Dear Japan Fans, do you have any good resolutions? For many in the group it is a difficult time, because the pandemic has caused all kinds of budo training to be cancelled. How can you still start 2022 – the year of the Tiger – healthy, happy and harmonious? We asked Do-In yoga teacher and Japan-addict Mariska Gunsing.
Mariska took our question to the next level. “What will the world look like when we live in balance with nature?”, she asked herself. And this inquiry lead her to develop a whole new Japanese yoga and philosophy workshop series. With the code “JAPANFANS” you can join a free online class, where she will explain everything about it. But in a nutshell: Mariska believes that when we connect better with nature (and therefore with ourselves), we collectively feel more intrinsic motivation to take good care of nature and ourselves. She even dares to say that we can alleviate many of today’s major problems – such as depression, burnout, and the climate crises – by reconnecting with nature.
If you like Mariska’s 10 free yoga routines, you will love this! In twelve monthly sessions, you will experience the annual energy cycle of nature, through practical exercises from the Chinese-Japanese yoga form Do-In, the theory inspired by the Taoist seasonal calendar, and linked themes from ancient Japanese Zen-Buddhist life philosophy. When is the best month to develop new ideas? And when is the best time to release it? When is evaluation important? And how can you support this within your yoga practice every month?
“There is a slight difference between the modern western and ancient eastern seasonal calendars”, Mariska explains. “In the west, for example, we decided summer starts on the longest day: June 21. According to the Taoist calendar, summer is at its peak (most Yang energy) on that day. By starting the summer on June 21, we miss the entire build-up of the season. According to the Taoists, the seasons build up and off around the peaks, starting 6 weeks earlier than the western ones. In this philosophy, we can divide each season into three months with their own energy and qualities. The monthly workshops and course classes are always scheduled at the beginning of these months so you can practice throughout the month with the associated yoga exercises and Japanese philosophy.”
If you like the free online class, you can sign up for the year program. As Mariska already announced in our Facebook group, her lessons are free for people who currently are in a burnout or depression, or have financial problems due to the pandemic. But how does she do that, she has to live too, right? “Before the pandemic I worked full time as a yoga teacher for 10 years. I saved a lot of money so I could travel Japan. During my travels and the pandemic, I learned it is more important that I can really help people than that I get rich from it. Yes, I am also struggling as an entrepreneur during the pandemic, but I am finding new ways to live from yoga; online for example. That’s why I created a system that people pay what they can, because I think yoga should be available to everyone for a better future.”
Where & when?
The table below shows where and when you can join the classes. If you participate online, you will receive a video in your inbox on the day the new month within the season starts, including the corresponding Japanese philosophy. You can do this video whenever you want, but it’s best to do it within the first two weeks of that month.
+ theory (Dutch & English)
in your inbox
|Samana Yoga Center|
Friday evenings 18.30 – 20.00
January 7 (via Zoom)
Loenen aan de Vecht
10.30 – 12.00
Saturday mornings 10.00 – 12.00
Interested? Send Mariska an email (email@example.com) indicating how/where/when you would like to participate and she will send you all information! Don’t forget to use the code “JAPANFANS” when mailing her, for your free video lesson. It is always possible to join the live classes later and receive the videos and theory on earlier classes in your mail retroactively. Last but not least, Mariska follows the regulations of the government. If classes cannot continue live due to the pandemic, they will always continue online.