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Tag: Sharath

NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2019

Photo: Sophie Håkansson Photography

Dear Yogis,

We’re in the month of June with graduations, school holidays and vacations on the door step. There’s still hope that the summer will be as wonderful as last year, but even if it doesn’t turn out that way, we’ll still enjoy the extra light and continue our yoga practice as usual. The spring schedule runs until 30th June after which a summer schedule will be in place for a month (1 July-3 August). The first two weeks in July we have the pleasure of welcoming Karolina Zakrzewska from Goa/Helsingborg as a cover teacher. The second half of July doors are open for self-practice without assistance. The shala is then open (free of charge) to all our existing students who wish to use the studio to practice. Read more about Karolina here and download your own copy of the SUMMER SCHEDULE 2019.

Summer also brings with it a number of changes for our yoga school. After having gone back and forth between Lund and Malmö for 6 years with classes spread out over several different locations, I (Isabella) have decided that it is time to gather everything in one place. As of 1st July, all classes move to the shala at Värnhem in Malmö. We will then officially be known as “Ashtanga Yoga Malmö” with classes running 6 days a week there. On the summer schedule, the evening classes are cancelled but they will return again in August.

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all students who have come to both the Lund and Malmö shalas throughout the years – without you none of what we’ve built would have been possible. It is because of you that the shala has grown and continues to flourish. When I returned to Sweden 7 years ago it was with the dream of esablishing a shala in Malmö. Although we’ve been stationed here since 2013 it is not until now that the dream of one place becomes real. I’m deeply grateful to you all and humbled that you choose to come and practice in our space. I of course hope that students from Lund will make the short journey to Malmö and not give up their practice for a 15 minute commute. Please know that you are all always very welcome. With the shala being in one single place I hope to create an even more welcoming and grounding atmosphere, with less confusion about our whereabouts and less stress from being scattered all over the place.

The move to Malmö also involves some practical changes. We don’t just change our name, but the website will also move to a new domain during the summer; our accounts/pages on FB and IG change their name, our logo is slightly altered AND we get a new email address. We aim to make the transition as smooth as possible but ask for your understanding and patience in case there are some technical glitches on the way. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Aside from our relocation there’s a lot of other exciting stuff happening this summer (don’t forget to check the news-page for temporary schedule changes):

GUIDED INTERMEDIATE – on 16th June, Isabella teaches a special guided class where we explore the traditional vinyasa count of the second series in Ashtanga yoga. Read more about the class here and what is required to participate.

SUMMER-RETREAT – from 7-12 July, we return to Kadermo Conscious Living in Finland where Isabella also taught a retreat last summer. The island of Kadermo is an idyllic place where one can really relax and disconnect from civilization. We practice yoga morning and evening, enjoying the sauna, swimming, nature and good vegetarian food. Don’t hesitate to book, you won’t regret it!

SHARATH JOIS EUROPEAN TOUR – In July, our teacher Sharathji visits Europe again and comes to Stockholm and Copenhagen to teach one week in each city. To practice with him on tour is usually a great opportunity to get an insight into the Ashtanga yoga tradition and to meet yogis from all over the world. Read more about how to book in each city here.

OPEN HOUSE – on the 25th of August we open the shala doors to the public, family and friends. Everyone is invited to come to visit, try free classes, learn more about yoga, ask questions and mingle with us at the yoga school. There will be snacks and special offers for both new and existing members. The event is already published on our website, check it out there! More info will also come with the next newsletter.

A SNEAK PEAK AT AUTUMN – our autumn schedule starts on the 4th of August, new beginner’s courses are planned for September, “Friday-fun” classes (asana-based) will return, chanting on Sundays is back etc. and Isabella teaches a yoga retreat at Purple Valley in Goa, India. The autumn schedule will be online sometime in July so keep your eyes open. Come September, Isabella will also teach a special immersion of the Ashtanga Yoga Primary series; a course where participants learn how to adjust yoga asana, to deepen their understanding of the function of the individual postures as well as the purpose of the sequence. Read more about the course and requirements for registration here.

The next newsletter will be published in July. It’ll contain more info about the autumn and everything that happens then. In the meantime, we hope that stay up to date by visiting our news site/blog and that you follow us on social media

Have a great summer!

