As dedicated OneFitters, we are often curious about the stories behind our beloved yoga teachers. They help us to find peace within ourselves and connect with our inner yogis, but what about their personal journeys? Meet Eline van de Kam, former party girl turned yoga teacher who sat down to talk with us about her transition to yogi, yoga teacher and her yoga beliefs.
Burnout to yogi
I was first introduced to yoga over 20 years ago when I was living abroad. I took one class a week but at that time I was much more involved in partying, drinking. Only six years ago I had a moment of total collapse. I had to let go of all my old habits and start again from scratch with a new way of living. I released that life is happening in the moment. I found so much gratitude that I had survived the burnout and the addictions, I got free from that – I really turned. I realised teaching the subject that made me feel alive and vibrant with energy, was yoga. After that, I started studying to become a yoga teacher.
Yoga brings me home
Before I found yoga I would mindlessly go through life just reaching for the next thing, thinking: ‘’The grass is always greener on the other side,’’ but when I found yoga I realised that the grass is already green, and even if it’s not, I don’t need to long for anything. I often visualise myself in the centre of a storm. The storm acts as my thoughts, emotions and sensations of the body and I find yoga brings me home. It brings me back to the centre. It connects me with my natural self with what I really am. I’m not my story, I’m not my thoughts I’m much more than that.
Silence is the new gold
Most of the classes I teach are very slow, meditative classes. It all starts with silence, to ground yourself and to become really still with what is happening. I invite the students to observe the sensations in the body, observe the thoughts drifting past to observe the emotions coming in and out so they step back from their busy lives and watch. When you’re young your very active, always reaching out and using the body and sometimes we need some yin yoga to level our lives out. But young people normally don’t want to do a yin class. So when they come in by accident I’m always happy because then they can experience resistance, and wonder why they are restless. It’s interesting. I just want to offer people the peace that is already inside themselves.
Strong back vs soft front
The real goal in yoga is to calm the mind. I invite my students to observe – this a core Buddhist teaching and there are a lot of heart openers during a yin class. One of my core teachings is ‘strong back and soft front.’ You need a strong back to stand your ground and be able to walk around with a soft front – to be vulnerable and open up the qualities of the heart. When we get flexible bodies and are happy in our skin, I call those happy side effects.
Discover it all
My advice for newcomers would be to try different styles, from Power Bikram to a Yin class and everything in between and observe what is happening in a class with yourself. Also realise that a practice in the morning can be totally different from in the evening. Listen to your energy levels during the day. If you’re a morning person start with a vibrant workout, if you’re an evening person maybe you can do this class in the evening or maybe you need to calm down, then go to a yin class. Go and discover all different types of yoga!
Here’s a short message from Eline…
Eline currently teaches Yin Yoga, Flow For All (all levels) and leren mediteren for complete beginners. You can join her classes at Sukha Yoga, De Nieuwe Yogaschool, Yogaspot and Hot Flow Yoga Jordaan. Eline is wearing Urban Goddess clothing.
Written by Laura Court-Jones