Tag Archives: home yoga

week 17 and 18/ 21: Your garden of thoughts


Wondering about the white pan? That is a snail feeding plateau, and they could hide underneath. Together with the worms.

by Suzanne L. Beenackers

“Don’t water your weeds.”

I’ll be honest! When I still had a garden, which was less than a month ago, I gave the thing back to nature. In the four years I lived there it grew into a modest urban jungle and a walk-in kitty litter box. I had the most luscious garden of the street, although I suppose some people would think it was a waste that I let all the tiles get covered in mos (around the corner, this part is not on the picture), and even took out some of them when a baby plant was forcing its way through. I created an entire new biosphere on top of what once had been a civilized garden.

In 2005 I had moved to a house where I was the first inhabitant and the garden was empty. So I went to the garden center and planted some trees and bushes. Some survived, some didn’t. I just cycled past there and was content to see it was still there! The new tenants kept it the same.

Both gardens had the same concept: they were designed to “survive” on their own, without much intervention. But I also know people who turn their garden into an open air living, build a she shed, or grow vegetables and fruit. And I have a British colleague, and her garden is indeed a cottage garden with differences in height, vegetation and rich in flowers and with a fish pool.

Garden of Thoughts

Although only some of us have a garden, we all have a mind. And this mind does not have the option to never go there, you can’t abandon it, and if you have stuff in there that you don’t like you have a BIG problem. Image your entire garden being a garbage dump or a toxic pond where nothing will live. Imagine your garden containing a huge monster so that you wouldn’t dare going in there.
That is scary stuff!!
I even scared myself there a bit…this was not what I had intended this post to be about! LOL Instead of talking about weeds we now have a whole monster to deal with. Okay, let’s break this down. First how to deal with unwelcome inhabitants of your garden, then I ll talk more about how you can create the garden/ mind you want.

2015 how to handle your fearsBefriend your monsters

In my old garden I had a snail feeding plateau. I fed them cucumber peel and melon peel and left over vegetables. It was fascinating because I learned they were night creatures and that there were different kinds of slugs. One was a mammoth tiger snail that I only saw on very busy nights. I called him The Beast. According to Google the Tiger Snail ate other snails too….
I also had a stone-marten that lived (or occasionally visited) between the ground floor and the first floor. I could hear him toy around with a ball for dolls (or an acorn…). When I heard the scratching I was never certain if it was the stone-marten or the rats: my cat had once caught a rat in the garden, so it was very likely they too were living/ hanging out/shopping under my roof.

When it comes to monsters befriending them is the easiest and often also the most effective strategy. And it is certainly the most interesting strategy. So if you have monsters in your mind: you re not required to build them a feeding plateau, but you can learn about their ways and accept their presence.

e0beca6fcaa3a944cfa9f389a1418bebFrom plain to paradise

When it comes to attending to your inner garden or your mind, you have two options. One: to accept and observe everything in there and to learn how to be neutral. Like I suggested with the monsters: some things are best accepted. I call that the Zen approach, or the Mindfulness approach. The other is to transform your mind into the garden of your dreams! Go to the garden center, buy some new plants. And new thoughts are completely free! Even an entire new view on things, is available at no cost.
What kind of inner garden would you like?
What kind of plants? What would you consider weeds? Would you like a nice fountain of happiness there?
And give attention to the people that you love, to your hobbies, to things you like to do.
In your inner garden everything that you attend to, that you give attention to, all those things will expand and blossom.

The past weeks I ve been working with Louise Hay cards and these are great examples of new happy thoughts, that can turn any bare garden, or even a downright war zone, into paradise.

18 Yoga with Adriene


Home and Class Practice: week 17 and 18

I’m teaching from Yoga with Adriene for 21 weeks & provide her videos for home practice. This is week 18. Our week starts on Monday and you ll receive new blogposts every week if you sign up in the right column.

In week 17 we did
Day 17 Happiness Boost Yoga 34 minutes  pdf
This week I m teaching Day 18 + 26
Day 18 Wonder Yoga 21 minutes  pdf
Day 26 Earth Practice Total body Yoga 23 minutes  pdf

Our soundtrack is very Rockstar Yoga!
Listen the My Blue Van Yoga Play List on Spotify

Click here for the overview of all Yoga with Adriene pdf’s 

week 16/21: Why yoga does not always feel good. Kind of like sex.

i-really-regret-that-yoga-class-today-said-no-one-ever-811e8by Suzanne L. Beenackers

There is this ecard, or facebook quote, that I ve seen several times in different forms:
I really regret doing yoga.
Said no one ever.
And everytime I think: bugger off! Yoga does NOT feel good at all times. Sometimes yoga makes you more aggitated, increases the pain and is simply another negative experience that day. Usually a day you were not feeling well in the first place, and now you have a failed yoga experience to add up to your misery.
Definitely something to regret.

