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Romy Aardse talks about leaving behind a promising neuroscience career in Amsterdam to follow her passion for yoga, meditation, and travel.
You don’t have to study the brain to feel how the outside world affects it. Even for those that do understand the inner workings of this most vital organ, there is a point where science reaches the edge of its understanding.
So how does a neuroscientist approach the art of yoga?
From a research lab in Amsterdam, to the far reaches of India and Indonesia, and all the way back again, our friend Romy Aardse has studied the brain and interpreted the metaphysical mind in a way that few others can.
“As a scientist you’re always curious to look for answers and experiment a bit,” Romy says. “I definitely started experimenting with my own health—my own life—with yoga.”
Though her scientific research proved fascinating, it was the cultivation of her yoga practice that began to guide her into a world of self discovery.
Romy’s career as a neurobiologist began with a rewarding start—her detailed reconstructions of the brain were used all over the world for further research and were the basis of several scientific journals. After moving to Berlin to continue her studies, however, the radical freedom of the German capital forever changed her.
“It opened up my world,” tells Romy. “Am I really just a scientist, or am I more than that?”
After a year away, Romy returned to Amsterdam to pursue her career, but she couldn’t shake the questions that Berlin had impressed upon her. She wanted more color, more life. And she knew that she needed to make these desires a reality.
Romy completed her master thesis, and booked a one-way flight to India.
In her time away from the lab Romy found the space to fully commit to her yoga practice. Traveling through Asia, the shift away from the yang energy of city-living allowed Romy to embrace the yin side of life, and truly experience the stillness of mind, connection to body, and comprehensive well-being that comes with consistent practice.
The mellow, yet confronting, practice of yin yoga, with its qualities of stillness, softness, and introspection, followed her back to the city. As she attempted to readjust to life in the capital, Romy realized that the energy she had cultivated in the East was guiding her away from her research and daring her to take the step onto a new path.
Now on the road again, she’s teaching asana in Sri Lanka and sharing a brownie with us. Though she’s left the lab for the time being, Romy’s experience and perspectives bring a refreshing objectivity to both science and spirituality.
Her dance between science and spirit offers a unique perspective on how our brains work, how the mind copes with the stress of modern living, and how yoga can be the key to finding balance in the midst of it all.
Romy Aardse left behind a promising neuroscience career in the Netherlands to pursue her true passion for yoga and meditation. She travels the world and teaches yoga abroad (and online) under her brand, “Yogic Oscillations.”
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