Inspiring Yoga Story: Lotte van Graas aka @theyoganomad.nl
Since 2009 more than 4000 students have become part of the Arhanta Yoga family. We feel blessed to see them grow, to be part of their journey and to see them inspire others. Below we share with you the story of our student Lotte van Graas, also known as the Yoga Nomad.
I remember being in Paschimottanasana, not able to touch my toes – when I heard Omkar’s voice through the shala: “The pose you hate the most is the one you need the most!” I wanted to kill him. I didn’t though- because Ram’s lecture about Ahimsa earlier that day had made quite an impression on me. #donotharm
It was India October 2015 – holy cow, for sure the most challenging month of my life. I had barley any yoga experience when I started my teacher training and I was one of the most inflexible yogis from a group of 32. I also never had been on a vegan diet, was not used to getting up as early, had never heard a Sanskrit word before and could not sing a mantra without bursting into laughter. Before i decided to go to India for a my yoga teacher training I was working in communications and events for a golf tournament for kids! I loved the kids, but golf was not my passion and that’s why I stopped.
Everything at the ashram was so new and the whole experience was so intense. Not even for a second did I think to ever become a yoga teacher but… here I am now. I get to wake up with love & passion in my heart everyday, teaching the practice that made me a better person.
The training at Arhanta was a pivotal moment in my life. From the moment that I taught my first class I felt that something was shifting. I noticed so clearly that I didn’t just want to work to pay the bills. I felt a deep desire to make the world a better and more loving place and for me yoga was the perfect tool to use.
Shine your Light and use your Practice as an Agent for Change in the World.
I started teaching yoga almost accidentally: I was taking classes in a little studio at Gili Trawangan (Bali) and one day the teacher dropped out and they asked me if I could take the class! I was so scared and nervous but I did it and from that moment on I knew that I had found my new purpose. I continued to teach there for a while and then returned back home to Holland to set up The Yoga Nomad!
I went full in and these days I am a full time yoga teacher. I travel the world with the mission to inspire people to live from the heart. I teach classes and workshops at big gatherings like Copenhagen Yoga Festival, Amersfoort Yoga Festival and Tomorrowland. Companies like Nike and Samsung hire me to share the practice with their employees and I have plenty of regular classes in studios in Zeist and Amsterdam. I traveled a lot but now I have centered myself in a tiny house in Vinkeveen, near to the water. Nature inspires me everyday but I am still close to urban city life when I feel like it. I love to host retreats and I still travel to India each year to practice and to find new inspiration.
One of the most inspiring experiences as a yoga teacher was the first Happy Heart Yoga Retreat that I organized with my best friend who is a vegan chef. We took 10 women to Mallorca and created a space for yoga, relaxing, sharing, silence, healing and fun. It was hard work and very challenging in many ways but I loved all of it – from beginning to end!
My way of living is not for everybody but I encourage you to go with whatever sparks your curiosity on this path for more consciousness and connection. There is so much to learn, love and give and receive.
Enjoy your time at Arhanta Yoga Ashram, don’t be afraid to peel of those layers from your heart, be open for change! Before you know it – it will be over and then it’s up to you to choose your direction.
You can follow my journey on Instagram through @theyoganomad.nl and I am happy to assist with any questions. Also, find my podcast – The Conscious Junkie Show – about yoga, consciousness and traveling on any podcast channel!
Love and Light,
The Yoga Nomad, Lotte van Graas