Here to help you keep an open mind and live healthier & happier.
Due to my own life-changing experience, I truly believe in the power of Yoga and Ayurveda which both aim for a more conscious way of living. Now, I know it’s a process of trial and error in which you have to give a lot of effort. So here I am, making Ayurveda simple, and accessible to fit our modern lives.
Not only by making Yoga and Ayurveda more adaptable so you can actually apply it into your daily life, but definitely also to guide you in the process of taking steps towards a more conscious way of living. My mission? Making you more open-minded, healthier, and happier. Because I do believe that if you take responsibility for your own happiness you are making a positive shift in the world and that is all I’m hoping for. That we, together, create a positive change in the world and as such find more peace.
Training & Certification
Originally, I’m trained to structure debt and draft contracts. I went to University for this and finished both tax and civil law to top it off with a postdoc financial law at the age of 25. Working in the financial district brought me tons of useful and useless experience. And.. it gave me insight into what it is, working for a big firm inside a huge system. It enabled me to see things and people, holding different perspectives at all times. Skills I still use in my work as a lifestyle coach and yoga teacher.
On a more spiritual note I’ve completed the following formal training in chronological order:
Yoga Pre Teacher Training (50 hrs)
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training (200 hrs)
Mindfulness MBSR (8 weeks)
Yin Yoga Teacher Training (200 hrs)
Foundation on Ayurveda (50 hrs)
Living Ayurveda (50 hrs)
Ayurveda Practitioner Training (4 year Bachelor program – third-year student)
Advanced Yoga Teacher Training (100 hrs)
4 Days Intensive with Dr. Vasant Lad
Birthlight Yoga Teacher Training for Pregnancy and Birthing Part I (50 hrs)
I believe you can never stop learning so I’m a regular in Yoga & Ayurvedic workshops. Even if this means (or maybe especially if it means) that I have to travel around the world to practice with my favorite teachers.
But the real reason I’m doing all of this is that Ayurveda changed my life.
Read my story below.
With a quick home birth, I arrive in this world. It’s love at first sight with my mother, even though she’s a bit appalled by my looks. In stark contrast to my beautiful sister, beauty is not a word that would describe my baby looks accurately. Luckily, my mom is patient by nature and, as moms do, loves me anyway.
Together with my pre-school teacher Ria my parents decide to keep me in preschool a year longer. I actively dispute their decision, because personally I think I’m ready for primary school. But when they tell me there are no dolls in primary school, I rest my case. My parents are probably right I’m not good at simple things like figures, but who cares I still keep referring to rectangles as rectacles. Potato, potato.
In spite of starting the last year of primary school, I organize weekly doll parties in the attic. We’re joined together in a circle around a wooden stool where I and my dolls share a cake because doll Lotte turned 1 (again). At school they sometimes let me celebrate her birthday still. Lotte and I go to all the teachers to treat them with biscuits.
Hundreds of doll birthdays and one failed final exam later, I reach high school at the HAVO level. It’s the intermediate tier and I do not agree I belong there. After one year I’m an A+ student, can level up to VWO and of course, I go and tell my primary schoolteacher. He definitely misjudged me. The dolls are stored in boxes and challenging the status quo is my new ‘thing’.
My parents get a divorce. This means a new home and… a new high school. After months of eating lunch in the bathroom I accidentally get accepted by the cool students. During one of our math classes, I question the teacher if he’s sure the Pythagorean theorem is correct. If he might be mistaken? I show him my calculations and there is a moment of doubt. I’m learning that questioning the authorities gets you new friends.
After a summer of hazing, I join UVSV, a sorority in Utrecht where I’m about to start my journey in becoming a lawyer. I end up living in a pink house in the middle of the city center. Every now and then, in between the partying, I follow a few lectures. Because honestly, what is more important? Attending popular lectures, or being a popular student?
My first job as a lawyer at a financial institution in Amsterdam. I’m learning how to structure debt, but because that’s too easy I also finish a post-doc within the first year. “I’ll show them how it’s done,” I think by myself. With a stronger resentment of the ‘authorities’ around me (you know the type: self-centered but super-intelligent bankers) I’m discovering Amsterdam nightlife during the weekends. Who needs sleep anyway in their 20’s. We’re living in a small 40 square meter apartment and it’s party time all day and night during the weekends. On weekdays, to stay in shape, I’m doing yoga. Work is a side-gig, life is great.
Until it’s not. I wake up in the middle of the night. I can’t move and I’m literally paralyzed. After months of ignoring the pain, I can’t keep looking the other way: I am in pain all the time. As soon as I get a bit of feeling back in my fingers and limbs, I’m on the phone with the family doctor. The next morning after giving blood samples, I’m directly referred to a rheumatologist.
And it goes downhill from here.
I’m diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation everywhere. It starts in my joints, but soon it’s all over my body and even starts manifesting on my heart and lungs. At the age of 25, I’m seeing a rheumatologist, cardiologist, and pulmonologist more often than any of my friends. Because the medication has it’s side effects which even makes for regular surgery, it is time to look for another way.
I do not accept this is ‘it’.
Now, I do need to confess I was super skeptical to even consider alternative medicine, but when rolling on a two-wheeled chair with a back like growing in the shape of a banana is your future life, I can assure you, you are open to anything.
But before I really dig in, I first just don’t accept the new reality. I keep working, make longer days (and party-nights) than ever before when I get the call. The call from my rheumatologist explaining my bloodwork is getting so bad that having a child (one of my biggest wishes in life) is going to be pretty impossible. If I’m interested in seeing a gynecologist to freeze my ova.
My world collapses. I’m crying at my desk and before I know it I leave the dealing room. Little did I know I will never return to work and this is me, leaving the financial sector for good. The days following the call I am in more pain and my mood becomes darker and darker. I can’t even sleep anymore and I get into, a burn-out.
After lots of rest, reading about Ayurveda, doing Yoga, and regaining a grip on life I realize something I never knew before. I was living for my ego. Living for what others thought of me, living for being liked and loved. With time on my hands, I start attending workshops, doing formal training in Yoga, and travel to India to study Ayurveda with the pros. I’m trusting my intuition rather than the others who still think it’s best if I get back to work – continuing my career as fast as possible. This is hard. As I learn and experiment more and more, I notice my health starts to improve. I eat a different diet, I feel before I do things, and most importantly I learn how to be still in my mind. Not only am I regaining mental fitness, but also my body feels good again. No more pain. No more sleepless nights. No more medicine to keep me in check.
After a long and turbulent period in my life and to everyone’s amazement, I find out I’m pregnant. Ayurveda simply works and I lose my last bit of skepticism that day.
Not long after Miki gets born, I gave birth to another child: startwithrasa.com. Here it is my mission to share Ayurveda and Yoga in a simple and modern form making it accessible for everyone. For people like me, who rather know it when they see it for themselves. I’m using my own experience as a guide, sharing what I know and have learned while also respecting the core philosophy which has helped mankind live well for over 6000 years. We host events, workshops and I write about how to bring Ayurveda into your life. Being a skeptic myself, I am determined to question everything and share what I learned. I hope to inspire you to keep an open mind. Ultimately my aim is to help you to live happier and healthier.
I attended a yoga class myself, wrote a short guest post for an Ayurvedic magazine and did groceries with my daughter. Everything in a slow pace. No rush, because that’s just never a good thing. In a world that is always ‘on’ sometimes breathing in and out a few times is enough to reset quickly. It starts with little habits.
At least, that is how my transformation once began.