And I have a good explanation for that. Although I also understand why I, and other people with me, have mistakenly seen yoga as something that will make us feel better. Because yoga is like dolphins right? Only good things come from it, right?
And even dolphins can be highly aggressive animals, so yes: yoga is like dolphins.
A magical experience that you should nonetheless approach with caution if you don’t want to get bitten in the ass. And here’s why.

As good as sex

If you feel at ease with yourself, balanced and happy, yoga will be a profoundly positive experience. A borderline religious experience even, making your heart dance, your mind sing, and effortlessly moving your body into new and exciting postures. The only comparison to do it justice is sex: you love it so much, you want to do it every day and you are convinced you’ll never grow tired of it.

Now think of the other side of the spectrum…think about when you are in pain. Your body is hurting, or you re suffering from panick attacks. You just had a terrifying diagnoses at the hospital or your husband left you. You re traumatized, still in shock, and you re in a place where no one can help you, or understand what you re going through.
You have nowhere to turn to, but inward.
Your suffering is so high that the doubt you will face in yoga (or meditation), the confrontation with your scared ego or your injured body, that is all worth it. You can “only go up”, since you have little to lose.

Third option. Think of somewhere in the middle. Your back is hurting a bit, but only in the morning. You’re unhappy at your job, yet it pays the bills. Or you re unhappy with your husband yet he pays the bills. These are stable situations in which there is no immediate need for change. In this case self-reflection and/or a confrontation with your body will make you aware of physical limitations and your real feelings. Since this was something you were previously in denial about, you have now actually created a problem.
And that’s when yoga does not feel good.

Clean your home

I just illustrated what yoga can do in three situations: when you re feeling really good, feeling really bad, and being somewhere in the middle (where yoga may have little to add). Naturally, you have to find out for yourself when yoga will feel good, and when you’re better off where you are right now. It’s something personal too – I don’t know if you ve heard of things like the 365 sex challenge? Where couples have sex every day? They usually end up loving the intimacy of that, it always brings them closer together, even when they’re not in the mood when they start. Yoga can be like that. Some yogis swear by always showing up on the mat regardless.

For me there is something else that always works, that always makes me feel better, and that when in doubt I now always chose over doing yoga: cleaning my house. It never fails to leave me happy and satisfied. Which is why I do yoga when the mood strikes, sex when Cupid does but I show up for housekeeping 365 days a year.
16 maxresdefault

Home and Class Practice: week 16

I’m teaching from Yoga with Adriene for 21 weeks & provide her videos for home practice. This is week 16. Our week starts on Monday and you ll receive new blogposts every week if you sign up in the right column.

Day 14 Mindful Hatha Yoga Workout  16 minutes pdf 
Day 15 Half Hour Half Moon Practice  29 minutes pdf
Day 16 Easy Breezy Beautiful Yoga 14 minutes pdf

In addition to Adriene’s forward fold on the photo day 16 – here’s a link to an article about a daily forward fold and squad.
The only two poses you need for mental and physical balance

Click here for the overview of all Yoga with Adriene pdf’s 

week 14/21: Yoga for the holidays and other messy times

14 maxresdefaultby Suzanne L. Beenackers

I ve been working on my new apartment and this morning I discovered I actually had paint on my belly! I already knew I am far from presentable these days, but that I had gotten to the level where I am no longer aware of what happens to my naked body? That was a new low.
Last week I realized the upcoming move and the stress of organizing moving house, was taking its toll. Every day it became harder to teach; the sticky men schedule didn’t have any meaning to me. It was like I had planned a certain meal in advance, but on the day itself didn’t fancy it at all… So I threw it out the window.
Not for good of course. Just for now!

When you don’t feel like having a certain meal, don’t eat it. When you don’t feel like doing a certain practice, don’t do it either. If you don’t believe me, just try. It will only leave you angry and dissatisfied.

The alternative is to tap into your desires and needs at that moment, and go from there.

So I ll be freestyle teaching, and we have a few holidays coming up, making this our schedule:

Monday April 27
Koningsdag – no classes

Tuesday 28- Friday May 1
regular classes, freestyle teaching.
The home practice video is:
week 14  Yoga with Adriene Mindful Hatha yoga Workout 16 minutes

Monday May 4- Friday May 8
Holiday, no classes

Monday May 11
New blog, providing my internet is up in my new house.

