Sivananda yoga classes in Brussels & online


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Yoga teaching schedule July 2020

Sampoorna Yoga Studio, Brussels

Warrior pose

In July, I’ll be teaching the first two weeks only before taking a few weeks of holidays. I sure hope to see you in a few, or all, of my online classes.

Wednesday 1, 8 & 15 July
12:30-1:30PM all level hatha yoga class, Sivananda tradition, online class via ZOOM. => Please register in advance.

6-7:30PM: all level hatha yoga class, Sivananda tradition, via Sampoorna Yoga Studio, online class via ZOOM. => Please register in advance.

Thursday 2, 9 & 16 July
5:45-7:00 PM: all level hatha yoga class, for EU Council staff only, online class via ZOOM.

Extra classes: 

Looking forward to guiding you on your yoga journey.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति


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Unlimited online yoga passes at Sampoorna Yoga Studio

Brussels is easing out of lockdown, but Sampoorna Yoga Studio remains closed for the time being. The studio will reopen when the conditions allow us to practice yoga fully (breathe, concentrate, relax).

In the meantime we continue our classes online, and there is good news for you:

More Yin Yoga
One more Yin Yoga class (with Virginie) has been added to the online schedule, on Monday evenings at 20:00-21:15.

Unlimited & 10-times passes
This is the moment to practice yoga intensely! Unlimited and 10-class passes are now available: 

  • 10 online classes: 85 €
  • 1 week unlimited online classes: 20 €
  • 1 month unlimited online classes: 75 €

When you purchase an unlimited or 10-class pass, the system will remember your saldo and you can continue registering for new classes until your pass reaches its limit.


How to register & join online classes?

  • Book your class via our website, through Facebook or using the MindBody App on your smartphone.
  • Before class you will receive an email with a unique Zoom link for the class.

By practicing yoga online with us you not only keep yourself healthy. You also support our teacher community, and help the studio survive until we can re-open again. For this, we say a heart-felt THANK YOU!

PS: My classes are taking place as usual, on Wednesday 6PM.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति


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Join online yoga classes (Wed & Fri) on 22 & 24 April

Triangle-AmbikaDear yoga community,  join me this week & practice yoga from the safety & comfort of your home using your own yoga mat. All you need is a PC (or smartphone) with a decent internet connection & a free ZOOM account.

The price per class is 12€.

For now, these are the possibilities :

Each class will be 1 hour  & follow the Sivananda tradition, hatha yoga, accessible for all levels: relaxation, pranayama (breathing exercise), sun salutations, asanas & final relaxation.

I very much hope that together we can keep the yoga community going strong & to create positive vibes in & around ourselves.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति

 

 


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Join online yoga classes (Wed & Fri)

AmbikaYoga_66Dear yoga community,  First of all, I hope you & your loved ones are safe & healthy. In these special times, we need yoga more than ever, to keep our bodies healthy and our minds calm. Hence I’ve set up a ZOOM account to propose online group yoga classes.

This way, you can practice yoga from the safety & comfort of your home using your own yoga mat. All you need is a PC (or smartphone) with a decent internet connection & a free ZOOM account.

The price per class is 12€.

For now, these are the possibilities :

Each class will be 1 hour  & follow the Sivananda tradition, hatha yoga, accessible for all levels: relaxation, pranayama (breathing exercise), sun salutations, asanas & final relaxation.

Next step: register via ZOOM and I’ll send you an email to confirm your participation to the class(es) & then I’ll send you the login details.

I very much hope that together we can keep the yoga community going strong & to create positive vibes in & around ourselves.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति

 

 


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Practice easy breathing with Jala Neti (neti pot)

Currently, we spend so much time at home & are quite worried about our health. One way to occupy yourself in a positive way is to practice prevention regarding your health.

Yoga and yoga cleansing exercises for example.

Yoga cleansing exercises are known as ‘kriyas’. They assist our bodily functions to remove waste products. Since we live in a world where the air, water & food are more and more polluted, we need ‘kriyas’ as our bodies can’t quite deal with this pollution on its own anymore.

