About half a year ago I met Hilke Meerman at Yoga050. Hilke teaches yoga since September 2018 at Yoga050, located at Damsterdiep in Groningen. I started attending her aerial yoga classes. After a few lessons and chatting with Hilke it seemed like a good idea to write an article about Hilke and her life as a mom and a business woman.
Hilke is 33 years young and she grew up in a down to earth family in Loppersum (in the Groningen earthquake area). After some travel adventures, studying and other things, she settled down in Groningen. She lives together with her husband Bas, their 2 year old son and a cat called Gerda.
A day in Hilkes life
Hilke is a busy lady. She takes care of her son, she keeps house and she teaches 5 yoga classes a week at her yoga studio in Groningen.
Hilke and her life as an entrepeneur
“Two entrepreneurs under one roof, I love it!”
Hilke says: I studied International Communication. After getting my degree I started working during the economic crisis. I went from project to project and my working life just didn’t come together. To experience a feeling of peace and joy I packed my backpack and traveled to India. That’s where I started attending a yoga course, just for fun. Back home, in The Netherlands, I still felt drawn to yoga and started attending a few yoga and mindfulness courses. After 5 years of teaching yoga and mindfulness and organizing retreats at the Veluwe and in Spain, I decided to focus on yoga. No more communication jobs. Together with Maxi Meissner, the owner of Ashtanga in Groningen, I rented a studio at the Damsterdiep in Groningen. 2 business entrepreneurs under 1 roof, I love it!”
“People just stop thinking for a moment and focus on their bodies, it’s amazing.”
We asked Hilke: “What qualities are important for a business woman?” She thinks you have to be creative to stand out. With enthusiasm and full of confidence people will be drawn to you and to your company. Hilke thinks it’s most important that you really love your job, love what you do. She says: “It’s just so great to see people relax and have fun during my yoga classes. I really love that about my classes!”
What Hilke loves? Being able to do whatever she wants. As a business woman you are in control and you have the freedom to do whatever you want. Putting together classes and deciding what the yoga classes will look like. Great!
“Less physical complaints because of aerial yoga, isn’t that great?”
Hilkes goal is to offer a product which makes people aware of their body, their patterns, their breathing and their mind. She loves to hear people using her techniques in other parts of their lives. For example a woman using breathing techniques during labor.
Hilke, can you describe yourself in 5 words?
“Enthusiastic, loving, down to earth, humorous and comitted.”
How does Hilke find balance in her life?
Hilke says: “Balance, that’s my word for 2019. I’ve been working very hard this last year to keep everything going at home and starting a yoga business. In 2019 I will clear my schedule at least for a few weekends. No plans at all, that’s when amazing things can start to happen. I will also meditate daily and practice yoga at home. In short: I will slow down a bit and trust 2019 to be a great year.”
How and when did Hilke start with yoga?
In 2011 Hilke had her 1st job in development aid. In Groningen she was working for a foundation that had to stop due to financial cuts. Hilke and her colleagues worked harder and harder with stress symptoms as a result: a sore neck, shoulders and breathing to fast. Yoga put her back on her two feet again. At first she thought yoga was really wooly and for yoga teachers with fuzzy hair, incense and weird pants. Hilke was suprised by what she learned: slowing down and experiencing the strenght of her body.
What is it about yoga?
Hilke says: “I’m a sensitive person. To me it’s important to stay with my 2 feet on the floor. People often say yoga is a bit woo-woo, but to me that’s not true. More and more people are floating in their heads, looking at screens (phones, I-pads, computers) a lot and we are active in our minds constantly. Yoga makes me live in the moment again. I love it!”
Wander Women is all about veganism and sustainability. What do these 2 themes mean to Hilke?
To Hilke it means making conscious decisions concerning your body and the world around you. She mostly uses her bike for transportation. Her house is sustainable. And she partially avoids eating meat and chooses mostly organic produce.
Did you ever consider going vegan?
Hilke says: “I’ve maintained a diet without sugar, dairy and wheat for a while. I was working for Miss Natural at the time and it inspired me food wise. But, leading a busy life with a young child just takes too much time to maintain that way of eating. So I loosened up a bit: everything in moderation”.
What’s your favourite restaurant in Groningen?
Wadapartja and Feel Good.
Which vegan recipe do you love to make?
Hilke really likes this red lentil coconut soup: easy, fast and very tasty (only in Dutch). http://www.degroenemeisjes.nl/low-budget-recept-rode-linzensoep-met-kokosmelk/
Damsterdiep 46, Groningen