Ashtanga practice, embodiment and Buddhist Philosophy

A retreat with Ellen Johannesen

3 April - 10 April, 10 April -17 April 2022 

Ellen Johannnesen Tenerife Retreat Purple Valley

"Re-thinking Yoga for the current time"

Join us for a week of transitions: from the intense forward bending of Ashtanga Primary series into the deep frontal openings of intermediate series, embodying the heart, lungs and breath as part of the journey. We will study yoga philosophy from the Buddhist perspective, integrating the transpersonal heart centered awareness that is compassion.

This retreat is open for all levels of practitioners – from beginners to advanced.

Ellen Johannesen Tenerife retreat Purple Valley
Ellen Johannesen Tenerife retreat Purple Valley

Retreat schedule

You will have daily morning meditation and either Mysore style morning classes or lead (half- half Primary/intermediate) classes. We will transition smoothly into the back bends allowing the body time to breathe. Students will be given modifications if necessary so that they can safely progress in their practice.

Four afternoon workshops: Yoga philosophy from the Buddhist perspective and Ashtanga technique.

Buddhism has, besides containing it own yogic tradition, had a great impact on Patanjali's "classic" Yoga.  Although Buddhism and Classical Yoga developed within the same cultural context, the Buddhist view differs with regards to its altruistic intent to liberate all beings from suffering.

This perspective is much needed in the world today - both within and outside yoga communities - as many of the problems we are facing globally are the results of an egotistically driven society in which personal or national gain leaves little regard for others. Philosophically this has to do with identity, with whether we see ourselves as isolated entities or as extended selves that are connected to all living beings. In the latter case, the pursuit of true happiness, peace or liberation is only possible when undertaken on behalf of everyone else!

«As the self is allowed to dissolve as an egoic structure the spiritual reality emerges»

Ian Baker

Ashtanga Technique

We tend to think of technique in terms of certain ways of directing muscles and bones. The key to embodiment, however, is to receive information from the body, before we tell it what to do. We do this through visualization and physical feedback; tapping into the body´s innate intelligent patterns. This lays the ground for a more sustainable practice, a practice in which we will experience real change, physically and mentally.

This retreat is suitable for all practitioners, beginners, those practicing the primary Ashtanga series, and those who are either practicing intermediate or wishing to look at what lies ahead further down the road. If you have some previous exposure to yoga philosophy, great - but this is not a prerequisite - just come with an open mind!

Ellen Johannesen retreat Tenerife Purple Valley
Ellen Johannesen retreat Tenerife Purple Valley


Ellen Johannesen

Your instructor on this course is Ellen Johannesen; level 2 authorized by KPJAYI and one of Norway´s most experienced Ashtanga Yoga teachers. With more than 25 years of experience, Ellen teaches yoga based on her extensive background in movement, first as contemporary dancer and later as an advanced level Ashtanga practitioner. Ellen is deeply engaged in Eastern philosophy, holding an MA degree in Buddhist studies and Himalayan languages. She is well versed in the practices of the Himalayan yogis, speaks fluent Tibetan and works as both an oral interpreter and textual translator of Buddhism. She is a practitioner of the Vajrayana path of Buddhism and also pursues an interest in the scientific research into the benefits of contemplative practices. In this context she has undergone extensive courses in Sadhana rituals, positive psychology, neuroscience and sustainable compassion. Ellen is a much -loved teacher of asana as well as philosophy and meditation. She runs Mysore classes, pilgrimages and retreats in Nepal and teaches regularly throughout Norway and internationally.

Practical details

Maximum number of students is 35. 

Morning classes will be taught with maximum 20 students in each class.

Cost: £800 GBP per week for shared accommodation and £1100 GBP  for single accommodation. The price is all-inclusive (includes accommodation, all meals and yoga). There is an option to pay a deposit of 50% of the full amount to secure your place. The deposit is non-refundable and the balance must be paid at least 4 weeks prior to the start date.

To book this retreat, follow the link below and complete the form to make your payment. 

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