My very first contact with yoga was thanks to my mother, Sofia, who took up Hatha Yoga in 1980’s and eventually taught Yoga basics to students at the school where she was teaching art. At age 12, I was helping in her class, showing students how to do some of the poses. While studying the asanas and meeting like minded people, I discovered other aspects of yoga through books such as Bhagavad Gita, the crown jewel among other spiritual treasures originated from India.
Above I am with Guruji, Sri BKS Iyengar and my darling wife, Lilia Toneva – an accomplished Bharat Natyam dancer where she performed for Guruji at the Yoga Journal conference in Moscow, Russia in April 2009.
After graduating high school I was eager to learn more and to meet the yogis and I traveled to India, where I lived and served in an ashram of ancient town with over 5000 temples -Vrindavan. There I lead a very simple life as a celibate student or a brahmacari, while studying the Gita, Upanishads and the monastic way of life.
Hungry for more experience, I visited the ancient sacred sites in the Himalayas and the southern states and I traveled throughout many of India’s diverse regions, discovering the ancient heritage of this rich land with all of it’s raw beauty, it’s immense geographic & ethnic and linguistic diversity. Grand riches of a fortunate few contrasted with poverty of the millions within it’s society and culture. It was an unforgettable experience for me and enriched my world knowledge greatly.
Shortly after I moved to Los Angeles, I met Chris Stein, my first Iyengar yoga teacher at Govinda’s yoga studio. I will forever be grateful to Chris for her generous way of teaching and seeing the potential in me. The Iyengar Yoga method was an illuminating and transformative experience for me. In November 2001, I traveled to Pune and studied with the Iyengar family at world famous RIYMI. After a comprehensive 3 years training and apprenticeship with Chris Stein and teacher training with Karin O’Cannon, I was certified in the Iyengar method of teaching, which has influenced millions of people around the world.
Iyengar Yoga is known for it’s highly sophisticated, intelligent sequencing and ever-evolving method of adopting props for enabling any individual to benefit by practicing yoga regardless of their age, ailments, shape or fitness level. The Iyengar method of teaching is known for it’s widely documented therapeutic effects on medical patients. Because I was inclined to learn more in the field of yoga and yoga based therapy, I took an intensive training with Elise Miller in 2009 and then was certified by her and have experience in teaching yoga for scoliosis. Currently I work with students who have scoliosis on a regular basis.
When teaching, I strive to share my experience from studying with my teachers, and watch the students in front of me closely to help them grasp the subject, refining the asanas methodically progressing step by step. I continue to improve my knowledge of yoga by regularly attending workshops and teacher trainings by foremost Yoga teachers around the world. It makes me happy when I am able to help my fellow students to gradually advance beyond their perceived limits and succeed in their practice doing what seemed “impossible” just several months ago.
In September of 2016 I was awarded an Intermediate Junior III certificate and am currently enrolled in the 3-year Therapeutic Yoga Teacher training program headed by Manouso Manos, my mentor.
I have been teaching in Los Angeles since 2001 and lead international retreats yearly as well as local workshops and retreats on a regular basis in California. Please see my “retreat/workshop ” page for the upcoming retreats and workshops.
Thank you for visiting!