Launching a yoga school in the Netherlands
It’s been a journey of Self re-connection, launching my yoga school in the Netherlands, Europe. I initially hesitated – especially because I don’t look like the ‘typical’ Dutch/European yoga teacher: tall, skinny, very flexible or fair skinned. In contrast, I have a beaming, face-splitting smile, am shorter than 1.65 meters, have rounded hips and belly and a double chin. I also groan like a bear coming out of hibernation most mornings during my stretches. 🙂
After approaching the local yoga school that I have been attending as a student for 2 years, about joining their teaching faculty – and being turned down for not being fit or flexible enough – I decided to branch out on my own.
It was and still is a daunting project – really not knowing anything about the yoga environment here, or how to go about it. But somehow, it feels like there’s a universal plan that involves me sharing this precious knowledge, and the depth of silence which I am.
I built my website myself – teaching myself step by step. And having been so focused on teaching over the last 13 years, and never on showcasing myself, my pic repertoire is so very limited. I relied on old random facebook pics, to help me build some kind of online cred – while my past students and friends on facebook had me scrambling to keep up with the encouraging comments and well wishers.
I decided to combine my corporate success, my spiritual wisdom and my enjoyment of comfortable yet deeply transformative retreats. I scoured to Benelux region for suitable venues that would appeal to people like me: looking for a spiritual getaway in a lovely nature setting.
My focus is bringing the experience of PURE AUTHENTIC YOGA to people. As much as I enjoy the (bi)weekly class at the local yoga studio, it lacks that transformative, and deep silence that releases trauma, impressions, patterns and karma. It didn’t provide the time nor the space for me to expand my consciousness in deep meditation – thereby experiencing oneness.
THIS is what I bring to the world. This is my life’s calling. This is Sri Sri Yoga. This is why I started Authentic Yoga.
I took the plunge and reserved an exquisite location and venue for my retreats for 2018 in Werkhoven, Utrecht. Its been a sanctuary for silence since the 1960s, and is designed for reflective and transformative retreats. Organic vegetarian food, and tranquil and lush gardens – it felt like the venue found me, instead of the other way around.
My first retreat was held in May, and I had my smallest yoga class ever, with 3 participants. It was happy – with spontaneous bouts of singing and dancing. It was deep with tears and aha moments. It was loving with a deep stillness that pervaded. “This is yoga” … you’d hear me gently enunciate at the end of a class. “Namaste”.