In this new episode of “Living yoga”, my interview series with yoga practitioners from all around the world, I’m happy to introduce you to Roos, a yogini and yoga teacher from the Netherlands.
I remember when I first stumbled upon Roos’ Instagram feed and the positive vibes conveyed in her pictures caught me instantly! Roos is a true mermaid at heart, and we share the love for turquoise, lilac and blue hues (she ended up giving one of my favorite-ever malas in these colors a new home).
Although as a yoga teacher and founder of her business Rozananda Yoga her life is very focused on yoga at the moment, she also loves to surf, travel and be creative (taking photos, making things with yarn and wool, painting and colouring). She’s very passionate about being and living as sustainably as possible, so (after watching Conspiracy on Netflix) she and her boyfriend decided to go vegan and consciously support only those companies that don’t back things they do not support, like weapons, animal cruelty and corruption.
Roos, how and when did you find yoga?
My parents took me to a Dru Yoga conference back in 2000, when I was 15. I didn’t want to go at all! My mum said “You can’t dislike something until you try it!”, so we all went and it was amazing. They had a special program with yoga and games for all the kids and teens and I made friends for life. After that I kept going back to Wales a few times a year with the youth group, doing yoga and adventures together. We also organised food collections and cooked meals for the local homeless people.
What’s your favorite type of practice, and what do you love about it?
I really enjoy a physical practice that makes you sweat, preferably one with lots of handstand options. That’s why I chose my second teacher training to be with Bri and Dice from Bryce Yoga, two amazing handstanders. At the moment I’m still recovering from a severe knee injury so right now I enjoy Yin (not using that knee) and a slower practice.
What or who inspires you?
I’m inspired by my parents who have always followed their own ideals, not listening to the haters and comments about them being weird or different. They actually taught me “Who wants to be normal? Normal is boring!”
Currently I’m really inspired by yogis who share more than just beautiful photos. I’m learning so much from Alexa Silvaggio’s posts and podcast (Let’s get INformation) and Shannon Algeo’s Gratitude group & podcast.
How do you integrate yoga into your daily life?
I try to practice myself each morning that I am home, though that discipline is still very hard for me. I’m a rather chaotic and creative person, and getting myself to do things regularly (even cleaning the house or washing the dishes) is a struggle. So I don’t have a strict rule of having to do an hour of yoga or something, but I try to at least do a bit of mindful breathing each day. Just to come back to my center and stay present.
What does mindful living mean to you? Could you share your number 1 tip for cultivating mindfulness in today’s world?
Mindful living to me means bringing awareness and thought to every part of your life. Not just when you step onto your mat, but also in your choices (like I said banks, insurance, food) and purchases. Taking care of this planet is really important (to me) and by bringing this awareness we can make our choices not from want or desire but from well-thought out decisions while also listening to our intuition: does it feel right?
I had a burn-out last year and the mindfulness course I took was really beneficial for my recovery. I really like one of the exercises, the 3 minute ‘space to breathe’ exercise (its on Spotify!). It helps to take a PAUSE, focus on how your body is feeling, how your breath is doing and decide if what you’re doing is really what is most important.
What was the best experience you had on your yoga journey?
I think it has to be my YTT with Bryce yoga last summer. The daily practices together, the group connection, the teachers, the beauty of the country. It was a magical experience. Another (can it be two? please? :)) was the week I spent in an ashram in Rishikesh, where we did a more basic form of ashtanga yoga each day and really immersed ourselves in ashram life. Silence, meditation, pranayama, kriya and karma yoga (volunteering). I had some beautiful insights there and made friends I’m still close with today.
Which qualities should a good yoga teacher have in your opinion?
Observation, compassion, clarity in cueing. And staying humble 🙂
If you could give new yogis an advice, what would it be?
Try out as many styles and classes and teachers as you can, don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t do everything (you’re there to LEARN, not be a master right away), keep going back to the breath, and stick with a new style for at least a few weeks. Some styles really need a few classes before you can decide you don’t like them. I personally tried yin once and then didn’t practice it for two years. Such a shame! When I came back to it I learned to love it, and now I teach it too 🙂
Get inspired by Roos on Instagram @roos.yogi !