See you on the yoga mat!

Isabella and the team of teachers at Ashtanga Yoga Malmö (Lund)

Photo: Sophie Håkansson Photography

SUMMER SCHEDULE & GUEST TEACHER Karolina Z – July 2019

From1-14 July, we are pleased to welcome Karolina Zakrzewska as a guest teacher. On two previous occasions, Karolina has covered classes at our shala and we look forward to seeing and learning from her this summer as well.

You can read more about Karolina and see nice pictures on her website

Throughout July 2019, we run a special summer schedule that you can  download here SUMMER SCHEDULE 2019  or you may also consult our schedule page. There will be daily morning Mysore class from  Sunday-Friday. In July, all evening classes are cancelled and we make use of the extra light and the early mornings instead.

After 14/7 we have two weeks of self-practice three days a week. From the 17th to 22nd July Sharath R. Jois visits Copenhagen for a week-long workshop. We encourage all our students to come and experience a bit of Mysore on home ground. Read more and register here .

Our autumn schedule resumes on 4/8 with full teaching (morning and evening).

NEWSLETTER MAY/JUNE 2019

We hope you’ve had a good Easter weekend with a chance to enjoy the sunshine. Finally we’ve defrosted and now the physical side of yoga may be a bit easier. Our regular schedule continues until 30 June and in July there’ll be a special summer schedule. In May and June we have many exciting events and special classes with guest teachers to offer all our practitioners, newer and more experienced. May and June also include some public holidays and we’d like to remind you of some temporary schedule changes then (click here).

Early July, we welcome Karolina Zakrzewska as a summer teacher and the second half of the month Sharath Jois visits Copenhagen (info here) for a week’s workshop. Keep reading and you’ll be on top of all that happens at the  school before summer.

A NEW BEGINNERS’ COURSE starts in Malmö on Monday 29/4 (read more here). It is a 6-week course and we’re always happy when you recommend us to your friends. Right now we’d be extra happy if you could motivate some stiff men to join the course and thus help us even out gender gap in our shala.

FRIDAY FUN our alternative after work – continues on 26/4 and 17/5 in Malmö. The theme this semester is basic yoga philosophy and chanting. No previous experience is required. The upcoming two sessions treat ch2 of Yoga Sutras and we continue to learn simple breathing techniques. Register via the event

GUIDED CLASS of both the first and second series in Ashtanga yoga take place in May/June. The next guided primary series is on Sunday 12/5 at 8.45 (followed by tea & talk). Isabella also teaches led Intermediate series on Sunday 19/5 and 16/6 after the regular Mysore class. Please read the requirements for participation here and talk to Isabella before you sign up.

GUEST TEACHERS on June 1-2, we welcome Swedish Gabriel and his Australian wife Nadia. They’ll teach two Master classes in Ashtanga yoga on the theme “Create effortless fluidity and control in your yoga practice”. Learn how to find flow in your practice through bandhas and breath. Find the strength and flexibility in both transitions and asana. Gabriel and Nadia give you  an insight into techniques that make your practice easier. Classes are open for all. Don’t miss this unique opportunity. Read more here

SUMMER RETREAT in FINLAND 7-12 July we return to the idyll Kadermo Conscious Living in Finland, an island completely unaffected by the stress of modern society. Join Isabella on a week-long Ashtanga yoga retreat with both morning and afternoon classes. Take the opportunity to unwind, relax, and enjoy yoga, beautiful scenery and fantastic vegetarian food by the best Indian chef Anu flown in straight from Mysore. Last year was very much appreciated and fully booked so don’t wait too long to reserve. More info here.

SUMMER TEACHER Karolina Zakrzewska covers classes from 1-14 July while Isabella is away. Karolina is from Helsingborg but lives in Goa, India where she runs the retreat centre Purple Valley. Karolina has taught at our shala at twice previously and we are delighted to welcome her back. More about Karolina and the summer schedule here

Finally, speaking of Purple Valley, we want to flag that Isabella teaches a retreat there later this autumn from 26/10-8/11. More on our eventspage where you also find a link to Purple Valley. Bookings open on their homepage in May. You don’t want to miss this trip!