Monday May 11- Friday May 15
Current planning is to have my comfortably regulated life back and teach from 14 and 15 from Yoga with Adriene.





week 12/21: Why I do fitness with Zuzka. And wear a suit.

1985 gok ik 2b9e73c3d632bc98ed993bd63f1fd586by Suzanne L. Beenackers

It started when I heard myself say to a student, for reasons yet forgotten: “I believe that wearing the right clothing is what makes you successful. The day I am showered, in a smart suit, with high heels, behind my desk at 10 a.m. , is the day I start earning 100.000 euros a year.”
And when I said it I thought: then why am I not doing it?
Sure, there is the excuse I work nights teaching my classes. I’ve tried being productive the first hours of the day, but that was like working double shifts. If I worked nights, worked mornings, resisted the urge to take naps and instead resolved to anything computer in the afternoon, when exactly was my workday beginning? And more importantly; when was it ending?
But aside from working nights there was a second reason I it took me a while to be up and ready to go: my yoga practice. Or postponing yoga practice. I had a “morning” yoga practice of 30 minutes to an hour but my computer was seducing me to check email, get some minor stuff done, have a latte, and all those other tempting suggestions my computer usually makes.
Often I still had not practiced when it was time for lunch, and I was still in sweatpants. Whether I chose yoga or lunch: I had already lost the chance of having a professional feeling about myself.

The day I am showered, in smart shoes, with high heels, behind my desk at 10 a.m. ,
is the day I start earning 100.000 euros a year.

With a mediocre yoga practice and feeling incompetent every day, I really had little to loose.

Material Girl

Day 1. I was behind my desk for 5 minutes when my mom called with an unbelievable story: she had inherited € 4000 unexpectedly. That was quick for the money to start pouring in! This was to the family, not into my personal bank account, but it was a good start. One hour later, a friend at the housing company rang my bell, I proudly opened the door, make-up on and all. He debriefed me on my housing situation: I could stay for another two months.

Since then my doorbell rang every day (versus the usual once a week) ; to fix the gas meter, to ask me for help on a surprise dinner, to accept a package for a neighbor. And in general, I get invited to parties, asked for dates, someone gives me life saving advice on my cat: it’s a miracle what happens when you’re ready to receive what life has to offer.

Fitness with Zuzka

I tried to squeeze in yoga before 10. But there was still the tow pulling between a full practice, my 10 a.m. deadline, and my computer whispering sweet nothings. And then I remembered that I still had my Zuzka schedules! Last time I had a consistent Zuzka practice was beginning 2014 and I could just flow through even the toughest vinyasa power class I teach. It was amazing how strong I got! And that could be achieved with short work-outs, using my professional dumbbells. I’ll share the sticky men schedules I crafted for my personal use with you next week. Give me some time to make them more clear, and in the meantime you go buy a set of dumbbells.Zuzka_Stand_Up_For_Yourself-post

Zuzka is a fitness expert. She started about 8 years ago I think, in some kind of improvised gym basement with a shy Zuzka (still insecure about her English) and her husband filming. It developed into a large online fitness empire Bodyrock and a marriage that was so dysfunctional that you couldn’t watch the camera angles without feeling sorry for poor Zuzka far away from Czechoslovakia. They were always moving; North America, Canada, Malta. The houses were all equally cold and eerie.  Late 2011 she posted a video insisting nothing was wrong with their marriage. Her last message was that she looked forward to focusing more on food videos and leave the fitness stuff to others. Then she disappeared all together.

Early 2012 one of the two friends who I had infected with my Zuzka virus, found her again. Zuzka had started her own You Tube channel. She was still in shape but with less muscle definition, and she was alone. In half a year she buffed up in front of the camera, got dogs and moved to a house with Melrose Place like charm. She had friends, she had fun, and a little while later there even was a new guy.  For this post I did some research and stumbled upon her post “Open Letter to all my fans“, summer 2014. Zuzka is the sweetest thing that ever happened to fitness, and if you still waste time and money going to the gym for endless cardio sessions let me whisper a sweet nothing in your ear:


Sorry I yelled.

adriene 12Home and Class Practice: week 12

I’m teaching from Yoga with Adriene for 21 weeks & provide her videos here for home practice. This is week 12. Our week starts on Monday. You ll receive new blogposts every Sunday night.