There are 2 ‘kriyas’ which are easy to practice on a daily basis:

  • Jala Neti – nasal cleaning
  • Kapalabhati – cleanings of lungs and bronchial tubes

Jala Neti is a simple technique for cleaning the nose, nasal passages and sinuses. This cleansing method is especially beneficial for people that suffer from allergies, often have congested sinuses OR common colds. It’ll help to maintain easy breathing and combats pollution. The neti pot is used together with lukewarm water and some Himalayan or sea salt. Instead of buying expensive nasal sprays, jala neti is an easy, cheap way to prevent you from getting sick.

jala netiJala Neti (sanskrit) means water cleaning. You can buy a neti pot online (i.e.: online) or in a yoga studio near you (i.e. Sampoorna in Brussels) and only need some salt (i.e. sea salt or Himalayan salt). A neti pot will cost you between 5 & 20 euros (depending on the quality, type (plastic or ceramic).

How to use the neti pot?

  1. Poor lukewarm water (ideally filtered water) in your neti pot,
  2. Add a teaspoon (but less in the beginning, experiment as it may burn) of salt to the water, cover the neti pot with your clean hands and shake well,
  3. Hang your head over the sink & poor the water into one nostril, keeping the head tilted pot-side up,
  4. Keep your mouth open to breathe through your mouth,
  5. The water will come out of the other nostril, let the entire content of the neti pot run through your nostrils,
  6. Blow out the excess water through both nostrils and repeat the process with the other nostril.

In the beginning you might find it scary or some water will come into your mouth, don’t worry nor get scared, take your time, experiment with more or less salt, colder or warmer water until you’ve found which combination of salt/ water works best for you. Do not swallow the water, it’ll simply flow through the nostrils through the tilting of your head.

You’ll be amazed of what comes out of your nose and how much lighter your head feels after this cleaning exercise.

Repeat it on a daily basis.

If you feel a cold coming up, you can repeat jala neti two to three times a day.

TIP: add the jala neti to your morning ritual, after a little practice you’ll only need a few minutes for both nostrils and will immediately after feel the difference as it’ll be much easier to breathe & do your Pranayama.


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Useful yoga practices during self isolation

AmbikaYoga-profile smallDear yogi,

In these difficult and strange times we need yoga and meditation more than ever. I’ve compiled some tips of my own personal practice to share with you & hopefully inspire you to bring some more yoga in your (daily) life.

Knowledge

Personally, I am taking time to develop my own knowledge. There is so much information out there & finally I am making time to learn and feed my brain and mind with the yoga mantras, yoga sutras, Bhagavad Gita, …

Recommended: Veda Belgium, DiscoverVedanta, YogaKnowledge, Arsha Vidya,


Meditation practice

I’ve taken up a daily practice again. Meditation is a lifelong study. Sometimes you stop for a while, but when you need it or when you want, you can always go back to it. Insight Times is the app I use. You can access plenty of free meditations (donations are welcomed), and the premium version is now -50%, so only 33€ for a year. You have access to many great teachers and courses. I love it to start my day with an inspirational commentary and to end my day with a relaxing meditation.


Yoga asana & pranayama practice 

Sampoorna Yoga Studio, Brussels

Warrior pose

Yoga asana is especially useful in these times where we are stuck inside most of the day.  To keep our physical bodies fit and healthy. To keep our immune system in great shape. I prefer to practice in the morning, a more invigorating practice including pranayama & sun salutations combined with some asanas. If you take 15-30 minutes, it’s already great. If you have more time, please practice longer. You could also take time in the evening for a yin yoga session or yoga nidra practice. There are fabulous teachers out there who are now available via online classes, or via YouTube. We can practice with a teacher, live, online, or on our own with either your own improvised session. Below, I share some of the teachers I love to practice with online these days.

Taking daily walks is hopefully also part of your daily routine.

