About Yoyo


Born in 1944 in Amsterdam, Yoyo grew up in a nearby commuter village, with parents who were both born and raised in the East-Indies (where her grandparents had emigrated to at the beginning of the first World War) – with influences from Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Pantheism.

The divorce of her parents in 1950 left her mother with four children: she was the eldest (6), the youngest just born.

Pain of separation

The pain of this irreparable separation may be at the origin of her search later in life for something that could bridge seemingly irreconcilable opposites: in relationships, the world and oneself.

After high school and a study of French language and literature, her work as a secretary to  the director of the Modern Art Museum in The Hague led her to embracing the Arts herself: painting appeared to be a wonderful means of expression that helped her to come to terms with her existential struggle.

Creativity and The Work

After finishing Art School in Arnhem she received a scholarship for the Academia Sztuk Pięknych in Cracow and later, after having been initiated by her Guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) in 1979 was awarded a first prize for European painting in Bruxelles.

This is when her work with people began. In her painting classes she found that (chronic) physical tension often blocked creative unfolding. Looking for ways to relax the body she discovered holistic deep tissue massage as a means to release chronic tension and integrate undigested emotions. By the end of the eighties she had finished her training and started her own practice. After that she was trained as an Avatar Master and Wizard with Star’s Edge in Florida. For 12 years she practiced the techniques she learned for liberating the conditioned mind.

Self unfolding and the Art of Living

Towards the turn of the century she founded the Humanifold School for the Art of Living, in which she could combine her skills and experience and develop into the non-duality teacher she now is. Here people come to heal their bodies, integrate emotions, review their mind-set, meditate, develop their talents and awaken to who they are.





Yoyo (2)

Yoyo van der Kooi (73) is a painter, bodyworker and ‘midwife for the second birth’. She founded a Centre for the Art of Living in Arnhem (NL), where she guides people towards a fulfilling life. After having had various relationships she is now single. 

‘For me intimacy is more important than sex.’

It’s been sixteen years since I last had sex with a partner. The last one I shared my bed with was a Serbian artist with whom I spent a couple of passionate nights. This was in the period when I was married to a South African photographer/puppeteer (who – though no longer my spouse – still is one of my best friends).

In my younger years, in art school, I was pretty wild. But with none of  my lovers (mostly one-night stands) I managed to have an orgasm. That, I could only give to myself. Until about age thirty a fiery lover – with whom I had a 2-year relationship – taught me how this worked. Since that time I’ve had beautiful orgasms with all the partners that came after that: I  now knew how a woman can move and give guidance to make sure she gets the right stimulus in the right place.

After a few relationships that did not give me what I was looking for, I  started the search for ‘myself’. In the course of that quest I landed in the ashram of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in Pune. And was initiated by him.

The drive for my search had sprouted from an involuntary childlessness –  and from the struggle with my painting ‘Contact with yourself’, that didn’t come out the way it should. I was asking myself questions like “How long can partners captivate each other in a one-one relationship?” And “Can another person make you happy at all?”. My parents, for instance, divorced twice, got married three times and were still not really happy

When I came back from India after seven weeks, my sexual need had considerable diminished. What I had found there was far more satisfying than sex (I elaborate on this in mijn book ‘Blossoming in the Bog’, which can be ordered via yoyo@laborint.nl).

Even my longing for a child had vanished. Of course my then partner was not happy about my lack of sexual appetite. It just couldn’t turn me on any more. Finally this led to the end of our relationship.

It is not that I am against sex: I still regularly masturbate with pleasure. And should I fall in love again, I’d pick up ‘the old trade’ just like that. However, so far I haven’t met anyone who could light my fire in such a way that I would jump into bed with him.

In my work with people of all ages and backgrounds, however, I experience a lot of intimacy.  People exchange nurturing massages, cuddle up together or have a good cry in  each other’s arms. The relaxed atmosphere that is created causes the sexual drive to naturally move to the background.

As a result  of these loving interhuman encounters  my desire for intercourse has dwindled to practically zero. And when I masturbate, the images that come up are not of naked men or organs, but of waterfalls,  hurricanes, volcano eruptions and solar systems exploding!

What touches me is when students let out long withheld emotions, or when liberating insights break through. For me those are orgasmic experiences. When you can open up to trust, love and creativity, an energy runs through your system that equally warms up your body, heart and soul.

The ecstasy that I experience now just watching all of creation and at the same time feeling part of it is greater than the best orgasms I have had with my lovers. I feel more complete within myself, the yearning is gone. Of course, sex was the first step back to that feeling of oneness – and I see sex as an indispensable phase in our spiritual development.

When sex is good, ‘you’ literally ‘disappear’ – and that gives a feeling of bliss that becomes more and more intense and permanent as you grow towards what I call the inner beloved: a metaphor for feeling connected with all and everyone.

And yet: should I ever fall (or rather ‘rise’) in love again with a ‘special’ person, I would certainly not exclude sex as part of our getting together. However, this can only happen with someone that resonates not only physically, but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually with my being.