The story of Eliza

The Story of Eliza

On this blog, we will tell the stories of people we know. I really like the story of Eliza, a very good friend of mine. She grew up in the Netherlands, and moved to Madrid a few years ago. Being trained as a journalist, she followed her passion and became a Yoga teacher. I admire her for moving to Madrid and starting up her business in Spain while the economy isn’t doing great.

I know Eliza for years. We have been singing at the same choir in the Netherlands, and have shared many good moments. When I got married, Eliza and her boyfriend Dani came to visit me all the way from Madrid! In February, I visited them with my wife, and the great thing is that we will see them again on the 3rd May in Madrid. Together, we organize  a training social media storytelling and personal branding .

Listen to her story, and become inspired!

What did you always want to become, and why did your get your current (freelance) job?

I never had a clear idea of what I wanted to become. My childhood ideas went from biologist to professional flute player and from farmer to pastry baker. But in the end I decided to study journalism, because I loved (and still love) writing and listening to people’s stories. I ended up working at a fashion magazine, but felt it wasn’t a job I could fully express myself in. That’s why I joined a Yoga Teacher Training and started teaching a few hours a week. I noticed those were the happiest moments of my week! Two years ago I finally dared to take the leap and started to work as a full time yoga teacher.

Yoga Lesson at the Park Madrid

Photo: Eleanor Church

What things in work make you happy?

Almost everything! I love how during a yoga class, I see little shifts happening: people start to feel the pose instead of doing it and are going with their body instead of working against it. I love seeing people connect with each other during and after class. I often witness how they start to express who they really are in their yoga practice and they often tell me how good yoga makes them feel and how it helps them in their lives. It’s a big honour to be little part of someone’s road to a healthier and happier life! I am super grateful for that every day.

Which stories do inspire you?

My yoga classes and blog posts are inspired by life itself. I don’t sit down and think about what to teach or write, instead I let the things I encounter during my life inspire me. For example, when I hear a beautiful sentence in a song that can become the inspiration for a class. Or when I’m swimming in the ocean and notice how good it feels to swim with flow of the waves and not against it. That can result in 5 classes and 2 articles. Nature is what feeds my classes and writing most. Whenever I feel stuck or struggle with something, I wonder how nature would solve this or watch a nature documentary. There was this little GoPro film about a man who hugged wild lions. That story stayed with me for weeks and resulted in for example African music in my classes 🙂 But also my own yoga practice and the stories of my yoga students help me to create classes and articles that truly serve them.

Which social media do you use to share what you do and how?

I use my WordPress blog for my weekly blog posts, Youtube for my weekly yoga video’s, Facebook for announcements and little bits of inspiration and I also send a monthly newsletter through MailChimp. I love using social media as an extension of my classes, but also as a way to connect with people that don’t live where I teach. For example, I create online video courses every now and then to stay connected with all the wonderful people I met on my yoga path 🙂

Which reactions do you get?

It took a while, but more and more yogis start to comment on video’s, blog posts, newsletters and Facebook updates. Those are mostly ‘thank you’-notes or requests for a new yoga video. I sometimes get really beautiful e-mails from my yoga students who share how much the classes have helped them. That is what keeps me going: knowing that what I do makes not only me, but someone else happy too!

In which way are you an ambassador of your work?

Since the product I sell doesn’t exist without me, I feel like I am the number 1 ambassador of my work. But I also notice good reviews are just as powerful (if not more powerful!): people recommend my blog to their friends or bring a friend to class.

Promoting yourself is a tricky thing though, in the yoga bizz. I learned through yoga, that we never have any control over the outcome of our actions. The only thing we can control are our actions! So I try to be heartful and authentic in my way of communicating and also let go once I sent something out into the world and try not to obsess about it. I think this is one of the most important lessons in business and life.

What would you love to do in the future?

I would love to create more professional video’s (now I just shoot them in my living room with a photo camera) and ongoing online courses. I notice that most yogis really like that as an addition to the group classes. But I don’t have big goals. If I can continue making people happy and giving them a moment of bliss in their busy lives, I would feel blessed 🙂

Workshop Social Media Storytelling & Online Branding, 18 April 2015 in Madrid!


I am sure there are great lessons to learn from Eliza. Are you living in Madrid, and do you want to find your story, tell it to others and translate it to social media? Join our training on 18 April!

Theo Zijderveld

Theo is Trainer at Your Story – My Story. Theo op Google+


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