Home cooking

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Noodle soup

Hopefully you have more time nowadays for delicious home cooking. Maybe you prepare lots of food in the weekend to have wonderful home cooked food the whole week. Or make nourishing, but simple food during the week & more elaborate meals during the weekend?

If you are already vegan, you could develop your skills or share your recipes with your entourage. If you aren’t yet vegan, I can only hope you’re interested to discover vegan recipes, one step at the time: join a vegan challenge (online); check recipes from your favourite chefs; or start here in my recipes section.


Some tips to practice yoga asana & pranayama

1/ Sampoorna yoga studio offers online yoga classes with teachers of the studio. My class takes place at the usual time, it’s just being casted from my living room to your home (Wednesday 6PM).

  • Two daily classes, morning and evening
  • Prenatal yoga once a week (Thursdays)
  • Kids yoga moments twice a week (Tuesdays in Dutch, Fridays in French)

How to register: it is necessary to register in advance. Currently please use Facebook or the MindBody App. Registration is possible until 30 minutes before start of class.

2/ Practice yoga nidra or restorative yoga with Lucia Vimercati.

3/ Practice yoga or meditation with Susie Jones from Yogaroots studio.

#staysafe #staysane #practiceyoga

Om shanti – शान्ति

 

 


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Mushroom risotto Ⓥ

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I love risotto, but only the ones I make myself (or those made by my Italian friend, chef & fellow yogini Lucia). Tonight I was inspired by this recipe, which I tweaked a bit.

I added some cherry tomatoes & 2 garlic cloves (with their skin), pepper & salt in the oven, as well as 2 of the big mushrooms, sliced, tossed with pepper, salt & olive oil. I put the vegetables in 2 different oven dishes for about 20-25 minutes at 190 degrees.

Ingredients

  • 1,5 cups of arborio rice, rinsed
  • 5 cups of vegan stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 5 to 6 big mushrooms (about 500g)
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Unsweetened soy cream
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine (optional)

Preparation

  1. Prepare the 5 cups vegetable stock/ broth and set aside.
  2. Rinse the rice and set aside.
  3. Add the olive oil to a pot, add the onion and sauté on medium high for a couple of minutes.
  4. Then add in the sliced mushrooms, stir fry for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms are golden.
  5. Add the garlic and stir fry for a few minutes.
  6. Add the rice and sauté for a minute or so.
  7. Add the white wine and allow to be absorbed.
  8. Add 3 cups of vegetable stock/broth, stir well and simmer until the broth is mostly absorbed.
  9. Then add 1 cup vegetable stock/broth, stir well again and cover and simmer until the broth is mostly absorbed.
  10. Then add the last 1 cup of vegetable stock/broth, stir well again and simmer for a final few minutes.
  11. Once all the stock/broth has been mostly absorbed by the rice, add a few tablespoons of soy cream and mix well.
  12. Turn off the heat and stir in the 2 Tbsp of vegan butter.
  13. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  14. Serve with some nutritional yeast.
  15. Serve with the roasted cherry tomatoes and mushrooms.
  16. Enjoy.

20200322_194323

 

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति


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Sampoorna yoga studio offers online classes now

Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 10.14.12Dear yogi,

In these difficult and strange times we need yoga and meditation more than ever. The studio remains closed due to the Corona virus outbreak, but we have good news for you:

From Friday 20 March Sampoorna yoga studio offers online yoga classes with teachers of the studio.

My class takes place at the usual time, it’s just being casted from my living room to your home (Wednesday 6PM).

  • Two daily classes, morning and evening
  • Prenatal yoga once a week (Thursdays)
  • Kids yoga moments twice a week (Tuesdays in Dutch, Fridays in French)

How to register:

It is necessary to register in advance. Currently please use Facebook or the MindBody App as we are still working to get it up on our website – we recommend the MindBody App as the quickest and easiest way.

Registration is possible until 30 minutes before start of class.

At that point, we will send everyone a Zoom link for the class.

