“In my classes I focus on the breath, feeling successful in a pose and feeling the positive impact that yoga has on so many, if not all, aspects in life.” – Maartje Maas-Potterton E-RYT 200
It could be the soothing lilt of her voice or the genuine warmth she exudes… either way, you will instantly feel at ease with Maartje Maas-Potterton just like I did when I first met her in 2014 when Prana was undergoing it’s first growth spurt and needed more talented teachers to add to our team. For the first time we cast our fishing line into the public arena and manage to reel in four new teachers, Maartje being one of them. At the time, she had just moved to London with her husband, from Fredricksburg, Virginia and was still becoming acquainted with our city. I couldn’t help but to admire her eagerness to make London feel like home.
During our interview, I learned for more than a decade, Maartje enjoyed her career as a speech therapist for children and youth in her home country of the Netherlands. A chance meeting on an airplane– which you’ll read about later– literally changed the course of her life, resulting in a move to Fredricksburg, Virginia in 2008. Her active lifestyle and curiosity led her to try a yoga class shortly thereafter and she was instantly hooked, as she found the practice helped her cope with the stress of not only moving cities, but continents. Eventually, as with all yoga teachers, the love of practicing yoga turned into a deep desire to share it with others. In 2010, Maartje received her 200 hr yoga teacher training (YTT) from YogaFit in the U.S. and recently completed her 100 hr Yoga Warriors YTT in Toronto, which is a therapeutic program specifically designed to assist recent war veterans who have been in combat and are struggling with post-traumatic-stress-syndrome (PTSD). Maartje is also in the process of completing her 500 hr yoga therapy YTT with YogaFit.
If you ever have the privilege of taking a class with Maartje, you will quickly sense she is there to take good care of you. Her words are encouraging and her approach for assisting you throughout your practice is gentle. She has a plethora of ways to adapt poses so they meet the needs of every body, proving that yoga really is for everybody.
Prana clients that currently are or have been taught by Maartje: Family Service Thames Valley (FSTV), Forest City Sport & Social Club (FCSSC)
Outside of the office, you can catch other classes with Maartje in her private home studio Mondays & Wednesdays, 7:00-8:10pm and Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:00-5:00pm. She also teaches at the Ilderton Community Centre YMCA on Thursdays 9:30-10:30am.
Here’s how Maartje responded to our “10 Things About You” questions:
1. What style of yoga you teach and how do you describe your flow?
I teach a mixture of styles, mainly vinyasa mixed with what the clients need. It could be a little more yin yoga, or something more vigorous. I like to incorporate a bit of meditation and body awareness.
2. How long have you been practicing yoga?
I have been practicing yoga for 8 years, teaching for 5 1/2.
3 . Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small Southern town of Veghel in The Netherlands.
4. Where’s your favourite place to visit?
My favorite place to visit (after the Netherlands to see my children and family) is beautiful Colorado.
5. What’s you most ‘out of the ordinary’ moment or experience? (think strange, surprising, embarrassing, amazing…)
Meeting my future husband on a plane from Chicago to Amsterdam. It was love at “first flight”.
6. Vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian?
Flexitarian with 75% vegan.
7. What stresses you out the most?
Buying airplane tickets to see my family stresses me out the most, the prices change all the time, and once bought, there is no (cheap) change possible. Ahhhh!
8. Most important part of your self-care routine?
My most important part of my self care routine, is to be kind to myself and take a breath. I find often I am my biggest critic.
9. What’s your hidden talent?
I love to play the piano and spend time behind my sewing machine. Creating something with fabric and making music makes me happy.
10. What’s your favourite quote?
“I love you.”