Ashtanga Yoga Retreat and Teacher Intensive APRIL '24 in Bavaria

Pfaffing, Deutschland
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Take your Ashtanga practice beyond with alignment workshops, philosophy and Sanskrit studies. Dive deeply into Grischa’s magic ingredients for a transformative Mysore practice, pranayama and meditation. In addition this is a very special opportunity for studying one of the most inspiring texts on Yoga that exists, the famous Bhagavad Gita! FOR ASHTANGA ENTHUSIASTS AND TEACHERS!

IMPORTANT: This retreat is NOT for beginners. You need to be familiar with Ashtanga Yoga Mysore Style and the full Primary Series. Please contact us through the contact form or give us a call (+49.30.48496665) and we explain the details. More info also here:

This retreat is in English unless all participants speak German.

Grischa is the founder of Berlin's first Mysore Shala "Ashtanga Yoga Berlin" which he opened in 2004.
He teaches traditional Ashtanga Vinyāsa as it was taught in Mysore by Pattabhi Jois. His main teacher is Richard Freeman from Boulder (USA). In addition, he integrates diverse influences from senior teachers such as Chuck Miller, Maty Ezraty, Nancy Gilgoff, John Scott, Dena Kingsburg, Rolf Naujokat and the Jois family.
He conveys the subtleties of the Ashtanga yoga system in a traditional but non-dogmatic way. Tradition serves the practitioner and not the other way around.
His approach to teaching Yoga is continuously refined by his studies of the ancient Yogic literature, especially Yoga Sutra which is the true key to a meaningful practice.

Das Retreat im Überblick

Die wichtigsten Fakten kurz und knapp:

Yoga Retreats, Ashtanga Yoga, Yogalehrer Ausbildung, Atemtechniken, Meditation, Wellness, Detox Retreats
Mo, 01.04.2024 - So, 07.04.2024
7 Tage
Pfaffing, Deutschland
nicht inbegriffen

Mysore Style

Alignment Workshops

Adjustment Training

Yoga Philosophy


Sanskrit Introduction

Meditation and Mantra


The architectural heart of the Holzmannstett seminar house is the large dining and living area - a columned historic vaulted room with a large fireplace and south-facing terrace.

The rooms, with their light softwood furnishings, are clearly and harmoniously designed. The tasty whole foods of the house mainly use ingredients from organic farming. A sauna makes even cold winter evenings cozy.

For the accommodation, you can choose from different categories (single, single with private bath, double, double with private bath).

All rooms have harmonious proportions and larch solid wood flooring - like the whole house.

The simple individual softwood furniture and the powerful warm paintings by Angelika Kontny make the rooms personal oases of peace.

The spacious seminar room in the old house with beautiful solid wood larch floor is very bright, with a wide view into the hilly country with fields, meadows, and forests.

In Holzmannstett, you can expect people who are full of joy and with a lot of experience constantly work to satisfy the guests completely. Let yourself be fascinated by the special atmosphere of the house and the surroundings.


single room with private bathroom: + 660,00 €
single room with shared bathroom:: + 600,00 €
twin room with private bathroom: + 570,00 €
twin room with shared bathroom:: + 510,00 €


The vegetarian cuisine has been so inspiring for 20 years that the seminar house is already publishing the third edition of the cookbook, "Lieblingsspeisen".

It has grown from the awareness and joy of original, tasty, and above all, lovingly prepared dishes. They use mainly food from organic farming. There are no ready-made products and all dishes are freshly prepared.

Full board includes a rich breakfast buffet with changing, freshly prepared mueslis, and fresh grain porridges.

The lunch menu has three courses: lush salads with delicious dressings, main course, and dessert.

In the evening, there will be changing soups, baked oven dishes, cheeses, spreads, baked vegetables or potatoes on the tray, and sometimes, homemade breads.

Excellent coffee / cappuccino (from an award-winning local coffee roaster!), teas, and a large fruit bowl are available throughout the day.


