Eric Bennewitz, kanadischer Yogalehrer und seine Frau Eva erwarten in diesen Tagen nicht nur ihr erstes, gemeinsames Kind, sie eröffnen mitten in Hamburger Barmbek auch ihr erstes eigenes Yogastudio, Peace Out Yoga. Am 15.Januar 2017 ist ab 14 Uhr die Eröffnung.
Ich habe Eric im letzten Jahr bei Yoga Nidra Kurs kennengelernt. Gr0ßartig! So wie Eric Yoga Nidra anleitet ( in seiner Muttersprache, aber sehr gut zu verstehen ), weiß man schon nach kürzester Zeit warum Yoga Nidra die Perle der Tiefenentspannung genannt wird. Ich finde es immer sehr amüsant, dass Leute, die Entspannungsprobleme haben und denen ich Yoga Nidra vorschlage, sich gar nicht vorstellen können, dass man beim Yoga Nidra tatsächlich nichts anderes macht, als liegen und zuhören. Wird man gut angeleitet, kommt die Entspannung von ganz allein…das ist ja das Tolle an Yoga Nidra und genau das passiert wenn man Erics Stimme lauscht.
Bei Eva habe ich mal eine wunderbare Yin Yoga Stunde mitgemacht. Auch von ihrer Art die Stunde anzuleiten, war ich sofort begeistert, denn ich finde immer gerade diese langsamen und ruhigen Stunden zu unterrichten, ist eine Herausforderung….nicht nur für den Yogalehrer. Gerade in diesen ruhigen Stunden muss die Stimme des Yogalehrers Dich als Praktizierender abholen und das schaffen beide, Eric und Eva. Ich bin deshalb begeistert, dass die beiden ihr eigenes Studio in meiner Nähe eröffnen und habe Eric mal ein paar Fragen zu seinem Yogaleben gestellt. Das Interview wurde in englisch geführt, wer eine Übersetzung braucht, kann mich gern anschreiben.
How did yoga enter your life? Wie wurde Yoga ein Teil Deines Lebens?
I began yoga while occupying a job as a General Manager for a large fitness company in Canada. I was encouraging others to improve their health habits through yoga and fitness, but I was so busy with my job that I didn’t make any time for myself. With the little time I did have, I attended yoga classes at the fitness club I was managing and that made an immediate impact on my physical well-being. It just wasn’t enough and I eventually had a job burnout. After that I vowed to spend more time on nurturing my own well-being and dove head first into yoga. I experimented with different styles of yoga until I found my groove in practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. I was exposed to some great teachers during this time, especially a teacher named Geoff who taught yoga-prep classes in Toronto, Canada. That was the start of my life long passion for yoga and not too long afterwards, I experienced my first Yoga Nidra meditation and knew immediately afterwards this was going to be a life-long passion and would benefit me and others on all levels of being.
Do you have a favorite yoga style?
I don’t have a preference—yoga is yoga to me. Although my personal asana practice is rooted in Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow, I’ve had the opportunity to practice different styles of yoga asana and meditation. All of them have contributed in some way in deepening my practice, teachings and quality of life. I prefer not to categorize yoga styles since all of them lead to the same light, but through different means.
What is so special about Yoga Nidra?
I was lucky enough to experience yoga nidra very early in my yoga practice and I can tell you that in my experience to present, it is the most effective practice for overall well-being. I believe it can benefit anyone in these modern days of excessive stress and distractions.
Its also simple. You only need to lie down and simply listen with awareness to the yoga nidra teacher or CD. Your gently guided into truly deep relaxation and with the body and mind relaxed and quiet, you can more easily open to your existing wholeness and in doing so, transform and heal yourself.
You don’t need to be a yogi. If you are interested in reducing stress, anxiety, pain, negative habits and in the process sleep better and improve your overall health, then take the time to experience yoga nidra for yourself. I’ve been practicing and guiding yoga nidra for 8 years now and will be offering it in weekly classes and regular workshops and teacher trainings at our new studio starting 15.01.2017 at Peace Out Yoga in Hamburg.
Where did you meet your significant other, Eva?
Eva and I met at a yoga studio and at the time I was wanting to improve my german and Eva was a german teacher and yoga teacher as well. She agreed to be my teacher and shortly after, we began to practicing yoga together and talk more about life and each other. Coming together with Eva was one of the most effortless events in my life and that means a lot to me.
