At Yoga Nieuw Vennep we have many very experienced Iyengar Yoga teachers teaching at the studio. Sarah-Jane Rawkins is our head teacher and owner of the studio in Haarlemmermeer. Furthermore we have a pool of very experienced teachers coming from Amsterdam, Haarlem, The Hague, etc to teach you at our studio in Nieuw Vennep. If you want to find out who is teaching when, find out in our monthly schedule. Want to get to know our teachers?
Head Teacher and Studio Owner
It was during a trip to Thailand in 1997 that I was first introduced to yoga. From the first class, I was instilled with a deep interest and awe for the practice that still grows to this day. Through studying many different styles, I have come to appreciate the Iyengar system of Yoga the most; particularly the approach of precision, integrity, authenticity and serious discipline.
I now have over 10 years experience teaching and am the owner of Yoga Nieuw Vennep. I completed the 3-year Iyengar Teacher Training program in the Netherlands in 2007. Through further training I received my Intermediate Junior 3 certificate in 2017. I have also completed a 3-year therapeutic course to be able to teach and apply the therapeutic attributes of Iyengar yoga so that I can help and guide people with injuries, illness or physical limitations. I continue to work towards higher levels of practice and teaching taking part in workshops and retreats around the world including visiting the Iyengar Institute in Pune India to study directly with the Iyengars.
I believe Yoga is a lifelong journey of exploration, which is ever evolving... "The more you learn, the more there is to learn, penetrating deeper levels of yourself, your life, and your understanding. I love to share my knowledge and hope to light the spark of inspiration in others as it was once light in me”
In Brazil, in 2009 I attended my first yoga class with a friend who had convinced me that Iyengar yoga would help relieve my lower back pain. I had no knowledge of Yoga and was not a sporty person, but after a few lessons, I noticed my body and mind changing. I was confronted with the limitations of my body and was taught how to adapt to them, but I was also shown my body’s undiscovered abilities. After moving to The Netherlands in 2010 I met two great teachers who helped me explore my self-practice. I was motivated to expand my comprehension and consciousness of the Iyengar yoga in such a way that I decided to start an Iyengar Yoga 3 year teacher training. I have now given and assisted-in various levels of classes, taken medical classes and followed workshops worldwide to increase my expertise.
Over the years my practice became much stronger and stable; my mind clearer and quiet and I’ve gained the confidence and maturity to face the problems and answer the questions life continues to provide! I dream to go to places where I can help satisfy people's curiosity over Yoga with my passion for the study. My goal is to break down the wall for those who think yoga is only for healthy people, skinny, flexible and etc... I'm living proof that those sort of misconceptions are just in our minds.
“When you and I meet together, we forget ourselves – our cultures and classes. There are no divisions, and we talk mind to mind, soul to soul. We are no Different in our deepest needs. We are all human.”
I discovered Yoga 19 years ago and ever since yoga has been an integral part of my life.
A few years after I came across Iyengar Yoga, a style of yoga that I truly connect with, I enrolled in a teacher training at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute of Amsterdam. At first, I just wanted to deepen my practice and learn more, but soon I realized how this intensive training was changing my life.
I am fascinated with the therapeutic aspects of Iyengar Yoga, which I continue to study. I have also assisted with the medical classes for a few years at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. Traveling to Pune and studying with the Iyengar family was a turning point in my personal practice. Every few years I return there to expand my knowledge.In Europe, I continue my studies with Patxi Lizardi and Delilah King.
In classes, details are my forte and I strive to find the best way to reach each and every student.
“Yoga is a light, which once lit, never dim. The better we practice the brighter the flame”
I started practicing Iyengar yoga in Saint-Petersburg, Russia in 2008 and in 2010 I began my Teacher Training. Later on I began the Teacher Training again in Iyengar Yoga Institute Amsterdam in 2011 when I moved there. I then successfully passed the main exam from Iyengar Yoga Association of Netherlands and got the Introductory II certificate. In November 2018 I passed the next exam from Association – Intermediate Junior I.
