My Yoga Journey by Zoila Ravanti

One of the real highlights of my adolescence was the discovery of yoga. This happened during the sixties and seventies when not so many did yoga in the west, well not in Finland at least. I found a yoga book in my aunts library and was totally fascinated by what I had discovered, an introduction into yoga’s ancient tradition. I started doing yoga exercises, both asana, pranayama and Raja yoga, and to follow the yogic diet and other recommendations for yogic life style according to the book.

Also, I started going to yoga classes when there was a chance. There was only one yoga school in my town. They were teaching Hatha Yoga. And we were chanting OM after the classes which was an introduction to mantra, it definitely left an imprint.

Another great yoga inspiration was also a book, which I stumbled on while traveling in India in the end of the eighties. “The Autobiography of A Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda was a tremendous leap toward pursuing the yogic path. It provided me with a deeper understanding of yoga and its lofty spiritual aspects. It served even as an introduction to the Indian philosophy which I started studying, in the form of Ayurveda.

Not long after the trip to India I decided to become a yoga teacher. I was living in Stockholm where I had moved earlier from Helsinki. It was in the beginning of the nineties and there were only a very few options in Stockholm offering teacher training. So, a year and a half later I was a Kundaliniyoga teacher (according to YB), I am grateful to my teacher Tomas Frankell (Deva Center) who taught me how to teach yoga in the best style. However, soon it was time to move on as I had discovered Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in a workshop organised by two Ashtangis from Finland, Juha and Petri. I had found what became my preferred yoga practice for many years to come and was thrilled with the this physical and stimulating asana practice and breathing. Gradually I started teaching Ashtanga, first in Stockholm and then in Ibiza. I visited Mysore to practice with Patthabi Jois and his family. Back in Stockholm again where I did Yoga Alliance Yoga Teacher Training in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga with Alexander Medin. I was teaching for many years at various studios and to very varied classes. In Ibiza the fancy beautiful and famous, in Stockholm more down to earth and dedicated yogis.

I also started practicing Yin Yoga with my good friend Magdalena (who was to become a famous Yin Yoga teacher and ambassador) as a complementary yoga style with physically less demanding attitude. I was teaching Ashtanga Yoga, Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Flow and Hatha Yoga for many years.

 When I broke my leg a few years ago and couldn’t do Ashtanga practice I started reading and studying Tantric philosophy. It had always interested me a great deal and I wanted to dive deeper into it. This led me to practice Kundalini Hatha Yoga which is classical Hatha Yoga mixed with Tantric influences. A great source of inspiration on my path was the training I did for Katarina Repka, ISHTA Yoga.

I have had the opportunity to teach retreats in Finland, Ibiza, Montenegro and Peru which has been very enriching and stimulating. To incorporate everything I have learned and practiced into a cohesive, all-inclusive yoga practice including asana, pranayama, mantra, meditation, mudra and chanting.

I am an Aromatherapist (Axelsons) and Ayurvedic Guide and therapist (American Institute of Vedic Studies 1998 and Ayur-Vedaskolan i Markaryd 1999). My Ayurvedic training has been a great complement to yoga.

I have been teaching since 1995, first in Deva Center and later on in Atma Jyoti, InBalance Yoga, Yogakala, Vuxenskolan, Posten, Försäkringskassan to mention a few places. In Yogakala from 2008-2020, thank you Therese Fridh for your energy and dedication. Today I occasionally give courses in Chakra Yoga here in Stockholm but most of time I am organising retreats in Montenegro.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Yoga Retreat in The Sacred Valley, Peru

Page was started with Mobirise