The next newsletter will be distributed mid-June. It’ll contain more info about some important changes coming up at the school this summer/autumn. In the meantime please stay updated by visiting this news page/blog and follow us on social media (links below). You’re also invited to join the closed group Ashtanga Yoga Malmö / Lund practitioners we started.

See you on the yoga mat!
 P.S Did you know that you can use your healthcare allowance when you buy practice cards with us?

NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2019

Happy new year to you all! Warm greetings from Mysore, India where I (Isabella) currently am for my annual trip to the KPJAYI for studies with Sharath. Here I get to be a student again and fill up on new knowledge and good energy. But this year I’m only here for one month and I’ll return home in early February. The shala is full as usual, with many familiar but also new faces. Sara who assists me in Malmö is also here. Some good news are that I again have the honor to assist Sharath in the Shala, this year during the first shift. This means that I, together with two other assistants help from 4am until 6.30. Only after that I’m allowed to roll out my mat where Sharath tells me to and do my own practice. It means long mornings in the Shala, but I am very grateful because I learn a lot, and it’s all experience that I can bring home for you to benefit from. While I am here I also take private chanting lessons in preparation for a course in chanting and yoga philosophy that I will teach this coming spring. You can read about the course and all other events this spring below.

In January our schedule is slightly reduced. Miho, Sofia and Caroline make sure that classes run smoothly in my absence. We also have the pleasure to welcome Jens Bache from Astanga Yoga Copenhagen. Jens will teach two guided Primary series classes on Sunday 13 and 20 January. Don’t miss the opportunity to practice with Jens who has more than 20 years of Mysore experience. All details and the January schedule are here

The SPRING SCHEDULE starts Sunday the 3rd of February with our monthly guided primary class in Malmö. Afterwards you are invited to tea & talk where I and Sara will share stories from our stay in Mysore. You find the spring schedule on the schedulepage. Please note that there are some changes:

  • Evening Mysore class on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Malmö is henceforth taught by Miho and Sara. From now on I teach only morning Mysore.
  • Chanting on Sundays is replaced by a 4-session Chanting & Philosophy course. It will allow for better continuity and give us a chance to deepen our practice and understanding of the texts we chant. The course runs as Friday-fun in Malmö 17-19hrs. Read more here
  • New beginners courses in Lund and Malmö start in March. The course in Lund will take place in One Hot Spot’s premises at Råbygatan. Read more about all our courses here
  • Beginners level 2/guidedhalf Primary series will be held both in Malmö and Lund. The course/class in Malmö starts on Monday 4th February and in Lund we start in March. Read more about the classes here. You may as usual register for the entire course or drop in with clip/monthly card, provided there’s space.
  • Guided Intermediate series will be held twice later this spring in preparation for Sharath Jois’ visit to Stockholm and Copenhagen in July. It is strictly regulated who can participate so please carefully read the class description hereand talk to me before you register.

I would be grateful if you all took the time to read the schedule page(with links) properly so that you are aware of and respect our Shala guidelines and our opening/closing times.

GUEST TEACHER – In addition to the regular schedule, Stefan Engström will visit us on 5-8 April to hold a guest workshop with the theme “Anatomy of wholeness”. There will be both physical asana practice with mysore and led classes as well as more theoretical afternoon classes. More info about Stefan’s visit will soon be available under upcoming events on the events page.

SUMMERRETREAT –  on July 7-12 we return to Kadermo Conscious Living in Finland. Isabella teaches a week-long retreat there. Last year was full so don’t wait too long to book your spot. More info can be found here.

That’s all for now. If you want to buy cotton mats, yoga mat bags or other yoga stuff from Mysore please order from me no later than 15/1 (email). The price depends on the exchange rate and the shipping cost.

See you in less than a month, but until then please keep up to date through our Facebook page and the group “Ashtanga Yoga Malmö/Lund practitioners” we started in connection with the page. On Instagram you can also follow some of what happens while I am in Mysore. All other news is published here on our newspage.