Day 12 Yoga for Spinal Health  12 minutes  pdf
With rockstar yoga pants and the first Locust pose that says looky flookie. What’s not to love? ;)

Day 23 Freedom and Forgiveness  23 minutes  pdf

You can find the overview of all videos and pdf’s we did in class, on my page Yoga with Adriene.

week 10+11: Five Home Practices and Madonna

2015 04 images

Madonna Cosmopolitan May 2015

by Suzanne L. Beenackers

I actually felt kind of flattered last week. I didn’t post a home yoga schedule here, nor mentioned it in class, and a student asked:
What happened to Adriene?!
We’re practicing from the 30 Day Yoga Challenge, but last week was week 10 (equals Day 10 in the Challenge) and it was Sun Salutations, so I could easily leave that out in order to practice from Sadie Nardini’s Self-Sabotage Busting Power Hour.
I also added vini yoga if you need back therapy, gave Adriene’s Gentle Yummy Yoga a rerun and all with a spicy Madonna Rebel Heart soundtrack. Suffice to say: she forgave me.

last week 10

video: Sadie Nardini’s Self-Sabotage Busting Power Hour.   1 hour 5 minutes
Shakti kicks! Shakti kicks! Now in the comfort of your own home.
video: Day 10 Sun Salutations  12 minutes
12 minute Vini Yoga Sequence
therapeutic yoga. And remember the name: vini yoga. Could save you one day.

this week 11

video: Yoga with Adriene Day 22 Full Body Awareness  23 minutes pdf
video: Yoga with Adriene Day 11 Shakti Yoga Practice  30 minutes pdf
both with lion’s breathe just like last week’s Sadie Nardini.
And I ll throw in some Shakti kicks for extra fun if you come to class.

11 maxresdefault

week 9/21: Karma and Dharma made easy (and useful)

1332052649304_4450334by Suzanne L. Beenackers

After a day of dallying, then hurrying, then enjoying myself at two family events, I had only just enough time to bring out my vote for the elections, and then teach my class. But I had not counted on a hundred people in front of me wanting to do the same thing. The waiting time was 20 minutes, according to someone who had just done her civil duty. Vaguely I remembered reading that our city had brought down the number of voting bureaus by 20 percent this year. Which could explain why the waiting time had increased by a 1000 percent.
“The bureau at the train station is probably crowded as well,” the voter added.
But it was my only chance.
After only a small detour I managed to drop by at the station, and gasped:  the line was so long, voting would probably have closed by the time it was my turn. And besides I had a class to teach in less than half an hour.
I wondered what was more important: my duty as a citizen or to teach my class?
And I immediately knew the answer because I remembered this very simple rule:
Dharma always starts close to home. 

Dharma means your path, your role, that which you must do in life. We all have conflicting dharmas, for example finding a balance between work and family life. The “rule” as I was taught, and that I wholeheartedly agree with, is the responsibility (=dharma) that is closest to you comes first.
For example:
Your duty towards yourself is more important than towards those closest to you.
And your responsibilities as a spouse/parent/ child are more important than towards the company you work for.

And there is another one, which is useful: NEEDS go before WANTS
Your own needs, are more important than the needs of your pets and relatives.
But your wants are less important than their needs.

I still had time for one more try: a community building that might have a voting bureau. I was lucky: it was so quiet the employees were folding paper planes and trying different techniques to make it fly higher. They laughed when I arrived and took their places back behind the desk to form the line of ID check, voters list, and handing out the forms.
I was done in less than 2 minutes and was able to fulfill all my dharmas that day.

The day after the elections I was on the phone with a yogic friend. We were shopping for new online training courses. I wanted to purchase two of the smaller ones, and said what I would be paying, since it was donation based. My friend thought that was a bit high, as my income is low, and the donation based idea was (in her opinion) for people like me, so we got bottom price.
We hung up, and before I transferred the money, I went to the site of the teacher and noticed that the two courses that I had planned to purchase donation based, were actually completely free for the whole week. She didn’t ask me for a dime if I got it directly from her.
I had expressed the willingness to pay to the Universe, to donate what I could miss, and in return the course was thrown into my lap for absolutely free.
That is karma.
And the expensive course my friend was about to purchase, was on there too; for the exact price my friend had planned to donate for that extensive donation based training.

Karma is getting back what you send out: you give money, time or love in one place, and you ll get money, time or love back. More often than not from someone unrelated to where you invested! I remember when I still had an expensive studio; One of my tenants wanted to rent more hours, but I couldn’t offer that. I brought him into contact with a different studio where he could get the desired time slots. As a result, I lost income, because he took the other hours with him as well. Yet I remained certain I had done the right thing.

