’s good practice to keep the mouth shut.

–  Breathing through the left nostril while holding down the right makes you feel calm; breathing through the while holding down the left makes you feel active.

Sleep at least 8 hours, if possible a bit more.

Lie on your right side, allowing autonomous breathing through the left.

Practice Yoga for at least one hour a day,

–  15 minutes stretching,

–  30 minutes with balanced postures, and

–  15 minutes winding down with breath control techniques (pranayama) & meditation.

Drink at least three liters of water, as far as possible before eating.

Eat two main meals a day, both during the day, with smaller ones perhaps twice more.

–  A 1200 calories diet won’t harm you if you’re over 30, do not do manual labor, and have no medical conditions.

–  If you balance your protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake, with as little sugar as possible, and everything in moderation, what you eat may be less important.

As far as possible, work in areas you are passionate about

–  adding value to society, and

–  matching your skill sets.

Don’t worry about the last part of the Ikigai; you’ll always get paid for and be successful.

Trust the Universe. 

When you’re well, you will do well, and do good to others. Start being a Hygge coach today coaching yourself to Hygge.

Ram Ramanathan, MCC
Ram Ramanathan, MCC


Ram is the Founder and a Principal at Coacharya. As the resident Master and mentor coach, Ram oversees and conducts all aspects of coaching and training services offered under the Coacharya banner.

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