Djilani's philosophy is simple: be your own teacher. Djilani obtained his master's degree in Medical Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Amsterdam and is a certified trainer, yoga teacher, author, speaker and theatre maker. You can also find him teaching at Equal Linnaeusstraat!
So who are you, where are you from?
I am definitely a Mummy’s boy, growing up in the projects until 18.
My Mum was a Single parent, so I felt responsible for her well being.
I believe everything is nature, nature strives for balance and this is where the yoga part kicks in. Balancing it out for yourself. I am blessed with knowing two extreme worlds and I feel I can work on building bridges between those two worlds. So basically, I live in no mans land, connecting people.
What motivates you?
Driving worlds that seem separate, because separation is in the mind. I am interested in what makes people tick. I do see the differences but also the similiarities in everyone. We all crave the same things, love, comfort, food.
And this kick started the thoughts behind your new book, EGO TRIP?
It was all triggered by what I experienced during Corona. People were complaining about work and I became much busier. People were trying to wrap their heads around all the roles they play at one time with lots of caps on. Craving for someone to answer question if you are doing good enough, what people seem to do is go beyond. Changing circumstances means new rituals and I enjoy helping those searching for answers to understand psychological flexibility and authenticity. To find that loving relationship with themselves and others.
You advise people, talk to people, don’t lead by what others think of you, do what you think is good. Where did you learn this and take this into practice and how. When did you see the light?
Kids are so playful and authentic. They take everything as it comes. What happens when you don’t know what’s coming? My Father in law is a general psychologist, and after a life changing event that happened to my family, he said ‘let it be’. This was an opportunity to connect to myself in a slower pace. I saw that there were so many sides to me, music, baking, coaching. They are all parts of me & expressions of me.
You say you slowed down, but you picked up the pace again recently?
Previously I was only either on or off, and now I have a volume. I recognise the alarm bells when to either slow down or pick up. Supercompensation, like athletes. Recovery time is just as important as the doing.
How does all of this come together in your new book, EGO TRIP?
We are all students, always learning, also myself with my coaching. Who needs to read the book? People who are motivated to take on inspiration to take care of themselves, not ego centric. The more you find you, the more you are able to depart from yourself and the more you are able to connect with others.
When you turn the volume down what do you do, where do you go?
It's me, family & me. I love my family around me, I missed out on that in my childhood. My favourite thing to do is to step into the car with no idea where we are going to and we always end up having a beautiful time, no plans.
For myself, it's a jamming session inviting friends over and playing music. Allowing myself to be myself spontaneously.
You don’t teach so much, but when you do, what brings you to the front of that classroom?
The physical part of seeing people. At the end allowing themselves to just be, and being in that open space. That’s what I love. In yoga when you are practicing what is going on with your breath. Are you forcing yourself into the shape or is it supposed to set you free. That’s yummy. Keep it asymmetrically different.
Last note you want to share with us?
Love yourself: Hug yourself.