I remember one of the first winter days downtown Lisbon in November last year. Sunny still. Yet with a fresh and clear air. 

I had a free moment and walked over to my friends Magui and Fred from Spinach; to chat about life and enjoy their fresh food. 

Accidentally, there I also met a dear fellow practitioner from Yoga-Lisboa, Marin. Funnily enough, after the times we practiced together we hadn’t actually talked yet. 

So we took the chance and began to share our thoughts. About Ashtanga Yoga.

We both mentioned, that we missed Xico’s teaching. Earlier this year 2017 Xico decided to withdraw for an uncertain time; also his studio Yoga-Lisboa was left to someone else. 

Though we continued the lunch classes there, it wasn’t felt as home anymore. So I also shared with my Ashtangi friend, that Id look for a more welcoming place, that’d carry a vibe of sacredness, comfort and inspiration.

Marin understood, and! happened to know a place just around the corner. No way, I thought. Search online for “Ballerina Body”, she encouraged me. 

That’s what I did. From Inês, who does teach Ballerina in this place, I was referred to Joana. 

Still I didn’t know, who Joana was. But in the moment I received her mobile number I was in AWE. It was Joana Menano, with whom I had shared precious Ashtanga Yoga times at Casa Vinyasa. For a short period we also learnt the teaching practice together. 

It was sort of meant to be. Not yet. 

So, Joana is the founder and owner of ARAVINDA YOGA SHALA. I called her with surprise in my voice and happily enough she welcomed me back in her life. However, she clarified there’d be no room for extra lunch classes. 

Ok, I surrendered. My next step was clear -  go and search. But just a couple of hours later Joana called me back explaining some useful changes and here we are. 


ARAVINDA YOGA SHALA’s schedule for Ashtanga Yoga set off with two lunch classes; and you’re so welcome. 

12:45 - 14:15 hrs Mysore Self-Practice along with
13:00 - 14:00 Led Class 

12:45 - 14:15 hrs Mysore Style Class


Universe was even more generous with us. Xico’s back too. His classes are

7:30 - 9:00 Mysore Self-Practice
8:00 - 9:00 Led Class Level I

7:30 - 9:00 Mysore Self-Practice
8:00 - 9:00 Improvisation Level II & III

Ive come to believe, sometimes, we need to be apart to join back together in a different way. More mature, more connected, more joyful. 

The other one thing Ive experienced so many times as so how I was led to Aravinda Yoga Shala is this and I allow myself to be true - 

Universe carries you with invisible hands and guides you along your way through the people you encounter, meet, relate and befriend with. The key is to set your intention. Clearly. Then take action. Start somewhere and trust! Universe will do its part too. 

It's about feeling connected. Internally, with others and also with something greater. 
I call it Universe. Others may call it God. Or Spirit. Or Consciousness. Or... 
A deep sense for connection, we all carry it inside of us, I believe. 
It's a question of how much you are aware of it. 

Ashtanga Yoga can be a method that may help you, dive into it, learn about it, connect with it - ultimately connect with you. 

So I'd love to say

Thank you, Universe. 
Thank you my dear Ashtanga friend. 
Thank you Magui and Fred from Spinach. 
Thank you Inês from Ballerina Body.
Thank you Joana Menano. 
Thank you Xico. 

Last but not least, a big heartfelt thank you to those who trust me to share this beautiful Ashtanga Yoga practice with. It means a lot to me.  


Now, when you like, share with us in the comments below your fav experience universe’s carried you away. It’d be awesome to learn about your magic moments.

When you’ve got questions about Ashtanga Yoga, the schedule at Aravinda Yoga Shala, Private Teaching or others, please send an eMail to

In meantime, love and joy and care for you. 

Your Stef


"Home is inside of me" was the topic of the workshop I was able to share with the International Women Portugal (IWP). With an inspiring group of more than 20 women from all over the world we got to explore the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, its healing system and capacity of helping find a room inside oneself that is called home. 

We asked questions: How am I feeling today? How do I feel my body? What does it mean - home? 

For me, home is a room of safety and protection, love, care and truth. It is where I show up and I'm heard in a scared environment, seen in the present moment, the way I am, able to respond, to feel, to engage, embrace, encounter. All the beauty, the "in love" moments and all the brutality, the "in pain" moments. Over nine years Ive learnt with Ashtanga Yoga to create and build such a room inside me. With compassion and lots of roller coaster rides. There is no such great feeling of being connected with myself through my body, which allows me to connect with others and engage with life. 



Last week had some events to offer. Along with my memories of the workshop with IWP I'm sharing here my moments in my personal Yoga studies and teaching. 

Sharmila Desai, one of the few women, who are certified by the KPJAYI came to Portugal from 9 - 12 February, to share her wisdom and joy of Ashtanga Yoga with us at Ashtanga Yoga Cascais. Actually, receiving her teaching was a rare opportunity, since she has barely traveled for giving workshops. Besides her practice and work, she chose to fully live her role as a mom of her two kids.

Sharmila published a book instead, together with Anna Wise in 2014. It carries the title "Yoga Sadhana" for mothers, and it's about the role and integrity of Ashtanga Yoga during pregnancy, in motherhood and family life.  To me the book has become a dear friend. As written in the introduction, it's given me "strength, peace of mind, and joy" along the journey of motherhood. I reread it over and over again, take my notes, (my son has left his pencil marks too...) and I use it often, when working with pregnant women. This book was so needed. It shares wisdom, love and such precious diversity helping pregnant women and mothers to engage in their own journey and Yoga path wholeheartedly and faithfully. 

Therefore, I was so excited to meet her and am very grateful to have studied with her.  Sharmila teaches gently and caring from an inner place filled with truth, beauty and integrity. It touched me with love in my own process; I could embrace "what is" with grace and patience. 


Last but not least, @Green Lotus we've began to teach Ashtanga Yoga classes. Green Lotus is a community project run by my friend Miriam. She is a dedicated Ashtanga Yoga practitioner, a dear mom of her two year old boy and a woman with her own rules and dreams. 

Our classes are Mondays and Wednesdays 3 - 4:30 p. 

They are given in an open house, where everybody is welcome to stay and relax. 
Also the environment of Guincho invites to an escape or break or moment of joy.