My name is Zsoka Bernard, owner of the Balanzs yoga studios in Rotterdam and The Hague. Want to know why I think that adding yoga to your exercise schedule is one of the best things you can do? Here is my story...
From marketing manager to yogi
My yoga practice started about 14 years ago. Stressful job, busy social life, and no time to relax… I used to be an avid runner, but I was experiencing injury after injury. The gym was not for me - I cannot count how many memberships I have had, and how after a month or so I decided not to come anymore. I wanted to find an activity where I could build up strength and flexibility and quit my busy mind. However, yoga seemed to be for people with smelly armpits, free spirits, very spiritual people… so not for me. Having a corporate job as marketing manager. But, I decided to give it a shot. And I fell in love with it.
Add a little bit of yoga to your life!
My yogaclasses are for laid back, down to earth people. We don’t want you to meditate 3 hours a day, we are already happy when you leave with a smile on your face. Our classes our challenging and at the same time relaxing & fun. I love to add heat, so your muscles can lengthen more safely and you will get a great cardio workout at the same time. After teaching thousands of classes we would like to inspire you to add a little bit of yoga to your life!
The eternal search
I am Angelique Schutten, studiomanager of Balanzs Rotterdam, teacher and practitioner of yoga myself. As I never felt being in balance, neither being in the right place at work, I had an eternal search going on. Everything I did could be even better and more beautiful, I could be happier if I just... My head was always full of thoughts and thus I started to find something that could help me balance more. First I started to go to the gym. Easy to combine with work but not very inspiring. I tried bodybalance and got interested into yoga. In the beginning it was a little like a love-hate relationship. I wanted to join class, but I always had tons of excuses to not go.
Then a friend of mine introduced me to Bikram Yoga and I liked the heat, not having to deal with cramps and muscle aches anymore. I must admit, in the beginning, looking at myself in the mirror was confronting. I didn't like what I saw. Though this was exactly what made me come more often. As I did, my body seemed to change. I got more flexible, more focussed, and I felt better in my skin. By the end of 2009 I quit my job and I went to Bali with the initial plan to do yoga every day, though I ended up scuba diving, drinking and smoking with the guys... This had to change!
Diving into yoga
I started to respect myself more. I made healthier choices. I stopped smoking. Got more health conscious. I went to yoga class more often. I did what I liked instead of doing what people expected from me. I worked abroad but lost my job and finally ended up in India where I decided to dive deeper into yoga practice. I did my first teacher training and kept on traveling and working after that. I felt happy and even privileged to work for a yogastudio in Bali. An average day at the office started in the green and lush area of Taksu Spa. I could join their classes for free and after class, working behind my laptop, I overlooked the palmtrees.
Move out of your comfort zone!
A year had passed. I returned home with the idea to move back to Bali after earning some money and getting the right paperwork done. This never happened. June 2011 wasn't an easy time to find work and with little money I had to do work-trades to be able to practice yoga. In October that same year Balanzs opened her doors and I started to practice with them. I liked the variations they offered. Hot Yoga was something completely different and I liked being challenged. Shortly after they opened their doors, Zsoka, the owner of Balanzs, and I, talked about me starting to teach at Balanzs. It was time to let my light shine and to share what I know. I enjoyed being a Balanzs teacher a lot. It is really great to see people walk out of class with a big smile on their faces. I like to challenge people in different poses, moving them out of their comfort zone. I believe you can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable in trying something new!
Add a little bit of yoga to your life with Balanzs Yoga! We hope to inspire you with our articles and hope to add a little bit of yoga to your lives! We would love to welcome you in one of our studios in Rotterdam or The Hague for a seven day free trial!