Our yogi of this week is Eliza Coolsma, a Dutch yoga teacher of Vinyasa and Prana Vinyasa flow and mom to newly born Leonardo and living in Madrid together with her Italian husband. When she lived in the Netherlands she worked as a journalist at a fashion magazine but changed her life completely to be a full-time yoga teacher; a job in where she can express herself better.
So who is Eliza?
Lives in: Madrid, Spain
Teaching since: 2009
Teaches: Vinyasa & Prana Vinyasa
Favorite motto: Everything will always be allright
Who are your favorite heroes in real life?
Thich Nhat Hanh, My mom, Wayne Dyer, Shiva Rea, because these people live from their heart and they inspire me to do the same. Every time I feel disconnected from my heart, I remember how these people live and it brings me right back to a more heart-felt way of living.
What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
That they dare to be completely themselves.
When did your yoga adventure start?
It started back in 2007 when I was a student in Utrecht and started practicing yoga at the gym near my students house. After a few classes, I noticed how relaxed and happy I felt afterwards. I decided to swap some step & shape classes at the gym for yoga classes 🙂
How did yoga become part of your life?
I worked as an editor at a magazine and taught 2 classes a week. I noticed that I felt more at home when I was teaching yoga. Then my boyfriend got a job offered in Madrid and I decided to use this opportunity to switch to teaching yoga full time in Madrid. It wasn’t easy, finding my way & my people in a new city, but it was a great journey that resulted in an amazing group of yogis practicing with me weekly.
What does yoga bring you?
It makes me aware of the fact that I’m nature. In the city, it’s easy to get out of sync with the rhythm of nature and yoga brings me right back. I love to feel that my body is always changing with every moment of the day, every season of the year and even when I was pregnant. I love that with my practice, I can keep on changing as well, depending on what I need that day.
What do you teach?
I teach Vinyasa Flow and now Prana Vinyasa in Madrid. I’m teaching since 2009.
What do you do day-to-day? How does your yoga teacher life look like?
Before I became a mum, my day looked like this: I wake up, try to squeeze in some of my ayurvedic rituals, which usually comes down to only tongue scraping and oil pulling and normally I do a quick & fun workout with my husband in our living room. After that I have a private class or group class. I try to always have a relaxed, home made, big lunch at home, followed by some work behind my laptop: there are always many emails from new yogis to be answered, bills to be payed and yoga workshops to be planned. At the end of the afternoon I’ll have a quick supper before teaching my evening class. When I come home at night, I either catch up with my husband, read a nice book or watch a movie. Now that I have my new sweet angel son I still have to discover what my life as a yoga teacher & mom will look like after I go back to teaching.
What is your favorite Yoga pose?
This changes about every month : ) at the end of my pregnancy, my favourite pose was bound angle pose. Now during postpartum recovery, I’m enjoying the non-physical side of yoga: taking deep breaths while feeding my baby and being present with him as much as I can.
What is the best outdoor place to do yoga?
Do you have any yoga teachers who inspire you?
My teachers Shiva Rea & Shauna Slingsby are great examples of women & teachers who live in their body, speak from their heart and teach to serve others.
What are your recommendations for yoga beginners?
Enjoy it! Use your practice as the place where you can just be yourself & breathe. No ambitions.
What are your recommendations for yogi’s who want to become teachers?
Only become a teacher if you want to serve others. I often meet teachers who are teaching for their own ego. Teaching yoga is not about you, it’s about your students. You are there to give, so be ready to do that.
What are your top Instagram accounts you like following?
Want to connect with Eliza? Reach out to her on:
Facebook : www.facebook.com/thenaturalyogi