6 full days of practice
1 hour of systematic pranayama practices
2 hours of Ashtanga Mysore style
3-4 hours of Ashtanga workshops and technique classes
1-2 hours of yoga philosophy, Yoga Sutra, and Sanskrit
1 hour of meditation

Daily schedule
06:30 Pranayama
07:30 Mysore style
09:30 Breakfast
10:00 Ashtanga alignment
11:30 Bhagavad Gita
13:30 Lunch
16:00 Alignment
17:30 Adjustment training (optional)
18:30 Dinner
20:00 Sanskrit and meditation

Start (arrival day): Intro class at 16:00.

End (departure day): Last day ends after breakfast at 10:00.

The teachings found in yogic scriptures serve as a crucial connection between practices and their deeper significance. This retreat aims to bridge the gap by translating seemingly abstract and theoretical explanations from these scriptures into highly practical tools.

These tools are not only beneficial for your daily practice, but more importantly, they pave the way for your long-term journey along the yogic path.

Through a systematic approach in this program, you delve into the various components of the remarkable Ashtanga method, exploring their profound meaning. Additionally, you unravel the significance of pranayama and delve into the vast complexities of the mind, drawing wisdom from ancient teachings.

In this intensive program, you discuss the most important yogic text, Patanjali's famous Yoga Sutra, in addition to the core concepts of other texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita. This changes everything that you know about yoga and fundamentally transforms all aspects of your practice.

Ashtanga intensive for the practitioner
The goal of Grischa's retreats is to bring your Ashtanga practice to a completely different level. You will get invaluable information to make it smoother and free from injuries. He teaches a straightforward approach that allows you to directly experience the effects of the famous Ashtanga key principles: mulabandha, uddiyana bandha, ujjayi pranayama, etc.

More importantly, you will dive deeply into understanding the true meaning of the yogic path. Knowledge allows you to develop your individual practice and it is also the key that allows you to tell apart meaningful guidance from the usual copy-paste pseudo-wisdom all over the place.

Understand the magic which transforms gymnastics into a yogic (transformational) process and which awakens your inner teacher.

Ashtanga yoga retreat for teachers
As a teacher, you must know a lot more than all your students. Only deep yogic studies can make you a teacher of yoga. Understand how all the layers of practice are interconnected and how only a holistic approach can potentially have effects that meet the authentic yogic standards.

Learn what the desired effects of yoga practice are and how to apply them in your own practice. Learn how to teach these complex matters in a clear language that each one of your students can learn to understand without losing the depth.

Daily schedule
Participants will practice all key levels of yoga every day at the retreat:

Each day starts with one hour of pranayama. Pranayama is often confused with breathing exercises for increasing lung volume, for holding the breath longer, and other technicalities. But how shall this "remove the covering of light" as described in the Yoga Sutra? Experience the mental transformation process which turns breathing into a yogic practice.

Mysore style
Mysore style is the one-on-one time, when you learn how to apply the breathing principles in movement and how to apply the technical details of the alignment classes in your own practice. Grischa will help you with individual challenges in your practice, how to get rid of given injuries, and the root causes of future ones.

Asana research
Good alignment is what produces yogic results in asana practice. It can be experienced in the natural arising of the "bandhas." In this training, you will learn how to use these tools practically as your inner teacher.

Don't waste any more time with desperately engaging the pelvic floor, looking for square body parts, straight lines, grabbing of toes or looking at navels. These tools are completely unrelated to actual yoga practice, so frustration is guaranteed. Teaching evolves naturally from understanding.

Philosophy and Sanskrit
Only lazy people try to avoid Yoga Sutra and call the other ancient texts a theory. But do you really think uneducated teachers or practitioners are superior to educated ones? Learn how to practice yoga like those who invented it, not like those who only have fancy theories about it and believe it can arise from gymnastics.

Yoga philosophy special (Yoga Sutra)
Yoga Sutra is the map of yoga. Without a map, you are lost in unknown territories and totally dependent on others. Yoga practices remain empty and aimless without the color of wisdom and orientation.

You will never understand the true meaning of asana, pranayama, and meditation practices without texts like the Yoga Sutra. So how do you know you practice or even teach yoga?

Who is this for?
For practitioners
This retreat is for Ashtanga practitioners who are familiar with the Ashtanga yoga Mysore style practice. It is open for all practitioners with prior Mysore style experience.

Relative Ashtanga beginners will benefit from the training just as much as advanced practitioners with a dozen years of experience.