You will need to download the free Zoom app in advance!

Private online yoga classes with our teachers are also available – ask for more info!

We hope to see you soon in the online classes, thank you for practicing yoga with us.

Take good care of yourself and your loved ones, stay at home, stay safe!

PS. Should you experience any difficulty in registering for the new online classes just send an email – this is new for us all well, and we are learning as we go.

Om shanti – शान्ति

 

 


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Want to join online yoga classes as from 17 March 2020?

AmbikaYoga_66Dear yoga community,  First of all, I hope you & your loved ones are safe & healthy. In these special times, we need yoga more than ever, to keep our bodies healthy and our minds calm. Hence I’ve set up a ZOOM account to propose online group yoga classes.

This way, you can practice yoga from the safety & comfort of your home using your own yoga mat. All you need is a PC with internet connection & a free ZOOM account.

I accept 10 students per class as to be able to check & correct you all when necessary. If you’re interested, please send me a private message so I can explain you how to set this up. The price per class is 12€. A class will take place with at least registered 5 students.

For now, these are the possibilities starting this week (from 17 March):

  • Wednesdays at 12:30PM (1 hour class)
  • Fridays at 12:30PM (1 hour class)

Each class will be 1 hour  & follow the Sivananda tradition, hatha yoga, accessible for all levels: relaxation, pranayama (breathing exercise), sun salutations, asanas & final relaxation.

Next step: send me an email to confirm your participation to the class(es) & then I’ll send you the login details.

I very much hope that together we can keep the yoga community going strong & to create positive vibes in & around ourselves.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति

 

 


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Kale stoemp, mushrooms & mince Ⓥ

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Kale stoemp is a typical Dutch winter dish. In The Netherlands people eat it with a sausage and gravy (non-vegan style). I made a vegan version and on day 1 I ate this simply stoemp made of mashed potatoes, kale and soy cream with a vegan sausage, mustard and small pickled onions.

On day 2 I made with the leftover stoemp an oven dish pimped with mushrooms and mince ‘meat’. It was delicious.

 

Ingredients

Stoemp

  • 1 KG of potatoes
  • 450 (or more) kale (I used organic, frozen)
  • Unsweetened soy cream to taste (or use oat or rice, but they often are too sweet for me)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Topping/ filling

  • 250g mushrooms
  • 400g mince (I used the Naturli brand)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of Cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil

Preparation

  1. Make the stoemp: peel the potatoes, cut in quarters and boil for about 15 minutes in some lightly salted water.
  2. Prepare the kale according to the package instructions (about 12 minutes in this case).
  3. Once the potatoes & kale are properly cooked, save some of the water from the kale, throw out the water of the potatoes and mix well to obtain a nice consistency. Mix everything well with a fork or mixer for very smooth consistency. Add pepper & salt to taste. Add some soy cream & olive oil for creaminess. Set aside.
  4. Clean (with paper towel, not water) the mushrooms and slice them.
  5. Finely cut the garlic cloves.
  6. Preheat the oven to about 180°.
  7. Fry up the mushrooms until nicely golden brown, add the garlic for a few minutes, set aside.
  8. Fry the mince in a skillet, add some soy sauce, Cayenne and black pepper.
  9. Add some olive oil in the oven dish, spread half of the stoemp in an equal layer, add some mushrooms, then the mince, finish with the rest of the stoemp and some mushrooms on top.
  10. Put the dish for about 15-20 minutes in the oven.
  11. Enjoy.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति


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Yoga & hygiene: the importance of having your own yoga mat

Yoga is good for you for many reasons, for example it boosts your immunity, hence try to practice regularly.  Even if you’re not feeling well, you can still practice, at home, a soft and slow routine adapted to your needs of that moment.

As people are feeling more insecure about their own health for the moment, it’s wise to take a good look at health & your yoga practice, at home & in the studio.

