Okay, it’s been here for a while, but I haven’t gotten around to writing a blog about it sooner 😊 One of my favorite things is practicing Yoga outside. Standing in mountain pose, feeling the sun and breeze on your skin, makes it easier for me to go deeper, to connect to my breath and to notice how I am feeling. We have been taking our practices outside quite a lot already.
These last weeks every Saturday morning on the Pier was just perfect. The 10 am sun is not smoldering hot yet, the beach is not crowded yet and I honestly can’t think of a better way to wake up.
We also took our yoga to the park with Womanhood Studio, when we did 2 sessions of Yoga & Kek Breakfast at a beautiful spot in Delftse Hout.
It was such a great day and I get such an energy boost when I get to lead a class surrounded by beautiful nature. We are taking Womanhood Studio to the Delftse Hout again on August 12th! Book your mat HERE!
If you are like me and love stepping on the mat outside, you might want to check out www.buiten-yoga.nl. They have the best database of all outdoor classes in your region. You can find my weekly classes at De Pier in Scheveningen on there too and I am very proud to say that I am an ambassador for Buiten Yoga. On September 30th we are organizing a special event on the Pier. I will post more about that soon, but I can tell you it will be an awesome day above the sea in the Buiten Spelen Sunday afternoon sessions.
Wishing you all a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing you on the mat!
Like most yoga teachers and instructors will tell you, when you start teaching it’s sometimes hard to hold on to your own practice. You spent much time preparing the classes you’ll teach, sometimes researching, finding the exact right music, the theme, mulling over the message you want to put in to your class. You have to promote your class, write the right social media posts, make sure everything is in order. Before you know it a week has passed and you didn’t step on the mat for YOU. And everyone knows that your teachers will tell you “don’t lose your own practice”. Just last Sunday in my Nidra teacher training, our teacher told us:
“the more you teach, the more you need your own practice”.
Mind you, I do still get on my mat almost daily, for me. But not always with the same intensity as I did before I started teaching. Sometimes the passion isn’t there. I practice Restorative Yoga most when I get on the mat for me, which I love. But sometimes I miss my more active practice, I miss the flow. There are days I will not get up early enough, or wait to go to bed until I’m too tired and I only give me myself a few breaths in Tadasana. “A little goes a long way” as one of my favorite teacher always reminds us. But sometimes a little is just that. A little. And there are times I long for more.
So when I decided to go to Cornwall on a Yoga and photography retreat with my amazing friend Eva, that was my main goal. To relish in my own practice. To not focus on how the class is taught, but to surrender and give in to the classes. All of them. Not just the yoga, but the photography and surf classes as well. And I am so happy I did.
The By the Sea retreat was perfectly organized by the amazing Jo Riley and Julia Rose. All we had to do was show up, be present and we would be guided through amazing workshops and then told where we could go next for our next beautiful moment.
Oh the yoga. It’s hard not to pay attention to how the class is being taught, when it is taught by Julia Rose. The sequences, the flow, the attention to the body. It was like rediscovering Yoga all over again. Such an inspiration. Our photography classes were such a treat. Lara Platman took us back to the beginning and got us to look. Really look and see, before you even take out your camera. And then she taught us how to use our camera’s to capture what we saw. The evening Yoga classes with Jo Riley where right up my alley. My beloved Restorative Yoga was there among Yin and Hatha, and it was perfect to end the day on our mats listening to the waves rolling in and out that breathtaking Porthmeor Beach. I found passion, my practice. I fell in love even deeper with it. And I brought it back, intending to take it with me in every class I do. As both a teacher and as a student.
I haven’t even mentioned the amazing women I met, the beautiful Cornish scenery, the delicious food and the laughter that accompanied every day. I fell not only deeper in love with Yoga, I fell in love with this place. St. Ives, I can’t wait to see you again!
Last weekend I spent a few hours in the dunes. Evamaria Kulovits Photography organized a Mindful Photo Walk in the Scheveningen Dunes. I had been sick the week leading up to the walk and was happy to be outside in nature and enjoying the sun. I had never been on a walk like this before, and was both curious and excited to try it out!
It did not disappoint. After meeting up we walked a few minutes to the starting point, where Evamaria told us about the philosophy behind the Mindful Photo Walk. For me it turned out to be an embodiment of Yoga off the Mat. After a short explanation of how the walk would work, she guided us in a meditation. I love meditating (or practicing Yoga) outside. The touch of a breeze on your cheek, the sounds of the wind and the birds, the smell of earth and sea. When you close your eyes and open yourself up to your other senses, they can bring you so much.
From there we started walking in silence. We used our camera as a tool to focus our attention. What grabs your eye? And how would you photograph that? Before even bringing the camera out, you ponder this. The actual taking of the photo is the very last step. It was amazing to me, how different it is to look at the world through these contemplative eyes. We walked, each in our own pace, taking our time and every now and then resetting our brains by closing our eyes and starting over.
I felt refreshed, calm and content. It’s hard to explain how big the impact of spending a little over an hour in nature can be. Especially when you use all your senses to enhance your own experience. And when I looked at the photo’s, I was surprised with how much they actually showed what I had seen.
I highly recommend subscribing to Evamaria Kulovits Photography’s newsletter so you will know when she organizes her next Mindful Photo Walk, you will not regret joining!
