Originally from Poland, I moved to Sweden at the age of 8.

I finished my studies in Sweden, mainly in religious studies, Hinduism and Buddhism.

By 23, I decided that I needed a break from Sweden, from studies and work, so I took a trip to Greece, Rhodes, planning to stay there for just two weeks. However, the two weeks somehow extended to six months and I ended up in Spain and completed a training course with a travel agency.

karolina journeyWorking for the Scandinavian travel agency Ving opened up a totally new world of travel. It became very difficult for me to return to Sweden, instead, I decided to pursue my career in the travel industry. The time spent with Ving took me to countries like Egypt, Marocco, Romania, Turkey, Greece, world tours, and finally India. I had a go through a range of work experience – from a  round-trip tour guide to manager before I finally realised that administrative work was not something that fulfilled me, my true calling lay elsewhere.

By this time I had already spent quite a few years in India, working both in Goa, Rajasthan and Delhi. I decided to quit my job, and found work in an Indian hotel chain as General Manager.

During my first year in India, I discovered Ashtanga yoga. Yoga practice, in general, came into my life quite early, when I was about 17, but wild ways of youth took me away from both the asana practice as well as the meditation.

I was enthralled by India, the country caught my attention and it was love at first sight. I found everything quite irresistible – the chaos, the markets, the colours, the smells, the traditions – all of it was fascinating and exciting. Whenever I could manage to take some time from my busy schedule, I travelled and tried to see and experience as much as I could.

My interest in both Hinduism and Buddhism grew, and I decided to deepen my knowledge in both through university studies. Travelling through the country took me many of the holy places of India. I spent many months studying yoga in places as diverse as:

  • Rishikesh – Parmath Niketan – three months, studying both Hatha yoga and philosophy.
  • Haridwar – Santosh Puri Ashram – two months, learning different kriyas (200 hour course)
  • Uttarkashi – Sivananda Ashram – two months, learning both philosophy and the Sivananda system of yoga.
  • Dharamsala – McLeod Ganj – six months. This is where I obtained a proper introduction to Ashtanga yoga by the very loving Vijaj of the Universal School of Yoga. Meeting Vijaj was a life-changing experience, for he took me through the first steps of Ashtanga I trained with him for six months to deepen my knowledge, and did a Teacher’s Training Course in both Hatha and Ashtanga yoga. During these months, I also managed to study with the well-known Iyengar teacher, Sharat, of the Himalayan School of Yoga. He runs a school both in Dharamsala as well as in Arambol, Goa.

After my time with Vijaj in the Buddhist settlement, I returned to Goa where I continued to work. By now, my interest in yoga and yogic lifestyle is deeply rooted. Feeling a bit lost without a teacher, I started to spend more and more time at the Brahmani Yoga Centre in Anjuna where I joined the ongoing self-practice program. I started to spend as much time there as possible.

One day, at Brahmani, I saw an announcement about a workshop on Ashtanga yoga being offered by Rolf and Marci Naujkat. I decided to enrol, and within five minutes, I intuitively knew that I had found my teachers. I approached Marci, sent her an email and signed up for a first month of practice. There was no looking back and it has been a journey of eight years. During the ‘season’, I practised with Rolf and Marci, trying to spend as much time as possible in their shala. They took me from the baby steps of the primary series to where I am today, trying to get myself through the asanas of the 3 rd series.

I still practise with Rolf and Marci, when I am not practising at Purple Valley.

I did remain with Brahmani and was part of:

  • 500 hrs Ashtanga teacher training
  • Vinayasa flow immersion
  • 2011-2014 Teaching self practice and taking Ashtanga classes

In Goa I have been assisting Maria Boox at three of her retreats as well, after completing her Intensive Course for Teachers.

I built a small studio in Calangute (in one of the hotels where I was working), where I was teaching Ashtanga, Vinayasa flow, and yin yoga.

The past year (2014-2015) I have been teaching yoga privately in Goa.

Yoga in Sweden:

2011 – I managed Karin Bjorkegren’s yoga studio in Bastad.

2013 – I assisted with a workshop with Karin Bjorkegren in the summer.

In 2011, returning to India after my Swedish yoga summer, I decided to quit work. I felt that simultaneously managing 6 hotels, teaching and learning yoga, I was certain to burn myself out. That is when I went to Mysore and spent two months learning with Sharat. At this time, I was contacted by  the owner of Purple Valley Yoga Centre in Goa, and was offered a position of General Manager at this yoga retreat.

Purple Valley Yoga Centre is the first yoga retreat in Goa, with its focus on pure Ashtanga, where courses are taken by certified and authorised Ashtanga teachers only.

I have been with Purple Valley in the capacity of Director from 2012 until now. And the years in Purple Valley have really given me a fantastic opportunity to absorb the teachings of some of the greatest teachers in the ashtanga world.

Where I have practiced so far:

Schools:

  • Vijaj – Universal School of Yoga
  • Sharat – Himalayan Yoga Centre
  • Brahmani Yoga Centre, Goa
  • Main Ashtanga Shala in Mysore
  • Yogabones, Goa
  • Purple Valley Yoga Centre, Goa

Senior Teachers:

  • Rolf and Marci Naujokat
  • John Scott
  • Tim Feldman
  • Maria Boox
  • Petri Raisannen
  • Kino McGregor
  • David Robson
  • Mark and Joanne Darby
  • Alexander Medin
  • Clayton Horton
  • Daivd Keil
  • Gretchen Suarez
  • Joey Miles
  • Michael Gannon
  • Dena Kingsberg