2017 is approaching its last beautiful moments. What a year it has been already, also for us at the school! I love stepping into our space, every time. It's a pleasure to share practice with you - in fact you share practice with me!
This year has been special in many ways. I want to thank all of you for showing up for practice, for yourself. It means a lot for me to witness - this unfolding. It warms my heart to see many of you roll out your mats, some of you daily, and some of you sometimes even just for the 25 minutes you have to then go about your day, or after your work-day.
It makes my heart smile to observe faces and hearts softening over time, witnessing you finding more steadiness and space within yourself (on and off the mat). Yes yes, we practice on the mat, but it's what this practice offers us outside the mat where the true magic resides and the effects of practice show most deeply.
Who cares how far forward you can fold, or whether you can balance on your hands. A better approach to gauge progress in practice is by you coming to honor your inner compass, by you getting unstuck from not so beneficial patterns and repatterning to more life-supporting ones, you celebrating your own pace and learning to trust your very own stride. And what amazing strides you all have! (really!)
Our school enjoys much good prana and would not be the same without each of you. My sincere thanks!
Highlights of this past year also include our annual school trip to Marcell's school to attend Susanna's study there in September (heads up & save the date: my teacher Susanna will come to us in Groningen (YES!) and teach us April 14 & 15 - a small shoutout is here already)! We also much enjoyed guest teachers offering special ashtanga studies for us again this year: Marcell from Bremen in April and Annette visiting us from Portugal just about a week ago.
It is also very special to notice that more and more of you have been getting curious about our chanting and the philosophy of yoga!
And of course, the culinary (often sweet) delights you share with each other (and me) after your practice. No doubt we could easily put together a 5 star vegan cookbook. May be a project for another year? For now, we are still onto your ashtanga stories through Rob and me interviewing you! You can already read about Luise and Toivo. Anne will be interviewed next! (If you haven't previously already signed up to participate in this project, you can still e-mail me to contribute. We would love for you to join!)
Heads-up: Sinterklaas will make an appearance to all you dedicated practitioners again this year, I told him to bring something useful and practical for all of you this year (so sorry no candy this year!!) and can't wait for him to show up :) If you recently moved, do share your postal address with me - then I can pass it along to SK...!
For me this year was also very special - and still is. It taught me lots (again, and again) about the dynamic, ever changing nature, of life - and that there is much beauty in the unknown if we don't put a plan on it. I also ponder much about what is truly important in life. One of the things that pops up is taking time and sharing time with dear folks. The concept of time itself, mind blowing.
2018 - Important Schedule Changes Change is a sign that there is life, nothing is ever static. To serve you better, 2018 will come with changes. Teaching on both ends of the day is rather hard on me, while spreading teaching over both ends of the day does not allow for extended practice times on either end. Now, I have been sitting for some time pondering how to offer a better and more sustainable schedule to you, and realized it's time to change.
As of January, I will teach extended morning hours and only one more evening class: Tuesday evening Mysore 17.30-19.30. See the new schedule and descriptions here.
I'm really excited to expand the morning hours, thereby offer teaching earlier than 7.30h and later than 9.15h. Besides Tuesday evening there will be no more weekly evening class. The decision to let all other evening classes go wasn't an easy one, but it feels right. - I encourage all to join the morning classes as feasible (you can also come for your moon and yin / restorative practice in the morning). It's the best to practice in the morning.
As of 2018 we will also have a pranayama & moon sequence class every Wednesday 10.00-11.30 (and once a month on a Sunday). Fridays we have what I call a Mysore Plus class - where you can come start practice chanting 6.45-7.10, then at 7.15 we start practice in a led style with more technical explanations and attention to fine details, this led class then continues into a Mysore style class as of 8.00h (thus you can either start at 6.45, 7.15 or after 8.00). On Sundays we have a Mysore class, while once a month this will be a led moon sequence class.
I am sad we won't have our weekly Yin & Restorative class anymore. I really enjoy teaching this class and know how beneficial it is for all. There will be a Yin & Restorative Yoga Workshop about every 6 weeks on a Sunday; and you can join the Mysore classes for an individualized Yin & Restorative practice at any time.
I understand that these schedule changes may not work for all of you - I am sorry. If that appears to be the case for you - before giving up, I want to ask you to give that shift to morning practice a chance! You may not feel that it's for you (yet) - but from what morning practitioners report (and my personal experience) it's the greatest present you can make for yourself and your day: giving space, time and care to yourself first. Your day unfolds differently having practiced first, in a more peaceful and calm manner, all along while you can excel at your other activities with great focus. Give it a try! You probably won't regret it. The practice is also intended to be a morning practice, the morning as an auspicious time of the day, planting the seeds for the day...
The choice to let most evening classes go wasn't easy, but this is a honest choice for myself. In case this affects you deeply, please come and talk to me. I am here to help.
(The online schedule will shortly be updated for 2018.)
Then, I will try to rent out our beautiful school to other teachers of body, mind and soul practices for Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday evening - and during the afternoons. If you know someone who may be interested, please pass the message along - thank you.
Lastly a poem from Rupi Kaur (and a tea cup my mom gave me to remind me of my Uckermark roots - thank you mom!)