Ashtanga practice and Buddhist philosophy with Ellen Johannesen

11th  - 17th June 2022 


About the Retreat

Join us for a week of transitions: from the intense forward bending of Ashtanga Primary series we will proceed into the deep frontal openings of intermediate series. You will have daily morning meditation and either Mysore style morning classes or lead half half Primary/intermediate classes. We will transition smoothly into the intermediate series allowing the body time to breathe. Students will be given modifications if necessary so that they can safely progress into back bends.

"Re-thinking yoga for the current time"

Four optional afternoon workshops: Yoga philosophy from the Buddhist perspective and Ahtanga technique.
Buddhism has, besides containing it own yogic tradition, had a great impact on Patanjali's "classic" Yoga. Although both yoga traditions developed within the same cultural context, the Buddhist view differs with regards to liberation as well as the
understanding of the individual self (atman):

The altruistic intent to liberate all beings from suffering, is much needed in the world today - both within and outside yoga studios: many of the problems we are facing on a global scale are the results of an egotistically driven society that has become increasingly aimed at personal or national gain with little regard for others. Philosophically this has to do with identity, with whether we regard ourselves as truly existing isolated entities or as extended selves that are interconnected with all living beings. In the latter case, true happiness, peace or liberation is not possible unless we include all living beings in this pursuit!

This retreat is suitable for practitioners of the primary Ashtanga series, who are either practicing intermediate already and those wishing to look at what lies ahead further down the road If you have some previous exposure to yoga philosophy, great - but
this is not a prerequisite - just come with an open mind!

This retreat is limited to a maximum of 12 guests to allow for a more personal and intimate experience.

What's included?

  • 6 nights accommodation

  • 2 delicious plant based meals daily, to include breakfast/brunch and evening dinner

  • Light snacks and refreshments including, a selection of teas, coffee, water & fruit

  • Wi fi internet connection

  • 6 morning sessions of meditation

  • 4 Mysore classes 2 lead classes

  • 4 optional afternoon workshops on philosophy and Ashtanga technique

What's not included?

  • Flights

  • Transport to/from the retreat centre ( YogApulia can help organise local taxis, this will be an additional cost paid direct to the taxi driver)

  • Travel/medical insurance

  • Massages - available upon request at additional cost

More about Ellen

Your instructor on this course is Ellen Johannesen; level 2 authorized by KPJAYI and one of Norway´s most experienced Ashtanga Yoga teachers. With more than 25 years of experience, Ellen teaches yoga based on her extensive background in movement,
first as contemporary dancer and later as an advanced level Ashtanga practitioner. Ellen is deeply engaged in Eastern philosophy, holding an MA degree in Buddhist studies and Himalayan languages. She is well versed in the practices of the Himalayan yogis, speaks fluent Tibetan and works as both an oral interpreter and textual translator of Buddhism. She is a practitioner of the Vajrayana path of Buddhism and also pursues an interest in the scientific research into the benefits of contemplative practices. In this context she has undergone extensive courses in Sadhana tantric rituals, positive psychology and neuroscience and sustainable compassion. Ellen is a much -loved teacher of asana as well as philosophy and meditation. She runs Mysore classes, pilgrimages and retreats in Nepal and teaches regularly throughout Norway and internationally.


Accommodation and Facilities

Our retreat centre is set in 2.5 acres of grounds in a valley filled with olive and almond groves.  


Accommodation consists of six twin rooms and one double room all with private ensuite bathroom. All rooms have been renovated to a high standard using locally sourced materials, to create a luxurious yet simple and understated feel. A large outdoor courtyard provides the main communal eating space, and several outdoor terraces offer a place to relax in the sun or the shade.


Situated at the heart of the complex, the swimming pool acts like a colourful meeting point – with the blue water combining with the green olive trees and the red soil.

Food plays a central role in both our yoga practice and life. We believe food should be varied, unprocessed and nourishing to promote energy and wellbeing. The food we serve is predominantly plant based with some vegetarian options.  All produce we source and grow at YogApulia is local, seasonal and organic wherever possible. 

Refreshments are also available throughout the day and include tea, coffee, water & fruit.

The international airport at Brindisi is approximately 40 minutes drive away and Bari is further to the north approximately 55 minutes drive. Hiring a car in Puglia is relatively inexpensive and provides a great way to explore the surrounding countryside, local historical towns and beaches. Both Bari and Brindisi airports have a large selection of hire car companies including Avis and Hertz. It is recommended to book a car before your arrival. Alternatively, we can arrange a taxi to collect you on your arrival.

To book this retreat or for more information on costs etc  please go to or contact Ellen  at