When rush hour hits cyclists in sportswear flood The Netherlands, but where are they heading? Chances are, they’re off to a yoga class. The women love yoga and the men love Broga. Even the girl on the treadmill next to you, probably is a yogi. Although, there is one woman who lives yoga. Meet Jacqui Howles, owner of the award winning location, Sunshine Yoga. This location won the award for The Best Yoga School in The Hague and has the highest review score of all OneFit locations with a 9.9! Yoga is Jacqui’s gateway into her inner world and we asked her to let us in and, tell us all about it.
From Aerobics to Yoga
‘’I came to The Netherlands when I was 19 as an aerobics teacher. I always knew I would become a yoga teacher later in life and actually got my first yoga diploma on my 40th birthday. I organise my business around my life and eventually it was just a natural transition to yoga. I’m now 52 and have been running Sunshine yoga for almost 10 years.‘’
Teaching with themes and seasons
‘’I weave philosophy into my weekly classes, so we can work on our physical bodies and support our inner worlds. For example, this week as we return from the spring break my theme is ‘coming back down to earth’’. I ask people to experience and contemplate, how we transition and come back to our yoga (and lives) after the holidays. Rushed and stressed or slow and easy? I use in depth, alignment based yoga to do this. It’s all about how our energy moves and about understanding who we really are. I also work differently with every season. In Autumn people often get flustered so I offer more grounded yoga and winter it turns to a more fiery yoga to keep warm. Then, in spring and summer the movements become lighter and twistier as it gets warmer. ‘’
Yoga is personal
’’Firstly I never know what your motivations are when you come to class. It’s an individual practice, it’s your sanctuary. If you need to put in only 60% then do it -you have sovereignty. For me, I just want people to be safe and happy when they practice yoga. As a teacher I find it’s best to find a middle ground and offer different levels during the class. Also I incorporate chakra and mantra yoga into my lessons to balance the physical with the soulful.’’
Flexibility is not everything
‘’Yoga is about a mix between flexibility, strength and softness and finding a balance between the three. If you’re really flexible but not as strong your release won’t be controlled. Instead, the practice becomes more like moving into different poses without keeping that balance and posture. However, not everyone is going to be flexible, not everyone is going to be super strong. So I offer different levels of posture and let people experiment with that.’’
Newcomers chill out
‘’For those new to yoga my advice would be to just chill out and don’t expect perfection – that is not the goal. Also an important one to remember: Dare to say no in a class, if that moment/pose doesn’t suit you let the teacher know. People that are new might feel more is expected of them, so understand that it’s not. That’s why, If you tell the teacher you’re a beginner they’ll understand, but you also have to understand that for yourself and not worry about expectations of how it should be. Most of all, keep yourself safe and happy while practicing any style of yoga.’’
Sunshine Yoga in The Hague offers classes in Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga and Yoga Flow. So if you are looking for more than just a yoga workout and want to learn about yoga philosophy too, make a reservation through our OneFit app!