Grischa's teaching approach is pattern-based. It's about understanding the meaning of the practice and how to educate your inner teacher, because simply trying to copy someone else is never a yogic practice.

You will experience the meaning of correct practice rather than having to buy into yet another theory. Understand the true aims of yoga practice and experience real pranayama beyond torturing the nose, huffing and puffing, or holding the breath.

The deep understanding of breath, bandha, and good alignment taught in this training will transform every single asana and your whole practice.

You will understand the root causes of all major difficulties and injuries in yoga practice and how to overcome them with ease.

For teachers
Inspiration makes all the difference. The only true Ashtanga teacher training, the only real authorization to teach, is understanding yoga within yourself. Experience the meaning of asana, pranayama, the scriptures, and meditation, rather than hearing theories about them.

Helping everyone - from the beginner to the most advanced practitioner - safely and precisely comes naturally only from personal experience based on a systematic set of principles.

Integrating and improving the patterns in your own practice and teaching will make you a unique and outstanding teacher. Or have you ever liked receiving copy-paste adjustments from anyone?

Get authorized by knowledge and wisdom. Every morning, you can try out the patterns for yourself, integrate it with your personal background, and refine your teachings skills.

Only good education matters, not numbers of hours, months, or years. That’s how you all have learnt teaching.

They will not press you into a teacher template or judge your teaching skills. They will not sell fake security in form of totally meaningless certificates. Your values as a teacher is yourself, your open heart, and your experience. You can’t buy being a yoga teacher.

Full Ashtanga intensive
The foundation of this Ashtanga retreat is the integration of rarely taught internal aspects of the Ashtanga method and yoga in general.

Self-practice, pranayama, meditation, and Sanskrit are all based on the ancient teaching from the scriptures. You will explore the finer aspects of the Ashtanga Vinyasa system, which make a dramatic difference.

Learn the deeper meaning of breath and bandhas to understand the inner alignment principles that awaken your inner teacher and totally transform your teaching skills.

Most importantly, you will understand how all the components of practice are interconnected and how only a complete approach can truly make a difference.

Yoga Sutra and the meaning of yoga in general
Are you sure your teachers know what they are talking about? Knowledge always beats blind faith. Grischa has intensively studied the Yoga Sutra for almost 20 years, both from the practitioner's and teacher's perspective.

You will learn how to unfold this beautiful transformative text and use it to educate your inner guru, the ideal teacher.

Retreat modules:
Ashtanga adjustment training
The patterns of good (asana) teaching will be discussed. You will see how Grischa's whole teaching approach is based on a deep understanding of the meaning of yoga practice in general as taught in the ancient scriptures, his Mysore style teaching approach that is based on decades of inquiry into the purpose and goals of the practice.

Ashtanga yoga uses an intense physical approach. Therefore, you will be looking at different adjustments / assists for key poses of the primary and intermediate series that transmit this understanding.

It's a pattern-based approach that allows you to customize your teaching on the fly for each single student. In this training, you will have time to practice a few interesting assists.

More importantly, you will learn the alignment blueprints of good practice. This allows you to invent specific adjustments for practically every single pose and for any possible type of student - including yourself.

Intelligent assists educate the student
With intelligent assists, all students can be guided into practically every pose if the teacher understands the underlying physiology and psychology that create restrictions. Poses are in fact constructed for revealing problematic patterns of posture and movement.

As long as there are obstacles to good practice, there is no point in "pushing" a student. The forces rather need to be redirected and reduced for proper results according to Yoga Sutra (verse II.47). Good adjustments are educating the student rather than fixing his or her external form from the outside.

Forceful adjustments cause injuries
Thousands of practitioners got injured by the "pushy" mindset of too many teachers. It's a shame because there is nothing more stupid than using force. Force is fighting against the body rather than assisting the student to solve the interesting "problems" every pose presents to them.

Forceful adjustments always have negative impacts for both student and teacher. The difference feels like magic.

Alignment classes
The alignment sessions are the practical heart of Grischa’s retreats. Step by step, participants will be reconstructing all postures of the primary series and unfold the numberless miracles and ingenious subtle details about it.

You will see how yoga poses are constructed to confuse the nervous system and how habitual patterns are often times create pains and other problems. You will also learn that you can only overcome them by challenging almost everything you seem to know about right and wrong. Yoga is becoming aware of the obvious that is right in front of one’s eyes.

