Every month, one of our teachers is in the Yoga Spot lights. This month, you will read about Mounya. Mounya is Ashtanga and Hatha yoga teacher.
What made you decide to become a yoga teacher?
‘I studied philosophy in France, but left and came to the Netherlands about twenty years ago. I worked many years as an administrator for big international companies.
I knew something about yoga because of my philosophy background, but not until 2009 I started practicing Hatha yoga. I went with a friend to a class and was immediately hooked. Very soon I became a bit fanatic and went to classes several times a day. My body changed, I become slimmer and stronger, but above all more energetic.
I had a deep desire to share this incredible transformation and also wanted to deepen my knowledge. Yoga is a wonderful tool, it is so rich and has many aspects: science, art, history, philosophy and way of living. If you want to be a yoga teacher, you need to have a solid foundation, before you start teaching.
In 2014 I started my first 200 hours Hatha teacher training and continued with 350 hours of Sva-Dharma yoga training. Over the years I changed my personal practice from Hatha to Ashtanga and also started with Tibetan meditation as a tool to cleanse my body and mind.
I try to be in a state of meditation as much as possible. Not only on the mat, but I also in my daily life. It’s a challenge not to get distracted. Slowly I learned techniques to stay focused. You have to exercise your mind like a muscle.’
What kind of classes do you teach?
‘I teach Ashtanga at Yogaspot. When teaching to beginners, it is important to explain the purpose of the postures. I wish to give my students a chance to experience all the benefits and to achieve the best alignment in the poses. I pick the cues from my personal practice and share them in my classes. In the Western world the focus is often on the sequence, but Ashtanga is much richer than that. Ashtanga is based on the eight stages of the philosophy of Patanjali.’
What would you like to share about ‘the power of vulnerability’?
‘To me it means to be authentic, to be open, to connect and to trust in the power of resilience. Like the quote of Nietzche (and a popular song): “what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger”. When going through a difficult time and to be open about it, it really helps to get back on your feet again. It is the power of no matter what, get up again and walk.’
Mounya teaches Ashtanga yoga at Yoga Spot on Sunday evening from 18.15 to 19.30. She is subbing for Natasa untill March 10 on Tuesdays too.