I came to yoga through sheer necessity. At the time, it felt like a stroke of bad luck, but I now know it to have been a blessing in disguise. I used to teach intense classes like BodyCombat and BodyPump, but was unable to continue due to a number of injuries and an accident I was in. In my journey to find other ways to develop my body, I came across yoga. Initially, every class was a struggle. ‘What am I doing?!’ I would think. ‘I want to sweat, get stronger, be challenged physically – I want to buckle down and just go nuts!’
Two years have passed since then, and every class I teach or take now feels like a celebration. I’ve come to truly love yoga, not just because of what it does for my body, but perhaps even more so for what it does for my mind. After I completed my teacher training and began teaching, the first class I taught truly felt like coming home. I could never have dreamed it would ever be like that at the start! For me, yoga is about learning to listen to my body and mind – something that I used to find difficult, and rarely did as a result. Yoga is about getting to know myself inside and out, and doing so anew every single day.
I want to help others experience what yoga does for me, and help them think less and feel more. In my classes, I focus on helping you feel what every pose, meditation and breathing exercise does for you. After all, all of us are unique. The challenge for me is to connect with my students every single class and try to sound out what every one of you needs, and provide it, if I can. Give yourself the opportunity, the space, and, most of all, the time to experience yoga, and I bet you’ll come to love it just as I have.
My first introduction to yoga was through Geri Halliwell, one of the Spice Girls. I was a huge fan, and so when she put out a yoga DVD, I of course went out and bought it. Initially, I only joined in for the sun salutations at the start, but then I started doing more and more. That DVD was my initiation into the magic of yoga, and then I went on a yoga retreat in Portugal, which is where the magic truly took hold of me. Once I was back in the Netherlands, I joined a studio, and soon found myself taking class there every other day.
A lot of terrible things had happened in my life in the meantime, and I realised that yoga was helping me deal with these things so much. For me, the logical next step was to go deeper and start not just practicing yoga, but teaching it as well. I wanted to share the magic and the immense benefits of yoga that I experienced with others. My teacher training was an entirely new journey, that allowed me to get to know myself all over again.
A similar magical journey features in the story of Alice In Wonderland. In the famous novel, Alice follows a white rabbit down a rabbit hole and finds herself in Wonderland. It is my belief that as a yoga teacher, it is your job to be the white rabbit and lead your students down the rabbit hole, showing them the way to Wonderland. And Wonderland is a different place for everyone. Some people just want to exercise more, or find relaxation, or get away from the daily grind, and so on. My classes feature a little bit of everything, allowing you to take away from them what you are in need of the most.
Once in Wonderland, like Alice, you’ll find yourself learning all sorts of things that you can then apply in your daily life in the real world, should you so wish. But no matter what constitutes Wonderland for you, it all starts with following that little white rabbit.
I came to yoga back in 2013; I suffered an ankle injury, and my physical therapist recommended that I try yoga. It definitely wasn’t love at first sight, but when I realised the impact that yoga was having on my physical and mainly my mental wellbeing, I was sold.
I don’t think I could live without yoga anymore. For me, yoga is about joy and love. It helps me connect with myself, my body, and my environment on a deeper level. I love sharing this gift with others, and enjoy switching things up, combining my own active Ashtanga practice with calm Yin or flowy Vinyasa.
Hi! I’m Anne, nice to meet you 🙂 I’m a yoga teacher specialising in Hatha and Aerial yoga. After completing my degree in psychology, I had a desk job at a marketing research agency for two years, after which I gave up the nine-to-five life and set off on my adventure as a freelance yoga teacher. During the summer, I live on a beautiful plot at the local allotment gardens here in Leiden, and during winter, I live in the city. I work at various studios in Leiden, Delft, Rotterdam and The Hague. That means I spend a lot of time on the mat and on the train! 🙂 Apart from that, I like to go climbing or bouldering: the higher up, the better!
I really enjoy Hatha yoga because it is relatively calm overall, enabling you to really empty your mind. Aerial yoga also had me from day one, because it is so playful and fun. I feel truly privileged being able to teach both of these types of yoga. Hopefully I’ll see you in one of my classes soon!
Yoga came to me when I needed it the most. I was recovering from a burn-out and suffering a heavy depression, and was looking for something active that would help me find peace of mind. From my very first cobra pose onwards (which was borderline painful, by the way, due to how tense my body was), I was sold! I experienced a sense of peace, not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally, which I had not felt in a long time.
