Who We Are
Your Local Experts
Owner & Yoga Instructor
Born and raised in Canada, I was introduced to yoga as a way to reduce stress and help condition the body for various sport activities. I turned this love for movement and breath into a career and now I am a certified yoga instructor, Thai massage therapist, and anatomy teacher.
I have been teaching at studios, yoga teacher training’s, ashrams, retreat centers, hotels and corporate offices around the world for the past 6 years. I am extremely dedicated to creating a nurturing and safe environment for students to support inward focus and exploration of the body, mind, and spirit for yogis of all levels. I have specialized in Power Vinyasa & Hatha but also teach Yin, Restorative, Therapeutics, Pranayama & Meditation classes. I like to incorporate different techniques within my classes such as myofascial release and somatics to help students find new and creative ways to connect with themselves.
I have also studied Thai yoga massage to help connect with my students on a deeper level through compassionate touch and yogic mindfulness. I believe that yoga can help bring clarity and balance to everyone’s life no matter age or ability and that life on and off the mat should be met with a blend of playfulness and mindfulness.
I discovered Yoga in 2017. I was looking to do something to wake up my body in the morning and to lower the stress. I had no idea how much I would fall in love with it.
I explored many paths and different styles until my Yoga teacher training, when I discovered the roots of Yoga with Hatha Yoga. I strongly believe that Yoga is more than just a physical practice and it can positively affect many parts of our life.
My passion for Yoga philosophy, personal development and biology also lead me to deepen my practice, my knowledge and find a more healthy lifestyle.
I enjoy teaching various styles of Yoga like Yin, Vinyasa or Meditation, but I developed a true passion for Hatha throughout the years. The practice helps me to focus, to get more creative and to calm down my thoughts. I found more balance in my life and my mind is definitely quieter. My two favorite parts of the lesson is to guide my students into challenging postures where they find confidence and strength, as well as the final relaxation that I developed into my personal signature for each of my lessons.
I trust that Yoga can change people and lives, can bring peace and joy, can open minds and hearts and can make your life and the world a better place.
Yoga Instructor & Mindfulness Coach
I am a Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor with a passion for mindful movement. I use my knowledge, experience, and training to bridge the gap between the powerful flow of ashtanga based yoga with the stabilizing alignment focused practice of the Iyengar system.
I spent years locked in cycles of suffering, stemming from early childhood trauma. In my 20’s I was diagnosed with Bipolar-1 and Complex PTSD. Convinced I could live free from medication; I began a journey to awaken my ultimate potential through mindfulness. I now use my knowledge and experience to support the growth and awakening of others. I’ve been studying, practicing and teaching mindfulness for over 15 years.
I also hold a Masters degree in Experimental Psychology where I focused my academic efforts on writing and researching mindfulness curriculum as a tool for supporting healthy emotional and cognitive functioning.
With more than 2 decades of experience, I infuse my yogasana and pranayama teachings with the subtle essence of mindfulness. In this way, students are able to stay grounded inside their bodies as they curiously explore asana and vinyasa from the inside out.
Ladina van Swoll-Melchior
Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer & Massage Therapist
Growing up in the Swiss Mountains, I was surrounded by nature, spending most of my time playing outdoor sports. I decided to study contemporary dance in Zurich & New York City and eventually opened up a dance and gymnastic studio with a friend.
I now live on Bonaire and teach regular yoga classes & SUP Yoga at Jibe City along with teaching Vinyasa Yoga at Smiling Buddha.
I combine my wide fitness, sport, wellness & therapy skills with yoga to create the optimal physical and mental training for each of my students. I enjoy coordinating movement with breath to flow from one pose to the next. A meditation in movement! It’s always awesome to see how my students’ monkey minds transform to a quiet, peaceful mind during a physical intensive yoga-practice.
I am so grateful to have yoga in my life and looking forward to sharing it with you!
My name is Jun and my background is quite diverse. I work as a military officer at the Ministry of Defense and I am also trained as a yoga teacher. I previously taught yoga in Amsterdam, at military barracks and at Schiphol airport. Now I teach yoga for the Royal Dutch Marechaussee on Bonaire. Besides my work and yoga, I enjoy traveling and being active in sports.
For me, yoga is a wonderful practice that can help people to empower themselves. Yoga lets you listen to the wisdom of your body. It can help you find the connection within yourself and your environment. It ensures that you find your “flow of life” in your daily life. I invite you to step on the yoga mat with me and get into your own flow!
I specialize in Vinyasa and Yin-Yang yoga. My classes are varied and sometimes challenging. By combining breath, posture and moving with the music, we will create the so-called “meditation in motion”. We are going to find the balance between exercise and relaxation. I also like to share story’s of wisdom during the end of the class. You are more than welcome to come for a workout or some stretching. But you may find more than that.
I am an E-200RYT + 500RYT yoga teacher, Yoga Alliance certified from the Netherlands. I teach Vinyasa, Hatha, & Yin Yoga. And I also host retreats and various yoga teacher training courses around the world.
Amsterdam is where I lived most of my life and where i worked as a producer in advertising. I practise yoga for over 15 years and have been teaching for some years now. After my two yoga teacher training courses (both in India), I decided to leave my job in advertising and follow my heart and passion for yoga full time. Since then, I have been teaching and travelling around the world. I mainly practice Vinyasa and Yin yoga myself and sometimes also Ashtanga.
