My name is Suzanne Beenackers, but I also work under a pen name.
I ve been a fan from Bon Jovi since 1986, and consider their record Slippery When Wet, and in particular the first track Let it Rock, my initiation.
Not at the time of course.
14 Year old Suzanne thought listening to that record was an entirely normal thing to do.
Even though nobody from her class owned that record, knew that song, nor went to the 1988 Bon Jovi concert on a weeknight on the other side of the country.
When in reality?
The Let it Rock intro classifies as “sex on a keyboard” and Jon Bon Jovi ends it on a deep sigh. A combination powerful enough to shake up even the most dormant sexuality.
And that’s just the first 1 minute 20 seconds.
In the eighties hard rock was banned and demonized within certain Christian circles and although I find it very unlikely satan would be hiding between the guitar riffs, I do agree now that it’s both sexual and spiritual what happened on that record.
Guitars were my first love, and although I ve strayed from the path for 25 years when I was a Madonna fan, I came back to Bon Jovi in 2019.
The Madonna Era 1994-2019
I have questioned why I abandoned my love for rock. But ultimately I understood why I needed to go away. And what happened in those 25 years.
Because where Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses and other bands too but only in the form of concerts not so much records, brought me the experience of sex, the energy of it;
Madonna taught me WHO I WAS.
My interest in her was an identity one. I liked her music because I liked her. She was expressing herself, including her sexuality, through her music.
So I listened to her music to get to know her.
But the only record that really got under my skin was Ray of Light;
Her only album that heavily features electric guitars.
For 25 years I explored, developed and identified myself through her, and in 2019 in the half year working up to a Bon Jovi concert, the first one since 1988, I felt I was leaving Madonna behind.
The concert was on the 13th of June, and she released her new record on Friday the 14th. I never listened to it.
There was such clarity that “our time together” was over, if you can say something like that about an idol being in your life.
I now know who I was and where I belonged:
Yoga in the modern world
Madonna brought me many things, but the most apparent one was that she inspired me to start yoga.
In the 90s yoga in the Netherlands was the domain of pregnancy yoga, done on sleeping bags in community centers, and a magazine with Eastern oriented scholars sharing their wisdom printed in black and white with a yellow cover.
Yoga was done responsibly but it was also a bit boring.
Not to say hopelessly uncool.
When Madonna did her 1998 promotion for her album, it revolved heavily around her finding yoga after the birth of her daughter Lourdes and how she had gotten back into shape with it.
She had a lean, muscular body to prove it.
This is how yoga was put on the map of the modern world, where it has stayed from that moment on. And it was from here, that my love for yoga was also sparked.
This story illustrates how I adopted the idea of yoga, before I started doing yoga. I have always referred to 1998 as the year when I started doing yoga, until a few years ago I saw in my old agendas that it had actually been late 1999 that I had taken my first class.
The reason I remembered it differently was because the idea of yoga was taking shape inside of me. And this (adopting the idea first) would actually become one of the pillars of this blog (the one you re reading now).
Yoga, including Rock Star Yoga, should first be an idea, a concept that you explore and try on like a coat. You make it part of your identity first.
This is not to say that this will be the case for everybody.
I know many people who are won over by yoga, by doing yoga. Taking a class, or being introduced to a class by a friend.
But that has never worked for me, and because I can’t be alone on this – and because all the people who get on the yoga wagon by experience are already catered to left, right and center – I ve decided to become more vocal about this order in which I have done this, and many things after.
Finding the agendas and realizing the concept of yoga had become a part of me, long before a yoga practice had, became a major insight.
That I can do anything by bringing it/ the experience of it, into my vibration. Maybe “in my vibration” is an even better way of describing what I do, than identity.
Bringing yoga into my vibration is what I did after Madonna first mentioned it in 1998.
Nourishing yoga in my vibration for over a year, is what brought me to pick up taking classes and to start doing yoga daily.
And ultimately, yes, yoga did become my identity, when I became a full-time yoga teacher.
Until I could feel it slipping away..
First the vibration of it. It felt like I had lost my connection to yoga, like priests who can no longer hear God’s voice. But on the outside it looked the same. I still did my work.
Then I lost my own practice.
And then my identity when I stopped my group classes in 2018.
Like sand through my fingers, yoga had left me.
Life had left me.
When I bought the ticket to the Bon Jovi show, early December 2018, it felt purposeful.
It was like the idea of seeing them in June, seven months later, was already casting a spell backwards, over the seven months of waiting.
