By the grace of my teachers, my mission is simple: to share Yoga with the world in the way that it was intended – as a spiritual science designed to awaken us to our highest potential. Everything I teach is lineage-based, handed down from teacher to student for thousands of years in an unbroken chain of personal transmission.
Since I began teaching in 2006, my only wish has been to be serve humanity by sharing this great science and simultaneously honor my teachers and the long line of dedicated Yogis that came before them.
I began practicing the science of Kriya Yoga at age 19 and was initiated by Swami Shankarananda at 27 in Northern India. I pilgrimaged for a decade across India, deepening my understanding and practice; things that can’t be learned from books or month-long trainings. I have accumulated dozens of certificates over the last two decades but honestly, they mean nothing. As my Guruji says, ‘Only direct experience matters and how committed we are to daily practice, no matter what the circumstances, or how many excuses the mind makes’.
Over the last thirteen years I have dedicated myself to two Master teachers of Tantric Hatha Yoga. I lived with my first teacher, David Goulet, beloved disciple of Dr. Swami Gitananda for 7 years in Thailand. He taught me how to walk this path again. To him I am eternally grateful.
I now study under the masterful guidance of my Guruji, Yogarupa Rod Stryker, founder of Parayoga and beloved disciple of Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD, current spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute. Through Yogarupa’s grace, I received formal initiation into the lineage of Sri Vidya Tantra, the knowledge-stream of the Himalayan Masters, a system holding Fire, Mantra and Yantra at its core.
I continue to teach and practice Asana, Pranayama and Kriya Meditation as preparation for these higher practices, just as the ancient sages suggest. With my efforts, I hope to help students find more purpose, joy and freedom in their daily lives and ultimately access that infinite field of consciousness and power that lies beyond the body and the things of this world.
I believe that when practiced correctly and with the right guidance and attitude, the potential for Yoga to deeply transform all aspects of our lives is limitless.
My yoga journey started back in 1999, when I checked myself into a retreat, without having too much of an idea about what that even meant. I was subsequently introduced to the concept of paying a lot of money to someone, for them to turn around and start ‘torturing’ you. Over the years my practice and work has evolved into so much more. Back in 2012, I decided to dive in all the way and attend a Yoga Teacher Training Course in Bali. This really awakened a new side of me and raised my consciousness to a level I was unaware I was capable of. I reflect back on my life now and wonder how I survived (literally), being so unconscious for the past 40 plus years.
The next huge shift for me occurred when I was sitting at the feet of my guru, yoga brother and friend (yes that would be Octavio), and he showed me how to view the world in a whole new way “OFF THE MAT”. This was about cultivating an attitude, belief, mantra or whatever else you want to call it, and moving through the fear of trying some of the more advanced yoga postures (though for me they are all ‘advanced’, instead of retreating behind stories like: “I am too fat; I am too old; I am not flexible enough; and what will she think of me.”
So you may ask how a bloke, from a blue-collar background, working for most of my career as a chief engineer on super yachts, could end up opening a yoga studio in Bali. Easy! Well no, actually it was not so easy. But was it worth it? Hell yes! I am all in! As the yoga engineer of the business, it has been challenging and simultaneously it has been magnificently rewarding, living life on and off the mat. Well I am trying to at least, and having a bloody good time doing it. As my guru also says to me “Take your practice seriously, but not yourself”.
Feel free to talk to me sometime and I will share with you a bit more of the uncut version of the story. See you on the mat soon.
One of the things I love most about yoga is that it is a veritable feast of technologies for exploring consciousness. No matter where you are on the path it has something to offer you. As my understanding of the practice has matured, the horizons of what I understand yoga to be have expanded also. It doesn’t matter how deep you dig, there is always more.
My movement background extends over 20 years, with 14 years training as a classical dancer before I began practicing yoga. Then, at university, among other things, I studied psychology and philosophy and while I loved philosophy I always wished the ideas we explored would offer answers to life’s big questions in a way that was a little less abstract and had a little more soul. Yoga does that. And I love that it also directs you to experience the answers through conscious breath and movement.
Before teaching yoga I lectured in international security studies (a branch of international relations) at university. I did my first yoga teacher training program out of sheer curiosity and spent several years teaching part-time before I felt compelled to take the leap and leave university behind for good. Since then I have worked between Australia and Bali, most recently for a yoga teacher training school. I also volunteer for the Yoga Foundation in Australia, whose mission it is to bring yoga to people with depression and anxiety who experience hardship.
I come from Brazil and I always loved to move my body. I begin to practice Yoga committed in 2011 when I lived in New Zealand and because of my fitness/gym background was no surprise that I gravitated to the more physical/ gymnastics Yoga, which was fun for while. However at one point I become curious about what lies beyond the physical aspects Yoga, which according to tradition Yoga – is a Spiritual Practice. Right at that time I met the teacher that changed my life and my Yoga Practice.
For the first time I experience the glimpse of remembering my Soul. It was just for couple of seconds initially, but I felt it and from there I wanted to access more the deepest aspects of Yoga that goes beyond the muscles and bones, that’s when through Pranayama, Meditation and Yoga Nidra I started to understand my mind a little more, my little monkey mind.
