Sonia

Ashtanga & Yin Yoga


Sonia’s first encounter with yoga happened during her studies in the United States when she was 18 years old. After a couple of years exploring different forms of yoga, she soon became passionate about Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and since that day dedicates her life to self-study and to the practices of this method. She left her International Development career and decided to start teaching Yoga in 2014.

Sonia sees yoga as an every day transformative practice that for her smoothly evolved into a lifestyle. She wishes to share with others the tools that the yoga practice can offer to support each of us on the path of self-transformation and freedom. Starting a personal Mysore style practice of Ashtanga Yoga is, according to Sonia, the best gift one can offer him/herself.

She met Linda Munro and Gerald Disse in 2014 and started studying with them at Ashtanga Yoga Paris. She then taught yoga in this beautiful community for three years.

She has been following trainings in Yin Yoga with Biff Mithoefer to combine a more gentle and restorative practice to her Ashtanga classes. She shares this soft practice of letting go and acceptance with her students. Sonia loves studying Yoga philosophy and has been studying Ayurveda with an Indian Ayurvedic Professor since December 2017.

Before opening Agora, Sonia traveled the world to practice with experienced Ashtanga teachers (Richard Freeman, Ron Reid & Marla Meenakshi Joy, Rolf & Marci in Goa, Prem & Radha in Bali) and deepen her study of yoga. Sonia is half Brazilian and half French. She had been dreaming to move to Lisbon for a long time and works every day to contribute to the Ashtanga and Yoga community.

Sonia keeps growing and evolving in her yoga every day and wish to make her teaching as evolutive…. always keeping a “beginner’s mind”.

Luis

Meditation


Luis has been meditating for 16 years, after having discovered Zen Buddhism in Japan. He worked during 10 years for a French governmental organization in a performance and competition-oriented environment, and thus became very aware of the difficulties, challenges and stresses faced by office workers in the modern world. Thanks to a not-for-profit solidarity organization Luis founded 13 years ago in Colombia, he has been able to cultivate on a daily basis the values of solidarity, generosity and patience.

He received his training as a meditation teacher from Dh.Vajracaksu (Triratna Buddhist Order) and decided to give a new start to his life by moving to Lisbon and joining Agora. He feels immensely happy to be able to share with students tools that have helped him to transform himself and to positively influence his everyday live, including at work. His main influences are the Zen and Tibetan mindfulness traditions, although he is also greatly inspired by the Sufi tradition that he became familiar with while living in Turkey. He enjoys creating a safe space in Agora where students can learn, share and create while encouraging each other with a sense of community.

Having recently discovered yoga and practicing it regularly, Luis enjoys building bridges between yoga and Zen-Tibetan meditation, cousin traditions that can be immensely supportive of each other.

Maximilien

Osteopathy


Maximilien received his national diploma in osteopathy in 2010, after studying in Bordeaux for 4 years. He was first attracted to the sports world and gained experience being a therapist in high level contests such as 24h of Le Mans or for feminine rugby teams. He then developed his practice and broadened his skills by practicing osteopathy in several countries as Morocco, India and Nigeria, mostly working within the expatriate community.

Over these five years of practice, dealing with imbalances created by daily life habits as much as with intense sport requirements, Maximilien grew interest regarding all aspects that can support one’s good health condition or even allow improvement in physical performance.

It led his approach to evolve towards a holistic care of the patient, involving focus on postural work, nutritional advice or even stress reduction methods. Passionate about how the body processes and functions, Maximilien keeps studying and improving his physiology and anatomy knowledge in order to offer the most accurate and precise diagnosis possible. You can watch some of his videos on Youtube where he shares his passion.

Currently undergoing a university degree in the field of nutrition, he plans to develop his knowledge about Yoga and Meditation to collaborate with teachers and being able to help patients in a comprehensive approach of care : both physical, psychological and nutritional.

Vlad

Ashtanga Yoga


Vlad stumbled upon yoga by accident whilst travelling through India in 2009. Entering Savasana at the conclusion of his first Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga class, he experienced the effects of an integrated practice that seemed to touch on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels – it was enigmatic yet at the same time deeply familiar. This served as the humble beginnings of a life-long dedication to the practice of yoga.

In his learnings, he has been blessed with the generous guidance of truly gifted teachers, Vinay and Vijay Kumar (Mysore), Greg and Tracey Cooper, Amanda Stead (Melbourne), Sharmila Desai (Goa), as well as David Swenson (USA) and Eddie Stern (USA).
Vlad’s reluctant entry into teaching occurred in line with a growing sense of wanting to share something that had made a profound difference in his life. The more time he spent on the mat the more he realised that what happened on it was a metaphor for how he conducted himself in the world. The practice provided space for the art of gentle observation, where he began to take notice of conditioned responses, holding patterns, and well-trodden paths that consign us to automaticity.

During his time in Mysore, India, Vlad also began a two year long apprenticeship with the esteemed holistic therapist KRI Jagdish. This eventually led to further studies in Melbourne where he completed a Bachelor of Health Science degree specialising in Musculoskeletal Therapy. These studies of functional anatomy, biomechanics, and neural patterning complemented the insights gained through yoga practice and inform his approach to guiding others through the Ashtanga system.

He currently treats from Lisbon and seasonally from Goa as a Clinical Myotherapist addressing a vast range of neuromuscular conditions. Having been influenced by so many people actively working to help improve the quality of life of the communities around them, Vlad is inspired to contribute to this work and to continue to learn and inspire others.

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