Talya is a  yoga teacher since 2002, a practitioner of yoga and meditation most of her adult life and is co-founder of Art of Yoga. She completed multiple 200hr Yoga Teacher training programs initially with Sivananda school and then Shiva Rea Vinyasa Flow Global School of Yoga, but discovered the strongest connection to the deeper teachings of  yogi Sri T Krishnamacharya  and his son T.K.V Desikachar, from Chennai, India. Since 2015 Talya studies most weeks privately with her teacher Paul Harvey, a long time student of Desikachar. Her daily sitting meditation continues in the Kriya Yoga meditation from Paramahamsa Hariharananada / Yogananda lineage. 

Talya is dedicated to keeping the precious ancient teachings of yoga alive and sharing the powerful tools of yoga from the viniyoga tradition with each individual,  transmitting the teachings in this traditional way directly from teacher to student. In 2017 committed to this process she and her husband Gummi opened Art of Yoga (originally Yogātma) to focus on teaching 1 – 1´s, small group classes/ workshops and practitioner / teacher trainings.

She also is passionate about the nature and the environment, growing food, creating sacred art and giving back to those less fortunate by way of supporting several charities.

First Yoga Steps 1991 – 2000

My own relationship with Yoga began in 1991 when I was studying classical acting and singing attending drama school in London. I remember there were no mats, just a hard wooden floor, we were in normal clothes and the teacher seemed to give a random set of postures. As I was always a very physical person engaged in sports and dance I was naturally drawn to the physical side of yoga. Four years after graduating from LAMDA  I simply dropped my acting career and just flung myself into yoga totally and attended every class I could get to at my local sports club. I felt a connection to one of my first teachers Ros, a wonderful woman who really encouraged me to continue studying and learning and also introduced me to the roots of yoga philosophy. As someone who felt stuck in life at that point in time yoga helped me in so many ways.

After some unusual events in 1999 where I connected deeply to the teachings of the great yogi Paramahamsa Yogananda, I attended a chanting workshop with GOMA, devotees of Shri Haidakhan Babaji, at Gaunts house in Dorset, England. It was from here that I was guided to Kriya Yoga meditation. I went to the initiation weekend with Swami Shuddhananda and my life was never the same after that. I practiced daily meditation from that point onwards and attended weekly group meditations in north London. I didn´t just feel better in my life, my life was beginning to change.

Trials And Transitions 2000 – 2003

At the age of 28 I was quite burnt out from living and working in the city centre as a Dr.Haushka aesthetician and massage therapist. After a period of doubt I somehow found my way out of London and went to live and work as a volunteer cook at the well known Yoga Centre at Ickwellbury in Bedfordshire, The Yoga For Health Foundation and original viniyoga centre and “Yoga for everyone”.

I started exploring a wide variety of approaches to yoga, from Ashtanga to gentle Hatha and attending workshops in order to expand my knowledge and experience. There was a great sense of spirit and peace in the place and I saw the workings of the centre and met hundreds of like-minded people coming for different reasons whether mental, physical or emotional.

I was exposed to many wonderful teachers and was particularly inspired by the love and compassion of Heather Mackness who showed me by example that yoga could give so much more than just physical strength and flexibility, but also help to develop other qualities.

Her classes often encompassed more than just the physical and I am forever grateful that I was exposed to the depth that yoga had to offer early on. The spark of yoga was now a fire within and I moved onwards.

After months of living within the yoga environment I re-visited Gaunts house, but this time to complete an intense month teacher training in the Sivananda approach. This course culminated in me spending a further 9 months living in the Sivananda ashrams in France and teaching at the Paris and Orleans centres. This was a great and intense experience which challenged me on many levels.

I met my life partner Gummi in 2002 at the ashram in Orleans and together we moved on. At first we travelled to London for Gummi to be initiated by Peter Van Breuklan into Kriya and then we spent four months living and working in Italy at the beautiful Ananda Centre close to the holy town of Assissi. This was a time of great peace and joy as we bathed in the wonderful atmosphere at the centre, surrounded by good company and the beauty of the area.

Eventually we moved on to Greece where we both taught children yoga at a primary school and then spent 4 months in India to be with the Kriya yoga master Paramamhamsa Prajnananda at Balighai Ashram in Orissa.

