Yoga and Friendships


As I look back at 2015 it was an outrageous year! My mantra was to “get out of my house” so to speak and experience life outside of my comfort zone. And serendipity somehow invited three trips to Mexico, Italy and Costa Rica. I had the time of my life and each adventure was amazing and unique with beautiful friends!

Then the second half of the year I ventured out in my business which turned out to be the most challenging thing of all. The world can be a harsh place but the silver lining is all of the support I have received from my real friends, which also now includes my amazing daughters who supported me every step of the way! I am blessed with people who love and care about it. It has been truly amazing. And one thing I know for sure is that the true meaning of yoga is friendship. A direct outcome of your practice shows in the quality of your friendships. Your true friends shine in the darkness. There are friendships all around when you open your eyes to the world. We can all be kinder and more compassionate to ourselves and to each other.

Even though I don’t put much emphasis on the calendar new year, I do feel the pull of winter draw me in deeper to my inner-self. I have been wounded these past few months so I am taking the time to heal. I know the world can be a harsh place out there but I still choose to see the good in everyone. And even though my strongest desire is to run and hide, I am practicing courage to stay connected to my friends and the world. So as one year ends my practice is to let go and release. In the practice of contemplation and meditation, it has created space and freedom for something new. My new mantra for 2016 is to nurture the friendships I have and to cultivate new friendships and deeper intimacy with others and the world around me. I do have a tendency to cocoon and be a bit of a loner but I know that we can not heal on our own. We need each other and we need to share our pain and joy with others. I also know that the ability to be with your own suffering also gives you the ability to be with someone else’s. And isn’t this what true friendship is about? Being there for others in time of need and also to share the happiness too.

Michael Stone said “…2016 is not yet written and that who we live at this very moment has the power to write it with every act of our body, heart and speech.” And Mahatma Gandhi said “The future depends on what we do in the present.” So I intend to stay open even though I want to close in the illusion of safety. And in the present I stay connected to my true friends even though sometimes I want to hide. And in the present I am always grateful for whatever arises whether sadness or joy as I know and trust that life is always changing and I am always growing and learning. I choose to balance between time to cocoon and nurture myself and time to be with my treasured friends.

Namaste and many Blissings for the New Year



  1. Janet harrison says:

    Hi Nienke,
    It is always uplifting to read your words 🙂 My past year included great happiness along with great change! I always thought I was one to accept change quickly, but that wasn’t so. I have realized as I get older the wiser side of that takes a bit longer to fall into place…..for me anyway. With great change came some realization that I was stuck emotionally and didnt want to move on. Thanks to time I have come through this change and am moving forward. I am very very happy that I can fit yoga back into my life, I missed it considerably and now know how important it is , especially with you, Nienke at Yoga Bliss , and the community of ladies.
    To all who read this, a Very Healthy and Happy New Year. Let 2016 be one of our best years yet!

    Hugs to All,

  2. I too tend to cocoon, I’m a little quieter and shy….everything you say in your blog is so true…I am a work in progress. I hope you have a wonderful 2016. Thanks for all you have done for me over the years, you are a wonderful person that I am very happy to know.
    Love you….Pat

  3. Joanne Cleary says:

    Nienke:You are a fabulous person who walks the walk and talks the talk of yoga. I always find that out of the darkness comes great learning and sometimes, being alone is necessary to process all of this learning. I love the way you teach and your caring manner. We love you for you and don’t you forget that. Never let anyone else dim that beautiful light of yours. Shine on, Nienke. Shine on.

  4. Lovely words! I can completely connect with the last paragraph since I tend to be a kind of a shut off and I need to constantly push myself in the right direction. But I do it and I never give up. Surely, being alone has its benefits sometimes and it gives us enough time to process things, but being surrounded by supportive people and close friends is simply priceless.
    I hope 2016 will be as eventful and successful just like the previous year was and that you will achieve all your goals.

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