Primary Bija Teachers
(for sub teachers, click here)
ISHTA Yogiraj / Bija Founding Director
The founder of the ISHTA Berlin community and director of the ISHTA trainings, Julie has been teaching ISHTA Yoga since 2003, in Berlin since 2007. As the former administrator of the trainings in the ISHTA world headquarters in New York, as well as a co-creator of the current generation of trainings, she aims to inspire all her students with her passion for yoga and knowledge. As the former assistant to Kavi Yogiraj Alan Finger, her ISHTA roots are direct to the source. Other sources of inspiration include master teachers Angela Farmer, Kofi Busia, Glenn Black and Max Strom, as well as her kirtan teacher Jai Uttal who supports the chanting in closing relaxation and specialty practice that is another one of Julie’s hallmarks. She is grateful every day for this beautiful practice and the opportunity to share it with others! In addition to her ISHTA work at Bija, Julie is proud also to be a senior teacher at Yellow Yoga. Read more about Julie at www.julieblumenthal.com.
Tuesday, 11-12:30h, Open / Mixed
Thursday, 11-12:30h, Meditation (currently paused)
Thursday, 18-19:30h, Gentle (currently paused)
Saturday, 11-12:30h Int / Adv
Sunday, 18-19:30h, Gentle w/Restorative
(all classes in english w/german as needed)
Giulia Del Balzi
Giulia is a professional dancer who, after her studies, moved to Germany in 2013 to continue her dancing career. This is where she first encountered yoga and fell in love with it. She started to experience great benefits for the body and mind that the practice of yoga provides especially when dealing with anxiety and restlessness. She has always had a keen interest in the art of movement and love to share this with her students. Teaching them to (re)connect with their bodies, helping them to discover new ways of movement whilst focusing on the breath. In 2019 she completed a 200-hours teacher training.
Yoga came to Johanna intentionally in 2012, aiming to support her in finding her balance, her voice, her soft strength. Since then yoga never left. In 2020 Johanna finished her 200-hour training within the ISHTA lineage with Julie Blumenthal in Berlin to deepen her relationship to the infinite universes of yoga. Her admiration for the lunar energies of practices like Yin, and her background in arts and music, all influence her teaching, which will be inspired by the melody of her own songs.
Kathrin first started Iyengar Yoga in 2003 in Vienna for health reasons, but it quickly became more, including a trip to India. When Kathrin moved to Berlin, she found Bija’s neighbor, where she met Julie in 2012 and was equally spellbound by her chanting as by the ISHTA philosophy. As a change and project manager as well as family constellation facilitator, Kathrin decided to dive even deeper into her yoga practice last year and just finished the 200 hour training and will move on to the 300 hour training this fall. Her favorite poses are everything hips related.
Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Monique has been practicing yoga for almost 20 years. With experience in yoga from various lineages, she found insight and deep grounding in the ISHTA style at Bija Yoga. Her passion for movement and alignment stems from a curiosity to bring union to her broad range of interests and experiences. She completed her 200-hour training in July 2020 and is looking forward to deepening her knowledge and teaching experience. With a background in Fine Arts, Monique is also passionate about plants and all things food-related.
Pola’s life is circling around moving, both as a physical practice and – being a feminist – as a political call to move the world forward. When she first experienced yoga she instantly felt home in her body. That inspired her to become a yoga teacher in the Shivashakti Yoga tradition, as it is taught at Yoga Akademie Berlin. Pola works in politics and is one of the founding members of Fair Yoga Inititative, that wants to co-create a sustainable, inclusive, safe and fair environment for teaching and practising yoga. Yoga, for her, is solace, indulgence, a path of quiet vibration and a compass navigating through definite and responsible action towards eventually being free. https://www.facebook.com/polayoga.
Victoria completed her 500HRS in Akhanda Hatha Yoga, 150HRS in Yin Yoga and 100HRS in Pre-natal Yoga; each style providing her with valuable techniques, lessons and experiences. After an unquenchable thirst to explore and understand herself more deeply awakened during her mid-twenties this encouraged to expand her practice and knowledge of Yoga, TCM, Trauma and the Nervous System. A lot of healing in her life came through community and being in safe spaces to do inner work, there were many opportunities to work through self-limiting beliefs and build more capacity for life experiences; this that inspires her to share her practice. In this age of disembodiment, Victoria guides you into your inner world to help reconnect long-lost neural networks of perception that root us to the world and become more coherent with ourselves. She also offers 1-1 bodywork onsite at Bija; contact her for details. www.mayogamamassage.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally from the UK, Zoe has been living in Berlin for 10 years. She is the mother of 2 daughters, and along with teaching yoga, works as a costumer for the film & television industry. Zoe trained in Dynamic Yoga with Godfrey Devereux in 2001, in pre & postnatal yoga training with Birthlight in 2009. During her first pregnancy, she found her yoga practice & community to be of great support. Her practice has proven to be an invaluable tool not only on her journey into parenthood, but also through her life as an ongoing enquiry, a safe harbour, and a lens through which to glimpse the depths of what it means to be human.
