OneFit Teachers: Nienke van Baal – “I find peace in teaching yoga”

Have you ever felt inspired by your yoga teacher? Well that’s exactly what happened to Nienke van Baal. Nienke is a newly trained yoga teacher who loves the freedom that yoga makes her feel inside and out. Nienke chatted to us about her passion for yoga and views about this ancient method in a modern day world.

Nienke van Baal

As a young girl I did gymnastics and dance, I really loved it and did it for a long time. Later on, I finished two degrees, one in Fashion & Management and one in Advertising, Marketing & Communications. Nowadays, I work for Denim Brand Tenue de Nîmes in Amsterdam. I’ve always felt the love for fashion and I still do, but it’s not my only passion. I discovered that yoga gave me an ultimate happy feeling and that’s why I started to combine my work life with practicing yoga. I followed classes by Marlene Henny and she overwhelmed me with her style and way of teaching. I also joined classes by Fleur van Zonneveld and her style is quite similar. I noticed that they had set up a Vinyasa Flow Teacher Training course together, so I chose to enter it. for Denim Brand Tenue de Nîmes in Amsterdam.

Yoga is freedom

For me yoga means freedom, in my mind and in the way I can move. What I really like about yoga is that you don’t need a lot for it. You only need your mat and some yoga clothes – you don’t need to talk or be with other people and no one is expecting anything from you. I feel free on the mat and I hope that my students feel that as well. Yoga is the best way of moving my body because it increases balance, strength and flexibility. When I teach yoga, there is nothing else I think about – while in my daily life there’s not a moment when I’m not busy with multiple things. Solely when I teach a yoga class I have a clear mind. I find peace in teaching.

yoga pose  yoga pose

A spiritual or physical journey

My way of teaching is gentle yet strong and challenging. I use flowing movements between poses to create nice transitions and to work towards more powerful poses. I think a good yoga teacher creates an experience and takes you on a mindful journey, at least that’s what I try to do. It’s about the sequences that take you from one progression to another. I think you’re a good yoga teacher if your students can feel that. In my opinion it doesn’t matter if a teacher focuses on a physical or spiritual level – that has nothing to do with whether they are a good teacher or not, it’s about the journey they create.

The Modern Yogi

Don’t take the yogi lifestyle too seriously, but enjoy it. Yoga is an old tradition that we are doing in a modern world and we have to adapt to that. Sometimes I see people living by what they’ve found in old philosophical yoga books. While I think it’s good to still hold on to old theories, I think it’s nice to mix it with some modern influences. We have to look at the time we are living in and use yoga as a tool to fit into our lives now.

Yoga is not a competition

Yoga is for everyone, but we all have our personal limits within the body. It’s really important to feel what your body is telling you in each pose. Try to not be competitive – yoga is about becoming aware of your own body and accepting what your body is allowing you to do. My Relax & Restore class at Yagoy is great for beginners to learn the fundamentals of yoga.

Why Vinyasa yoga?

If you feel like joining Nienke van Baal for some flowy Vinyasa Yoga, you can find her at Yagoy and Hot Flow Yoga. She teaches Relax & Restore and Hot Vinyasa Flow classes. Check her classes online or visit her website to find out more.

 Written by Laura Court-Jones
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