Josta van der Kolk
With over fifteen years of experience as an interim and change manager, Josta has helped a wide variety of people and organizations through change and transition. This combination gives her a unique perspective; she's not only a trained coach, but she also knows the business environment. She is easy to connect with, and her clients and others who know her describe her as very reliable and someone who gets things done. Her practical approach helps close the gap between ambition and day-to-day realities. She is resourceful with an inquisitive mind and excellent social skills.
“Before starting Urban Balance, I worked for almost twenty years as an interim and change manager in many different sectors and for many different companies, mostly in marketing & sales. Throughout this, I invested significant time in my personal development, and tried to remain active in sports and take care of my own health.
My first experience with yoga wasn’t the great eye opener some people talk about. The teacher mainly paid attention to the physical aspects, and, to be honest, I didn’t really like him. So I quit. Then, two years later, I met my first real yoga teacher, in 2007. The group was small and she taught in a very authentic way, with few words; she let the yoga practice do the work. It was with her that I started to feel the connection between the personal development I had been working on in different trainings, and with a coach, and the yoga practice. Somehow, there was a lot more going on during my yoga classes than just the physical movements. Each yoga practice felt like a gift to myself; giving myself the attention that I needed. So, as I continued to work as an interim and change manager, I also started to put more and more time into my yoga practice. I started to feel more present, stable, strong, and to see things more clearly.
In 2012, I decided to follow a month-long yoga teacher-training course in Goa, India. I learned more about the history of yoga and the philosophies, and all of a sudden, I fully understood all my years of learning about personal development. Everything sort of clicked, and I realized that the yoga philosophies were exactly the same as all those personal development theories I had learned and worked on in my trainings. Only, for me at least, this was more immediate and effective. The combination of the physical with the mind and the emotional made me internalize all the teachings, and I started to be able to live more according to my own wishes, instead of being led by my emotions, moods, or the people around me.
In the same year, 2012, I began teaching yoga and mindfulness alongside my work as an interim and change manager. Slowly but surely, these two worlds started to come together when I noticed that I was beginning to use yoga philosophies in my job, and had more work as a coach, too. I also realized that yoga, and even coaching, can seem a bit fluffy, vague, or ‘out there’ to some people, even though they may be curious about it as well. With my corporate background and training as a Strategic Intervention life coach I feel I am able to make yoga and coaching more accessible to people.
Knowing the demands that urban life puts on us, and the possible results and impact that both life coaching and yoga can bring us, I felt I could make a difference. I started Urban Balance because I want to help people live their life the way they truly want to, without being limited by fears or any inner or external pressures they may feel. A life with health and happiness, in which they can be confident about the goals they have set out to achieve, a good work/life balance, and great relationships with themselves and the people around them.”
What we do
Urban Balance offers (combined) coaching, yoga and mindfulness packages within a personalized and action-oriented approach over a set number of weeks. Your individual programme consists of weekly or biweekly private coaching sessions and/or yoga practices, including reinforcements and tools and techniques you can take home and use in your daily life. There’s also guidance and support where needed via email. Of course, you’re welcome to come back to dive deeper, reset, or because you have new goals you wish to work on, but the outlook of Urban Balance is to get you going on your own.
Tools & techniques
Urban Balance combines coaching strategies, yoga philosophies and practices, and mindfulness tools to help you stay connected with your inner guide and get the most out of your life. Together we look at what works best for you to reach your goals.
We work with Strategic Intervention (SI) also called Human Needs Psychology (HNP), which has been developed by Tony Robbins, Cloe Madanes and Mark and Magali Peysha. It is a practical method to take action in a strategic way, and aims to get things done so that human needs are fulfilled and elevated. Strategic Intervention solutions are based on the principle of growth and contribution, and focus on the present moment. The method stems from a variety of disciplines: Ericksonian therapy, strategic family therapy, Human Needs Psychology, organizational psychology, neurolinguistics, psychology of influence, strategic studies, traditions of diplomacy and negotiation, game theory, and others.
Yoga philosophies and practices
There are many yoga schools and styles, and we believe there is something out there for everyone. Based on the Ashtanga Vinyasa system, we work with yoga as a moving meditation, where breath and movement become one, creating equanimity and peace of mind. No matter your call to yoga, be it physical, because you want to build strength and flexibility, or mental, emotional, or spiritual, or anything else that makes you want to try and experience this ancient practice, we can work with you.
Mindfulness means being fully present; aware of where you are and what you’re doing. Employing a few easily accessible techniques, you can become more aware and present throughout your day, creating peace of mind. More aware of your bodily, physical sensations that occur moment by moment, your thoughts and emotions, or of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and the tactile experience of the world around you. Some people find it is easy to sit still, others less so. But don’t worry, we’ll find what works for you.
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Lao Tzu
Book tip: ‘The Rule of Benedict for Beginners: Spirituality for Daily Life’. W. Derkse.