THE TEAM

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Akasha Yoga Academy Online 2020-Dean Rap

BURKHARD

“My interest is of academic nature. I am captivated by the great wisdom traditions, especially the ancient Yoga philosophy of India. It is my passion to recognize the relevance and applicability of these ancient philosophical ideas in modern daily life, and to integrate spirituality and science. 

 

The focus of my practice and academic research is a unified understanding of Eastern and Western philosophies and I am thrilled when my practice becomes the evidence of my theoretical understanding. I graduated with a Master’s degree in Psychology from the Free University of Berlin where I studied Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory in depth. In parallel to my growing academic philosophical interest, I began in 2001 to explore the practical side of spirituality through the Yoga tradition of India.

Since then, I dedicated more than 5000 hours to the study of classical Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and yogic philosophy. I started my meditation practice following the Vipassana style of Theravada Buddhism, and practiced under Ajaan Tong Sirimangaloin in Northern Thailand. I participated in more than a dozen Spiritual Heart Retreats lead by my primary meditation teacher Sahajananda, who introduced me to the non-dual traditions of Advaita Vedanta and Kashmiri Shaivism. Following the example of my teacher, I concluded a 49-day solitary meditation retreat in the jungle of Thailand, as well as various darkroom Kayakalpa retreats.”

CERTIFICATION AND TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Burkhard is a Yoga Alliance certified and registered Yoga Teacher at the highest level (IYF and E-RYT-500). He completed a 500-Hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training, a 500-Hour Hridaya Yoga & Meditation Teacher Training, a 100-Hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training, and a 200-Hour Heart of Yoga Teacher Training.

Since 2008, Burkhard has been sharing his experience in a variety of contexts, including teacher training courses, meditation retreats, Hatha Yoga classes, workshops, and private life-coaching sessions. He has been teaching in various locations across Asia, Europe and North America. Together with his dear friend Kirsten, he founded the Akasha Yoga Academy.

“The depth of his practice is brilliant. He really holds the space well, and opens from the heart consistently.”
— Zoran from Canada, June 2012

“Burkhard is extremely intelligent, kind, giving. Sometimes harsh but always spot on in his comments and psychological understanding of a person.”
— Anastasia from Germany, August 2013

“I loved the passion and the generosity of Burkhard. He shares his deep knowledge on many topics with unconditional love.”
— Rafaella from Italy, August 2013

 

KIRSTEN

“In my experience, breath-based movement is an effective and joyful way to re-center and to touch base with the heart of the moment. Practicing Hatha Yoga and sharing the practice are both essential parts of my everyday life. In the vast field of yoga, my interest and passion belong to classical breath-based, slow flow Hatha Yoga practices, and long held deep Yin Yoga postures. 


I love when movement practices lead into silent contemplation and stillness. This is the way I practice, and this is what I teach. I started my own yoga journey during university times as I studied architecture and art history. Yoga first caught my attention in the form of Sivananda Yoga, which I came across on a trip through South India in my early twenties. My introduction to Yoga included a classical static style of Hatha Yoga asana integrated into a holistic way of living, including breathing practices, diet, cleansing routines, mantra chanting, etc. My interest in Yoga and meditation, and the call to dedicate more of my energy and time to Self discovery, led me to journey through India and South East Asia. That adventure continues even today!

Yoga moved from being a cherished side aspect of my life, to being its center. Since then many years have been dedicated to classical Hatha and Yin Yoga practice and studies, to meditation, contemplation and retreats, and to investigation into the essence of life. My Hatha Yoga and meditation practice is inspired by Sahajananda and by Mark Whitwell, and I am most deeply moved by the pointing of Mooji, that profoundly pulls the yoga teachings off the mat into a moment by moment inquiry.”

CERTIFICATION AND TEACHING EXPERIENCE


Kirsten teaches classical Hatha Yoga asana and pranayama, Yin Yoga, and meditation, and is registered with the Yoga Alliance as Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher at the highest level (E-RYT-500).

Since 2008, she has been presenting drop-in asana classes, educational yoga programs, workshops, and meditation retreats, as well as 200-Hour and 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Trainings, mostly in Asia. On her way she supported her teachers to setup and run yoga centers in Mexico and Thailand before she co-founded the Akasha Yoga Academy with her dear friend Burkhard in 2011.

“Kirsten comes directly from the heart, which is soothing, patient & understanding.”
— Zoran from Cananda, June 2012

“Kirsten is very much to the point, captivating, precise and enthusiastic.”
— Nadine from Germany, August 2013

“Kirsten is super clear and precise. She has a beautiful presence. She is motherly, but not patronizing, kind and compassionate.”
— Anastasia from Germany, August 2013

 

DEVDAS

“By Grace, I discovered Hatha Yoga when I was just 16 years old, and it was love at first sight. By the time I was 18, I had discovered meditation and pranayama, and the love was growing deeper and more profound. Later, I moved to India, and spent twelve years of my life teaching meditation, kirtan, and pranayama in the sacred land which gave birth to yoga. For this privilege, there are no words that can describe my gratitude. 


On my way, I have been deeply blessed by many powerful teachers, probably the most profound connections have been with Swami Jnanananda and Sri Mooji. Yoga has given me more that I could have ever imagined.  It is my great joy and honor to share all that has been given and learned in my lifelong love affair with the art and science of yoga.”

Certification & Teaching Experience


Devdas is a 500hr RYT who is trained to teach meditation, pranayama, and Hatha Yoga. Before joining the Akasha Yoga Academy team, he taught yoga for twelve years in several major cities of India. He helped set up and run several yoga and meditation centers, and has been sharing the joy of Seva and Kirtan all around the globe… in America, Italy, Portugal, India, Bali, Thailand, Mexico, and beyond!

“The way Devdas holds space and lectures is amazing. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from him.”
— Rebecca from the US, April 2018

“Devdas reminded me to be kind to myself. It was such a beautiful experience just to be in his company.”
— Camille from the UK, April 2018

 
Akasha Yoga Academy Footer-Dean Raphael.

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