woensdag 24 mei 2017

Yogafestivals zomer 2017

Foto © Yogalife Festival - Antastha Yoga met Sanjeev Bhanot
Geen beter moment om de zon te groeten dan de zomermaanden en geen beter gelegenheid om een nieuwe stijl yoga uit te proberen dan een festival.

Mijn ticket voor het gezelligste yogafestival in België en omstreken, dat van Yogalife in Laarne, is besteld. Ik kijk nu al uit naar een weldoende les hatha, antastha en yoga nidra van mijn favoriete lesgevers van de Yogalife TTC: Manoj, Sanjeev, Patrick, Els en Sigrid. Op mijn lijstje niet te missen lessen staan ook yin yoga met Savira Gupta (UK), masterclass met Nathan Gray (UK), Tibetan yoga met Ute Schaber (DE) en Ocean Flow met Alison Wiktil (NO).

Maak er een fijne yogazomer van met Yogalife, of - als je niet vrij bent 11 tot 13 augustus - bezoek dan één van de volgende festivals:

YogaFest Amsterdam

17 en 18 juni
Locatie: Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam.
Met o.a. Gibran Gonzalez, Libby Love, Felix Price en Andréa Paige.

Yoga Festival Terschelling 

23 tot 25 juni
Locatie: Kampeerterrein de Kooi, Terschelling in Nederland
Met 50 docenten uit binnen en buitenland, voor beginners en ervaren yogi's.
Doen: Een duik in het duinmeer bij zonsopkomst!

3HO Europe

29 juli - 6 augustus
Locatie: Domaine de Fondjouan in Frankrijk
Stijl: Kundalini yoga


11 tot 13 augustus
Locatie: domein van jeugdherberg De Valk in Laarne, op 10 km van Gent
Het fijnste festival met nationale en internationale yogadocenten als Sanjeev Bhanot, Nathan Gray, Payal Khanwani en Anne Macnabb.


18 tot 20 augustus in Torhout
Locatie: Domein Groenhove, een voormalig klooster in Torhout, België.
Met o.a. Amerikaanse yogadocenten Janet Stone, David H Wagner, Kelly Marie, Mark St Pierre en Kenny Graham.

Yogafestival Haarlem

23 en 24 september
Locatie: Haarlemmer Kweektuin in Nederland

Meer internationale yogafestivals op http://www.yogafestival.com/

Gratis yoga in Antwerpen juni-juli-augustus

Tijdens de zomermaanden kan je in de parken van Antwerpen gratis yoga en tai chi volgen.
Agenda gratis yoga via Antwerpen Sport en Beweeg Mee & Sporting A

vrijdag 16 september 2016

6 Reasons to join the Yogalife teacher training course

Yogalife Foundation
About a year ago I decided I wanted to join a yoga teacher’s training course (TTC). After two dance related injuries I embraced yoga as a healthier way to move. My initial goal in joining a TTC was to immerse myself in yoga. When you start taking yoga classes regularly you feel the benefits, but an hour or an hour and a half of class is not enough to learn about asanas and pranayama and meditation and yoga philosophy…

So I started browsing the internet for a yoga TTC in India. I wanted the real thing, explore yoga in it’s natural environment as it were. There are so many places that offer teacher training, which one to choose? A good website seems a contradiction when you’re looking for an authentic traditional program. So I turned away from the internet and went to the people I know. July 2015 I had met Manoj Bhanot. He’s Indian, lives in Gent but I actually met him in Italy (read about our meeting here). I had enjoyed the yoga practice in Tuscany and the yoga nidra session in a pretty little church. Over diner Manoj had talked about Yogalife and the teacher trainings he organizes. He was inspirational and down to earth at the same time. He showed a profound knowledge of yoga but didn't talk in riddles, if you catch my drift.

When Yogalife announced the start of a new TTC in Leuven, one weekend every month, I was sold. The course takes a little longer - 9 months - but you can combine the TTC with work and family life. Plus: you give your body time to recover from intense yoga practice, you have time to digest all the information and prepare the classes you will have to teach. The Yogalife TTC is organized by a family that grew up in India in a tradition of yoga, a family that has been organizing teacher trainings and retreats for many years now.

On the website doyouyoga.com Ali Washington shares 10 reasons to do a yoga teacher training. I have to agree: the yoga teacher training does change your life. And the changes go far beyond the physical. With Yogalife you are in very knowledgeable, capable and supportive hands to embark on this life changing adventure.

