Yoga Nieuw West: Generating energy and calm in Amsterdam’s Nieuw West

English version of Westerpost interview, 18 May 2011

When I first came to the Netherlands from France 11 years ago, it was to improve my career prospects. I couldn’t have imagined at the time that I’d find the beginning of my passion for yoga in Amsterdam.

My life was busy and work and personal life seemed to drain my energy as well as sap my creativity.   Searching for a way to relax, I discovered an excellent yoga school in the centre of Amsterdam (Sai Mithra) and became hooked. Yoga helped me focus inwards and listen to my body as a whole.

However, after practising yoga for a year, with two young children to care for and a relationship on the rocks, I found I was ‘too busy’ to go to classes. I had ‘no free time.’ I stopped doing yoga. A year later, things hadn’t improved, so I decided to start with yoga again—just one and a half hours a week, and found space for myself again.

I wasn’t a natural for doing yoga, I was stiff, and I felt that my progression on the road to suppleness was painfully slow. But after two years I noticed a difference, not only to my body but to my way of being. I was calmer and more able to deal with the daily rollercoaster that was my life.

I decided to take the teacher training as I wanted to teach others what I’d learned. It isn’t ‘airy fairy’ as some people believe.  You could describe is as a science of the energies.  Yoga works not only on stretching the muscles, but massages and stimulates the internal organs. As the body grows supple, so does the mind, and creativity and inspiration find space to blossom.

I started giving yoga classes in the neighbourhood in 2009. I knew what it was like to cycle through wind, rain and snow to the centre once a week for my classes, and I thought I’d create something that I’d longed for at the time; classes nearby.  When I asked around the local community if anyone would be interested in taking yoga classes, I was surprised at the positive response.  One of my current students says she likes the fact it is “round the corner” and she can practice “at her own pace”.

All levels are welcome.

I teach a combination of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga.  All classes are in the English language. If students need an explanation in the Dutch language, then this is also fine.


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