Half a year later, I made the decision to move to a cheaper studio, one I could afford without renting it out. Within three days after posting my request on Facebook I received an email from a yoga teacher I had never heard of. A friend of a friend had recommended me. She offered me one of the oldest and probably only affordable yoga studio we have here. And in the heart of the city.

And I immediately knew it was because I had acted in the best interest of my tenant, and not my own. I knew it was because of karma.

9week 9

I’m teaching from Yoga with Adriene for 21 weeks & provide her videos here for home practice. This is week 9. Our week starts on Monday. You ll receive new blogposts every Sunday night.

Day 9 Full Potential Detox Practice 
26 minutes       pdf 
Strong standing practice with high lunges. And the inside joke Adriene makes about Towanda? That’s from Fried Green Tomatoes! One of my favorite movies. And Adriene’s too, apparently.

Day 24 Gentle Yummy Yoga     19 minuten    pdf     

Last week I posted an overview of all practices, but the pdf with week 3 wasn’t the right one.
I updated last week’s post, and it now contains all videos + the right pdf.

Day 1 Ease into it                        35 minutes        pdf day 1
Day 2 Stretch & Soothe             33 minutes         pdf day 2
Day 3 Forget what you know    23 minutes        pdf day 3
Day 4 Yoga for your Back          20 minutes        pdf day 4
Day 5 Feel Alive Flow                  16 minutes        pdf day 5
Day 6 Six Pack Abs                      17 minutes        pdf day 6
Day 7 Total Body Yoga               30 minutes        pdf day 7
Day 8 Yoga for Healing and Meditation         28 minutes      pdf day 8
Day 25 Dancing Warrior          12 minutes        pdf day 25  


week 8/21: Yoga to go

IMG-20150307-WA0000 - outtake

Want the top? Follow Yoga with Adriene! T Shirt shop will be launched soon.

by Suzanne L. Beenackers

Already on a third of my 21 week long mission, quest, thing (this was me quoting hobbit Merry again) to teach from Yoga with Adriene videos. Now a couple of things are working out brilliantly:
1. I don’t have to come-up with what I ll be teaching- it’s pretty much set.
2. Which leaves me time to write great stories about my fetish for bankersdiet tips for Hobbits, and how to find the fountain of happiness.
But next to these successes, two things are not working:
1. I get wild with enthusiasm and spend an entire workday a week on writing this blog.
2. leaving no time or energy to commit to drawing accompanying yoga sticky men pdfs with the video.

I easily came up with excuses for not delivering the pdfs – this challenge was organic (great word for not keeping ones promises!) and besides most of you would probably have forgotten about it. And Adriene’s videos are so great! Sticky men schedules are static, and for the sake of clarity I have to simplify Adriene’s routine. So why transfer something really good, to something less brilliant right?
Just like videos, sticky men schedules are a valuable self-practice tool. They are easy accessible because you immediately see what you should be doing, you can practice off-line, at your own pace, and learn to turn inward and rely on yourself.
And you can print them and touch the paper! *soft delighted sigh* I keep my schedules in a ring binder and name them after World cities, role models, a special year, or give them clickbait titles as “Forever young”.

8 maxresdefaultSo this week I ll give you an overview of the 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene videos we’ve done so far + week 8.
This time I m making up for everything i missed! I m afraid this post took me two work days …..
So here are the schedules I made the first weeks + created the ones I missed because I was too busy with boys, my hips and writing about Miss Piggy.

week 8

I’m teaching from Yoga with Adriene for 21 weeks & provide her videos here for home practice. This is week 8. And this video is so good it belongs to the 30 Day Yoga With Adriene favorites.
Our week starts on Monday. You ll receive new blogposts every Sunday night.

Day 1 Ease into it                        35 minutes        pdf day 1
Day 2 Stretch & Soothe             33 minutes         pdf day 2
Day 3 Forget what you know    23 minutes        pdf day 3
Day 4 Yoga for your Back          20 minutes        pdf day 4
Day 5 Feel Alive Flow                  16 minutes        pdf day 5
Day 6 Six Pack Abs                      17 minutes        pdf day 6
Day 7 Total Body Yoga               30 minutes        pdf day 7
Day 8 Yoga for Healing and Meditation         28 minutes      pdf day 8
Day 25 Dancing Warrior          12 minutes        pdf day 25  

I ll teach Day 8 Yoga for Healing and Meditation, and last week’s day 7 Total Body Yoga, because they make quite a lovely pair.

Click Here for Spotify Yoga Playlist March-
Very Rare Tracks from Meghan Currie time laps videos
topped off with a juicy 50 Shades of Grey