Meet Esther

Welcome to Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Nederland.

If you’ve suffered trauma in any way, we invite you to read on and find out how we can help you move beyond the pain and suffering you may be feeling. My name is Esther van der Sande, and I’m the founder of Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Nederland. I’m also a  somatic psychotherapist, Yoga Teacher, TCTSY facilitator, Faculty Member at the Center for Trauma and Embodiment at JRI Boston, and Trainer & Mentor of the Certification Program of TCTSY.

After years of practising talk therapy in my own practice, I noticed that some people were finding it difficult to find a connection with their bodies. It seemed as if they were ready in their head, but their body was left behind, feeling unsafe. Most of them had been doing talk therapy for years, but there was something missing. I realized that through movement, within a safe environment, my clients could finally feel at home in their own bodies and truly be within their own homes, their own bodies.

Talking comes through movement, what does your body say? Through exploring some of those questions, listening to your body, and being allowed to notice any sensations in your body, a connection can be made between mind and body. Your body is the key to finding that balance. I found that Trauma-Sensitive Yoga was the perfect tool to find a home in your body and to feel safe and nurtured.

People come to me with many different stories, walks of life, and backgrounds. It can be that you’re dealing with stress, self-esteem issues, relationship problems, grief, loss, or addiction. It can also be that you’re suffering from more complex or developmental trauma, or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I can empower you to find the room to breathe and work your way through.

There’s no silver bullet. No ‘one’ approach works for everyone. Except for the fact that I’ll help you, help yourself.

Giving you the right mental frameworks to take on your own personal challenges, inspiring confidence in your own abilities once again, and helping you emerge from the other side feeling renewed, strong, and ready to face the world again.


Esther van der Sande holds all licenses and memberships for Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Nederland (TSYN).

Meet Eva

My name is Eva Reitsma. I am born and raised in the Netherlands, I moved to London, England, to attend university there. I studied for a BA in arts and humanities and finished my MA in psychosocial studies in February of this year (2020). During my studies, I realized my interest in trauma, as well as post-colonial and gender studies. The combination of these three disciplines and stories is what I’m most interested in and where my heart is. I’ve written about these subjects, such as; oppression, racial power dynamics, racial trauma, and diaspora in combination with trauma, in many different ways. Now, at Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Nederland, I get to coordinate projects that live close to my heart. Being part of these projects activate and awakens the excitement of using my academic roots as well. My goal is to create a safe haven for every single person that needs one, no matter your sexual orientation, gender identity, race, age, or ability. I would like to be a part of, and co-create, this beautiful community where power dynamics are critically questioned and always interchangeable. It is exciting to be a part of a team that is continuously looking, shaping, and forming new ideas that will help companies and individuals to become trauma-informed.


Meet Sibel

My name is Sibel Özen and I’m a researcher and marketing coördinator at Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Nederland.

Becoming personally familiar with traditional approaches of psychotherapy from a young age, and studying them later on, something was missing – it just didn’t feel completely right. When discovered Yoga a few years later a valuable piece of the puzzle fell into place. With a pull toward trauma work and its research as well as finding meaning in the pathways to a union, a fulfilling blend evolved.

In 2019, Esther and I crossed paths when I was finishing my MA in Peace, Trauma, and Religion at de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. At the time, I was working on bringing Yoga together with psychotherapy and the scientific world – wondering if I took on the world’s greatest mission impossible. But Trauma-Sensitive Yoga has shown to be a great pioneer in translating Yoga in a way where it can be accessible to everyone and is able to reason why so. My inquiry at Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) was whether it would work in the (intercultural) setting of people who have flown from their country. This resulted in my first project with Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Nederland – having Yoga classes for women from Eritrea in Amsterdam West and writing research about it. Previous findings and promising outcomes of this particular project created great soil for developing ongoing research on the non-violent, interoceptive approach of TCTSY. I foresee a world in which we become closer to a system where Yoga is a well-known ‘tool’ in health care, providing help for everyone – not merely the privileged.

Working with Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Nederland I thrive to support this cause by continuing to contribute to scientific research and broadening my own, ever-changing, always-evolving views.


What I know about living is the pain is never just ours. Every time I hurt, I know the wound is an echo, so I keep listening – for the moment the grief becomes a window when I can see what I couldn’t see before. Through the glass of my most battered dream. I watched a dandelion lose its mind in the wind and when it did, it scattered a thousand seeds.” – Andrew Gibby

Meet Nicole

My name is Nicole Renne, I organize the intake at Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Nederland together with Eva Reitsma and you will see me as a TCTSY- facilitator on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings in the online classes.

I now work from my birth country Sweden where I have created a company with a unique way of sharing knowledge and facilitating support in the importance of nutrition, connection with your body, and thoughts. I call my company Body-Wisdom.

I look forward to meeting you and answering any questions as best I can and helping you with the online classes should you have any questions about them, working with the TSYN team to provide a safe space.

Email: to our support team email address:

Languages: Swedish, Dutch, English.

Meet Hilda

My name is Hilda Kandil-Balog, I’m involved with Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Nederland as the initiator and leader of the Self-Care Yoga Schools Project*. 

My background is in Special Education (in Dutch: Orthopedagogiek), Yoga Therapy, and Trauma-Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga. Working in different high schools as a counsellor and health coordinator I realized early on that at the basis of almost all difficulties in learning and behavioural problems, there lies a foundation of early traumatic or at least unpleasant childhood experiences. I wondered how can those pupils learn and thrive if schools mainly focus on enhancing their academic skills and overlook the effect that trauma has on them? For me, this didn’t feel right. Those pupils need specific support from significant adults to feel safe, in order to be able to learn and socialize again. They need to learn how to self-regulate as well. Only when we feel safe and relaxed are we able to learn new things. When I started to incorporate a more body-oriented and trauma-sensitive way of working with pupils, things started to shift.

With Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Nederland we are dedicated to supporting schools and their pupils to come in touch with a body-oriented way of dealing with trauma and dysregulation. Our aim is to create more trauma-informed school settings that benefit all. 

Please feel free to contact us to find out what we can provide for your school.


*Self-Care Yoga Schools Project is completely based on Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga. To make it more accessible for schools we use the title Self-Care.