Gradually, yoga became a part of my daily routine more and more, and I was forced to adjust my initial impression of it quite a bit. I used to think yoga was just about stretching, but have since learned that you can build quite a lot of strength through yoga and really challenge yourself. I am a big fan of arm balances and inversions, precisely because of the challenge they represent and because of the strength that is required. I love incorporating these elements in my classes, so be sure to expect some funky arm balances! However, there is also something to be said for balance, so I also enjoy more gentle, mellow types of yoga such as Yin.
For me, yoga started off as something physical, and gradually took on a mental, emotional and spiritual dimension, and has now become part of my personal philosophy on life. That is why I decided to get my teaching certification and start guiding others on their path in life. I look forward to seeing you in one of my classes soon!
Robinson studied art and philosophy and then left for India to explore the philosophy of yoga. The physical practice of yoga took root in her life there, in India, where she was taught by Iyengar and Hatha teachers. When she returned to the Netherlands, she fell in love with Vinyasa yoga.
It felt as though I was finally able to consider my mind from a distance, and really rest within in my body. This has enabled me to find so much more enjoyment in life. I am passionate about helping others connect to their bodies and feel calmer in their minds. Sometimes, this requires letting go of tension; sometimes, it’s about activating a sense of strength. In my classes, I start off with stabilisation and then guide my students through flowing movement.
After years of practicing yoga alongside a busy office job, I started lusting for more. A series of events led me to yoga philosophy, mindfulness and Chinese traditional medicine. For me, this constituted an enormous journey and a deep personal healing process. I could feel energy flowing within my body once more, my health issues disappeared, and I once again felt in connection with myself.
I quit my job, travelled to India, and started studying nutrition and working towards my yoga teacher certification once I returned to the Netherlands. I also came across mantra singing, which has become another great love of mine, alongside yoga. Ever since I began following my heart, things have been unfolding naturally in my life, and the right things have been coming on my path at the right times. I started teaching yoga full-time in the same week that I completed my teacher training, and have been teaching with lots of joy for many years now. I feel so very grateful every single day that I get to share my love for yoga and meditation.
My classes are characterised by a loving, intuitive approach, using the breath as an anchor. In my classes, you will find the room to connect with yourself in a soft, meditative manner.
I first started yoga to combat some back issues I was having, but I continued to practice because of the profound impact it has on every aspect of my life. The beauty of yoga, for me, lies in the insights it provides you with, both on a physical and a mental level, and the balance it creates between those two dimensions.
I chose to complete my yoga teacher training in India so that I could fully immerse myself in the yoga lifestyle. This was a tough, confrontational experience, but it taught me so much, and I am now unable to imagine a life without yoga. Every single day, my yoga practice feels like I’m coming home within myself, and I hope to be able to help others experience the same with my classes.
Apart from yoga, I do ballet and Pilates, and I like to incorporate elements of these in my yoga classes. My classes focus on challenge, alignment, core awareness, flow and balance. I feel that challenge in particular is a very important element. In my opinion, challenging yourself both mentally and physically is an essential part of yoga. By consciously seeking out your body’s barriers and pushing them little by little, you eventually get to a point you’ve never been before. By assisting you in this process, I hope to provide you with new insights and help you discover new possibilities that you were unable to see before.
Yvonne first stepped on the mat in 2004, and found that many of the asanas she was taught were familiar to her already. She used to love being upside down and folding herself up into all sorts of shapes back when she was a little girl. For the first 10 years, her yoga practice was heavily influenced by Iyengar yoga. She then began exploring Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga more. In her classes, Yvonne combines meditation with flowing movement, paying plenty of attention to technique.
Yvonne loves sharing her knowledge and experience with you. She will challenge you to explore your body and mind, probe and push your boundaries, and get to know yourself on a deeper level – not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Her approach is pragmatic and down-to-earth, though Yvonne also loves leaving the earth behind for a little while in her Aerial yoga and AcroYoga classes.
I moved to Leiden in 2012. It was my first time living on my own, I was starting university, and having to get used to an entirely new environment. The only permanent fixture in my life was the chronic back pain I had been struggling with for years. After having tried everything to relieve the pain, I came across yoga by accident.
