Summer Sukha – By the Sea Retreat

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.

The Yoga

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 our 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!

Yoga off the Mat

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!

Restorative Yoga (and a request in the PS!)

Hi everyone!

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.

Me in Side Laying Savasana Bliss
Me in Side Laying Savasana Bliss

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.

Teacher Training at Yogamoves Utrecht
Teacher Training at Yogamoves Utrecht

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!

For now, you can book your 1-on-1 through the calendar here! If there is no suitable date there, please contact me at biddy@yogavayu.nl so we can find a suitable date together!

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!

Out of Office!

Ik ben deze komende week vanaf dinsdag weg voor een training! Hieronder een overzicht van wat dat gaat betekenen voor de lessen deze week!

Tijdens mijn training mag ik behalve pen en papier niets meenemen, dus vanaf dinsdag ben ik de hele week onbereikbaar. Als er iets is dat je wilt bespreken, stuur dan een email of spreek een boodschap in!

Wednesday – Yoga Flow at Active Health Center Ypenburg

Unfortunately this class might be cancelled as it has been hard to find a replacement teacher! To be sure check with AHC on the day!

Thursday’s Yoga Flow at Active Health Center Leidschenveen

This class will be taught by Evamaria! She is not only a very dear friend of mine, she is also someone who feels about yoga the same way I do! I am confident I am leaving you in the best possible hands and she is working within our theme for March! So twist into spring with her and be sure to follow her on Instagram: @yogaevita

Friday’s classes at Middin

These are canceled this week also because of the training.

Saturday’s class at De Pier in Scheveningen

This class will also be taught by the amazing Evamaria! She will help you Stretch & Chill your way into the weekend.

Welcome spring with our Live Music Flow

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!
🎵🌼🐣

Why Yoga for Beginners?

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.

picture by Evamaria Kulovits.

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!

PS: I’m sorry this blog post is in English only, I have limited time this week, but I wanted to share with as many people as I can. And as most Dutchies speak English…. I hope you’ll understand!

Het is 2018….

…….en ik moet nog steeds posten over onze Christmas Party!

Het is druk geweest! In de planning staan een paar nieuwe blog posts over alle dingen die eraan komen, dus binnenkort zijn jullie weer helemaal op de hoogte!

Maar laat ik eerst 2017 helemaal afsluiten!

Onze Christmas Yoga & Photoshoot Party was geweldig. We waren met een mooie en fijne groep yogi’s bij elkaar en het was echt goed vanaf het eerste moment tot de laatste knuffels bij het weggaan. Het was gezellig, het was leuk en de flow voelde bij iedereen goed. De studio was versierd met kerstlichtjes en ik denk dat het er daar nog niet eerder zo mooi uit heeft gezien! De foto’s die Evamaria heeft gemaakt zijn fantastisch. Ik ga dan ook de foto’s de rest van het verhaal laten vertellen! Nogmaals dank aan alle yogi’s die samen met ons de mat op stapten en onder het genot van kerstliedjes hebben geflowed. Het was zo leuk om dit samen met jullie te doen!

Ik kijk er naar uit om snel weer samen met jullie de mat op de stappen! Namaste.

Live Music Slow Flow

Zoals jullie misschien al weten hebben wij eerder deze maand ons eerste evenement bij Womanhood Studio gehad! Ik wilde jullie vertellen hoe mooi het was en zelfs al zijn er sindsdien heel veel andere evenementen geweest, ik wilde toch echt een blog over deze mooie dag plaatsen!

Ik heb zelf heel erg genoten van deze speciale dag! Chester van Yoguitar en ik hadden elkaar nog niet ontmoet, enkel via mail en telefoon. Maar toch maakte ik me helemaal geen zorgen, iets in mij wist zeker dat het goed zou zijn! Chester heeft gitaar en hang gespeeld en het klonk zo ontzettend mooi! Het klikte en de muziek paste perfect bij de  flow.

Het was een intieme les met 6 yogi’s, waaronder zelfs iemand die voor het eerst de yoga mat op stapte. De flow was rustig en alle bewegingen bewust, zoals een van mijn favoriete yoga docenten vaak zegt:

Like you’re moving through water

(Thank you Adriene!) De opzet van de les war om alles stiller, rustiger te maken. De buitenwereld inderdaad voor even buiten laten, een paar stappen terug doen en alleen maar op jezelf focussen. Self Care is het motto van deze maand geweest bij alle Yoga Vayu lessen en dit was de eerste. De lat lag daardoor wel direct hoog 😉

De muziek maakte het nog iets makkelijker om de buitenwereld even daar te laten. Het was voor mij prachtig om te zien hoe langzaamaan iedereens lichaam steeds meer ontspanning vond! Diverse onderzoeken hebben aangetoond dat muziek niet alleen helpt te ontspannen, maar dat het herstel van zowel fysieke als mentale problemen kan versnellen. Zo mooi en zo krachtig kan muziek zijn!

Terwijl wij binnen flowden, begon het buiten te sneeuwen. Een mooi wit landschap dat net zo stil werd als wij rustig werden. Het leek bijna of onze kalmte naar buiten toe door werkte 😉. Heel veel dank aan Yoguitar en Womanhood Studio. Het was fantastisch om samen te werken. We gaan dit volgend jaar zeker weer doen, en niet pas in december! Dus hou een oogje op onze nieuwsbrief en website. of volg ons op social media!

Voor nu wens ik iedereen hele mooie dagen. Ik hoop dat jullie kerst gevuld zal zijn met muziek, warmte, liefde en plezier.

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Womanhood Studio

Ik ben zo blij dat ik jullie kan vertellen over Womanhood Studio. Het was liefde op het eerste gezicht toen ik daar binnenkwam!

Die eerste keer ging ik naar een vinyasa les, gegeven door Maggie Bijl. Het was een heerlijke les en ik ga nog steeds wanneer ik maar kan naar die ochtend les! Ik ontmoette toen ook Tami, de eigenaar van de studio. De ruimte, de mensen, alles voelde direct vertrouwd en goed.

Nu, een paar maanden later, kan ik jullie laten weten dat ik met Tami en fantastische vrouwen van Womanhood studio samen mag gaan werken! Ik ben er (bijna) elke woensdag en zaterdag middag vanaf 13 uur. Kom langs om een kijkje te nemen in de studio! We kunnen een kop thee drinken en ik kan je meer vertellen over wat er allemaal in de studio te doen is. En er is heel veel te doen! Van vinyasa, naar nia, van aerial  naar pilates en nog heel veel meer! Daarnaast ga ik in de studio ook workshops verzorgen! De eerste komt er al snel aan.

Op zondag 10 december is Slow Flow with Live Music! Chester van Yoguitar zal tijdens onze flow live gitaar en hang spelen. Vergeet even hoe druk je bent, tijdens onze flow richten we ons op JOU. Self Care staat centraal deze maand in al mijn lessen, maar deze les hebben we de kans om er dieper op in te gaan! Er zijn nog plaatsen beschikbaar, wacht niet te lang en reserveer jouw plek nu! We kijken er naar uit je daar te zien! Alle informatie over de workshop kan je hier vinden.

We hebben een voorproefje van Yoguitar’s muziek voor je!

In januari volgend jaar zal ik ook wekelijks les gaan geven in de studio. Maar daarover een volgende keer meer 😉 Kom vooral langs om de studio te zien en alle andere lessen en workshops te ervaren! En laat de naam je niet misleiden, mannen zijn ook zeer welkom in the womanhood!

Tot slot een kijkje in de studio met dit filmpje dat ik een paar weken geleden op Instagram plaatste.

Womanhood Studio

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