About The Teacher

Yoga Retreat in The Sacred Valley, Peru

My Yoga History by Zoila Ravanti

One of the absolute highlights of my adolescence was the discovery of yoga. This happened during the sixties and seventies when very few individuals did yoga in the west. I found a yoga book in my aunts library and was totally fascinated by what I had discovered, an introduction into yoga’s vast tradition. I started doing the described exercises, both asana, pranayama and Raja yoga, and to follow the yogic diet and other recommendations for yogic life style.

Also, I started going to yoga classes when there was a chance. There were only one or two yoga schools in my town. They were teaching Hatha yoga.

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 push to further pursuits on my yoga 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.

Soon after the travel in India I decided to become a yoga teacher. Now I was living in Stockholm to where I had moved earlier from Helsinki. This was in the beginning of the nineties and there were actually only one option in Stockholm offering teacher training. So, a few years later I was a Kundaliniyoga teacher. However, soon it was time to move on and leave the Kundaliniyoga behind (I did not really connect with it) as I had discovered Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga at a weekend workshop organized by two Ashtangis from Finland, Juha and Petri. I had found my yogic home and was thrilled with the very powerful physically demanding asana and breath. Gradually I started teaching Ashtanga, first in Stockholm and then in Ibiza. Then back in Stockholm again where I did Yoga Alliance Yoga Teacher Training in Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. I was teaching for many years at various studios and to very varied classes. From “the beautiful and famous” students of Ibiza to individuals with different symptoms like ADHD and other disabilities in Stockholm. 

Also, I started practicing Yin Yoga, and felt good with it, complementary yoga style to Ashtanga yoga in the sense of the more physically passive attitude. From now on I started being more open towards yoga and my own teaching. I incorporated other styles like Hatha yoga, Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Flow and restorative yoga in my classes.

I have had the opportunity to teach retreats in Finland, Ibiza, Montenegro and Peru which has been very enriching and inspirational and has led me to where I am today. Namely, to incorporate everything I have learned into a cohesive, all-inclusive yoga which I call Chakra Yoga. I feel free to incorporate different yoga styles and yogic techniques like pranayama, mantra, meditation, mudra and chanting in a single yoga class or a retreat. The more I practice and teach the more I can own my yoga and express it in a more authentic way.

Feel welcome to Zazenda Yoga Retreat! Zoila Ravanti

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