Substitute Teaching Roster
Mary Beth Wilson
Bija Founding Partner / Managing Director Emeritus
MB believes that yoga can help people to connect to their true essence, allowing them to live a life that rings with truth. She infuses her classes with a sense of acceptance, warmth, and humor, working to make everyone feel welcome. MB is dedicated to creating a class environment that provides space to slow down and connect with your breath, your body, and your internal self; to give yourself and your state of being time and attention, with the ultimate goal of helping people create space for wholeness and acceptance. She provides many choices throughout class, so that students can meet themselves where they are in any given moment. Her teaching is most strongly informed by ISHTA, her education in trauma informed yoga, and her own experiences living in a war zone, surviving cancer, and finding her own path towards a healthier connection with herself.
Alice completed a 200-hour Scaravelli-inspired yoga teacher training with the Acquaviva School of Yoga in Edinburgh in 2013, and then dived into a further 500 hours of yoga teacher training with ISHTA Berlin from 2014-5. Her current classes are informed by an interest in developing functional movement through a an open-minded exploration of yoga practices. In this she draws on her ongoing study of embodied anatomy and kinesiology with Amy Matthews, and whole-body core functionality with Lauren Ohayon.
Anna has been practising yoga since 2004, although she was introduced to meditation and some Eastern philosophy by her parents as a child. Having practised many different styles, she completed her teacher training in hatha yoga with Noah McKenna in India in January 2018. She has also completed several specialised courses in pranayama, yoga philosophy and Sanskrit, reflecting her interest in the many aspects of yoga beyond asana. She is also a literary translator. Her classes are gentle and deep, playful and contemplative. She seeks to provide a balance between dynamic, challenging movement and more introspective, restful practices, as well as optional variations for every level.
Anna Sophie Koch
Yoga translates into “union”. – Anna Sophie first encountered her love for yoga in a restorative class in 2014. Ever since yoga has helped her to ground, to find inner peace, guidance, and support. It was the beginning of a pathway towards union with herself, her surroundings, and the beyond; towards unconditional love. She intensified this journey during the 500-hour ISHTA teacher training with Julie Blumenthal from 2017-2019. Besides yoga she engages in a sister circle, shamanic rituals, and is interested in psychological and evolutionary astrology. Tiny glimpses of that might flare during her class aiming to create and hold a safe space – for union.
Anne discovered yoga in in Australia in 2003. Though she was far away from home, her first Ashtanga Yoga class showed her the path to feeling home within herself. In 2009, Anne returned to Berlin to dive further into her practice and did the Spirit Yoga 200-hour teacher training. Soon after, she was introduced to the heart-opening practice of Anusara Yoga which continues inspiring her to this day. Attracted to ISHTA’s integration of Ayurveda, philosophy, meditation and asana flow, Anne completed the ISHTA 300-hour training with Julie Blumenthal. Anne now assists in the ISHTA 200-hour and 300-hour teacher trainings and teaches class as a frequent substitute in Hamburg Berlin. www.jyoti-yoga.de/lehrer.
A musician, a pitta and a creative traveller, Dhari began her yoga journey in Australia and has since completed her training with Julie Blumenthal in ISHTA Yoga to combine this with her studies in Zen Yoga. Dhari aims to honour the ancient tools of yoga and meditation, while weaving them into our contemporary lives. Working with more physically challenging practices but also the subtle in order to cultivate the essence of these philosophies to assist us in finding balance and harmony in our day to day. www.facebook.com/tadkhayogaberlin.
Eleanor trained in the beautiful flowing movements of Vinyasa Flow at Kalaa Berlin in 2016. On discovering the power of yoga to support her own journey through pregnancy, birth and early motherhood, she shortly thereafter undertook in-depth training in pre and post-natal yoga. She then completed her 500 hours ISHTA training with Julie in 2019, which has deeply enriched her teaching. She loves to weave together elements of philosophy, meditation and pranayama to create well-rounded asana practices tailored to her individual students. She strives to constantly learn from her students, and to stay curious and creative. https://yogawitheleanor.com.
Jenny is loving her own yoga-practice and this is what translates into her teaching. After several workshops and retreats in Germany, Thailand and India she completed her advanced teacher training (500h) with Julie in Berlin in 2017. She is a scientist by profession who discovered asana, pranayama and meditation as tools for a healthy, peaceful and balanced life. Her classes are taught with joy and a sense of lightness. In addition to flowing movements her classes focus on introspective and meditative aspects for relaxing body and mind.
