My journey to become a yoga teacher, yoga practitioner and exercise therapist started from an early age. As a child I started to experiment with the human body, I was quite good at walking on my hands instead of my feet. My passion for precision and movement lead me to join the Dutch Junior National Gymnastics team by the age of 11. After 3 years of intensive training and competitions, I had to let go of my dream to join the Dutch Olympic team, due to a severe injury on my left wrist .
(Funny enough I continued to do gymnastics only using my right hand. Two weeks before one of my trips to Mysore, India, I broke my right hand which meant I had to use my left hand to do my yoga practice..... so I was balanced again ).
The numerous operations and physical therapy sessions I had to undergo, made me aware of the wonders the human body holds, and the healing potential of it. It wasn't until I felt at 'home' with my body and embraced my injures that I decided to deepen my learning in the art of body therapy.
Despite all of these set backs, at the age of 20, I started my studies at the College of Movement Therapy-Mensendieck. I learned how to visualize the human body, analyze its postures and movements, and facilitate the process of behavioral change. I had the opportunity to work in private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers as well as with teams of specialists. My focus was primarily in the use of conscious movement and breathing to help patients that had suffered a stroke.
After dedicating 10 years to rehabilitation therapy, I was asked to join the Dutch stunt team in which I had the opportunity to perform acrobatic sequences for different movies. It was during my time as a stunt double that I got introduced to yoga. I decided to explore the wonders of this art and noticed many similarities between Movement Therapy- Mensendieck and Vinyasa yoga, as they both connect the movement to the breath.
In 2004 I completed the Vinyasa yoga teacher training in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Following my certification I embarked on a personal journey to Mysore, India, and fell in love with Ashtanga yoga. During my time there I had the opportunity to learn from the different members of the Jois family (Sri K Pattabhi Jois & Saraswathi Jois) and my practice grew stronger. I also had the privilege to meet Gabriel Azoulay who taught me the principles of Yin yoga. I now felt like I had the best of both worlds (the yin & the yang).
In 2006, I decided to study Yin Yoga under the tutelage of Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers. Paul Grilley’s teachings offered me a combination between the old eastern philosophy and the techniques of Konfu and Hatha yoga. He taught me that our bone composition influences the posture (asana) and that each human being is unique. Western medicine does not pay much attention to these little differences in the structures of the bones because in daily life it doesn't matter, but when we practice yoga, it does. I learned to see the uniqueness of every body, which translates into the way I teach yoga, as I focus on the unique composition of each on my students.
Sara Powers introduced me to the energy lines that run through the body and the connections between organs, emotions and human behavior. I deepened my knowledge with reading about Taoism and Chinese medicine, leading to a deep understanding of the connection between body, mind and heart.
I currently teach Ashtanga/Vinyasa yoga, Movement Awareness and Yin yoga. In my yoga classes I work from the center of the body, the pelvis and the belly, as this the point where all movement originates; it is your point of gravity and the center of all meridians in the body.
During my years as a teacher I have felt most satisfaction from the feedback of students. Who tell me the classes have helped them deal with chronic pain, anxiety disorders, depressions and overall stress. They feel healthier and started living more consciously, opening the door to more peace and happiness. I love to support people in their daily life through my teaching, which is why I focus on classes and workshops for regular yoga students.
My professional background in a nutshell: 28 years experience in group leadership and coaching in top-class sport10 years experience working as an exercise therapist together with healthcare specialists10 years experience in yoga, meditation and eastern philosophy I have been inspired on my yoga path by various internationally renowned teachers like Shri K. Patthabi Jois, Majo Jois, Sarahswati Rangaswamy, Paul Grilley, Sarah Powers, Lino Miele, Rusty Wells, Pema Chödron and Amma.