01 dec Marieke Schut en Lars
I was so lucky my first yoga experience was with Ankan, a couple of years ago. When Ankan announced he’d open his own studio I was excited and of course I followed him. But, yoga for me wasn’t always easy, especially in the beginning. The physical flexibility was there from the start, but the mental flexibility I was still struggling with. As a person dealing with anxiety problems it was hard sometimes to connect with myself when all I wanted to do was run away from what I was feeling inside. But doing yoga and coming to class regularly a.o. helped me overcome this mental issue for the biggest part. I now see connecting with my body as the way to connect with my soul. I am no longer anxious for what my body has to tell me. So sometimes a pose makes me emotional. I feel the blockage in my body and when I relax and stay present the tension is not only released on a physical level but also on a mental/emotional one. I accept this process (and the tears that sometimes join I no longer need to hide) as it helps me to release the negative and let in the positive. Ankan’s meditations and comments during class were very helpful in this process. And it is not only about connecting with my body and being present but also the joy of experiencing my body while it does things I couldn’t imagine. I am expanding, I am lifting up parts of my body while smiling and I feel strong! I feel so much more confident about my body than a couple of years ago.
Coming to class is like my pieces being put together after life happened to me during the week. All kinds of things can make me disconnect from this moment/my body, and at the end of the week I am longing for that feeling of being complete, being whole, body, mind and soul. It is like a good massage but then from the inside. It is fantastic.
So, when I became pregnant I wanted to continue yoga practise. With some adjustments, I did until 31 weeks of pregnancy. It helped me staying flexible and calm and connect with my baby. I tried a couple of special pregnancy yoga classes in other studios but I was not satisfied and I could still keep up with gentle yoga (I know, I cheated a bit as a little baby boy was helping me haha) so I stayed with Ankan and the other students. My son responded very well to yoga as he was in the womb, he was kicking all the time, it was fun and for me a sign he enjoyed it too. When I came to the studio to have my picture taken my son joined me because nobody could babysit. While I was doing my very best on these poses, Lars enjoyed himself by playing and walking around and coming to me every couple of minutes, standing and sittting with me. This picture Ankan made in a very spontaneous moment and turned out to be the best one. In fact, I think it captures the most natural moment of being able to flex and expand and also being relaxed and smile.
Thank you Ankan for your guidance so far! I am very grateful!