1998, Palo Alto, California. I had just moved to the beautiful campus of Stanford University for their 2-year Business School program. Smack in the middle of Silicon Valley, at the peak of the dot-com boom. How lucky I was! There was so much to see and do, so many interesting people to meet, so many new smells and sounds, so many opportunities….
In the midst this whirlwind of new impressions, I discovered yoga. I remember doing early morning flow classes with undergraduate students in a far corner of the campus. The others students all seemed very much into it and I was convinced they had already been doing it for ages. But although it was unpleasant to be confronted with my stiffness and impatience, and I felt like an alien from the old world…..somehow I kept on coming back. I slowly became hooked.
After I graduated and moved to New York City, my busy job on Wall Street did not allow for regular yoga practice anymore. Besides, I got infected with the marathon fever and much of my free time was spent running for hours along the Hudson River, in Central Park, and on the threadmill in the corporate gym (watching countless episodes of Friends and Desperate Houwewives) while keeping an eye on my BlackBerry for messages from my boss or clients.
And although marathon fever ended in 2005 when I became pregnant with triplets, and a few years later our neighbor Carrie alerted me to a nice yoga studio just a few blocks from our building, somehow I could not get myself to get on the mat again.
It was only when we moved back to the Netherlands in 2010 that I seriously felt I had to start my practice again. I found a place close to my office where I could drop in for vinyasa yoga classes before or after work, and quickly noticed the benefits to my body and mind. However, with four children at home, a busy job and a stressful commute, I often felt tired and pressed for time. I feltI already had to do so much. It was basically yet another thing on my to-do list rather than a moment of rewarding me-time. I was seriously wondering if I should not just give myself a break and stop with my yoga practice, when I discovered yin….
February 2016. I was in between jobs and had treated myself to a weeklong yoga trip in India, solo. There was no Wifi, I did not know anyone, there were no issues at work to worry about, my in-laws were taking care of the kids: my senses were wide open.
I strolled along the beach, read books, journaled, met interesting people, gazed at the coconut tree tops from a hammock, and followed 2 or 3 yoga classes a day. And here, in this little paradise, I discovered yin yoga. From the very first class I knew this was exactly what I needed.
I had to come all the way to India, thousands kilometers away from home, to discover yin yoga. What a delicious practice! It made me feel much more energized, focused and connected. While slowly melting the stiffness in my body. Even more so when I was back home, faced with my various responsibilities at home, at work, in my community.
Now, That is why I decided to follow a yin yoga teacher training. Even I really want to share what I have learned with others. To take this journey inside yourself. Discovering your yin-mazing you!
“If you relax your mind, it can begin working for you.”
– Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life
Yin yoga has taught me to take a step back and tune in with my inner self. On a regular basis, but especially when I have a lot on my plate.
That is how I am able to combine my career with my family, teach yoga classes, and do so many fun and interesting other things. I now know so much better when to say no, when to take time to recharge my battery and to stop worrying about things I cannot change. Just by tuning in to the inside!