TEMPORARY SCHEDULE CHANGES OCTOBER 2018

From 11-31 October Isabella will be in India participating in a Yatra (pilgrimage) in the Himalayas together with R. Sharath Jois and Eddie Stern (read more about the trip here) . In her absence the regular schedule will continue as usual with four cover teachers: Miho, Sara, Sofia and Ebba. You’ve probably already met them at the shala, but if you want to know some more you can read their presentations here. Below you find a detailed schedule of who is teaching and when while Isabella is away.

NEWSLETTER Christmas&NewYear 2017

Greetings from Mysore, India, where I (Isabella) spend December and January studying with my teacher R. Sharath Jois at the KPJAYI. In this newsletter you’ll find information about our winter schedule in January, our relocation in Lund and Malmö and a sneak peek at the spring schedule that starts in February. But, first a brief report on life in Mysore.

Every day, six days a week, I wake up at 2am to prepare for Mysore class at 4am. Practice lasts about two hours, then I go home (before sunrise) to do pranayama, sleep a little, have breakfast and then head off for chanting at the shala or at semi-private classes that I take. Every afternoon I participate in a course on the Bhagavad Gita; its message and philosophy. My schedule is thus rather full. In January, I have been asked to assist Sharath during the second morning shift which starts at 6.30am. Sharath teaches every day from 4-11.30am except on Saturdays when it’s led primary series and Mondays where we have led primary and intermediate class. On Sundays and moon-days we rest – which is really needed. Practice is intense, hot and it’s full on focus in the shala . After practice one is completely shattered but luckily there’s a guy selling fresh coconuts outside the shala.

Mysore is a culturally and historically important city in southern India and here is much to do and see besides yoga. It’s noisy, messy, dusty and charming – as only India is. Everyone is friendly and after all my trips here it feels almost like home. The few hours we have outside of practice we are for coffee with friends, to enjoy the sun on a roof top or to visit colourful markets in town. During my stay, I will also visit the charity V-Care for whom we arranged a fund raising in 2017. I will personally hand over the money you donated and report back from the meeting. If you’d like to know more about V-Care you can continue reading here . And should you have any spare coins left from your Christmas shopping we’d appreciate if you’d consider donating them to V-Care in support of education of casteless children in Mysore. You may swish your donation to this number 123 576 46 91.

I hope you continue your yoga practice in my absence because I have a lot to share with you upon my return in February. Please remember that the autumn schedule ends on 22/12 after which we close for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. Classes resume on 8/1-2018 with a special WINTERSCHEDULE for January (click on the link to download or see below).

Some classes are only self-practice in January and the Mysore class on Wednesday evenings in Lund will be discontinued. Instead, we launch a Beginners’ level II course (guided half primary series) on Wednesday evenings in February. You can read more about this below. On 2 February the spring schedule starts and I’m back from India. In January there are three “moon days” when we don’t teach. All dates for January and onwards are found here

RELOCATION – as from January our new location in Lund will be at Fabriksgatan 2, 4th floor. All morning Mysore classes in Lund will be held there. The beginner’s courses will take place at Folkets Hus in Lund. In Malmö we move at the end of January. We relocate to Föreningsgatan 72 at Värnhemstorget, just next to Coop. The maps on our website will be updated shortly. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience the relocation may cause, but ask for some patience and understanding that not all may be perfect during the first few weeks. We ask those of you who store yoga mats at the shala in Malmö to take them home in due time before the move.

NEW BEGINNER’S COURSES – start in Malmö and Lund in February. You find all the info and registration here. New this spring is a Beginners’ level 2 course on Wednesday evenings in Lund. The course aims to guide participants through the first half of the Primary series. You can take the whole course or register with your monthly/”klippkort”. Please read more here

WORKSHOPS – the Friday-fun sessions continue in Malmö once a month and Isabella will also teach similar workshops in Copenhagen throughout the spring. All events are available and ready to sign up for on our eventspage

COTTON MATS from Mysore, yoga mat bags and Sharath’s book Astanga Yoga Anusthana can be ordered straight from me. As every year I will ship some goods from Mysore to Sweden, but since space is limited, you need to put in your order by email to me at the latest on 8 January.

That’s all for now; in mid-January you’ll receive the next newsletter containing the spring schedule, the latest news about our relocation in Malmö etc. Until then, stay up to date by consulting this news page and/or by following us on social media, Facebook and Instagram  for pictures from Mysore and other stuff.

