HeleenStaff Spotlight

Growing up in the Netherlands, I was introduced to yoga as a child by my aunt, Frieda Thepass, who lived with us. In 1957 she founded Stichting Yoga Nederland (now known as Yoga & Vedanta ) with a small group of yoga friends. It is still one of the most respected yoga organizations in the Netherlands and Europe.

Looking back, I realized that I have applied many of her yoga teachings to my daily adult life. Not until a few years ago did I recognize what a gift my aunt passed on to me.

In 2013 I joined TYS and it was like coming home. Two years later I began the Teacher Training program at The Yoga Sanctuary to get a deeper understanding of yoga.

I have been teaching most of my life. I was an art teacher in the Netherlands, taught golf in Westchester, NY, finished the Yoga Teacher Training at TYS in April 2015, became a certified Yoga for Golfers instructor in July 2015, and completed the Foundations Course for the Gokhale Method in August 2015.

There is something pure, basic, natural, awesome, humbling, and amazing about teaching yoga. My focus is to integrate yoga with everyday life. I am especially interested in incorporating the poses, breathing, and meditation into standing, walking, sitting, bending, lying down, and foremost into breathing, so that people can live more (mind)fully on and off the mat.

I am inspired by my family, friends, students, and teachers, as well as everyone and everything around me.

There are many favorite poses, but it is breathing that I most enjoy.

I have just finished reading Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind by Maura O’Halloran, and at the moment I am reading again Yoga, the Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann.

Favorite quote: “Wanderer there is no path, paths are made by walking.” —Antonio Machado, Spanish poet