To me Yoga is all about making a connection with yourself; with your body, mind and heart. Through yoga you learn to listen more to your body. The focus in my classes is mainly on making that connection to yourself and at the same time getting more flexible and strong.
Our one and only papiamentu yoga teacher! More information to be added later!
I have always loved to be active, first through practicing sports and later by working as a P.E. teacher in the Netherlands.
When a friend introduced me to Yoga back in 2004 I left the lesson completely surprised. The exercises were not physically demanding and yet I felt fulfilled and more balanced afterwards.
That’s when I started to follow Yoga classes on a regular basis. The main lesson I learned over the years was to let go of my eagerness to perform and instead focus on my breathing and feel how my body responds to the different poses.
I started teaching when I finished my four-year Hatha Yoga studies in 2013.
In time I decided to focus solely on Yoga and started my own practice. In the following years I have followed various courses, such as Yin Yoga, Kids Yoga and Prenatal Yoga.
Now I am here on the island with my family and I would like to continue my Yoga journey.
My Yoga lessons are characterized by a gentle approach and incorporate various elements of mainly Hatha & Yin Yoga with a focus on the natural flow of breathing.
I have been a student of the unseen since childhood. First working only with spirit teachers in my younger years and as I grew up, human mentors and teachers also came into my life. As the old saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. That has been a very true statement for me.
A bit of history on my path as a Shamanic Practitioner, I had a full shamanic practice in Canada for many years where I saw clients, had regular students/apprentices, ran workshops from beginner to advanced skills, including taking people to Iceland on shamanic pilgrimage. In addition to that, I also had a small metaphysical shop.
My 2 favorite continuous workshops have always been the circles. In a shamanic journey circle, the beats of the spirit drum will carry you to the unseen worlds, where you can connect, discover, and explore! And drumming circles feed the soul. We sing as we drum, rattle and maybe even dance as the spirit moves you, with songs from around the world, including perhaps your own soul song!
I look forward to the time we will sit together in circle
Sanne van der Heijden
After leaving my job as a pharmacist on the island, my plan was to embark on a sailing adventure. However, we had to adjust our original plans when my boyfriend and I discovered that our boat required some additional work. This unexpected turn of events led me to a transformative opportunity and to begin my journey as a Yoga Teacher.
Yoga had been an integral part of my life for nearly a decade, but it was during my Yoga Teacher Training that everything fell into place. The rational and scientific approach of the philosophy of Yoga and the use of the philosophy for guiding and assisting students in their practice, but also in my own life, was what made it clear that this is what I want to do every day.
Dedicating myself to the philosophy and practice of Ashtanga Yoga, I am passionate about sharing the knowledge that has enriched my life in many ways. As a Yoga Teacher, I am grateful I can help people live a healthy and more conscious life, and hopefully in the long term prevent the use of medication.
I practice the eight-limbed path of Yoga, and the physical aspect of those eight-limbs I do with the Mysore style. It is a confronting practice, because it shows the obstacles in life directly on the mat.
Supporting students with their own obstacles, providing a safe and stable environment to grow and discover their possibilities, is what motivates me the most.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to continue my journey as a Yoga Teacher at the Smiling Buddha Yoga Studio, and I am looking forward to supporting others with starting or continuing the profound and lasting positive changes Yoga can make on their lives.
I was born and raised on Curaçao and at a young age I developed a love for dance and music.
As a child I did ballet and while studying in Holland in the ’90s, I continued dancing as a Hobby
Returning to Curaçao in 1997 I became the 1st Salsa Queen, winning the first Salsa Competition on the Island.
2006 I moved to Bonaire and started teaching Salsa here on the island. Due to a smaller Salsa community I decided to start looking for different ways to continue dancing and in 2009 I became a certified Zumba Instructor and have been teaching Zumba since then.
Zumba is a dance training inspired by Latin music. You dance all styles of Latin dance in a fun and refreshing way. It's the perfect workout. Not only does it make you feel good, but you also burn a lot of calories, and it is good for your condition. Many different types of dance styles can be used, such as Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia and Reggaeton, making for a varied, fun class.
As a Dance Teacher, I feel that it is important for my students to feel confident, motivated and inspired at all times. I am always very passionate about dance and teaching, and enjoy sharing my passion for dance with my students. I want to see my students succeed, be proud of their accomplishments, and enjoy all the hard work and dedication they put into dance.
Furthermore, I believe that “Dance is the hidden language of the soul” and therefore it can open hearts and make our life better.
Like what you see? You can book any of these teachers for a private lesson in the studio, at home or on the beach! We also have corporate classes if you are interested in bringing yoga into your workplace. Contact us for more info.
"I highly recommend Smiling Buddha Yoga Studio and head yogi Micaela Purdy. The studio is very spacious and serene and it's certainly a warm and welcoming environment. I have been going to her yin yoga class for about a year now and have really benefited from it in so many ways. While having dabbled in yoga in the past. I have become a more regular practitioner since going to this studio."
80 Julio A. Abraham Boulevard, Kralendijk, Caribbean Netherlands
Located on the Plaza Resort
50m from the main gate on the left. Across from the parking lot
+599 787 7667