Do you and Eva teach together sometimes?
Funny enough, although Eva and I are both yoga teachers, we both teach differently, so I never thought that we would be teaching together. That changed when Eva and I taught an ashtanga yoga workshop here in Hamburg and an instant chemistry was born. Our personalities combined with our shared love for creativity and yoga grew into more partnerships in teaching that have included yoga classes, workshops and retreats. We inspire each other to be better at what we do and as people.
How long have you been living in Hamburg?
Eva and I have both been here since 2010 and with our decision to open a new yoga studio in Barmbek-Hamburg, we have made this city home.
Do you have a favorite spot here in Hamburg?
We both love to be in nature, so anything close to water or green-spaces are where we like to relax.
I personally love being at the beach and swimming. Its my second home.
Do you miss Canada sometimes? What do you miss?
Canada is my birthplace, where I was raised and is where my parents, brother and childhood friends live, so ‘Yes’ I miss Canada. No one can take away the people and experiences you have lived in your past and I had many wonderful and also challenging moments, but wouldn’t trade them for anything. I also miss the heat of summer sun on my skin while living in Canada. Sorry Hamburg, but I think you can relate.
Why are opening a yoga studio in Barmbek, Hamburg?
Exciting location, close to the Stadtpark for outdoor yoga classes (Yippee!) and easily accessible by S-Bahn, U-Bahn, bus, car or walking.
What is so special about your new yoga studio?
It will be the first time that Eva and I truly have a ‘home-base` to teach from since we’ve been together. We have been travelling and studio yoga teachers for the past few years and we feel the time is right to share our yoga experiences from this home-base. I can summarize what makes us special by quoting our Peace Out Yoga philosophy:
‘Provide students a supportive & fun environment to explore themselves
physically, emotionally & mentally through creative movement, breath
awareness and meditation with the goal of inspiring students to find their
own passion & path in living a holistic yoga life.’
With that, giving students a variety of choices in maintaining a sustainable and enjoyable yoga practice that enables them to better live with the ups and downs of a yoga practice and life. ‘Variety’ in vinyasa classes, workshops, retreats and our amazing and diverse teachers founded on our philosophy is our life sized passion.
Do you think anyone is able to practice yoga?
When people ask and I tell them I’m a yoga teacher, the responses I hear most are things like:
‘I’m not flexible enough’ ‘I’m too out of shape’ ‘I’m too busy for yoga’ I might embarrass myself if I can’t do a posture properly.’
I believe yoga is misunderstood by some people and it has to be made clearer that practicing ‘physical’ yoga is just one path choice. Yoga is a great gift and can be explored in many ways like through meditation, breath awareness practices, bhakti yoga, karma yoga etc. Although the physical practice is wonderful, putting your leg behind your head is not necessary and you don’t need to step on a yoga mat to realize yoga’s benefits. Time is no excuse either. Whether you have 5 minutes or 2 hours a day or week, just be consistent and you may surprise yourself in realizing how much more inner calmness you feel, reconnection with who you are and why your here, realize what you want out of life and be more comfortable with just ‘being’ instead of ‘doing’ all the time. That’s huge in today’s fast-paced society.
Yoga is an invitation to spend quality time with yourself, no matter what yoga path you are passionate about. All you have to do is begin each day.
What is most exciting about becoming first time parents in 2016?
I find it exciting in anticipating my own experiences with the upcoming birth of our son. I don’t want to set expectations or judgements in becoming a parent. Eva and I are moving into an unknown future with this birth, but that makes it both refreshing and exciting.
Its a wonderful opportunity to further practice yoga in our everyday life and see how this new little life will change us, nurture and enable us to grow as parents and human-beings. So what am I most excited about in becoming a parent?….everything!
Vielen Dank an Eric für die Beantwortung der Fragen!
Ich wünsche Eric und Eva zur Geburt ihres Sohnes alles Glück der Welt und zur Eröffnung ihres Yogastudios Peace Out Yoga auch nur das Beste. Ich freue mich schon sehr auf die Eröffnung und auf einen warmen “Peace Out Yoga” – Sommer im Hamburger Stadtpark.
Einen schönen Adventssonntag Euch allen!