My yoga mat became a sacred space for myself to discover my true potential, to gain more strength and confidence to embrace my fears and doubts and live with them as my teachers, instead of obstacles. Yoga and travelling seemed to go hand in hand, and I progressed on my yoga path with the aid of Krishna Gobala, a traditional yoga teacher of the Bihar school, studied Ashtanga Vinyasa with Vijay Amar in Dharamsala, immersed myself in aTibetan Buddhism 10-day meditation retreat, and established life long friendships and connections with my Buddhist friends in the Himalayas, with who I founded a travel agency. In my yoga practice and daily life I honour the Kriya Yoga, the Himalayan and T. Krishnamacharya lineages, which have all three influenced me lots. I have studied Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Taoist 5 elements Theory, the wisdom of Ayurveda, EFT, and Chi Nei Tsang, Ayurvedic Yoga Massage, pranayama, Yoga for women and yoga therapy for depression, burn-out and chronic fatigue.In 2013 I completed my first 200hrs vinyasa and yin yoga teacher training in Bali with Simone McKay, Bex Tyer, Cat Kabira, Tina Nance at the School of Sacred Arts. Back in Europe I deepened my yin yoga practice with Sarah Powers and Simon Low, followed a yoga therapy training for stress and burn-out at the Yogacampus in London, and gained inspiration out of workshops with many devoted yoga teachers. In 2015 I got accredited as a Radiant Child yoga teacher and in March 2016 I have completed an advanced 500 RYT teacher training with Daniel Aaron, James Mattingley, Damien De Bali, Edward Clarck, Nikki Doane and the Radiantly Alive team in Bali, followed by a pranayama intensive course with Sudhir Tiwari in Vienna. Since 2017 I have been regularly studying and taking silent retreats at the Himalayan Institute of Swami Rama in Rishikesh. Since 9 years I have been travelling to the Indian Himalayas, where I travelled extensively and guided many Buddhist cultural tours. The Ladakhi people have closed me in their heart and I have build life long friendships with them. Especially the family Togocheepa is very close to my heart and together we created our dream of an Eco Hotel and panoramic Yoga Studio in the Himalayan mountains. Our first Himalayan Yoga retreats will start from August 2019 onwards.
Personally for me the highest aim of yoga is to honor the wisdom of life, and trust that life offers us exactly what we need in this moment, whether we recognize it or not. Yoga is a practice, never the same, of moving with life instead of against it. Yoga has the power to heal and sooth our bodies and mind and at the same time strengthen and train both of them so we come closer to our own seat of knowledge, re-connect with who we truly are. Yoga nowadays means embodying the qualities we develop on the mat and act according them into a world where more kindness, truth, love and connection is needed.
I strongly believe in empowering people and encouraging them to live their dreams, and be grateful for what life gives you, joy or challenge, as a gift for you to grow and reconnect, in order to become a more fearless, loving and joyous human warrior.
Born in Belgium and based at Island Yoga Retreat on the beautiful island of Koh Yai Noi in Southern Thailand, I feel grateful to live up to my given name Veerle which means “Travelling warrior”. Since early childhood the mystery of the faraway land India had a great attraction to me. Since my first visit in my early twenties, I felt mesmerized and enchanted by the beauty of this magical land with its ancient roots in the traditions of Yoga, Buddhism and Hinduism.
My love for the land of holy cows and chai soon got interwoven with a deep passion for Yoga. While I was working in a slum with street children in India, Yoga offered me another perspective on the harsh surroundings I was working in. My yoga practice was an anchor during this time and made me looking deeper in the validity and benefits of yoga in a modern day life and fast speed society driven by a lot of fear, power and violence.
With a background as a western psychologist, I always had strong fascination for the mind, but I missed the incorporation of body and soul in most of the western approaches. Discovering the Yoga teachings and philosophy based on the Yoga sutra’s of Patanjali opened a whole new and holistic approach to the body, mind and soul and seemed to be the answer she was looking for. Together with the Tibetan Buddhist teachings (Chögyam Trungpa, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, ...) about the nature of the mind and cultivation of compassion, as well as the Taoist Five elements theory, these philosophies are the main sources of inspiration for her personal development and teachings.
'Veerle is a very skilled, warm and kind yoga teacher. Her lessons are suitable for trained yoga students but for beginners as well. What I liked most about her class was the personal touch. Veerle gives all of herself in every lesson and is always open for questions or a helping hand. A recommendation!' (Hanne)
Veerle is a very patient and motivating yoga teacher. She encourages her students to try every pose, although they might be a little difficult in the beginning, but without pushing. Veerle is very willing to help you if you are struggling with a pose. Besides, from the moment she starts talking, she grasps your attention and you will immediately feel calm. It often happened that I almost fell asleep at the end of her class, which should be taken as a compliment. I always left the room with a smile on my face and a peaceful feeling, already looking forward to the next yoga session. (Lisa)
When ever I think about Yoga with Veerle the colour yellow comes to my mind. The colour is all around her, and her lessons create this warm, peacefull and happy energy that surrounds all of us. She always helped me with my inner process without even knowing; just by always finding the right poses and words at the right time. And at the end of every lesson you leave the mat with a yellow glow in your heart. (Kim)
Veerle is amazing! I got blown away and inspired by the variety of her classes and the wisdom she radiates. She touches every aspect of yoga and has the power to transform. Thanks Veerle! (Jan)
Veerle is a great yoga teacher. I've had a few teachers, but she's the only one who motivated me to keep on doing yoga. She is able to teach an entire class with different levels without losing her patience. She's a professional with kindness and humanity. She has an indescribable calmness that influences your own attitude. She keeps on encouraging and believing in your ability to do yoga. You won't regret going to her classes! (Lise)
I didn’t feel well at that time in my life, I suffered from insomnia and I was hoping yoga would help to bring some positive changes in my life. It took me a while before I found a style of yoga that suited me the best. The calm, but intense practices of Veerle’s yin yoga classes were exactly what I needed. I re-established more and more the connection with and within my own body. After her classes my sleep was deep and restoring, and for a long time I woke up again fresh and with a clear mind. The fact that Veerle has a background as a psychologist, and has overcome similar difficulties herself, has definitely contributed to the fact that I felt very understood and safe with her. During her classes Veerle shares interesting knowledge about the functioning of our vital organs, the meridian lines and points and how these energy channels of the body influence them. Veerle has contributed to the fact that I have grown more confidence in life and myself, and that I am able to cope much better and with more resilience to daily life challenges. Therefore I can warmly recommend Veerle’s classes to everyone. (Zabine)
Veerle offers a beautiful yoga practice. She is very experienced in teaching and has a calm and caring attitude. Her classes can be very challenging but never lacking lightness and the joy of the practice. She offers clear instructions which makes it easy to follow. She adapts her lessons to the need of the individual so that it is a rewarding experience for everyone. She covers a wide variety of aspects of yoga and pranayama so that every class with her is different and each one most enjoyable. Her gentle and loving approach are wonderful. Nobody should miss an opportunity of joining her yoga classes. (Rita)