Last weekend my first real yoga teacher Jani Jaatinen found his way back to Finland again, having moved to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, last autumn. We’re very happy to have him back here and he hosted a series of workshops both during the weekend and this week’s mornings.
During the past year I’ve been studying yoga with several different teachers and obviously learning a lot in the process, but re-connecting with Jani meant going way back to my yoga roots, which felt very nice and comfortable. It helped me remember – again – why I started doing this and what I really like about his teaching.
As a teacher, Jani is very laid back, and allows his students a great deal of freedom. You’ll seldom hear him using any negations, or tell you what not to do. Instead he likes to point out the possibilities and make us focus on those. He also encourages his students to make use of props or anything that could help you understand the pose. He wants you to listen to your body and proceed from there.
In his own very humble way he shows us glimpses of poses we might someday be able to master (if we work really hard) and that’s basically all that’s needed. Often the class ends with a short talk about yoga philosophy and he’ll tell you to think about why you’re practising and to keep that goal in mind, whatever it may be. He’ll also remind you not to get too attached to your asana practice – even though you should stick with it on a regular basis. Just make sure you let it evolve and don’t focus too much on physical development. What happens inside is what counts.
I’m really happy to have shared paths with Jani and I sincerely hope we can continue to work side by side – all be it on different sides of the world. Thank you Jani for visiting and do come back to see us again!