It became this space, this vacuum, in which I could create an entire new life which I could then celebrate with the concert as its highlight.
Unfortunately, it turned out the road ahead was not that easy.
December to February were marked by a renovation, moving in and out of my house, not having heating. And the stone cold loneliness of a life without cats.
My cat, little Max, had died one year prior.
Knowing this highly unpractical renovation was scheduled for my building, and because my yoga business was already coming apart at the seams, I had decided not to take new cats until I had my life sorted out.
One year after his death, December 2018-February 2019 were without a doubt the lowest months in my life.
Immediately after the renovation, a friend brought me her cat to look after. It was soothing to have that little boy running around my house.
Life would only go up from now on.
Early May 2019, on a Tuesday, my sleep-over cat was picked up by his mother in the morning, and in the afternoon my two new cats arrived.
They were called Flip and Zaza, and I had been following their story since 2018, and had engaged with the organization that was fostering them, raising money for them, and sharing their posts when they asked for adoption.
It was so strange because they were adopted, only to be given back, and then fostered in a place that wasn’t part of the foster families who were participating in having them get adopted.
It was like they lived in a bubble, outside of space and time.
Until in 2019, after my renovation, they were relocated to a different foster family that was very successful at mediating their cats;
And they were brought up for adoption.
“It’s Flip and Zaza!” I exclaimed.
And I sent them a letter.
It was as if they had been waiting, as if God had been taking care of them, so they would become my babies when I was ready.
May 2019, I was ready.
My new life could start.
And yoga would be rocked back into my life, with a vengeance.
Let it Rock
I just looked it up, on the accounts under my penname, and after all the delay of the renovation and being miserable, and then the healing when I had the stay-over cat; I ultimately did start studying Bon Jovi, as I intended.
Because when I bought the ticket, I had not just seen that entire 7 month period of waiting as one big new years resolution to a better life;
I also wanted to get reacquainted with the material, learn the lyrics, set lists, listen to interviews.
I was bringing the Bon Jovi concert into my vibration, long before the actual show.
And just like I had done with yoga, two decades before;
Of course it worked.
When I went to that show I knew everything there was to know. From the security procedures, to the lay-out, to the set-list.
And I had even “practiced” not eating for prolonged periods of time, because I didn’t intend to waste time buying food on the premises, or use the bathroom.
I had set my eye on standing first row, and ultimately, through a combination of almost “beginners luck” (and not knowing about pricey early access procedures and so on), through determination, preparation and a lot of friendly people;
I got first row.
When I got out, my gums were tingling as if I had had really good sex, and I knew I had learned everything I needed to know.
And that there was no going back now.
But I didn’t know exactly what it was.
A few days later, I did.
About Rock Star Yoga
Rock Star Yoga still doesn’t have its finite form, and something tells me it never will. That it will always be a concept, an idea, something that each for his own will figure out.
Rock Star Yoga will always be something that you can bring into your vibration, and fit on like a coat. Something to toy with, to nourish, and to ultimately;
There are a couple of reoccurring principles and guidelines that I refer to, as being Rock Star Yoga. Things I find of use, and of importance too. And that are rarely mentioned in regular yoga.
These three pillars of Rock Star Yoga, which are mentioned at the bottom of every blog post, are:
1. raising your energy
Through any and all means nessecary.
Two big often overlooked sources of energy are Purpose and Sexuality. By limiting these, you are limiting your potential and your energy.
Raising your energy also means, to raise your energy through yoga
(versus merely focusing on relaxation) or to engage in yoga in order to prepare and support your body to channel these big waves of creative energy.
2. RSY means a fully creative self-practice
Versus taking classes, sticking to a schedule or educating yourself in a certain lineage.
If you feel unsure where to start, you can find help on YouTube. Yoga with Adriene, is my personal favorite. But there are plenty of other tools around.
If/ once you feel safe enough, you can let go, and just let the body express in the way it desires.
3. RSY means your body is your instrument
Just look at the way Slash handles his guitar, and an entire new way of looking at, and experiencing, your body, could arise.
Rock Star Yoga was born on that day.
In the sun, the rain, and the thunder, of a Bon Jovi concert on June 13th, 2019.
Or as Jon Bon Jovi said:
“We ve made it all the way through the winter and the summer, in the last two hours.”
We’ve made it all the way through half of my life, since I was a 14 year old girl.
Maybe it was her, that was reborn that day.
“We ve made it all the way through the winter and the summer, in the last two hours.” [At 13 minutes]