Jörgen Christiansson is certified by the Sri.K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore India and has had a lifelong relationship with Yoga. Since childhood Jörgen has had a strong interest in yoga and Vedic philosophy. He first started practicing Yoga (asana, kriya, pranayama, japam, meditation) in his native country Sweden. His mother introduced him to Trancendental Meditation at age 13 and later on he immersed himself in Paramahansa Yogananda’s Kriya lessons.
Jörgen has traveled extensively on the Indian subcontinent from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. For years he visited numerous ashrams, and studied with many yogis the various aspects of Yoga, including Pranayama in Varanasi, Bhakti Yoga with the Vaishnavas in Vrindavan. He also studied/practiced Sivananda and Bihar School style of Yoga. Early on he practiced Iyengar Yoga for many years. Jörgen met his teacher Sri.K. Pattabhi Jois in 1988, when he first visited Mysore. With more than 25 years of teaching experience, he teaches Ashtanga Yoga in the same traditional manner as was taught to him by his Guru. Jörgen has a unique ability to sense each student’s limits and abilities. With his positive and inspiring nature, he safely helps his students break through old patterns and fears. Besides correct alignment and Vinyasa, Jörgen emphasizes correct breathing and attitude in the practice.
Jim Jamila discovered yoga at a gym in 2004 while training for a marathon and started his daily Ashtanga yoga practice in 2009. He quickly gravitated towards the traditional Mysore style practice and learned the Ashtanga vinyasa method, one pose at a time, under the tutelage of Andrew Hillam and David Miliotis at Jois Yoga Encinitas, and later with Aliya Weise and Kathy King at Ashtanga San Diego. Jim believes in the slow and transformative benefits of yoga. That even a stiff runner can build flexibility. And most importantly, “Body is not stiff, mind is stiff”, according to the late Shri K Pattabhi Jois. Jim began his annual trip to Mysore, India in January of 2013 to study with Sharath Jois at the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. He received Sharath’s blessings to teach in February of 2015 with a Level I Authorization. Now living in Los Angeles, Jim continues his studies with Jorgen Christiansson at Omkar108.
Gary Goldman is a former Army Ranger officer with combat command and reconnaissance experience. After leaving the Army, he spent a number of years involved in covert activities world-wide, was a flight instructor, mountaineer, a fitness freak (30+ marathons and a few longer races), provided VIP security, and was the military/terrorist technical advisor on several big Hollywood films. After so many years of “interesting” activity, he began to question whether or not he really wanted to continue on this path. His study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism confirmed that it was time for a change, while an old military parachuting injury to his back led him to investigate yoga as an alternative to a diagnosis of “you need immediate back surgery.” He discovered that yoga, when practiced with awareness, resolved the nagging pain that had been with him for so many years. His current personal practice now includes 2nd series Ashtanga plus some Vinyasa Flow for variety.
Gary’s love affair with yoga led him to completing the YogaWorks 500-hour Teacher Training and Professional Programs under the personal supervision of Annie Carpenter and Lisa Walford. His classes include an eclectic mix of music and are a mixture of strong Vinyasa flow with some inversions just for fun, while always providing doable alternatives for those who may be new to yoga. The use and benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama are always included, as is at least some meditation as time permits. The result is a challenging, well-balanced practice designed to leave you calm, centered, happy, and feeling good, no matter what your level of experience. Gary also writes and is currently exploring the use of yoga and meditation to assist combat veterans battling PTSD.
Matthew McGaughey has been practicing Ashtanga yoga for 4 years as a student of Jorgen Christiansson at Omkar108 Yoga. He has been to India twice where he studied with grandson R. Sharath Jois and daughter Saraswati Rangaswamy at the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore. He has found yoga to be an integral part of his physical, mental and emotional sobriety. Matthew has been in recovery for 12 years. He is dedicated to sharing his experiences with yoga as an important part of his spiritual practice and personal journey to remaining healthy. It is for this reason, he teaches Yoga for Sharing and Recovery. Matthew is happily married and a composer for television and film.
Bianca Badrinath began learning about Indian philosophy through her parents at a very young age. Growing up, her home life was filled with regular discussions of scripture, and chanting in Sanskrit. She always had an interest in yoga, but it wasn’t until early adulthood that she began to deepen her practice. While attending graduate school for her master’s degree in Public Health, she became disillusioned by the state of healthcare and lack of focus on overall wellness and integration of alternative methods for health improvement. As a result, she began exploring yoga as a means for overall wellness. She eventually discovered Ashtanga Yoga in 2013 and fell in love with the challenge and discipline of the practice. In 2014, she completed her teacher training to share her passion for yoga with others. Her goal is to build a career that melds her background in healthcare with yoga, and spirituality. She is a student of Jorgen Christiansson at Omkar108.
Yuuki Yamagiwa After over 15 years of experience in various movement arts including Asian stage combat and character performance, Yuuki discovered yoga, which provided a form of healing for her physical injuries and mental strain resulting from the high pressures of her performing arts career. Upon earning her degree at UCLA, Yuuki decided to follow her passions and launched her journey in yoga and wellness. Her love for the practice led her finish her first yoga teacher training and subsequently make her first trip to Mysore, India to study with Saraswathi Jois at the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute 2016. She is a student of Jorgen Christiansson and feels humbled and grateful to be a part of the Omkar108 family.