Tinke Mereen loves to move. The 54-year-old has been using movement as a form of expression for as long as she can remember. Tinke started with dance, which she has been doing in her living room “ever since she learned to walk”. She took up various forms of dance: from ballet to jazz-dance, modern jazz, Afro-Cuban, salsa, flamenco, and zumba. In 2009, Tinke discovered Namaste Yoga with Kate Potter and has been hooked on practicing the classes ever since.
Hi Tinke! Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I live in a small town in the south of the Netherlands with my two twin sons. It’s my place of birth, and although I’ve lived abroad in Spain and South America for 25 years, I like being back home. It’s where my roots are.
I’ve had many different jobs in my life, like sewing flamenco dresses and setting up and carrying out projects for the Indigenous people of Peru. Now, I work at a University for Applied Sciences in Holland, where I guide and assist students who would like to study or have a traineeship abroad.
How were you first introduced to Namaste Yoga with Kate Potter?
At the time I lived in the outback of Peru, in an Indigenous community at 3,300 meters above sea level, with two little toddlers and I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. There weren’t any sports or dance institutes nearby to go to. So, I searched online for movement exercises I could practice on my own at home. I found Kate’s Namaste Yoga series for sale on DVD and ordered both seasons. They were sent from Canada to my mother in the Netherlands and she forwarded them to my remote address in the mountains in Peru. They were my salvation! Practicing Kate’s classes helped me find myself again. They were my sacred 20 minutes for myself everyday.
Hearing how the classes helped you find yourself again is why we love doing what we do. Why do you think you connected so much with Kate and her classes?
What is so special about Kate’s classes is her movement flow of yoga poses, which is built up little by little. This feels a bit like dancing. The core of the flow, where you come back again and again, is like a ritual making movements from or to the heart. Then you start from the beginning again, adding new movements. It’s magical. I have not seen it with any other teacher.
I am touched by Kate’s energy. It’s difficult to explain, but I know that after each class I feel not only flexible and healthy, but also elegant, open-minded, peaceful, and warm-hearted.
We’re always curious why people are inspired to move and keep moving as it’s often different from person to person. What is your why?
My body is directly connected to my inner emotions for which I have no words. Movement –– yoga and dancing –– helps me creatively express myself. Since I was a child, I have known that movement is a way in which I can communicate. Now that I’m older, I am grateful to have the ability to listen to my body and give it space to move. I’m 54 years old and I’ve never felt more alive than I do now.
We often talk about the intersection of creativity and movement. That seems to ring true for you as well.
I love discovering creative expression through dance, painting, and singing. Not as a professional, but purely for my personal growth and happiness.
There are many people who feel trapped inside their heads and their thoughts –– their fears, anxieties, stress, etc. My hope is to one day contribute to helping others to find their happiness and power through dance and authentic movement. Movement has the capacity to heal you, physically, mentally, and spiritually, if you let it.