Sukha - the meaning of good alignment
According to Yoga Sutra, the key requirements of an asana are sthira and sukha. Sthira generally means stable, but it is also a key component of abhyāsa (yogic practice) in general.

Sukha is commonly translated as “pleasant.” Interestingly, its original meaning is “good hole,” as opposed to duḥkha (“bad hole”).

Only a chariot wheel with a well-aligned hole could possibly give you a smooth and pleasant ride. The same is true for your practice. Only a well-aligned practice can have good results. Otherwise, it can’t even be considered yoga practice according to Patanjali.

Poor practice can be recognized by strains, pains, injuries. This also includes mental diseases like pride, vanity, and wanting to "show off" for impressing yourself or others.

Making progress...
All yoga poses are constructed to be challenging the body and the nervous system. In fact, they are so complex that practitioners can hardly breathe at first. Beginners are often given extremely rudimentary instructions about poses such as “look navel” or “take the big toe” to make things not so complicated and frustrating.

Many beginner misconceptions have even been declared as goals of poses in “Western” yoga (e.g. “Pose XYZ is about stretching the ham strings”). Yet at some point, you need to look under the surface of things for developing excellence in practice. Yoga begins with unfolding the millions of fascinating details that make up each pose as you drop your naive superficial ideas about them.

Differences make all the difference
There are not only differences in series and postures. One should never forget that every single being is different and that each posture is different for each person. Therefore, it is not enough to apply the exact same five to 10 instructions and adjustments to every single student. Every person is unique and needs 100% individual attention and care.

The bandhas
It is okay trying to say, “Squeezing the anus” as a beginner or “Sucking your belly in towards the spine.” But such gross instructions must never be confused with the very delicate and subtle nature of the bandhas which they try to make you aware of.

The term “internal alignment” is based on the experience that all instructions on “how to do a pose” become useless once you experience the organization of a pose from within. This experience can be summarized by a much deeper and ultimately very natural understanding of mūlabandha and uddiyana bandha.

Mūlabandha is not a muscle or a group of muscles. It is the result of an all-pervading integration and internalization of all opposing forces in the body.

The effect can prominently be felt as a "tone" in the pelvic floor, but with a little bit of practice, you will feel it also in your feet, palms, palate, between the eyebrows, and more. It's truly endless.

Learning and healing from injuries
There are several good news about physical injuries from your yoga practice:

All injuries heal (only) when you stop reinjuring yourself.
All injuries are only symptoms and have a cause.
Pain or injuries clearly tell you that you are making a mistake.
The cause of all injuries is misunderstanding and ignorance (avidya).
Good teachers can easily find out the cause of injuries because of the systematic approach of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga.
There are also bad news about injuries in yoga:

You need to accept that you make mistakes, otherwise you can’t let go of your habits.
The correct way is often times exactly the opposite of what you have learnt before / as beginners.
Teachers that can handle individuality seem to be rare in Ashtanga. Treating every person the same is the cause of most injuries.
Yoga is finding a path out of self-conditioning. Pain and injuries are excellent tools for growth if you use them with intelligence and proper guidance.
Prāṇāyāma comes from the Sanskrit words "prana," meaning life force or vital energy, and "ayama," meaning extension or control. Through conscious breathing, you can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to calm the mind and reduce stress.

It also helps to improve lung capacity, respiratory function, and circulation. By practicing pranayama, you become more aware of the subtle sensations in your nervous system and your breath, which can help you to focus and concentrate your mind.

This mental transformation process is called dhārana (“concentration”) and is a crucial step in preparing the mind for dhyāna (“meditation”). This process can also lead to samādhi, a state of deep meditation.

The breather, breathing, and breath become empty of form and fall into one, resulting in a heightened sense of consciousness and self-awareness. Pranayama is a powerful tool for achieving a deeper level of awareness and concentration, promoting relaxation. It reduces stress, improves respiratory and cardiovascular function, and ultimately leads to a profound experience of meditation and self-realization.

You will also see how the meaning and goals of pranayama are defined in classical texts such as Patanjali's Yoga Sutra or Adi Shankara's Aparokshanubhuti, which will transform the way you look at - and practice - breathing exercises.

