What it is with yoga, I have no clue. Somehow this way of exercise works for me. Maybe because it’s so much more than exercise. I can’t give an explanation for it, but after every training I feel more at ease, more open, more vulnerable and at the same time more balanced. By training my body I work on my mind. As the yogis see it: all physical rigidity in my body is actually rigidity in my mind; negative emotions from my past, which now form blockages in my body.
Bullshit; that’s what I thought of it, before I started my discovery of yoga. A friend asked me to come along to YORT, which stands for YOga spoRT. She told me it would be good for my low back problems. I googled a bit and found out yoga could help, so I said yes. The place we did yoga was nothing more then a wooden shed. Well-mannered as I sometimes can be I walked over to Ewald, the teacher and shook his hand. “G’day I am John.” He directly corrected me. “Nee, your name is John and you are love.” As soon as he said that he gave me a big, sweaty hug. I froze and just thought: how can I leave this place as fast and discreet as possible?
I stayed. Luckily. I always think I should give things a go, before judging if it works for me or not. The YORT-class wasn’t as soft as I expected. Actually it was pretty demanding; a combination of yoga and stamina and power exercises, developed by Ewald himself. When he was 40 years old and worked as a gymnastic teacher he got a hernia. He didn’t get it. How much more could he do for his health? He eat pretty healthy, did a lot of sports. He figured he probably was to competitive and he only focused on power, so he decided to do yoga. He gained flexibility, but by just doing hatha yoga he lost stamina and power, which made him create his own ‘yoga’; a combination of yoga and power and stamina training, influenced by the tantra books he read.
Begging for movement
That first class is no two years ago. I started with two YORT classes a week, went two three, four, back to one and the last couple of months before India did five a six classes a week. If I don’t do it, my body is begging for movement and my back is warning me not to give up. It needs the stretching too stay healthy.
One year after I started with yoga Ewald asked me to become a yoga teacher. Inflexible as I was (and still am) I declined. I also wasn’t convinced YORT and/or yoga was something I would love to make a living off. It worked for me, but teaching it? I liked it, but wasn’t trilled about it. A few months later I was. Magnus Ringberg opened my eyes for what yoga can be. He came to Antwerp to give a workshop and my friend Irene told me I had to come. I did, worked up a sweat for three hours in a row, flowing from one yoga pose in another and afterwards I felt fitter then ever. I’ve run marathons. I know what it is to sport three, four hours in a row, but I never experienced the lightness, fitness and the amazing feeling of bliss I felt after his workshop. That day I fell in love with yoga.
This is and old story. I wrote this at the end of 2010, when I went to India for the first time, to do my first Yoga Teacher Training. I finally translated it in English. My first yoga teacher training was the starting point to walk to path of yoga seriously.