One of the biggest gifts I received with the Traditional Hatha Yoga is to become more self-aware and observe the layers of consciousness and specially to learn more about the patterns of the sub-conscious mind. So that I can rest in Purusha – the observer, the Soul, the One and ultimately live a life that continuously I remain ‘the watcher’, which is that sweet aspect of our own existence that remains unchanged independently of the forever changing or challenges of life.
My goal as a Yoga Teacher is to share authentically how Hatha Yoga help me to live the every day life with a little richer understanding of the incredible journeys that we all go through.
As far as I can remember, I have always been an explorer, a curious soul, walking many different paths, tasting life in many different ways. I was therefore also naturally inclined to explore inner territories, to connect to that place of silence and peace within myself that lies beyond the transformations, the pains and the joys of life.
My purpose in sharing yoga is to help people to get in touch with that part of themselves which is beyond the waves of change, to connect to their true authentic self and hear the calling of their soul.
From that place, connected to who we really are, I believe that we can then live life more fully, serve and share our unique gifts with t he world. One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and others is the gift of our presence, and in that way feel the pure joy of being alive.
I have always been inspired by creative expression, I have been a singer all my life, using my voice as a way to connect and communicate continues to be a great passion of mine. Yoga, for me, is the ultimate form of creative expression, and what we are expressing and unlocking is our unlimited potential as human beings.
When I found yoga in 2011 (or maybe it found me) I was at a cross roads in my life.. something needed to change. Going in circles, plagued by indecision, unhealthy relationships, burdened by insecurities, just to name a few. I realised that these patterns and habits weren’t going to change until I made an active effort to transform my life. I found solace on my mat, which allowed me to begin the long journey of self-discovery and healing. Yoga became my therapy and my best friend.
My exposure to this ancient tradition has dramatically shaped and changed the way that I perceive myself and the way that I interact with others. I feel that it is my duty to share what I have learned, to continue to grow as a teacher, to support my students in anyway possible and to be a guiding light for people on their own path to self discovery.
My journey thus far has taken me in many different directions, both personally and professionally. Driven by an innate desire to connect to passion and purpose, I have explored work as a communications and marketing coordinator for a nonprofit organization, a fitness instructor, and have held both culinary and management roles for small producers and food businesses centered around local sourcing and sustainability. What I found to be the common thread of joy amongst the many elements of my life through those years was the call to establish meaningful connection. To feel myself connected to that which spoke to my values and my heart, as well as to have the opportunity to help facilitate those connections for others. I found that one of the things I love most is getting to help others understand and experience the value and significance that exist in the things or matters that I believe in deeply.
In the tradition of Tantric Hatha Yoga, I found one of the most important connections of my life. As I dive ever deeper into my practice and my studies of this path, I continue to be amazed by the extent to which it is vast and profound. I am forever grateful that my journey has led me into this tradition, and my continued growth through studies and practice have expanded my consciousness and brought life into my experience as a human in this world in ways I could never have imagined.
To get to share this tradition and its practices with others as a teacher is an honor and a great joy. Yoga has transformed and illuminated the way that I understand myself and the world around me, and I am grateful every day to guide and support others in their journeys along the path of Tantric Hatha.
In a way, there is a Jonas Plass before yoga, and a Jonas Plass after yoga, though ultimately they’re one and the same.
Before yoga, I was a professional 400-meter runner and pro-sports athlete for more than 12 years. Working part-time on the side in the fields of Communication, Sports, and Technology, I won a Bronze medal in the 2012 European Championships, several national titles, and took part in the London 2012 Olympics as part of the German 4×400 relay team. Those were great formative years that taught me a lot about the importance of commitment, passion, and of putting in the work.
Then came yoga. I came to it while still a pro-athlete naively looking for a way to complement my practice and give my body the type of release that running professionally did not allow for. I never thought it would hook me like it has, but the truth is that I will be forever thankful to life for putting me in this incredible path. In yoga I have found an all-rounder, the type of practice that combines all the aspects and disciplines I’m really passionate about. From nutrition, to anatomy, philosophy, psychology, spirituality, ethics, or sustainability, yoga has been for me like an open window into a new way of doing life where the commitment, passion, and dedication I learnt to implement before can really take you places.
I love the way Tantric Hatha yoga has added so much to my life. It has brought purpose and direction to my practice, a solid basis to my teaching, and the realization that, sometimes, to get what you want, you not only have to work hard at it, but also learn to let go.
I grew up in Malang, one of the biggest city in East Java and moved to Bali 16 years ago after graduating from Business School. I first discovered yoga 10 years ago while looking to find activity that gave me the physical benefits and stress relief from the daily grind of a corporate environment.
Since graduating from University, I immediately jumped into the Corporate world of Public Relations, Marketing and Events and Retail Management, until I finally meet my teacher, Octavio Salvado who introduce me to Traditional Hatha Yoga. I never looked back as I found my journey home…
I feel so connected with this vast and profound science for exploring consciousness and realising life’s ultimate aims. This Traditional Hatha Yoga provides one of humankind’s most effective systems for achieving enrichment and happiness in every aspect of life. These powerful lineage – based teachings and traditional practices transform my life immensely. I am very grateful that my journey has brought me into this path.
I feel extremely honoured and humbled to be part of this wonderful team and able to share this beautiful wisdom and tradition with the rest of the world.