It’s time for an update! As some of you may remember I went away for a week of training in the beginning of March this year. This was Restorative Teacher Training with Lizzie Lasater and it was amazing!
Restorative Yoga is a form of Yoga that uses props like bolsters and blankets to create positions of ease and comfort that facilitate relaxation and health. It is a practice in and of itself, it is not -like some people think- just an added practice to active asana. Instead it is benefiting people of all ages and in all stages of health. Restorative Yoga is a wonderful practice to help you disconnect from stress in your daily life for a few minutes, settle in and rest in silence. The props help the body relax, by supporting you and making it easy for your body to let go off stress.
I LOVED my training. Our week involved a lot of practicing Restorative. Your teaching is at its best when you have experienced what you teach. It was simply divine. Next to practicing, Lizzie taught us so much and everything we studied hit home with me. I had been practicing Restorative at home and I have been doing daily 20 minutes savasana, which have been life changing for me. I know, it sounds dramatic, but it is really how I see it. I sleep better, I am more relaxed and my mind is clearer. I know it’s related, because when I skip a day or two, I notice the difference.
I have started offering 1-on-1 Restorative Classes. I love working in private sessions, because it gives me the chance to give you my full attention and the sessions focus on you, how you are feeling and we adjust the session to your energy level at that moment.
In addition to the private sessions I want to start offering Restorative Workshops both in Delft and at De Pier. I need more props to do that though! So the money I am making with the 1-on-1 sessions is going towards me buying more props. As soon as there are enough props to cater to a group of approximately 5 people, I will update you on upcoming workshops!
PS: If you have bolsters or Yoga blankets you are willing to donate, or if you are willing to make a donation towards the Restorative Props, please let me know! I would love to hear from you and maybe welcome you in one of my classes as a thank you!
… available for our Slow Flow with Live Music! Book your spot here!
Starting Tuesday I will be away for a training. Check below to see what that means for this week’s classes!
During my training only pen and paper are allowed! So it will be off the grid most. Should you need me, please send me an email or call to leave a message!
In the last weekend of winter we have a very special day for you.
Join us on the mat as we flow while Chester from Yoguitar guides us through our practice beautifully. He will play both guitar and hang, supporting our flow and deepening our relaxation in savasana. Let’s close off winter together, take time to reflect and then open our hearts to spring. Focus on what is coming.
When we were on our mats together last time, a few weeks before Christmas, the snow flakes started falling as we found a peaceful savasana. This time it will be only a few more days until spring. Let’s open our selves up for warmer and sunnier times together as we enjoy the warming and healing power of live music.
Enjoy a private concert on your mat and welcome spring with us at Womanhood studio!
So often when I tell people what I do, or when I talk to people that I meet at the studio’s I teach or the events where I offer donation based yoga, they give me an explanation on why they don’t do yoga. It ranges from “I’m not Zen” to “I’m not flexible” and “my body doesn’t bend that way”.
I think it’s because a lot of people who have not practiced yoga, get the idea of what yoga is from what we see in pictures or movies. Beautiful men and women, set in gorgeous surroundings balancing on one arm or tapping their toes to the back of theirs heads while back bending. Pictures of classes full with strong and toned bodies. So am I saying this is not yoga? I am not. That too is a part of yoga. But there is so much more to yoga than just that…
And that is what I want, what I hope, to explain to people in our Yoga for Beginners workshop. It’s a chance to tell people that yoga is more than the asana practice we do in class, A chance to explain that yoga is not just working to have your fingers touch your toes. Yoga is the journey there, Yoga is learning to recognize what your body is telling you. Yoga is a wonderful way to explore what you CAN do. We sometimes tend to focus on what we can’t, I think that’s why so many people tell me what they lack to practice. But at the same time there is so much we can do. And for me that is what Yoga is about. Learning and discovering all our possibilities. I am not saying we can’t strive towards becoming more flexible and stronger. We can! But for me, yoga has helped me to be happy with all that I CAN do. Right now.
So what can you expect during the workshop? We will talk yoga! I will start by telling why I love it and why I think it is so much fun to do! I will tell you about the eight limbs of yoga, of which the asana practice is one. We will then start practicing, first pranayama, breathing. Then we will focus on a few of the asana, the poses. We will take our time to dive in to these poses, learn how to find the version of the pose that is right for your body. You will use your breathing help you focus and find relaxation in the pose.
If you are curious, if you are willing to come to class with an open mind, I will be so excited to tell you about how yoga can help you get to know yourself better.
Join me at our beautiful Womanhood Studio in the heart of the historic city center of Delft. We have a Yoga for Beginners Workshop every third Friday of the month, the next one is coming up on February 16th. Sign up here and I look forward to seeing you there!
…….and I still have to post about our Christmas Party!
Things have been busy. If all goes to plan there will be a few new blog post following each other rather quickly to update you about what is going on and what is cooking!
But let me close of 2017 completely first….
Our Christmas Yoga and Photoshoot Party was wonderful! We had a lovely group of enthusiastic yogi’s and from the very first moment all the way through to the last hug goodbye, the party was fun, loving and warm. We decorated the studio with lights and I have to say that I don’t think it has looked as pretty before! The pictures Evamaria shot are stunning. So I will let the pictures show you how amazing it was. Thank you once more to all yogi’s that stepped on the mat with us and flowed to Christmas Carols. It was so awesome to do this with you!
I can’t wait to step on the mat with you again soon! Namaste.