“After more than thirty years in the holistic field I am happy to share my path with yours”.
A GLANCE AT MY PATH
Born and raised in northern Europe, I left my native Sweden at age 17 to travel the world. While venturing off to many amazing places I was quickly drawn to the East with its fascinating and exciting cultures. Alongside the abundant external stimulation from these travels grew an appetite for more internal mindfulness-based practices such as yoga, meditation and bodywork. My participation in numerous yoga and meditation retreats at an early age opened up a new way of being in the world. After seven years of travels and exploration I decided to pursue academic studies, and received a degree in physiotherapy in Sweden in the early 90’s, followed by a US physical therapy license when I moved there. After a few years of PT work in Chicago, I lived for a year at Kripalu Center on the US East coast and since then, I’ve been spending my time evolving and navigating Shantaya Yoga & Bodywork School.
I was introduced to yoga and meditation in 1981 and have explored a variety of approaches ever since. My first teachers were Swami Janakananda and Hari Prem at the Scandinavian Yoga & Meditation School with no-nonsense teachings in the linage of renowned Swami Satyananada. After many years of practicing this type of classical yoga, known in India as Bihari Yoga and around the world as Satyananda Yoga, I moved to the USA in ’95 where a whole range of styles and approaches were made available to me. I trained with many gifted and amazing teachers, and received teacher training certifications in Kripalu Yoga, Integrative Yoga Therapy, Ashtanga Vinyasa and not the least the accomplishment of becoming certified in Anusara Yoga, which has been like a backbone for my personal yoga and my teaching for the past 15 years.
Other body-mind disciplines that I have enjoyed to various degrees and which inform me include many kinds of Yoga and Therapeutics approaches, Thai Healing Practices, Acupuncture, Buddhist Insight Meditation, Tantra, Osho, Shiatsu, Feldenkrais, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Tai Chi, Contact Improvisation Dance, Chi Gong, Anthroposophy & Eurythmy.
I offer my humble gratitude to all the beings and teachers I’ve had the fortune to meet on this path. Particular appreciation goes to the great innovator John Friend who founded Anusara Yoga and trained me, and to Richard Freeman, another of my trainers, who so beautifully models the path of a mindful yogi. They have both made a profound and lasting imprint on me, while many other teachers, teachings and traditions have inspired and shaped my yoga path. I’m grateful for experiences with Mata Amritananda Mayi, Ananda Marga, Iskcon, Dharmavir Singh Mahida, TKV Desikachar, BNS Iyengar, Kofi Busia, Glenn Black, Sharon Gannon & David Life, Ana Forest, Shiva Rea, Sivananda Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Integrative Yoga Therapy & so many more.
We all owe gratitude to Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989), the real master and ‘grand father’ of much of the yoga that we know today. He lived to 100 years, and his immense influence on our modern day yoga can not be over-stated. He trained BKS Iyengar (1918-), Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009) and his own son TKV Desikachar (1938-) who have been some of the most influential teachers of modern yoga.
In 1996 I took the seat of the teacher, fifteen years after my introduction to the practice of yoga. Taking time to study and deepen my own understanding of yoga before taking on the responsibility to guide others felt natural to me, and I feel very fortunate to teach at many wonderful venues around the world. The yoga path has been an incredibly rewarding, and challenging, personal journey. More than anything, I feel that I’m a student and practitioner of yoga, and teaching provides inspiration and opportunity to share discoveries that I made in my own practice with others.
In 1981, when I began to practice yoga, I also visited Thailand for the first time. I’ve had the privilege to meet and learn from many schools, teachers, and healers in the country. The most influential ones include the outstanding master Ahjarn Pichest Boonthamme, the Buntautuk Traditional Medicine Hospital, Chongkol Setthakorn ITM, Askokananda and the Sunshine network, ‘Poo’ Manarat, the blind therapists in Chiang Mai, and the Thai Chiropractic Conservatory in Bangkok. In 1998 I began teaching my “yogafied” version called Thai Yoga Bodywork, and I have organized annual group journeys to Thailand between 2000-2010. For many years I have made Thailand my winter home.
SHANTAYA YOGA & BODYWORK SCHOOL
In ’98 I founded Thai Yoga Healing Arts, dedicated to spreading yoga and bodywork practices, supported by my first website. Most of my time between ’98 to ’04 was spent teaching the Thai Yoga Certification Program in the USA and working as core faculty for the Integrative Yoga Therapy Training Program in the USA, Europe and Brazil. To widen the scope of possibilities, in ’04 I created Shantaya Yoga & Bodywork School. Its mission is to organize a wide range of body-mind experiences and explorations that facilitate holistic health, balance and integration of the whole person.
PHYSIOTHERAPY | PHYSICAL THERAPY (USA)
In order to pursue a full time presence in yoga and bodywork, I decided to pause my professional practice of clinical physiotherapy many years ago. Nevertheless, the ongoing exploration of yoga and bodywork enable me to continue with a therapeutic approach by means of yoga and bodywork, informed by physiotherapy.