There is a Dutch expression: de cirkel is rond. I think it translates in English in full circle. I just completed a full circle in my life: I’m teaching at Sampoorna yoga in India. I started my teaching career here at the end of 2010 by doing my first Yoga Teacher Training Course (TTC), a 200 hours course. Now I’m back as a teacher, on a 200 hours course.
It feels a bit strange to teach in India. This is the country yoga has come from. This is where the roots of yoga are. At the same time, yoga has spread through out the world and due too this globalization it also has changed a lot overtime. In India yoga is still a lot about meditation, in the West asana (the yoga poses) became the most important aspect of yoga. But doing yoga poses is not doing yoga. As I said before: for me doing just yoga poses feels like taking a 5 course, only eating the soup and leaving again. You got a taste of it, but you’re missing out on the good stuff.
I love asanas
Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with doing asanas. I love them myself and for most people it’s there first step onto the path of yoga. A step that often leads to a bigger journey within. When I started my journey I focused mainly on the asanas as well. By doing them I found out how asanas can help you to let go of emotions. It made me realize how powerful yoga is: for somebody personally and for the world. I mean: if we can let go of emotions, if we can let go of fear and live out of love, we are close to world peace. It may sound a bit heavy, but I truly believe it. Fear for the unknown and greed are the only two things standing in the way of peace.
First yoga mission
So my first yoga mission was to get as many people as I could to do and love yoga. After I completed my first yoga teacher training at Sampoorna, I opened up my own yoga school in the Netherlands: the Blauwe Parel (Blue Pearl). A school I sold October 2014 to YogaCentrum Tilburg.
In the four years I had my school it grew out to be the center of a beautiful community. I was teaching yoga for free in the park every summer, I was giving yoga concerts (live music and a yoga class; on stage in a concert hall) in winter. Lots of people started their yoga journey at the Blauwe Parel.
But being in Tilburg, teaching so much and running a school I wasn’t able to walk my path in the pace I wanted, so I freed myself from my school by selling it and went out to do what yogis have been doing for centuries: wander around. Finding teachers I can learn from, spreading the knowledge I gained on my path.
Spreading my knowledge brought me back to Sampoorna, the school I started my journey. I came out here this season to be a karma yogi; teach some drop in classes and help out with videos and photography, but last course I already started to teach some classes at the 300 hours TTC and for the training that just started, I am added to the teaching staff of the 200 hours TTC. Teaching anatomy, vinyasa flow and posture clinics: things I love.
As I said: it feels a bit strange to teach yoga in India. At the same to, due to the globalization the way people practice yoga has changed, has become more physical. As a massage therapist I hope to spread some of my knowledge of the human body, although I’m combining it with some of the yoga philosophy. As a yogi, walking my path I hope to inspire with yoga flows, that are a combination of asanas (poses) and philosophy. The same way the other two dedicated teachers – Eli and Marta – try to inspire ‘our’ students. For the ‘hard core’ philosophy we have an Indian teacher – Sudhir – who is very knowledgeable.
The beginning of January we will have another 300 hours TTC. This time I will be on the teaching team of that TTC as well, which will make it a full circle for me, because I did as well my 200 hours as well my 300 hours with Sampoorna yoga. It does mean I’m not going to Budapest this winter. That training has been postponed. Instead I will stay longer in India.
So at this point of life I’m on my second mission. I’m teaching teachers (to be), hoping they will spread the love of yoga, like I’m trying to do. Hoping they will inspire their students to find themselves and to find love for themselves and for the people and the world around them. Hoping they will inspire the people around them to live out of love and not out of fear.
In Dutch we call it an avalanche effect. It all starts with a little ball, but grows bigger and bigger. By teaching (future) teachers I hope my love of yoga spreads, I hope my love for peace spreads and I hope living in a world full free from greed for power and money, free from hate, free from prejudgment, free from racism, but full of love and peace will come closer very soon.