I wish you a happy holiday season and all the best for the New Year.
Isabella

Article for Ashtanga Magazine

Isabella recently wrote an article for the online publication Ashtanga Magazine. You can find the original article with  all the pictures here:

https://www.facebook.com/AshtangaMagazine/posts/1150298318422858

Or continue reading below:

DOING SEVA – GIVING BACK
By Isabella Nitschke from Sweden

When I first came into contact with yoga twelve years ago, I saw it as a purely physical exercise. I did not have any knowledge of yoga philosophy and there was no teacher who could guide me. Yet very early into my yoga journey, I felt a strong need and duty to share with others the benefits I experienced from the practice. Little did I know at the time that this feeling had a name to it and that it was a central part of yoga philosophy. Sharath R. Jois, who has since become my guiding teacher, often urges us to “Do your duty (dharma), go out and give back to society”. This is also the message of many yoga texts: that we carry out our actions without attachment to the fruits of them and dedicate our practice to the good of all.

Karma yoga is the yoga of action and is one of the central themes of the Baghavad Gita which talks about the idea of non-attachment to the fruits of one’s actions. This is also true for the Yoga Sutras, where Abhyasa (practice) and Vairagya (non-attachment) are two central aspects of yoga. Seva – selfless service is the spiritual name for karma yoga. Doing Seva means to do good actions for the benefit of others without expecting anything in return.

When I was recommended to try yoga following a sports injury in 2004 my sole interest was to heal from the injury and I had no intention for yoga become a permanent activity in my life. I attended some yoga classes I found at the local gym in Brussels, Belgium, where I was coincidentally working as a spinning teacher in my spare time. However, the classes didn’t appeal to me as the pace was slow and I found no coordination with the breath, something was I used to do in my cycling and running. Then somehow I got my hands on David Swenson’s Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series DVD. I remember that I simply put it in the recorder and did the whole thing following David’s instructions. It was a mind blowing experience! I found it totally crazy and had to modify a lot of course. But there was pace, focus on the breath and a lot of sweating. I liked it!

At the time there was no Ashtanga Yoga available where I lived, so stuck to practicing with the DVD a couple of times a week for a few years. Yoga helped fix my injury, but very soon I noticed other benefits of having a regular practice. I had recently moved to China and started a very stressful job in international relations and the practice became a tool for me to stay more balanced in life. Unfortunately, I still ended up with a severe burnout where both body and mind fell into a big black hole and I stopped functioning at every level. Had it not been for the regular yoga practice I think I’d have fallen so deep that I wouldn’t have made it back from the darkness. But the practice cushioned the fall somewhat and it definitely helped bring me back to life. If I’d had a teacher at the time who could have guided me in my practice, I am convinced that the damage of the stress to my system would have been even less.

My experience of yoga’s healing abilities made me feel an instant need to share this fantastic practice with others. I particularly wanted to help prevent others from suffering the same way that I had or at least help them recover from similar situations. I decided to quit my career in international politics and work with yoga and people’s well-being full time. This change also involved a move to London where I finally found guidance in my Ashtanga practice. I retrained professionally and was fortunate to be accepted to a special training in yoga therapy for mental health. During this time I also stumbled upon an opportunity to go to Rwanda as a volunteer to teach yoga as a therapy to women who survived the genocide in 1994. This was my first chance of really giving back; to do Seva by helping others heal through yoga.

I fundraised for almost a year to be able to do the trip to Kigali where I got to work for a small not-for-profit organization called Project Air. The organization worked with rehabilitating women, but also men and children suffering from post-traumatic stress and other consequences from the 1994 genocide. For four months in 2011, I worked together with trauma counsellors and medical professionals from the US partner organization WE-ACTx and taught yoga to help the women, who were all also HIV-positive, recover from the experience of sexual abuse and other violence.

When I arrived in Kigali, Project Air had already been running for a few years, but during my time of teaching both old and new participants witnessed of rather dramatic changes to their overall wellbeing since starting yoga practice. Women who suffered from night mares and severe PTSD were able to sleep again; some of the men found that they were less aggressive and could deal better with their emotions; and all participants experienced physical health benefits including a better immune system. There were many other benefits to these individuals physical and mental health that I cannot list, but most importantly the practice made them smile and laugh again, which most hadn’t been able to do after the genocide. The practice gave them energy, zest for life and the feeling of being young again and this was one of the most beautiful things I have witnessed.