I teach yoga through clear and concise instructions that challenge my students to do more each time and progress in their practice. I help them to understand and listen to their bodies to build strength and mobility. I believe that Iyengar method is really unique and special. In Iyengar yoga you are always a student, you never can say “I have done it”. It’s about being 100% involved in your practice. There are so many levels knowing your body and mind, so many ideas to see the difference “before” and “after” in each asana. It’s every day a challenge!
Sailing across the oceans for over 10 years made me see the effects that external world has on my mind. Being in complete focus, acceptance and calmness when at sea and unrest and distractions when returning to land. This created a awareness that I felt needed further exploring. After returning to Amsterdam, yoga became the path and the tool to explore the depths of my body and mind. Yoga gave me new daily energy, while simultaneously giving me the focus and calmness to proceed with this energy. It enabled me to stay active and quiet in everything I did.
Iyengar yoga, with its focus on alignment, integration and therapeutic use, ignited the spark that has ever since lead me. Exploring different yoga styles has given me a broad experience in own practice and into my teaching. Always ready to learn more I have travelled to India in 2016 and 2018 for several months to further my understanding of yoga. I have completed the 3 year Iyengar teacher training program in 2013 and has been teaching ever since.
My teaching style is lively, energetic, caring and attentive. In my classes I try to bring the energy and joy that my yoga practice has brought to me. Guiding my students safely toward the benefits that yoga brings, allowing each student to develop in its own unique way.
In 2001, I reluctantly joined a fellow IT colleague for a yoga class at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Amsterdam. I didn’t think it would be my cup of tea, but I was proven wrong. I liked the active form of asanas and precision of Iyengar Yoga and noticed the physical/mental benefits.
I joined the Teacher Training Program in 2006 with the intent of intensifying my own yoga practice, though I quickly started teaching my own classes once completing the 3-year study. Teaching inspired me to help others by sharing the knowledge I have gained in this journey.
At the moment, I am a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher at the Intermediate Junior 2-level and continue to study with many senior teachers in the Netherlands and abroad. I have further specialised in therapeutic applications of Iyengar yoga through the 3 years study and am assisting in the weekly medical classes at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Amsterdam. Furthermore, I've completed the 2-years Sutras study with Gitte Bechsgaard and Sheila Haswell and am enrolled for the new advanced studies to deepen the link from the asanas to the philosophical part of the yoga sutras of Patanjali.
My teaching style is challenging but clear and precise. In my classes, I believe in creating a firm foundation first and then gradually building up as to go deeper into one's practice. I strive to help students develop and improve their relationship with their bodies.
“Seeing a student in Savasana and noticing how much they have changed since they first entered the classroom is just wonderful and that makes me very happy and proud”.
Claartje van Tongeren
During the first Iyengar yoga lesson I followed, about 18 years ago, I immediately knew this type of yoga is for me. I love the precision of this yoga style and its given me discipline and resilience in normal life.
Therefor it was logical for me to intensify my yoga practice and to start teacher training. Initially I was interested in understanding and doing yoga asanas before falling in love with teaching. I like attending workshops and courses with different yoga teachers in The Netherlands as well as abroad. Yoga is part of my life. I gives me satisfaction to teach and be able to add something to someones life.
Besides yoga I like cooking, gardening and my other passion art - I am a teacher/ researcher at an art academy.
In 2017 I registered for the 3 year Iyengar yoga Teacher Training at the age of 55. I was positively surprised that age was not at all an impediment to sign up.
The teaching of Mr. Iyengar becomes clearer along the way. Iyengar yoga generates energy and is a real boon for mankind in general, and especially for those who are getting older.
As a result, the body gets stronger, more flexibel while the mind calms down. With a quite mind one will take the right decisions and one feels peaceful. With the practice of Iyengar Yoga one can look forward to a healthy, cheerful and energetic future.
Yoga is a fascinating exploration of the body, mind and the inner self.
"The beauty is everybody can do it, lets us start now!"
Claartje van Tongeren