Joyce Mol shares her story about energy, dharma and yoga. Such as about the role of breathwork in getting rid of chronic pain, a whiplash and PTSD.
About Joyce Mol
Joyce Mol is a breathing expert and yoga teacher in her own studio in Alkmaar. She teaches people how to solve chronic physical and mental complaints by using their breath.
In her personal life, breath awareness has been of great importance in the recovery from whiplash complaints, PTSD and a balance disorder after a car accident. Through breathwork and yin yoga she fully recovered from her complaints within 6 months.
She now has a yoga studio in Alkmaar and she gives breathing training in which she helps people to relax the body and calm the mind.
How has your yoga practice changed your view on the subject energy?
Since I have been practicing yoga, I am much more aware of my energy. I can feel better when I am tired. And through yoga and breathwork I can now create energy in both my body and mind.
What does the word dharma mean to you? And what is your dharma (as you understand it today)?
To me, dharma means the path of life that everyone must follow in order to be a good person. Each person has his or her own path of life and does what is right for him or her.
My dharma is currently integrating the connection and power of breathwork into my daily life. It makes me feel lighter, more consciously about how to live my life and be more loving towards other people.
Furthermore, the meaning of the word "dharma" to me is about purity. Especially the purity and honesty towards yourself. How honest are you with yourself about your patterns and behavior?
I try to live as honestly as possible. But I also realize that it is human to make mistakes sometimes. So I am herein not too critical towards myself.
What are the elements of your yoga practice? And if that contains more than practicing yoga postures, could you tell us more about this?
My yoga practice contains a lot of pranayama and breathwork: I practice that in a meditative way. The essence of yoga always comes back through the breath. I also love to be led in a lovely solid ashtanga practice.
To practice yoga daily, year in year out, asks for a lot of discipline and self compassion. What has helped you to create this habit?
I knew that practicing yoga on a daily basis would help me to get rid of chronic pain including my whiplash and PTSD. I didn't believe I would walk around with pain forever. I therefore consciously chose to work daily with breathwork, yoga and relaxation exercises. And this really changed my life for the better.
Which challenges did you face in your yoga practice or in living your dharma (like experiencing resistance or not yet making the impact you wanted to make)? And what have you done to face this phase?
I needed more time during my Power yoga training at the AALO. Especially because I felt that I was not ready yet, I did not pass my exam at once.
My body needed more time after my car accident to rebuild strength. At first this caused a lot of resistance. Especially because until then I always succeeded in everything at once.
In this case, I was allowed to take the time to feel and process. I am glad I took this chance. It taught me to perceive my body from a different perspective. To have the peace to work on strength and stability.
Which insight (such as a cue from a yoga teacher or something from the yoga philosophy) has impacted your yoga practice substantially?
“I breathe in and I know I'm breathing in.
I breathe out and I know that I am breathing out. ”
These sentences come from a book by Thich Nhat Hanh and I use it as a mantra.
Being aware of the breath helps to ground. To be in the moment.
With time, I realized that the breath is the essence in everything. I use that principle in my practice, in yoga, in life.
As human beings, being alive stands or falls with the breath. Breathwork has therefore become so much more important in my life than I could have ever imagined. Now I have the fortune to share this with lots of people (in yoga classes and within companies).
Which (yoga) book do you recommend?
How can we support you in your dharma? And how can we connect with you (website, social media, etc.)?
By also getting started with breathwork yourself. About 80% of people don't know how to breathe naturally. Or are unaware of their breath.
Did you know that not breathing properly can lead to physical pain in the body? Such as injuries, pain in the chest or back or pelvic issues?
I think that breathwork can help the majority of the population to live healthier and happier lives.
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