WE’RE A FAMILY-RUN ASHTANGA YOGA SHALA

Our purpose is to nurture a space where people can heal and grow individually and ultimately bring forth that change into our community.

This is what we call a home shala.

Matias de Biedma

I was quite a skillful sporty kid who found himself being at ease at all of them, but it wasn’t until I discovered surfing in my early teens that I lost interest in competitive sports. The ocean, the contemplation in between waves, and the action of nature calmed my mind; I could feel there was a connection to something bigger. Surfing woke up something inside me I would keep on searching for years later. I tried adventures and trips, setting up and achieving goals but it would only bring some ephemeral happiness. Something inside myself kept asking me to keep on searching until I found meditation. Being determined as I am, it was not easy: my body, which had been so athletic, couldn’t sit for not even 20 minutes, that my knees were bursting with pain. This is how I understood that I needed something to help my physical body to sustain my meditation practice. That’s how I got to know Hatha Yoga and eventually Ashtanga Yoga. After some years of practice and having experienced its benefits, I began to teach this method in 2012 with Matthew Vollmer as my guide. After several trips to Mysore (the source of Ashtanga Yoga), I received authorization Level 2 from Sharath Jois in 2019 and assisted him in 2022. Today I am still first and foremost a student, but I have also discovered that being of service and bringing some light to other people is very gratifying. I am grateful for the different teachers I had along my path and also for the students who continue to teach me every day. The greatest gratitude goes to my wife and my daughters who are my pillar on this path.

Carola della Croce

This practice deeply transformed me and my whole life and I am forever grateful to it as it opened up a new perspective on my body, my mind, my patterns, and thus, on my relationships. Through this empowering practice, I discovered new layers of compassion and acceptance. This is why I’m committed to transmitting it in the same way it was given to me, so as to enable others to experience it and transform with it.

I’ve received authorization Level 2 to teach from my teacher Sharath Jois, who I study with in Mysore, India and had the honor to assist him teaching in my last trip in 2022. I’m grateful for saying I’ve been practicing under Matthew and Carla Vollmer‘s guidance since 2010; a source of inspiration and teachers who remind me why I practice.

I have a special fondness for mantra chanting and yoga philosophy, which I studied with Shantala Sriramaiah and Dr. Jayashree in Mysore, in all my trips I’ve made so far to India.

Since 2018, my personal meditation practice is rooted in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh.

Saskia Randt

My yoga journey began while finishing my studies at the University of Art and Design (HfG) in Offenbach, Germany in 2009.

I started a daily, traditional Ashtanga practice under certified teacher Lucia Andrade, and soon after made my first trip to Mysore, India to study under Guru R. Sharath Jois. Finding the experiences so profound, I have continued to go back almost annually.

In 2016 I received level 2 authorization from Guru R. Sharath Jois.

Before moving to Berlin in 2018, I taught at Ashtanga Yoga Frankfurt, the place where my own practice began. In January 2019 I had the privilege to assist my teacher R. Sharath Jois in Mysore, India.

I am deeply grateful to my teachers who guide and support me on that path.

ASSISTING STUDENTS

Traditionally, the Ashtanga yoga method is taught one-on-one, and learning to teach is no different. There are no teacher trainings but mentorships, purely based on established personal practice, careful observation of different body types and conditions, safe hands-on adjustments and adaptations, and how to hold space for others, key to this method.
We offer this unique possibility only to dedicated, daily practitioners who have proven commitment to this practice and are open and willing to learn to be of service to others.

Hoang Nguyen

Working as a graphic designer, I began participating in evening yoga classes with my work colleagues in 2014. I felt the yoga shala was a space where everyone was equal the moment they stepped onto the mat, beyond any physicalities. Each student, regardless of background or experience, embarked on a unique journey, facing their own challenges at every stage of practice – this diversity inspired me to maintain my practice. I have found my safe space.

But I sought more than physical movement. In 2015, under the nurturing guidance of Matthew and Carla Vollmer, I discovered what I had been looking for: equanimity, equality, love. I deepened my asana and pranayama practice and am eternally grateful for their dedicated teaching.

Since 2017 I have been practicing under the guidance of Carola and Matias, for whom I am eternally grateful for their never-ending compassion and kindness. I deeply appreciate being their assisting student – sharing this wonderful practice called Ashtanga Yoga.

Jo Amaya

I tried many ways to satisfy my curiosity for understanding the mind. As a teenager, I dabbled in various meditation and yoga practices. In parallel, I began to experiment with mind-expanding drugs. In my early 20s, I got a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Psychology and then moved to Berlin to pursue a doctorate in Neuroscience. Ultimately, discovering the practice of Ashtanga yoga offered me the best method for exploring the patterns of my consciousness in a sustainable and meaningful way. Not only has a consistent practice of Ashtanga yoga allowed me to observe the workings of my mind, it also provides the strength and clarity to face what arises. It is under the guidance of my teachers Matias and Carola that the powerful potential of the practice has truly come to fruition. I am so thankful for the presence, support and inspiration that they generously share. For everything that the practice and my teachers have given me, I feel drawn to continue to share it with others.

Hélène Dufour

My yoga journey started in 2017 but it wasn’t until I finally dared to go into a Mysore class in 2021 that I became completely hooked.  Soon after I began practicing with Carola and Matias, I embarked on my first trip to India to practice under the guidance of Sharath Jois.

There is something about a Mysore-style practice that I haven’t experienced ever before with any other type of class, the relationship between the student and teacher. True learning relies on the student’s commitment and trust on the teacher’s knowledge. This mutual trust creates the conditions for the student to transform and ignites confidence and empowerment to face the challenges.

Broadening my understanding of the practice from the asana to pranayama, meditation, chanting, and philosophy texts helped me to understand the patterns of my mind and channel my energy. In Ashtanga yoga, I’ve discovered a lifelong practice that helps me find an unconditional and loyal friend inside myself.

Natalie Vovchenko

I discovered this practice during a very strange period of my life when I made a pause in my career in Finance. Quickly I found out that being in silence, breathing, and moving started bringing deeper transformations apart from the physical changes in my body. I felt new layers opening up to my own self. Something that started as a hobby, deeply but naturally transformed my life.

I cultivate a daily practice under the guidance of Matias and Carola and since 2021, I’m deepening my learning by assisting them in the shala to share the love to this method. I’ve also made trips to Mysore to study with Sharath Jois and in 2022, I took the two-month-long 300 hs Intensive Ashtanga Training under the guidance of Tim Feldmann and Kino McGregor in Miami.