  1. Practice basic common sense, first of all, if you don’t feel well (under the weather, coughing, sneezing etc.), please refrain from going to your yoga group practice, as you don’t want to share your germs with your fellow students or teacher.
  2. Washing hands regularly obviously should be a normal practice.
  3. Basic hygiene rules for coughing & sneezing.
  4. jala netiPractice neti pot cleansing regularly to facilitate Pranayama and keep your nostrils clean and clear (for sale in your yoga studio).
  5. Use a tongue scraper to keep your tongue & mouth free of germs (for sale in your yoga studio).
  6. Furthermore, I would like to share with you the importance of having your own yoga mat. When you practice yoga, you most likely sweat a bit (or a lot) and lose some cells caused by the friction on the mat, these you better keep to yourself, so don’t lend out your yoga mat either preferably. More importantly, every time you practice your yoga asanas you generate energy and this energy goes into the yoga mat. You want to keep this energy flow to yourself and not get someone else’s energy mixed with your own by using another person’s mat. So my advice is to buy a yoga mat that you can take with you to your class, use at home and bring on trips as well. If you don’t yet have your own mat, you can bring a (yoga) towel to the class to cover a studio mat until you’ve gotten your own.
  7. Clean your mat after your practice.
  8. Change your yoga clothes regularly (preferably after each practice).

Nowadays it’s easy to find affordable good quality mats, a reliable online store is yogashop or buy one in Sampoorna Yoga Studio in the center of Brussels.

Some do’s & don’ts regarding your yoga mat

  • Be careful when using soap when cleaning your mat, the soap can leave a film on the mat which causes it to be slippery. Best to rinse it with some water and air dry or use a cloth and (homemade) cleansing spray.
  • Always let your mat air after practice.
  • Avoid lending your mat to a friend, for hygiene and energy reasons as explained earlier.

Example: my yoga mats

  • Manduka eKOhome practice: a very good choice as very comfortable, it’s quite expensive but will last you forever. I use this Manduka mat for my home practice. It’s thick & heavy, so not easy to carry with you to yoga practice outside your home. It’s easy to keep clean (use a cloth and your homemade cleansing spray).
  • travel mat: ultra thin mat that folds and  is easily added to your luggage. It’s a good choice if you want to practice yoga on for instance the hotel carpet floor but don’t want to carry a big yoga mat with you while traveling. Also practical to bring to the yoga studio to place on top of the mats they provide for you.
  • yoga towel: excellent choice to use in on top of your yoga studio mats, this one has good grip, is easily washable and light.
  • ECO: a very good choice for ecological purposes and also very high comfortable rating! It’s 6mm thick so this is particularly nice if you have a sore neck from Sarvangasana (shoulderstand). It’s heavier and rolls less easily, so this is more a mat for home practice.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति


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Leek and bacon quiche with olive oil crust Ⓥ

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Quiches are great food to make ahead when organizing a dinner party, you can freeze them or prepare the day before and warm them up before your guest arrive. Serve with a simple rocket salad and a olive oil/ mustard/ lemon juice dressing. Yesterday I made a simple leek & bacon quiche, using a tofu mixture for the filling.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 200g wholegrain flour & 50g quinoa flour (or 250g wholegrain flour)
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 125 ml water
  • 125 ml extra-virgin olive oil

Vegetable filling

  • 4 leeks, chopped
  • cup of vegan bacon (i.e. De Vegetarische Slager)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • olive oil

Tofu filling

  • 1 package of firm tofu
  • soy milk (quantity = dependent on desired consistency)
  • 1 tbsp of chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup heaped tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp curcuma
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • olive oil

