Irina van der Sluijs

Yoga path (1) - Astanga

Photos by Annemieke Vink and Edgar van Kesteren

First teachings by Claudia Pradella, Madina Tanekeyeva, Anke Mein and in the beginning there was Lorraine, a sparkling Ashtangi singer soul wandering through Amsterdam.

Ashtanga primary series - it is quite a journey -

.. after weekend workshops with Ashtanga teachers Nancy Gilgoff, Lino Mielo, and Clayton Horton, the wonderful Bela Lipat crossed my path, a dedicated yogi who taught me what this practice is really about: Tristana, unity of breath and movement, energy locks and gazing points. A yoga that is practiced daily, an eight limb yoga that entails much more than poses alone, then the real sacredness will unravel. 

Bela’s teaching touches so many levels, physical, mental, emotional – the yoga sutras are her guidance. She shares the yoga philosophy passionately and with respect and integrity for the lineage.

In the past months I've had the pleasure to be guided by Simon and Rosa, two gentle souls who's delicate adjustments were amazingly powerful and profound. You invited me in my first supta kurmasana...

Have been under Gibran Gonzales' hands - wow, full power practice! Thanks, Gibran for your 'just do it' drive and transmitting your respect for the tradition. Back bending has never been the same.

Rodrigo Garfias' energy and subtle adjustments have a welcome yin effect on this vigorous practice. He embodies the genuine yoga teacher and is patiently helping me back bend with respect and integrity for my body. Neck and shoulders are slowly.. moving...and trusting. Muchas gracias Rodrigo.  

Reading about Matthew Sweeney's thoughts now.. 

Mariela Cruz, you brought such positive energy, softness and love to the shala and my practice this week. Your presence just introduced me smoothly into second series - gosh. Now I am hooked and cannot wait to travel that journey. Thank you for visiting us in The Hague - and thank you Migui & Erik for bringing teachers to us. Your stay was short, but very profound as we were all lifted up by your gentle spirit. Joyce and I are even pondering Mysore and meeting our teacher, all because of you! You reminded us about having fun along the way, which we Ashtangi's sometimes forget. And there is mental work to be done, breaking down the barriers of resistance both on and off the mat.

Reading the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads.

Gibran, you brought me back to reality and the primary - I humbly accept. Dr. Mohan's teaching brought me back to my breath. Needed this 'set back' to reculer pour mieux sauter

Nuno Vintem, you breathe true yoga - surf style! So light yet grounded, so tough yet gentle. Thank you for guiding us - and for Pasasana.

With the strong en gentle energy of Mauricio Victorica I feel what is needed, letting go, taking time and practice vinyasa krama before back bending. Now I almost stand up and drop back on my own.. I feel it is coming. Thank you for your kind patience and wisdom, Mauricio.