I recently listened to a podcast published by J Brown wherein he interviews Alexandria Crow. Both are experienced yoga teachers. Amongst other subjects they talked about yoga practices that are inspired by ‘nurturing is cool!’, ‘beating yourself up is not cool!’, ‘being nice to yourself and doing good for yourself is cool!’. Listening to it made me feel happy as it very much resonates with me, as a person and yoga teacher.
A caring feeling
I care about nurturing the people who come to my group classes. I very much care about nurturing every client I teach one-on-one. It is a feeling that arises from deep inside and is based on my empathy for and the respect I pay to everyone who obviously wants enquire if yoga works for them, or who already knows that yoga works for them and requests repetitively my support.
14 years of teaching yoga
I’ve been teaching yoga since 2004, and the way I care about my students has changed over the years. For quite some years I very much cared about me instructing postures and sequencing in the correct way, followed by a couple of years wherein my main intention was the increase of my students physical fitness.
My teachings these days
I’m no more into the yoga mainstream stuff. I’m not interested in highly demanding posture work these days. Bendy people, physically strong yogis or esthetically driven yoga practices do not fascinate me any more.
I’m not a member of a yoga association, as I love my freedom of doing, speech and the way I’m presenting what I have to offer. I don’t check what the ‘competition’ is offering. Teaching authentically makes me unique; therefore the idea of competition is not an issue for me.
For the last couple of years I’ve been pointing my teachings at nurturing the whole of the being in all its facets. I base this on a holistic approach, realizing that everything is connected with and supporting each other. I trust in the innate intelligence of the body, therefore it can find balance and heal itself. A consequent selfpractice and visible or verbal feedback from students led me there and strengthened my intuition and certainty about what I teach and why I do it.
I appreciate small details and allow time for awareness to sink in. I rather teach 10 postures instead of 20 in a 90 min class. In following an unforced but natural rhythm of the breath a yoga posture practice can be slow and mindful. Body and mind can absorb and process the positive message that every movement and relatively static pose has to offer by balancing what needs to be balanced. I like to narrow down the class context to small, even tiny movements so that deep relaxation can be invited and the body comes into the state of renewal through nurturing and regenerating.
If you are a strong believer that each class should start with sun salutations then I guess I’m not your yoga teacher. But if you are looking for a niche, a unique place for a yoga practice wherein you will be guided to let go, soften, allow, nurture, recharge and surrender and eventually reach a deep state of relaxation you then might feel comfortable and in the right place in my (private) yoga classes. Trusting your yoga teacher is essential; you will have to give it a fair try to know!
About us, the Yogashala teachers and how we inspire each other
Chris and I are the main teachers at Yogashala, besides that we also are partners in life. Each year in the summer and winter we take a longer break from teaching. We then retreat to rest and reconnect with nature and our inner strengths. We discuss and explore a lot of what we are passionate about: healing, yoga and self-care. Based on what came onto our paths in the couple of months before, we allow creativity to flow and plan for our future activities. In the months to follow we integrate our findings into the teachings at Yogashala and Chris at his practice “De Gouden Handen” (therapeutic treatments related to numerous problems of the musculo-skeletal system).