After the months spent in Rwanda, I have tried to continue to do regular Seva as part of my yoga practice. In London I was a member of the board of Odanadi UK and involved with the Yoga Stops Traffick campaign both in London and in Mysore. Most recently, through my yoga shala Ashtanga Yoga Malmö/Lund in southern Sweden, I’ve started a co-operation with Yoga Shala Stockholm and Astanga Yoga Copenhagen to help a small non-profit called V-Care based in Mysore. It is essential for me that not only my own practice but also to my teaching transmits the fact that yoga goes beyond the yoga mat. However, just like I came to yoga for purely physical benefits I don’t expect my students to want to engage beyond their physical practice. That said; I believe it is my duty as a teacher to inform them that while asana practice is only 2 hours a day, yoga practice goes on 24/7.

Sharath R. Jois says we should remember that there’s something bigger than us in life. The theme of dedicating our practice to something bigger is also central in the Mangala mantra, the closing chant of Ashtanga Yoga. It’s a reminder that we don’t do our practice for our own benefit only (then it’s easy to become neurotic and attached to the practice) but for the good of everyone. Not everyone is able to do Seva physically by volunteering or by donating money, but actions need not be that big. By doing the chant at the end of our practice we take the energy of the work we have just done and offer it to the benefit everyone else. Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu (May all beings, everywhere, be happy and free)!

Newsletter August 2016

imageThis newsletter was sent straight from Mysore, India, where I (Isabella) have the privilege to participate in a special training course led by R Sharath Jois for only KPJAYI authorized teachers. The course is very demanding, but also very rewarding and I hope to share my experiences with you upon my return in September.

THE SUMMER SCHEDULE – continues throughout August and ends on 1/9. I want to thank Karolina Zakrzewska for her valuable teaching in July and August. Miho continues to cover all classes for the remainder of August. Below you can read about all that happens at the shala this autumn.

THE AUTUMN SCHEDULE – kicks off on the 4/9. You can download your own version here autumn schedule 2016 or consult the schedule page. New this semester is that the Friday guided primary series will instead take place only once every four weeks; on the first Sunday of the month. The Sunday’s we have guided class Mysore is cancelled. The first guided primary series will be on the 4/9 at 9:30. The aim of this class is to remind of the number of breaths, tempo and vinyasa in all positions. It’s easy to cheat or forget this when you are just practicing Mysore style. All are welcome to join but please come on time! If you have questions don’t hesitate to contact us!

NEW FOUNDATION COURSES – start in Malmö and Lund on the 4th and 5th September respectively. If you know anyone who is curious about yoga please share this information with them. More about the courses here

YOGA VACATION – the first week of October we travel to Majorca for a week’s yoga retreat. Extend the summer and take the opportunity to immerse yourself in your yoga practice. Book now while there are still places left! All levels of practitioners are welcome. More info here:

COTTON RUGS & BOOKS FROM MYSORE – are available to order from me until 12/8. Cotton rugs will help you not to slip when you sweat and can facilitate learning to jump through in seated postures. Order your own original rug from Mysore! You can also order Sharath’s book Ashtanga Yoga Anusthana which is only available here in Mysore. It provides detailed information about the number of breaths and movements in primary series. Email us to put in your order!

This is some of what happens in the autumn. The next newsletter will contain more information about planned workshops in Malmö/Lund and at other locations in Sweden, as well as lectures and charity events that are in the loop. For example, here in Mysore I work with Lisa from Yogashala Stockholm to help a small organization that tries to make life better for casteless girls in the Mysore region. More about this organization and how we plan to help when I’m back in Sweden. Then, I will also share with you the experiences I had during the two-month-long course here in Mysore. Until then you can follow my stay and see pictures from Mysore on our Facebook page.

I wish you all a nice summer! See you in September!
Om shanti
Isabella

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We're open! The autumn schedule runs until Christmas! We ask everyone who comes to the shala to follow our special guidelines due to Covid19. Welcome!