'Connect with your true self'

Sanjeev Bhanot & Katarina
That first weekend in March we had yoga classes, meditation sessions, lectures and an in depth look at postures like cobra. But most of all the first weekend was about getting to know each other and ourselves. You think you know yourself? Wait until Sanjeev Bhanot starts asking questions. I don’t want to give away what happens during the first weekend but it was emotionally very intense and liberating. 

Sanjeev Bhanot is the founder of the Yogalife Foundation, he has trained teachers for Deepak Chopra at the Chopra Center in California, he coached Julia Roberts during the making of ‘Eat Pray Love’ and he has worked for the UN, Microsoft and other companies. He has also developed his own style of yoga: Antastha yoga, a blindfolded yoga. 

It's a privilege to take his yoga classes and listen to his lectures about the journey into self-discovery. Sanjeev does seem to talk in riddles sometimes but that's part of his charm and his talks do strike a chord.

'Deepen your asana practice'

April and we’re back at Santé Magic, the beautiful wellness and yoga centre in Leuven. The second TTC weekend was about firsts: first time touching my nose to my knees in paschimottanasana, first time shoulder stand with the arms lifted, first time teaching sun salutations. I enjoyed myself that Sunday teaching the Surya Namaskara in small groups. That’s the first time I thought ‘maybe I do want to become a yoga teacher'.

'Learn new things about your body'

Sarah Jabloune & me in utthita parsvakonasana
In May it was time for Manoj to share his love for Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. We learned about yamas and niyamas, about making yoga a part of everyday life. I had a physical setback after that weekend. I had pushed myself too much and neglected to listen to my body. Such an important lesson! I tell new students in my class how important it is to listen to their body and here I am totally ignoring mine… My lower back was hurting so much I could not do cat pose. Sun salutations the days after the TTC were torture. But that pain actually helped me to become a better teacher. I had to listen to my body and search for variations that my painful body could manage. Because of those weeks with lower back pain I’m a better teacher now, one that can relate to less flexible people in my class.

'Avoid injury'

The June TTC weekend was dedicated to anatomy. Yoga doesn’t only affect your skeletal, muscular and respiratory systems but many more body systems. It was a lot of information to digest but our teacher Nadine and her assistant Sigrid made it comprehensible and made us aware of the muscles, the skeleton, the blood circulation… through exercises as well as talks.

During a Yogalife TTC you will meet lots of lovely assistants; yoga teachers that have done the Yogalife course and continue their education by assisting during the next teacher trainings. You’ll be amazed about the quality of their teachings and their diversity. Every Yogalife teacher has their own style of teaching.

'Forge new relationships'

with Els & Patrick
Beginning of summer and we’re at Santé Magic to learn about meditation and the history of hatha yoga from Patrick De Vleeschauwer and to experience yoga nidra, a sleep based meditation. Yoga nidra is a powerful method of physical, mental and emotional relaxation. We were guided through this powerful meditation by Els Verheije, another very experienced and wonderful teacher. Yogalife has a great team of teachers, every one with their own speciality. 

By this time we are also becoming teachers: we all have to teach 20 minutes of a yoga class. That weekend I taught the beginning of a class. I was so nervous even though I was already teaching three times a week. But I guess it feels a bit different when you’re teaching knowledgeable students and when you’re being evaluated.

Two whole months in between that July TTC weekend and the next one in September! What a long time to miss my new yogi friends. Luckily there was the Yogalife festival in August: three days of yoga classes and time to hang out with other members of the Yogalife family ‘cause that’s what it feels like. A warm, supportive family.

Foto © Stijn Swinnen @Yogalife Festival with Teresa & Sander

'Gain confidence'

Before the Yogalife TTC I did not realize how much stress was affecting me, my stress level must have been about 9,5 out of 10. Just about anything would give me stress, even in conversations with friends I would worry about saying the wrong thing. These anxieties were affecting my body and my mental state. I went from knee pain to back pain to heel pain and back to knee pain… Something was always hurting. But it’s September, 6 months after starting the TTC and I feel so much more relaxed. There’s still a little bit of nervousness when something new comes along but it’s not debilitating anymore. My fellow students have noticed the difference too, I’m so much more open now.

I was still nervous teaching 30 minutes on Saturday but I enjoyed it so much that I volunteered to teach another 30 minutes the next day. It’s so much fun, I’m hooked. I’m actually looking forward to my final examination teaching class but I do NOT want the TTC to end. I wish it could continue on forever. 

But yoga teaches us to live in the now so I will not look too far ahead and enjoy my relaxed state at the moment. Yoga also teaches us to be grateful so I'm glad I still have three more weekends to share with my fellow students and the Yogalife teachers. That means three more weekends to discover many more reasons that make this Yogalife journey so wonderful.



