Hi! I’m Sophie Nusselder; 34 years old and in Dharamkot since two days. For the next two months I will be volunteering for Parimukti Yoga & Meditation. From now on you can read my columns in this blog which will be about psychology, anatomy, physiology, philosophy and other topics related to yoga.

During the last few days I have been slowly ‘grooving in’ into the Indian Himalayan life. After experiencing a vibrating day in Delhi with a visit at the ‘Red Fort, the house of Indera Ghandi, The Indian Tower, The Lotus Flower, The House of Parliament and of course a trSophie Nusselderaditional Indian market downtown, I took a night bus up the North, which takes about twelve hours. After a taxi ride of ten minutes from McLeod Ganj to Dharamkot , I waited in front of the Vipassana center for Merel; the director of the Parimukti Yoga Teacher Training. While waiting for her I saw the red sun rising from Dholadhar Mountain. Beautiful!

Merel brought me to my room. I am thrilled: a private room with a balcony and own bathroom, including a funny typical Indian spray hose to clean your private areas after toilet use. Still have to get used to that 🙂 After a chat with Merel, I decided to participate in the morningclass taught by the students who are currently taking the Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). One of the students; a thirty year old German girl called Dorene, taught for the first time. As my body was a little stiff from the bus drive and the flight the day before, my body needed to unwind slowly. Luckily Dorene taught a slow flow class; in which my body could open up gradually. At the end of the class I enjoyed a lovely “savasana”, experiencing complete relaxation. Dorene has a very gentle way of teaching and seemed to be fully comfortable in the role of the teacher. I was pleasantly surprised how easily she seemed to guide the class after only two and half weeks of following the teacher training!

I’m very exited to be part of the Parimukti Team and help to promote their trainings. Merel is a passionate yogini who made her purpose of life ‘to help people to heal themselves’. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she studied medicine. She worked for an international development organisation for a few years and practiced a lot of yoga in the meantime. After doing a teacher training in the Netherlands and lot of teaching experience she felt inclined to teach more profoundly and gradually developed her own teacher training program. On one of her travels, she visited India and fell in love with the culture and lifestyle. Since three years ago Merel is directing a 200 hours Yoga Aliance registred teacher training in India; with the name Parimukti. It is great as she invites both Western and Indian teachers to teach in the training. By combining the eastern and western perspectives of yoga she intends to get the students involved with the best of both worlds. Also sometimes an Indian teacher is better at teaching certain subjects especially related to Indian culture and history, while the Western teachers are very great at ‘bridging the gap’ and translating the yoga tradition and make it truly understandable and thus more effective . Currently Merel offers trainings in Dharamkot and in Goa – India.

I got to know Merel through an announcement on Facebook; asking for a yogi with interest in marketing and communication and decided to respond to her immediately. After teaching yoga, creative writing and theatre to children with my own company for over eight years, I am ready to develop more personal qualities. I have been teaching yoga to children, teenagers, and adults. I love language and I like to write. I’m very exited to work with Merel and combine yoga and writing from now on!


Merel Martens

Merel is the founder of Parimukti Yoga & Meditation Center aiming to spread the beauty and benefits of yoga with everyone. For Merel, Yoga is awareness, both on the mat and in everyday life. Classes and teachings serve as an inspiration when stepping into daily life.

All points of view are welcome, even contradictory ones ? All we expect is that you put your point across in a civil manner.

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