I guess I have a somewhat utilitarian view of yoga: I am mostly interested in how to use yogic tools to make my own life and the lives of my students better. This applies to different layers of human system: physical, psychological, spiritual. I don’t practice yoga for the sake of practicing, nor do I care about mastering complicated routines. To me yoga is about facilitating change that translates into living a more balanced, joyful and more fulfilling life. And I believe that some people get there by relieving physical pain, others by connecting to something greater than themselves – it’s not my place to judge how the student gets there, only to find a way that works for that particular person.
Looking back it seems like I was always meant to do this. After all, even my name rhymes with “yoga” (students refer to me as “Yolga” sometimes :)). For as long as I remember I was always engaged in some sort of activity that involved movement – figure skating, gymnastics, dancing. Then in high school I went through an intense period of questioning my beliefs, religion and spirituality in general, which resulted in a clear realization that I am a part of something much bigger then myself. In college I studied education and learned how to teach kids by making things accessible and engaging.
I feel that it all comes together in my teaching – my deep knowledge of movement, my persistent interest in spiritual development and my ability to break complex ideas down into manageable pieces. Even though I’ve had my fair share of physically demanding pursuits (ballet, fitness competitions, martial arts), I was always mostly interested in the therapeutic aspect of yoga and its ability to heal broken bodies and wounded souls. That’s why over the years I’ve moved away from teaching large yoga classes to working with students one-on-one.
When you work with someone privately, you have the responsibility to make yoga work for that particular person. To make it possible, you have to learn as much as you can about the student, carefully choose the elements of the practice that are appropriate for him, plan the practice according to his needs and help him integrate it into his life. These are the skills that I’ve been consistently cultivating for the past 10+ years and these are the topics that I write about here. Most of my articles/posts focus on the following:
– How to understand and evaluate your student’s condition
– How to choose appropriate yoga practices and apply them effectively
– How to arrange different elements of the yoga practice for the best outcome
– How to integrate those practices into students lives, making them potent, short, simple yet interesting
If you have interest in those topics – join in! Read, comment, share. Let’s draw from each others experience and help more people!
1994 – 1999 Omsk State University, Russia, majored in Education
Summer 2002 Mt Madonna Center
200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (certified in August 2002)
2004 – 2006 American Viniyoga Institute
500-hour Yoga Teacher Training (certified in June 2006)
2008 – 2011 American Viniyoga Institute
Yoga Therapist Training (certified in April 2011)
Potentials Yoga Studio, Portland, OR
Owner, yoga teacher and yoga therapist
August 2007 – September 2013, Portland, Oregon
Sequence Wiz yoga sequence builder
Founder and Managing director
August 2012 – present