Kirsten and Mitchell are direct students of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. They studied at the KPJAYI every year, and have Pattabhi Jois’ direct blessing/Authorization to teach ashtanga (Kirsten in 99′, Mitchell in ’03). They completed the first ‘teacher training’ given by the Institute and hold Level 2 authorization. Kirsten is one of few ashtangis in the world to have studied the Advanced sequence directly with Sri K Pattabhi Jois, and who also has permission to teach this. The seasonal classes on Koh Phangan aka ‘Ashtanga Yoga Koh Phangan’ were started by Kirsten Berg and Rolf Naujokat in 2001, the first Mysore program in Thailand. Mitchell Gold joined Ashtanga Yoga Koh Phangan in 2005.
After completing university studies (Classics/Latin), Kirsten began exploring yoga asana on a trip to India in 1993. A few years later, she moved to India with a one-way ticket and intention to find a yoga practice. She found inspiration along the way with yogi Clive Sheridan and technique at the Iyengar Yoga Study Center in Rishikesh with Rudra Dev. In 1996, she began the ashtanga with Rolf Naujokat and became Sri K. Pattabhi Jois’ student the next year. She received Guruji’s blessing/authorization to teach in 1999, and is one of few women in the world to study the Advanced ‘A’ series directly under his, and Sharath’s, guidance. Kirsten and Rolf taught together in Goa before moving to Southeast Asia in 1999, where they taught seasonal classes in Ubud, and started the first ashtanga program in South Thailand (2001). Kirsten is also an artist; she shows her work at the annual Burning Man Festival
Mitchell first came to India in 1979 to deepen his knowledge of meditation and contemplative movement. After many years of searching for the right practice, he found ashtanga yoga in 2000, and has been a dedicated practitioner ever since; he received Guruji’s authorization to teach in 2003. Mitchell also studied intensively (3 yrs) with senior teacher Dena Kingsberg in Australia as well as his studies every year with Sri K. P. Jois
Mitchell is also a talented and knowledgeable bodyworker. He is certified as an Advanced practitioner of Structural Integration, also known as “Rolfing”. Mitchell started studying different bodywork methods 30 years ago (swedish/Esalen, Traeger, Thai..) and has focused on the “Rolfing” method for the last 13 years . He is available for sessions upon request. Mitchell also runs “Intro to Bodywork” courses.