You can join a Yogalife teacher training course in Gent, Brussels and Goa.
More information on the Yogalife website

woensdag 22 juni 2016

Souplesse Oblige ambassadrice Jessica van Soul Surf 'n Yoga

© Jessica Scheper / Soul Surf 'n Yoga

Jess van Soul Surf 'n Yoga in Nederland combineert surfen en yoga: 'There’s no better way to be in the present moment than riding waves. Whether it’s riding waves of water, or riding the waves of your breath.'

De surfende yogini vond haar gading bij Souplesse Oblige bij het merk My Mantra Active Wear gespecialiseerd in leuke leggings voor yoga én surfen.

De voordelen van de Star Fruit Ombre Leggings van MyMantra volgens Jessica:

  • perfecte pasvorm
  • aanpassend zonder uit te rekken
  • lekker zacht - 'I keep caressing my own legs'
  • snel drogend en kleurvast
  • met de hoge taille en pijpen tot over de hiel blijft de legging mooi op z'n plaats
  • en best van al: ecologisch, gemaakt van gerecylceerd plastic flessen!

Je kan de review nalezen in het Engels op haar blog Soul Surf 'n Yoga

Bestel je eigen MyMantra-leggings bij Souplesse Oblige: http://www.sodancewear.be/my-mantra
en probeer ze uit in de yogales en/of op de surfplank


woensdag 18 mei 2016

A life-changing meeting in Italy

© Humo / Jelle Vermeersch
We love Italy: sun, gelati, scenic places, chianti, great fashion, pasta, shoes... Last summer we went from a heatwave in Belgium to an even hotter summer in Tuscany in July. One day we drove from Lari, via Sienna, to the Tuscan sanctuary of Patrick De Maeseneire, former CEO of Adecco. 

Bart doesn’t mind working during his time off, especially not when it includes beautiful scenery, great Italian food and wine and an inspiring conversation for his Humo summer series ‘Zin in Zen’ (A mind for zen).

Patrick's work doesn't stop either during a precious week of vacation. To be able to work 15 hours a day, constantly crossing time-zones to tour the 60 countries where Adecco is active, and to stay zen, he takes a mat on his travels and practices yoga three times a week. Present in Tuscany when Bart is conducting his interview: Manoj Bhanot, Patrick’s yoga teacher.

‘Stillness in the body is stillness in the mind’ - Manoj

That afternoon Manoj guides us through a session of Yoga Nidra in the pleasantly cool little church of San Vincenti. Over dinner with insalata caprese, pasta carbonara, salsiccia di cinghiale and zabaglione – Patrick is also a superb cook – Manoj talks about yoga and the teacher training courses he organises. The next morning, a little later than sunrise because of the amount of excellent wine at dinner, we are treated to a Hatha Yoga class outside that culminates in total relaxation.

Yoga, a life changer

After our trip to Italy I had a second knee surgery. I love dance, it has been my passion for more than 30 years, but my body seems to object. What my body does like is yoga: I enjoy the asanas, the challenge in the poses and the relaxation afterwards. You can take lots of yoga classes, try different styles – Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Kundalini – and never really understand what yoga is about. That’s why – after meeting Manoj - I decided to take the Yogalife teachers training course; to discover the true meaning of yoga.

I've had my first Yogalife TTC weekend in March and two more since then. While I'm discovering more and more about yoga, I'm also getting to know myself. Even after three TTC weekends I already feel the change; a change in energy, stress level and relationships. I can hardly wait for our next weekend filled with great lectures, wonderful classes, tons of information and awesome people. 

I'm truly grateful for meeting Manoj last summer, and Patrick and his wife Betty, they were so welcoming and generous. So if Bart says he needs to work another day during a vacation I will gladly tag along. You never know what might happen and who you'll meet.

If you would like to join the Yogalife family, admissions are open for the next Yogalife Teachers Training Course in Gent: http://www.yogaopleiding.be/index.html
11th November 2016 to 24th March 2017 (9 weekends)

maandag 18 april 2016

Souplesse Oblige ambassadrice Didi Yordanova

Woon je in de buurt van Deurne kom dan zeker eens sporten At The Park. Het gezellige sportcentrum ligt midden in het Boekenbergpark waar je in de zomer ook kan genieten van een drankje op het terras en van een duik in de grootste ecologische zwemvijver van Europa.

Bij At The Park kan je werken aan kracht en conditie aan de cardiotoestellen beneden en boven kan je allerlei groepslessen volgen: yoga, pilates, zumba, Tai Chi, fit mix...

