I started practicing yoga a few years before I commenced my PhD studies and as I keep saying my daily practice supported me mentally, spiritually, and physically in the long and extremely challenging journey of the doctoral studies.
I was introduced to yoga by Alexia Koletsou in my hometown Drama, Greece. During my PhD studies in Barcelona I was fortunate to practice with many good teachers, namely Fito Auad, Yasmina Espelosín, Pat Prada, Elena Figarola, and Margherita Angelozzi. In the Netherlands I followed classes given by Adarsh Williams and Daniela Gfeller. I keep my teachers and what I learned from them deep in my heart ❤️
Recently I completed a 200hour yoga teacher training course at Devvrat Yoga School in Varkala, India.
As a yoga practicioner I mainly practice ashtanga, hatha, yin, and kundalini. When I teach, I carefully select positions that will bring the most benefit to the participants in my class.
I started practicing yoga in the beginning of my twenties just because I was curious about it and there were classes offered in the gym where I was also following other classes.
After some years of weekly classes I changed from a gym to a yoga school and tried out all different kind of yoga styles to find out which style was right for me. At the end of my twenties I discovered Ashtanga yoga through a friend who is also an amazing teacher Elise Greenspoon. Followed a workshop of hers and got hooked.
I fell in love with Ashtanga and found a daily practice in this style. These days I practice regularly with the guidance of a great teacher Maxi Meisner. She also guided me through a 6 months ashtanga intensive deepening course, adjustment training and restorative yoga. At Bhumi yoga many great guest teachers give workshops and that is where I met the teacher Adarsh Williams who has a lot of knowledge about Ashtanga.
Recently I discovered Dena Kingsberg who is a legendary Ashtanga teacher and I learned a lot during her retreat.
The last years Iyengar yoga crossed my path and I find it a great variety with Ashtanga yoga; it is much slower but more technical. In Iyengar yoga I follow two great teachers Daniela Gfeller and Sarah-Jane Rawkins.
Recently I started playing a musical instrument called the handpan and I love playing during the class or at the end of the class when the yogis are resting.
I have been practicing yoga for six years. I came to the practice as a way to learn to love my body and to reduce the anxieties of daily life. Yoga helps me to connect with life in a deeper way, access my creativity, and feel at peace in the world. I joined Yoga in the Park in summer 2021, and started to lead practices shortly afterwards.
In March 2023, I completed a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified teacher training at Devvrat Yoga Sangha, in Varkala, India. I also had the opportunity to deepen my Hatha practice and pranayama under the guidance of Prashant Bisht at the Kaivalyam Wellness center in Munnar, India.
My classes focus on helping people to connect with the rhythms of the body through breath and movement. I can teach you how to generate small pockets of peace in the rush of daily life, and help you to find a little bit more freedom in your body.
Having grown up in a somewhat monastic environment (Christian organization “Youth with a Mission”), I’m no stranger to the connections between movement, breathing, meditation, and then going back out “into the world”. But I had never taken any proper Yoga classes before.
After two or three classes in July 2021, I was surprised to see that my left shoulder, which had always been weak in the connective tissue, was sturdier than ever before. I could keep it in position, without slipping out of the proper sockets. My back became stronger, I could stand up firmly straight. Hell, it even helped to straighten my teeth a bit! Soon, I found that, with better breathing, I could run farther and faster, and I could enhance every single rep when lifting weights.
I’m still a beginner. At each class, I learn a bit more about how my body works, about the way attention and breathing together build strength, and about silence.
Also, after those first two or three classes at Yoga in the Park, I met a special someone 😉
Yoga is a good sport whereby you make a measured effort to achieve great fitness goals. We use several Yoga styles and techniques, like balances, stretches, endurance, and meditation. I’m not a person who enjoys doing heavy, repetitive, movements. Yoga makes the exercise light, enjoyable. But it still makes you work hard and increase your physical conditioning and state of mind.
Yoga in the Park is more than Yoga. We have enjoyed good times together. I’ve even found “my partner in crime”. Some of my best friends and favorite people in Groningen are in our group.