The first two years of my yoga journey were an absolute struggle. I felt like a wooden board as I tried to move around in class; it was tough and it hurt, and I didn’t understand how anyone could feel calm or relaxed as a result. I often went to class grudgingly, but I did go, because yoga was the only thing I had ever tried that was able to relieve my pain. As time went on and I started taking more classes, yoga began to have a freeing effect on me, not just physically, but mentally as well. I was able to find that sense of calm, got to know my body in an entirely new way, and became aware of mental processes that had held me back many a time. When one of my teachers asked whether I might be interested in a yoga teacher training, I started seriously exploring this path.
I have been teaching for several years now, first completing a Hatha training and then also getting my (restorative) Yin certification. What started out as a physical process has now transformed into a feeling of coming home, every time I step onto my mat. The fact that I now get to pass that on to others and guide people through this extraordinary process still feels like a marvellous gift, one that I am happy to share with you at Liv Yoga.
Lennert has been fascinated with action, activity and movement for as long as he can remember, and thus has an extensive background in exercise. He was injured in 2016 due to shortened muscles as a result of the extreme endurance sports he practiced. His physiotherapist recommended that he try to find forms of exercise that would help elongate his muscles, which is how Lennert got caught up in the world of yoga. Apart from the physical asana practice, he also became fascinated with the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of yoga. In June 2018, he completed the Arhanta Hatha teacher training, and he has been happily sharing his passion for yoga with others ever since.
Apart from regular yoga, Lennert is also passionate about AcroYoga. After many retreats, workshops, and festivals, he discovered that he wanted to try to spread the love. As of August 2018, Lennert is now a certified AcroYoga and AcroFit teacher, and has begun teaching AcroYoga classes and workshops with lots of love.
Lopa is an actor and voice and speech coach from Vancouver, Canada and she’s been a yogi for almost 20 years now. She moved to Leiden two years ago to live with her partner and their very old, very wise kitty cat.
For Lopa, the journey of yoga has been a gradual movement from the liveliness of Ashtanga to the spirit of Hatha (teacher certified in 2008) to the profound wisdom of Yin (teacher certified in 2014). She believes that a Yin practice is very much needed in our fast-paced world: to bring ourselves to the present moment; to witness how our minds move; and to engage with our innate ability to soothe and transform our worldview through the body and breath. Lopa’s goal as a Yin teacher is the same goal that she has in her work as a spoken voice coach: to help facilitate a person’s full expression of their life as a human being.
While completing her Masters in Fine Arts in Acting where she focussed on Voice, Lopa began to develop Radiant Vocal Yin. This embodied practice is a fusion of Yin postures and philosophy with solid, practical voice work to help the practitioner experience a more resonant, free, expressive, and radiant spoken voice. She plans to organize a Radiant Vocal Yin workshop at Liv Yoga later this year. Lopa also offers purposely small (4 people max) Yin and voice classes out of her home studio on the Utrechtse Veer.
As you can tell, Lopa’s classes will be fully in English. She can’t wait to teach a class ‘helemaal in het Nederlands’, but her B2-level Dutch just isn’t there yet. It won’t be long though, want zij vindt het Nederlands een superleuke tall om te spreken 🙂 She’s looking forward to meeting you on the mat!
Yvonne & Lennert
Yvonne and Lennert first met in the summer of 2017. During their first meeting, they decided to go play in the park and found themselves instantly trusting one another. They really connected, and a mutual passion was born. They have attended many AcroYoga workshops and retreats and practice regularly during jams, at home, at the park or at the beach.
Lennert & Yvonne dedicated the summer of 2018 to completing their AcroYoga teacher training and started sharing the Acro love with you all at Liv soon after. They love seeing the amount of fun, progress and connection that is generated through AcroYoga. They teach weekly classes, host workshops, and attend a number of AcroYoga festivals each year.
Esther, Nalin & Molly
I am Esther (the bottom one in the photo!) and Nalin and I are Karma Yogi at Liv Yoga. We took our first yoga class together last summer, after which yoga soon became an important aspect of my life. I have not been practicing for very long, but it has already brought me more than I ever could have imagined.
Yoga taught me to become one with my body and mind again, to be kind to my body and to love who I am as a person. I love challenging my body physically during class, but the ultimate challenge for me is to find my way back to relaxation and calm, something I hardly ever did before I started yoga. ‘Stop for a moment and just breathe’ – say what?
In addition to ‘regular’ yoga classes, I also quickly became addicted to Liv’s Aerial and AcroYoga classes. Apart from practicing yoga, I am a psychology major at Leiden University. I love to go out and enjoy nature and also practice pole fitness.
