About Us

YC logo, websiteThe Yoga Community was founded in 2002, and is dedicated to the teachings of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnu-devananda. We offer classes, courses, satsangs, workshops, special guests, and retreats, all in the pure Sivananda yoga tradition – as well as creating a place for you to feel comfortable and at home, no matter who you are or where you’re from. The instructors of the YC have all completed their training and received certification through the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers (www.sivananda.org) and we maintain the joy and purity of these wonderful teachings in our classes.


Susan Nicolas (spiritual name Bhagavati) founded the Yoga Community in 2002, where she teaches weekly yoga classes and organizes retreats, workshops, satsangs and courses, as well as assisting with training teachersShe received her international yoga teacher’s certification through the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers in 1995 and went on to serve as staff in this organization, teaching and practicing yoga throughout the US and the Bahamas. She is also the mother of two boys, a massage therapist and a former professional modern dancer. Susan is deeply grateful to the gurus for this beautiful tradition, and grateful for YOU, the Yoga Community.

unnamedMarieke Versteegen (Ananda) took a beginners yoga course with the Yoga Community years ago, and it felt like coming home. The joy, stability, and lightness from the practice led her to a more yogic lifestyle, and inspired her to take the TTC in the Himalayas in 2014. Marieke feels drawn to the devotional path of Bhakti yoga and chanting, she also loves to share yoga with teenagers, helping to bring positive body-awareness and inner connection during this challenging time. Marieke is blessed to be a part of the Yoga Community, sharing the wonderfully balanced and meditative teachings of Sivananda Yoga.

unnamedDana van Breukelen grew up in a yoga ashram and has travelled to India many times. While studying Anthropology, Hindi, and Hinduism in Amsterdam, she discovered the Yoga Community and felt very much at home with the Sivananda tradition. She appreciates the holistic inclusion of asana, pranayama, and mantra in every class, allowing us to reaccess inner stillness and bliss on all levels. She finished her TTC in 2016 in the Himalayas and loves sharing this practice as a teacher at the Yoga Community. Making music and singing mantras is another yogic path she enjoys very much.

Lisette_bio picLisette Verdoes (Gauri Devi) was sixteen when she took her first Sivananda yoga class in NYC – it felt like coming home right away. When she moved back to Amsterdam, she was happy to meet Susan and the Yoga Community. In 2015 she completed her TTC at the Sivananda ashram in the Bahamas, and became even more inspired to share the teachings with others. She is very grateful to the masters Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda for their wisdom and guidance. Lisette is also a classical homeopath and writer.

Palmyra Bakker has been on the yoga path for more than 15 years. She completed her Sivananda yoga teachers training in the Himalayas, an experience that had a big impact on her life. Palmyra’s passion for yoga stems from the strength the practice gives her in the face of difficulty, as well as the sustained feeling of oneness, flexibility, balance and transcendence she experiences from yoga. Palmyra greatly enjoys teaching yoga and having the opportunity to share these deeply positive experiences.

Stanneke Kusters was drawn to yoga for some years before she went to the Sivananda ashram in Kerala, India in 2010 to do the TTC and ATTC . During the three months in the ashram she enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere and the inspiring teachers and lessons, and loved every minute of it. The regular practice of yoga gives her an anchor in daily life and she is happy to share all the mental, physical and spiritual benefits that a yoga practice offers. Yoga is for everyone. She is very grateful for the existence of the Yoga Community in Amsterdam and to be part of it.

gregvooryoga3.jpgAfter Gregory Forster was introduced to yoga by a good friend, he continued practicing on his own for many years. When he went looking for a group class he finally found the Yoga Community and knew that this was the place for him. He became a Sivananda teacher in India in 2013, and has been happily sharing his passion for yoga with others – first at his house and now very gratefully (for everyone :) at the Yoga Community. Gregory is a father of five wonderful children (who also practice yoga with him) and a high school math teacher. He looks forward to seeing you in class!

NatasjaNatasja Siddhī Meeuwenberg fell in love with Sivananda yoga while she was traveling through Kerala, India, in 2009 . She finds that this tradition of yoga beautifully compliments her work as a ER nurse in its emphasis on devotion, service, and a holistically healthy lifestyle. After practicing as a student of the Yoga Community for many years Siddhī completed the TTC at the New York Ranch in 2015. She is honored to serve as a channel for the teachings of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda and to share them with others.

OmmurtiSince Ommurti Merlot started practicing yoga it has completely changed her life for the better. Through yoga she has learned to better deal with stress, negativity, and depression and how to fully enjoy the beauty of life. Ommurti has served many times in a yoga ashram in India, which triggered her real evolution towards a yogic lifestyle. In November 2013 Ommurti took the Sivananda TTC and discovered her love of sharing the gift of yoga with others. Ommurti loves Sivananda Yoga for its fine balance between relaxing and uplifting practices, and the harmonizing of more down-to-earth with spiritual aspects.

1940010_10152299840946998_5225725054270094971_n.jpgPhilipp Tischendorf
took his first yoga class in 2014 in Kerala, India. He was fascinated by the energy and clarity it had on his whole being, and this led him to spend two weeks in the Sivananda Ashram in Tamil Nadu. Back in Amsterdam, he struggled to maintain his yoga practice in the busy life of a student. In 2015 he took his TTC in France and afterwards joined the Yoga Community, happily sharing the practice with like-minded people. He graduated as a physiotherapist in 2016, and now also teaches weekly Sivananda Yoga classes in Haarlem. The holistic power of yoga makes him a better health care practitioner and deepens the healing experience of his patients.

unnamed.jpgAyesha Ghanchi is a educator, an academic, and a crazy Virgo woman who often tries to do twenty things at once. She was drawn to yoga at an early age as a means of staying in physical shape, and was blown away by the many mental and spiritual benefits the practice also offers. Ayesha did her TTC in Thailand in 2015 and is especially inspired by the practice of selfless service (Karma yoga), which resonates with her background in education. When she moved from London to Amsterdam she was really happy to find a spiritual home with the Yoga Community.

“Cultivate pure love slowly in the garden of your heart.
Swami Sivananda

IMG_5139Contact for…

Headstand Workshop
Monthly Satsang/Kirtan
Meditation Course
Yoga Retreats


5 Responses to About Us

  1. Leave any ideas, suggestions or requests here

    • Desiree Smulders says:

      Nice to know you are here! I finished TTC in Nassau in may last. Just a pity that we are 140 km’s apart….
      Om namah shivaya!

      • Thank you for your note, Desiree – sorry it’s taken so very long to reply. Congratulations on completing your TTC last May! Please feel welcome to visit us anytime that you’re in Amsterdam, it would be wonderful to meet you :)

        Susan and the YC

  2. Valentina says:

    Hi everyone! Do I need to sign up beforehand for the special candlelight yoga class on 19th Dec or is it on a drop-in basis? Namaskar, Valentina

    • Hi Valentina,
      Thank you for your message. It isn’t necessary to sign up beforehand for the yoga class on the 19th – though prior knowledge of the Sivananda yoga class series is required. We hope to see you soon!
      Om Shanti

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