Leah

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" It is unbelievable, what has happened to me on stage and off since I started to listen to my body, make friends with silence, deepen my breath and tap into my physical energy!" 

Yoga has had a strong influence on me as a performer, creator and communicator. I have been practicing yoga since 1995 and teaching yoga since 2003. I love to teach. I love to demystify the body and give people a feeling of aliveness (back to them). I teach mostly in english, but speak dutch fluently. i live in Amsterdam since 2000. 
I have a very wide training with physical movement which allows me to approach the body from many perspectives. I studied Martha Graham modern dance technique (her breathing exercises were based on yoga) and kinesiology, anatomy. In Los Angeles I studied general Hatha yoga and Bikram yoga, I am a professional singer and have studied the effects of the voice and breathing on one's energy. 

From 2002 and 2005, I practiced and trained to teach Ashtanga yoga. My teachers: Pierre and Radha, From 2008 to 2011 . I have been studying and training to teach Anusara yoga.( A very long in-depth study of yoga philosophy, therapy, and bio-mechanics.) My Anusara teachers: Jayendra Hanley,Todd Norian, Ross Rayburn. Through all of these trainings and years of teaching I have learned to understand all different body types . And taken from each of them something. I offer in my classes options so that less experienced and more experienced can work at there own level. I find this helps people listen to their body and start making choices that suit them. This way, you learn to follow different levels and know when to take a break and when to push forward. Flow/Vinyasa class expects that you have a certain amount of physical experience and basic yoga asana knowledge. A slower class will be the one for beginner's . While I guide you through various yogic poses, breathing techniques, and correct alignments, I am very busy awakening you to yoga philosophy, your observer, your intuition and that feeling of wholeness and aliveness that belongs to your daily experience. 

About me and yoga philosophy: 
The word Yoga means to me "oneness or Union". Hatha means " body". Having been active all my life, it is logical that I find my way to oneness through my body; through the physical: through Hatha. After years of training our minds, no one has trained us to listen to the body, to cultivate the rest of us. So we are walking around , most of us, as a brain on legs. The body is tight, closed or numb. The mind leads and we obey, we push, we pull , we have pain, we push through, we take a pill. . "Keep Going", says the mind. But here's a newsflash! The body is the more intelligent of the two. Don't tell your brain this. It doesn't like it.
One of my teacher's said, "when the heart/body serves the mind there is always suffering. But when the mind serves the heart there is Joy." I discover that this is really true. The intelligent body is constantly receiving and processing signals, telling you when you are safe, and when to pause, when it's hungry, when it needs excercise, when it needs to fly, when it needs to ground, to rest, to be quiet.. But we have such highly developed minds and such underdeveloped kinetic awareness that we don't understand why we are always so sick, or why we are so tired, or why we are so unhappy, It doesn't help that our society promotes this kind of living. The less aware we are, the more people can get us to do things that aren't good for us. We are in a sort of survival mode. No one wants that. We want to feel ALIVE.  

The most valuable lesson I see for myself (and for us all ) on the yoga mat and off is to work on the 3 A's : in this order: Attitude, Alignment and then Action. When I follow this, my life is flowing more easily. Hatha for most is the first door into Yoga. We are such an active society. I am the same. but gradually, I discovered the other forms of finding oneness: yoga: meditation (silence), chanting mantras (singing) ,bhakti (devotion) and karma (selfless action). To get to know our spirit, the journey to self awareness is never ending and so unexpected that I think this is why we have so much time on earth to reach it. 
This is where I am from my Yoga after 16 years .. everyone's journey is unique. Let's practice together and you will discover as you go. : )