I am Nalin (I’m on top in the photo) and have recently started as Karma Yogi at Liv, along with Esther. I am currently studying remedial arts at Leiden University, so it should come as no surprise that I love working with my hands and being creative. Apart from painting and drawing, I express my creativity by making gemstone jewellery and recently started a business selling said jewellery, called Lotusmermaid.
A few months ago, Esther and I took our first yoga class together. Right away, I found I loved the sensation of very consciously working with my body. I tend to get carried away by my own thoughts, leaving me feeling as though I’m floating through the world. Yoga helps me be more present in the here and now. I feel more grounded after taking class, and feel more comfortable in my body as a result.
Together, Esther and I will be working to make sure that Liv Yoga stays the cleanest, tidiest yoga studio in Leiden! 😉
JASMIJN (Co-owner of Liv Yoga & Mindfulness)
My yoga classes are about more than just asanas and technical explanations. Using my personal energy and my love for life, I want to inspire people to explore and push their own mental and physical boundaries.
Life, with all of its challenging, beautiful lessons, has led me to where I am now. I find inner peace by truly believing that everything in life serves me on my journey towards growth and personal development, and by intuitively knowing that everything’s all good, just the way it is, in the here and now.
During my yoga teacher training in India (endorsed by Yoga Alliance), I discovered that my personal philosophy on life largely overlaps with the rich philosophy of yoga. Yoga (in the widest sense of the word possible) helps me continue to grow and develop as a person.
I feel deeply grateful every single day for the opportunities I have been given to travel my own path, and I know that there is so much more beauty yet to be found in the future ahead.
In February 2014, I founded my own company, Royata Yoga & More. Apart from yoga, I am interested in personal growth, pursuing a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, meditation and mindfulness.
Guido (Co-owner of Liv Yoga & Mindfulness)
It all started for me when I was about 20 years old, reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead in my little attic bedroom. I was reading the letters, the words, the sentences, but was unable to truly grasp the context. I was, however, deeply fascinated, and could not help but want to understand more. I made the decision to exchange my budding career for a pair of sturdy walking shoes and went off to the Himalayas to find answers. I climbed majestic mountain summits, passing prayer flags caught in the wind, travelling from monastery to monastery. What is it those monks are doing when they meditate, what’s written down in those scrolls, why do they seem so deeply content and happy with next to nothing, and why do we in the west still feel discontented and unhappy even with everything we have at our fingertips?
Deeply touched, but also deeply lost, I met a Sadhu (a Hindu ascetic) by a waterfall. In a small, modest mountain hut, sleeping on hesian sacks for mattresses, he initiated me into the world of yoga philosophy, both mentally and physically. He never spoke, so we communicated through writing, and only ever if he felt doing so was ‘relevant’. And so I learned. ‘I am not my thoughts – life as I know it is an illusion.’ My worldview was turned completely upside-down, but in the process, I experienced a deep sense of peace and found the inner source of calm and wisdom. I decided to stay in India and move in with my teacher in his cave in Hampi, in the southern part of India. While on the way there, I fell ill and was forced to return to the Netherlands. Back home, with my illusions about life left shattered in my wake and my head still up in the clouds of the Himalayas, I had immense trouble grounding and finding my way again. I decided to spend a few years in Africa, working as a travel guide, driving my safari truck through wildife reserves, spending time among the elements and visiting local tribes to get my feet firmly planted on the ground again. It worked!
Once I returned to the Netherlands once more, I spent a few years happily, dedicatedly contributing to the growth of travel organisation Riksja Travel, while making sure to frequently get on my mat in my spare time. Many years later, a long way from where this journey first started, I now (finally) feel as though I am able to integrate east and west in my life. I have found my calling, which is perfectly in line with the above sentiment, in the field of mindfulness training. I am also the proud owner of Liv Yoga along with Jasmijn. This is where we first met, and where we got the opportunity to take our respective yoga journeys to the next level that we had both been searching for. It is our wish and our mission to share the joys of yoga as a lifestyle with you all, to inspire one another and learn from one another, and make the world just that little bit more beautiful together.
NEW YOGA TEACHERS
We always love meeting new yoga teachers. Feel free to stop by or send us an email. Who knows, you might end up joining our team at some point!
THE LIV YOGA TEAM