This was another intense period of mediation and strict ashram life of waking up at 4a.m and so on. A truly beautiful time. We began in the Calcutta centre before spending time meditating in Balighai. Swami Shuddhananda, who had intitiated me into Kriya yoga 3 years before, later took Gummi and I to different and more secluded ashrams and meditation places and I felt fortunate to spend every moment in his company. With us we also had the blessing of travelling with AnschiMa, an Austrian lady who had been the personal carer of Paramahamsa Hariharananda for 5 years before his death / mahasamadhi. We returned to my home-town London for a short time before travelling on to Iceland. 

The Searching Period 2003 –

Coming to Iceland I found myself in isolation in terms of yoga. There seemed to be no-one with whom I could further my knowledge. As I began teaching all around Reykjavík at various health clubs, yoga studios and hotels it became clear that I would have to go abroad to continue my learning and training. Although still deeply rooted in my Kriya yoga meditation for some reason my teaching fell into the more physical side of yoga. I began practicing more dance-orientated and highly physical styles of yoga and I travelled many times over a 2  year period to finish my second teacher training with Shiva Rea and the Samudra school of living yoga both in England and America. I was teaching privately to students, the National dance flokkurinn, the Marel Corporation and at 3 separate yoga / health studios.  It was also at this time that I organised the first ever Yogathon in Iceland and together we raised $3000 for the charity Hand in Hand. I continued to teach in the Siva Rea style for a few more years.

I believe it was because of my physical and dance background and inclination that I was initially drawn  to the open vinyasa flow style of practicing yoga, but four years after the birth of my first child it became clearly apparent to me that I had gone somewhat astray from the roots of my yoga education (possibly even astray from yoga itself!) and had let the fitness world take over my teaching and physical practice. There was a constant nagging sensation of “there must be more to this” and I felt that Hatha Yoga had so much more to offer than what was being presented and offered in the mainstream yoga world.

At this point Gummi set off to do a teacher training with the Krishnamacharya Healing Yoga Foundation and whilst I cared for our daughter he went to study 25 times in London and would come back and tell me all that he had learnt. This was a revelation for me on every level, not just physically , but also how deep and rich the Krishnamacharya tradition was, how intelligent the approach and most of all how the two paths of Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga had been united by Krishnmacharya. On every level the approach made perfect sense.

Deepening my viniyoga connection 2014

The birth of my second child began a new chapter for me in my life. I had had a personal daily practice since 1999 and my thirst for deeper knowledge and a desire to practice under the guidance of an experienced teacher reached new heights in 2014 . I began to search into other possibilities of learning with a teacher of great experience from the Krishnamacarya lineage, and someone who could guide me  further in my practice, but the difficulty was finding someone available. Many master teachers were unavailable and how to learn from Iceland? There began to arise some frustration around how I would gain some deeper study.

Finally I found Paul Harvey. I had heard of him before, but for some reason had never looked further. Now it seemed the time was ripe and fortunately he agreed to teach me.

Paul’s teaching focuses on the approach laid out by Krishnamacharya and transmitted to his son T.K.V Desikachar which has been called the ‘viniyoga of Yoga’ which means the adaption of Yoga for the individual. Paul had spent an initial two years living in India with his family and studying with Desikachar, and a further 23 years travelling back and forth from England to spend months with him every year. As one of only a handful of sincere students of Desikachar, Paul carries with him a depth of experience and knowledge.

The formal apprenticeship training programme encompasses the many philosophies, skills and tools Yoga has to offer including studies of Patanjali´s sutra´s, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Sankhya philosophy, the use of Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (breathing techniques), chanting (kyrjun) and the path to Meditation. Paul has been guiding me in my personal practice aswell as supporting me in my teaching and private work. This has been a great blessing in my life to have his steady ongoing guidance, teaching and support.

At the time of writing we have had over 600 private contact hours and finished many modules in England with him.

I believe its a great honour and privilege that Paul is willing to pass on some of that knowledge to us and I feel it my duty to try to share the teachings with others so they too may benefit.

In 2017 Gummi and I stopped teaching at the longest running studio in Iceland Yogastöðin Heilsubót in order to open Yogātma with the intention to share this knowledge with those who have interest to learn.



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