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Yoga For Vitality And Self Care With Mirka Kraftsow

By Ravyn Abboushi

Austin yoga lovers, enthusiasts, teachers, freaks, geeks and athletes: this September we have a rare opportunity to study with a master yoga teacher and long time student of TKV Desikachar. Mirka Scalcow Kraftsow co-founded the American Viniyoga Institute, where she has trained hundreds of teachers and Yoga therapists, many of them in the Austin area. After years away from teaching locally, she is returning to reconnect and support the community of practitioners and teachers here.

Mirka is such gift to the yoga community because her yoga teaching is rooted in her deep understanding of the transformational power of yoga in everyday life. Mirka meets students where they are and helps them to open their hearts and see the strength within, while recognizing the desire to connect to that which is bigger than our daily selves.

My experience of studying yoga with Mirka is that she has the kind of fierce tender wisdom that is vital in a teacher.  She is able to show the way inward to what we are capable of right now-just as we are. She calls this the gift of “Ordinary Samadhi” or “The goodness of ordinary yoga”.  Simply clearing the way and giving us permission to exist more fully in parts of ourselves that are whole and strong and yet often overlooked.

A practice with Mirka is integrated and holistic, focusing on the multidimensional nature of ourselves. She uses simple, therapeutic vinyasa (which she calls vignettes) to support the structure while directing attention to the more subtle aspects of the body. She integrates sound to support breath and energy, and she uses mantra (in Sanskrit and English) to guide the focus to the heart. The practices bring one to a space of open-hearted stillness where all are invited to remain and enjoy the fruits of practice.