Joanna completed her 500 HR yoga teacher in the ISHTA lineage in 2019. She’s been practicing since 2008 and teaching since 2017. For Joanna, yoga is a tool and a practice that she uses to help her maintain a steady conversation with her authenticity, intuition and emotions. In her classes, she loves to combine all the elements of the ISHTA practice, alongside breath work and meditation, to create a space for calming down and going inward. She believes that just as the self is always evolving, so is her teaching and practice. She draws inspiration from nature, music, poetry and twists and turns and cycles of life and incorporates them into her classes. She aims to create a wholesome and spacious practice where students can become who they are. Jo on Facebook.
As the daughter of a Yogi, Juana was exposed to Hatha Yoga from a very young age. In her twenties she learnt Shiatsu, practiced Aikido, and approached meditation for the first time. Shortly after leaving her hometown in Colombia she began her ISHTA journey in Berlin. During the years 2015-2017 she completed the 200 and 300-hour teacher training with Julie Blumenthal. Juana´s classes are focused on breath and body awareness, restorative poses and bodywork. email@example.com
Kara discovered yoga in Argentina whilst dancing tango. It was a very welcome counter posture to what tango seemed to be doing to her body! As she deepened her journey into yoga, she discovered a bridge between body and mind. Yoga, seemingly a physical practice, started to become deeply holistic, integrating all of our parts. She realized that the key components of purification, expansion, awareness and release are reached first through the body. Her teacher trainings from Kerala, India and from Annie Carpenter have given her both the traditional and modern approaches that underlie her pedagogy. Her practice is grounded in an alignment-based flow that allows space to see how we can access an asana, whilst setting a fluid pace with the vinyasa. Once on your mat, her wish is to offer her students an experience of lightness and connection.
Katerina (Kati) Dakoura
Katerina discovered Ashtanga yoga in 2003 at university while studying for her degree as a secondary teacher for English and physical education. After discovering restorative yoga through Julie Blumenthal in 2013, she has been practicing ISHTA yoga ever since. She completed the 200 & 300-hour ISHTA teacher trainings with Julie as well as the Well Woman Yoga Therapy (Womb Yoga) training with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli. In her teaching, Katerina combines ISHTA yoga with elements of Womb Yoga therapy, trauma-sensitive yoga and feminist Goddess spirituality to help women reconnect with their bodies and souls in a loving and self-nurturing way. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelley fell in love with Yoga Nidra at a ‘Yoga and Mindfulness for Addictions’ training with the Minded Institute in London. Since then she’s made it a part of her daily practice and in 2019 completed her Yoga Nidra Facilitator training with the Yoga Nidra Network. She now offers regular, live Nidras in Berlin and designs bespoke Nidras for individuals. Kelley is friendly, light hearted and her classes are often filled with giggles. Her intention is to serve as many people as possible with the restorative practice of Nidra, seeing it as a remedy for this fast-paced life of constant push and pull that often leaves us depleted and burn-out. Every class she offers is made with love and offered with gratitude to those who wish to join her.
Lola did her 200 and 300-hour ISHTA Teacher Training with Julie Blumenthal from 2015 to 2017. She loves to travel and wherever life takes her yoga is her companion. As a mother and yogini, she believes in unconditional love that connects all of life. She practices and teaches Yoga as a tool to reconnect. Believing in the power of touch, she is very interested in acroyoga, dance and all kinds of bodywork that include a partner. Currently she teaches intimate yoga classes in a private atmosphere. www.facebook.com/yogamitLola/.
May connects Yoga with Fine Arts and Meditation. May completed the 200 & 300-hour ISHTA teacher trainings with Julie Blumenthal from 2013- 2015. She trained in a Cunningham Dance Company and studied Body Mind Centering with Linda Hartley. Her interests besides Fine Arts are neuroscience research, psychoanalysis (Lacan), philosophy and the integral work of Ken Wilber. Contact her for private yoga sessions, workshops or ayurvedic massages. email@example.com.
Sarah completed her Yoga Teacher Training with Julie Blumenthal in the ISHTA lineage and likes to teach Hatha and Vinyasa, meditation and breath work. She believes strongly in the power of yoga to support and help us live with strength and compassion and wants to share this. Tension, stiffness, ‘closed’ body parts can have a direct affect on your emotional health, and she wants to help people dissolve what’s blocking them, find space and hold it. She also has a personal interest in yoga for people with limited movement and injuries, and will always include optional variations and support. Every class includes group meditation.