Heidi Ruokoniemi

Level 2 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher

I started practicing Ashtanga Yoga in 2004. Since then, the daily practice has been a central part of my life and affected it positively in many ways.

In 2009, while studying Education at the University of Helsinki, I started teaching at Astanga Yoga Helsinki and teaching yoga became my profession. During the same year, I traveled to Mysore, India, to practice with Sri Sharath Jois. Since then, I have kept returning to study with him yearly.

I was authorized to teach the primary and intermediate series of Ashtanga Yoga in 2012. A year later, I met my future husband in Mysore, and ended up living in the homeland of yoga for seven years.

Living in India and in a brahmin family has given me a unique perspective to Indian culture and yoga. In India, spirituality is intertwined with everyday life, and some of the traditions and wisdom that have carried on for thousands of years are still being observed and respected. The ancient and the modern, the chaos and the beauty, are all present simultaneously, and everything seems to be possible.

I am very grateful to have had the the opportunity to teach Ashtanga Yoga in India as well; In those magical surroundings the teachings of yoga seem to be always near and ready to be internalized.

With my then husband, we ran our own yoga shala (Ashtanga Yoga Goa), in North Goa from 2015 to 2018. Ashtanga Yoga Goa was a cozy and traditional yoga shala. People from all over the world practiced there together happily and soaked in sweat: the tropical weather and the relaxed atmosphere of Goa melted away the stiffness from muscles and minds.

We closed Ashtanga Yoga Goa when Sharathji asked me to teach his afternoon group students in Mysore. During the years spent in Goa, I had also been living partly in Mysore, where I continued to practice with Sharathji and assisted him at his classes at  the main shala of KPJAYI (K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute).

When Sharathji opened his new shala Sharath Yoga Centre in Mysore in 2019, I started teaching Ashtanga Yoga Classes for all Levels there together with Usha Rani Cittoor and Arathi Menon.

Year 2020 with it’s surprising turns brought me back to Finland and to Lappeenranta, my place of birth. My intention is to keep sharing  the magic of traditional yoga practice, which I have myself experienced especially in India. 

Life keeps bringing forth surprises and changes. But with the help of daily practice, Sadhana, it is possible to find equanimity in between the contrasts of life, and peace when everything is changing.