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"If one human understands the nature of suffering and goes beyond it, it affects the whole world"

- Jiddu Krishnamurti, Indian philosopher

Interview with Esther Ekhart, Yoga instructor

By Sharda ten Hove on 03 December 2012

Many yoga minded people have had the opportunity to meet Esther over the years. She has posted numerous excellent Youtube videos meant for yogis from all levels. Her videos are well explained and people from all over the world have been following her yoga videos for years. Esther offers online yoga classes on her website www.ekhartyoga.com, a beautiful site offering many different yoga styles as well as meditation and yoga therapy.

You have been on the yoga path for many years. What brought you to yoga and what has yoga brought you?

My mother brought me to yoga. She was a Yoga teacher and seeing her practicing and experiencing myself the benefits that she got from it got me interested. I started practicing with her.
Yoga has brought me so much. As a teenager it taught me how to relax myself, that moving my body certain ways influenced my moods and the philosophy of yoga made me take responsibility myself for how I felt. It made me stop blaming my surroundings, people and external circumstances for how my life seemed to go/be, and in stead I learned there is only this moment and in this moment everything is ok as it is. It is the old viewpoints (that are gone and outdated) that make us perceive things difficult or painful.
With regards to my body, life seems to be easier with a healthy, flexible and strong body.

For years we were able to view your yoga classes on Youtube. You recently started your online yoga studio: www.ekhartyoga.com  A beautiful yoga site that offers online subscriptions to follow yoga classes as well as meditation and yoga therapy.  How different is teaching off line from online yoga and is the new site a dream come true for you?

The new site is definitely a dream come true for me. I love that I can be anywhere in the world and still teach. As well it can be hard to find a good teacher, with this website I have made good teachers and great yoga available to most people. Of course teaching off line and online are different, but I have been teaching off line for so long and so much in my own studio in Ireland for 11 years that I still see people in front of me when I teach on line. I see where they usually need guidance and what I and they need to be mindful about. Also I invite my student online to come to the studio and I teach them in front of the camera. Everybody is welcome… I have more time now to organize retreats and workshops as well, which I absolutely love.. I do realize I need to keep teaching off line, to be able to teach well online.

Which style of Yoga appeals the most to you as a practitioner and which style do you like to teach most?

I like change, so that changes as well. I do notice getting older, 40 now, makes me appreciate the slower styles more. I love Yin Yoga and the effects, and Restorative yoga. But all to balance the stronger Vinyasa flow style. When I was younger, strong was all I did. Now I make sure I balance the practice, also meditation is a big part of my regular practice. I love teaching them all, at different times and according to what I feel people need ..

You have studied with many teachers from around the world, what is the essence of all the teachings you have received and how can you transcend this in your classes?

The essence of a teaching is what you get out of it, how you perceive it, which will be different for everyone who follows the same path. All teachings point to something, but the pointing itself (the teachings) is not what they point to. What they point to is something you need to figure out and experience for yourself (this goes for the physical part, the pose /asana as for the philosophical part. That may well be the most important thing I have learned. There is no such thing as one truth or one right way of doing it.

Are you planning on offering children yoga as well and are your existing classes suitable for elderly?

On the website we have some classes that are suitable for elderly. Of course again age doesn’t say it all, I know a few elderly who can do more then I can! But yes, I cater as well for people less physically strong, or injured!
There are no children’s classes yet on the website, but who knows what will happen in the future!

Do you have a message that you would like to share with our readers?

Practice yoga regularly!! There is a style and teacher out there for everyone, no matter how fit / unfit, flexible / inflexible, spiritual or not so spiritual you may think you are! It will almost always make you feel better and improve you standard of living. It will open doors for you to experience the mystery that life really is ! xxx

For more information on Esther’s online classes visit: www.ekhartyoga.com

About the author

Sharda ten Hove

Founder, Ethical Vegan, Yogi, Social Activist

Sharda was born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Descended from an Indian mother and Dutch father, she received a multi-cultural upbringing during which she gained a broad perspective on life.…  Read full bio