Didi Yordanova geeft een aantal van die groepslessen At The Park zoals pilates, zumba en fit mix. Zij is ook personal trainer en kan je op weg helpen met een fitnessprogramma op maat. Didi is een pittige fitness coach: gedreven, geduldig, grappig, professioneel en motiverend. Ik ben zelf een grote fan van haar pilateslessen.

Het Boekenbergpark is een heel fijne omgeving om te sporten. In de mooie frisse zaal van At The Park, omringd door de bomen, komt je conditie op peil en ontspant je geest. Een aanrader voor zenzoekers. Het is ook een heel fijne plek om les te geven. Vanochtend heb ik er een vervangingsles yoga gegeven, maar hopelijk wordt dit binnenkort mijn vaste stek!

Op donderdag geeft Didi At The Park een les pilates gevolgd door een swingende zumbales. Ze kiest voor een strakke, gebloemde legging van het merk Deha in combinatie met een katoenen, asymmetrische top van Mandala; vrouwelijk, kleurrijk maar ook comfortabel dankzij de pasvorm en de aangename materialen.

zaterdag 2 april 2016


I Glow Yogamat van Lolë
Op zoek naar een spray om je yogamat te reinigen? Maak de spray gewoon zelf! Dit is een eenvoudig recept van Yoga Online

Dit heb je nodig:

  • water (evt. gedestileerd)
  • witte wijnazijn
  • ½ citroen
  • tea tree etherische olie of een andere etherische olie 
  • plantenspuit of sprayflesje

Zo maak je het:

Neem een plantenspuit of sprayflesje. Mix daarin water met evenveel witte wijnazijn. De azijn ontvet - ook handig voor een nieuwe yogamat die nog glad en vettig aanvoelt - en het elimineert nare zweetgeurtjes. Voeg het sap toe van een halve citroen plus een paar druppels (tea tree) etherische olie. Schud het geheel goed en spray over je mat. Laat even inwerken. Afvegen met een vochtige doek. Laat de mat goed drogen voordat je hem weer oprolt.


De Organic Tea Tree Oil heb ik gevonden bij Essenza (of Holland & Barrett, blijkbaar de nieuwe naam van Essenza). De olie heeft als voordeel dat die biologisch is en van nature reinigend en zuiverend. Alleen maakt de combinatie wijnazijn en Tea Tree dit nog niet tot een heerlijk ruikende spray. Volgende keer probeer ik een ander geurtje. Maar proper is de yogamat dan weer wel!

Andere recepten:

Adriene's homemade yoga mat spray
Dit is een recept van Adriene - de Adriene van Yoga with Adriene, een youtube-kanaal dat ik vaak gebruik wanneer ik thuis Vinyasa yoga doe. Zij mixt water met witch hazel (hamameliswater), Tea Tree Oil en citroengras. In een tweede recept gebruikt ze eucalyptus en lavendel met water en witch hazel.

Simple Medicine raadt aan eucalyptus of peppermint te gebruiken omdat die goed werken tegen schimmels. Ik neem het advies van Dr. Pragati ter harte en zal mijn yogamat vanaf nu regelmatig reinigen!

Op de blog van Coco and Mingo vind je dan weer een gratis download met label voor je yoga mat cleaner.

Wellicious for precious wellbeing

Wellicious stay down leggings
Souplesse Oblige loves the British brand Wellicious for its high quality yoga basics. Check out their yoga pants - long or 3/4 - or their stay down leggings that come across your foot with a cutout for the heel. Wellicious uses eco-friendly fabrics like Lyocell, Tencel and organic cotton that feel really comfortable on dry and sweaty skin. The Wellicious products are all manufactured in Europe, namely in Portugal and Italy.

I've started offering Wellicious items in the summer of 2013. Many customers who tried on the clothing in one of our pop-up stores were convinced to spend the extra euros on this brand because it feels good and looks good. You can wash the Wellicious clothing plenty of times and it will still look and feel great.

You can imagine our disappointment when we received news in January that Wellicious was unable to deliver our spring order. They were unable to pre-finance the collection: "High production costs through organic fabrics and fair labor combined with a weak EURO have put us under enormous financial pressure. We were and still are not willing to make compromises on our ethical positioning and manufacture in low cost countries."

Wellicious and Souplesse Oblige share the same goal:
- offer quality sportswear for the growing number of women interested in sustainable living
- being active does not mean you sacrifice style for practicality
We will continue to bring you sustainability, quality and style and hopefully Wellicious/Precious Wellbeing will join us again shortly.

Shop the last Wellicious items at Souplesse Oblige: the popular yoga pants, easy leggings, stay down leggings and the last gorgeous sports tops.