About Pauline I was born in The Netherlands in 1974. Since 2011 I live in Florence after having lived in many other places throughout my life including Bali, Ibiza, London, New York, Philadelphia, Rome, Sicily and Thailand. In 2006 I was diagnosed with a chronic disease which completely turned my life upside down. I decided to leave my previous career and lifetsyle and turn everything around! Coming from a materialistic and external oriented 'western' background, I started working with Non-Governmental Organisations voluntarily and eventually decided to dedicate my life to Healing & Spiritual Development. After years of study and practise I became a certified Healing Tao Instructor in 2010, specialising in Asian martial arts based practises of moving meditations such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi. Yoga was introduced to me by my aunt when I was 12 years old, after I had to give up a professional career as a ballet dancer due to serious knee injury. It has been pretty much the only constant factor in my life since then. With more than 25 years of practise in many forms and styles of Yoga, I recently completed a second Yoga Teacher certification according to the teaching methods of the great Swami Sivananda. It is my passion to share the path of Hatha Yoga and Meditation with you, hoping it wil enrich your lives as it has and does mine. About Yoga Yoga has become very popular over the past few decades, and nowadays you can find Yoga centers or classes just about anywhere. Along with the growing amount of people practising Yoga, so have the types and styles of Yoga on offer grown rapidly recently! Personally I have practised Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Bikram, Iyengar, Kundalini, Sivananda and even Laughter Yoga. As Yoga has been developing into a commercial business, how do you know what kind of Yoga class you will be offered and how true will the content be to it's origin? The classes I offer are a classic form of Hatha Yoga, in the traditional style of Swami Sivananda, and his disciple Swami Vishnu-devananda. In principle there are four paths of Yoga: Bhakti Yoga (devotion), Karma Yoga (selfless service), Jnana Yoga (right inquiry) and Raja Yoga (physical and mental control). Hatha Yoga is a physical and mental practise (part of Raja Yoga) we do to enable us to unify our physical, emotional and mental bodies. We practise Yoga so that the quality of our lives are enriched by a deeper state of tranquility and peace. The true nature of oneself is often covered by thoughts and behavioural patterns (so-called 'Vrittis' in Sanskrit). Without them we are simply at peace. So, we practise Yoga not only physically, but also mentally by watching our thoughts and analysing them. In a nutshell our goal in Yoga is to practise (postures and breathing), and to let go (non-attachment). These are the two ways of dealing with our body and mind to achieve a neutral state, or peace. In the famous words of Patanjali in his first two Sutras: ''Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirrodha'' meaning Yoga begins now by stopping the mind. It is in this peaceful state where the union of body mind and spirit takes place. Anyone can practise Yoga and you do not need to be flexible, strong, athletic, slim, good or anything else to be able to do it. Just an open mind and willingness to explore your body, mind and soul is enough!