20150715_184705Preparation

  1. Prepare the crust: sieve the dry ingredients in one bowl, mix the wet ingredients in a separate smaller bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, use a fork to mix. Knead lightly, then roll into a circular shape, big enough to reach across the bottom and the sides of a 26cm pie dish. Add non-stick paper to your pie dish, put the dough in the dish & refrigerate while making the filling.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (I use gas oven 6).
  3. Slice the leek in half lengthwise. Place both halves cut side down, then use a circular motion to cut the leek into thin half moons. Rinse out any dirt from between the leaves.
  4. Stir fry the leek for a couple of minutes in some olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and stir fry for 2 more minutes.
  5. Add the vegan bacon and fry until crispy
  6. Add 1 tsp of curcuma, a pinch of salt and fresh pepper. Set aside.
  7. Put the crust in the oven, blind bake it for about 15 minutes.
  8. Make the filling mixture in a food processor or blender: blend the tofu with the rest of the spices, nutritional yeast and enough soy milk to make it into a creamy mixture, add some chickpea flour to thicken the mixture.
  9. Add the tofu mixture to the vegetables.
  10. Take your crust out of the oven, lower the heat to 180°C (gas oven 5). Add the vegetable/ tofu mixture and put in the oven for about 30-35 minutes.
  11. Take your quiche out of the oven, and leave it to cool off for about 10 minutes before serving it with the salad.


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Free yoga classes at the Sampoorna Yoga Studio open door day 19/01/2020

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Come and put your good resolutions to practice, discover the studio, try different types of classes, enjoy healthy snacks and tea, and meet other yogis.
Date: Sunday 19 January 2020.
Place: Sampoorna Yoga Studio, Rue du Houblon-Hopstraat 40, 1000 Brussels.
Time: doors open from 10:00 to 18:00.
10:30 Sampoorna Yoga (Ramdas)
12:00 Vinyasa Flow (Gladys), Sampoorna Yoga (Hanna)
13:30 Yin Yoga (Marleen)
15:00 Sampoorna Yoga (Hanna)
16:30 Mantra Chanting & Meditation (Eknath)
Special offer on yoga passes
FREE of charge. No mandatory registration – but it’s great if you let us know in advance that you’re coming!
We recommend to take public transport or your bicycle to come to the Open Doors! There is a bicycle parking in front.
Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति


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Sad statement

As a long-time yoga student, practitioner and teacher of the Sivananda organisation, I’m saddened to read about the alleged abuse by the founder of the TTC and ashrams around the world, Kuttan Nair (formerly known as Swami Vishnudevananda).

A lot has been said, online, and as a teacher of the tradition, I feel it’s only fair to share my personal view with my students.

As in any organisation, company, institution, religious belief system, there are predators, people who need to control, abuse and hurt other humans in order to feel good about themselves, or for whatever sick reason. That doesn’t make the organisation’s mission and vision they are a part of bad, but it does require honesty, transparency, an independent investigation & ultimately changes in the way of working to avoid enabling such behaviour as well as charges to the culprits and reparations for the victims.

Personally, for now I will continue practicing and teaching traditional yoga, the Sivananda tradition, as I was taught it, since I’ve witnessed the profound benefits of the teachings on so many individuals, as well as on myself. I don’t consider myself to be a devotee to any guru, but a student of proven and solid practices that create harmony, better health and wellbeing in people and their communities.

My heart goes out to the victims of abuse, anywhere. May they find the strength in themselves, and in their community to find inner peace and happiness again, very soon.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति


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Special yoga passes prices in December at Sampoorna yoga studio

Sampoorna yoga studio team in Trikonasana poseWe’re already December!
The pre-Christmas season is often a period when we have less time for yoga – because of the stresses of preparing for the festivities at home and finishing everything at work before holidays.
But this is exactly the time when we need more yoga! Come to one of our classes to stretch the tensions out of your body, calm your mind, and connect with other yogis.
We would like to support your practice by making a great offer:
Everyone is entitled to student rates in December!
Examples of prices:
  • 10 classes: 90€ (normal price 135€)
  • 20 classes: 150€ (normal price 220€)
  • 3 months unlimited: 200€ (normal price 300€)
  • 6 months unlimited: 400€ (normal price 500€)

Hopefully I’ll see you soon in one of my Wednesday evening classes, or join any class on the schedule with your yoga pass.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति