Vladimir Tchakarov ¦ E-RYT 500

 

My first encounter with yoga happened when I was a young child and learned postures and techniques from my parents and various yoga books they kept in their home. My journey on the path of yoga began in 2007 when I lost my father to cancer. I needed a practice to guide me through the grieving process. I began practicing seated meditation and while that was helpful, it wasn’t enough.

 

I had been practicing martial arts my whole life and, as a person who enjoyed working with my body, I needed an embodied practice. Yoga was a perfect fit. In a few weeks I began attending classes every day. By the end of my first year of practice I took multiple classes each day, sometimes spending the whole day at the studio and attending every class on the schedule (William Huffschmidt, who was the owner at the time likes to tell the story of me napping on the couch in the lobby between classes).

 

In 2009 I committed to a serious study of tantric hatha yoga and in the following years I obtained my 200 and 500 hour certifications with Yoganand Michael Carroll, a master teacher in the Kripalu tradition, former dean of the Kripalu center and founder of Pranakriya Yoga School of Healing Arts. Through his years spent as a renunciate, devoted completely to yoga practice, Yoganand cultivated a deep understanding of esoteric tantra hatha yoga texts and practices which are the roots of modern postural yoga. I have spent the last 11 years studying closely with him and other Pranakrya teachers, cultivating my understanding of the philosophy, history and practices of this tradition.

 

I currently work as a director of teacher training at Pranakriya School of Yoga Healing Arts and teach public and private classes in Atlanta, GA. I am also a graduate student at Georgia State University, where I am engaged in academic study of the history and philosophy of Eastern Religions and teach world religions to undergraduates. I also specialize in teaching trauma-sensitive yoga to incarcerated youth in metro Atlanta youth detention centers and am currently working in partnership with the School of Public Health at Georgia State University and the National Institute of Health to study the effects of yoga on incarcerated youth.