Pranayama - techniques
In the program you will learn and practice the most prāṇāyāma techniques, just like how in the asana practice you will understand the meaning and desired results of the practices rather than just mechanically repeating techniques, counting numbers, etc.

This way, you will go beyond the physical plane and dive into the different layers of experience.

Sītalī / sītkārī
Nauli kriyā
Sanskrit and mantra
Every word is a mantra. The repetition of positive (and negative) thoughts becomes part of your filter system, which ultimately changes your life.

Sanskrit is the language in which many ancient teachings are composed, including the unbiased definitions of yoga and all its practices. It is an amazingly beautiful language, constructed thousands of years ago to preserve the wisdom from the first known researchers on mind, consciousness, and the self.

Pronunciation, alphabet, construction of words and sentences - all components are perfectly refined to prevent transmission errors and make sure practitioners can always validate their opinions about yoga by studying the original meaning of the sacred texts.

Without proper pronunciation, the meaning of words gets distorted and the carefully constructed combinations of rhythm and sound break down. Learning correct pronunciation of Sanskrit and language in general requires mindfulness, and therefore is a yoga practice by definition.

Moreover, through that process, you contribute to preserving the ancient wisdom of the original yoga, untainted by the processes that have transformed mainstream “yoga” into an empty commercialized facade.

Yoga philosophy, the map of yoga
Patanjali, Yoga Sutra Verse I.2: Yoga philosophy is often misunderstood as a theoretical discussion, yet yoga without knowledge is like trying to reach an unknown goal without a map.

For over thousands of years, uninterrupted lineages of yoga philosophers and practitioners have been practicing and teaching the meaning of yoga as a giant body of tools for the exploration into consciousness and the nature of the self.

Only in the last few decades, more and more teachers chose ignoring the ancient scriptures and invented all sorts of fake practices instead. What a disaster! Only with knowledge can you find out if your teachers have a clue about yoga or if they just use "yoga" as a marketing term to get your attention (and money).

Yoga is not about feeling good, not about improving the body, and certainly not about looking sexy in exotic places on social media platforms. It is about discovering the whole world in your own heart and your love in the whole world. Your mind creates the world, and you are created by the world.

Yoga Sutra
The ca. 2000-year-old Yoga Sutra by the sage Patanjali especially provides an excellent overview of the various techniques of yoga and the ultimate goals of yoga. It is the most important source of information yogis have.

Asana for example is one of the eight central layers (ashta-anga) of yoga practice. And yet, asana fills just one percent of the whole text. Pattabhi Jois' famous quote of "99% practice and 1% theory" is often misunderstood as 99% asana practice.

Yet, Yoga Sutra teaches us that asana is only one percent of all that needs to be practiced. You will get a detailed translation of the Yoga Sutra in Grischa's retreats along with a number of selected Sanskrit mantras.

Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita is an incredible text. On the surface, it is a comprehensive yogic teaching of the warrior Arjuna by the legendary Krishna just before a murderous war. What really happened is that Krishna (a.k.a "the lord") convinces poor Arjuna (a.k.a "you") to fight.

"One should know this as real āsana, in which meditation on Brahman flows spontaneously and unceasingly, and not any other that destroys one's happiness."

Aparokṣanubhūthiḥ by Adi Shankara, ca. 800 AD Adi Shankara ("Shankaracarya") was one of P. Jois' favorite sages. This text is simply divine. Not only are the teachings of Advaita Vedanta cleverly summarized, but also, in this text, Shankara pokes fun at the totally misunderstood yogic techniques right in front of people’s eyes that one can even see in the beloved Ashtanga scene.

Mysore style practice
You must be familiar with Ashtanga Mysore style to join Grischa's retreats. This traditional teaching method from Mysore (South India) is the key component of yoga teaching from his point of view.

A new understanding of adjustments
Grischa is using the one-on-one teaching approach to help you grow in your own practice and to educate your inner teacher. His assists and adjustments are extremely precise. They will help you to understand the meaning of a pose and how to remove obstacles on the path to learn it.

The ideal adjustment awakens immediate insight into the internal nature of a posture and ultimately, the meaning of yoga practice.

You will see that forceful adjustments in Ashtanga are ineffective and harmful. They do not educate, and instead oppose internal healing.

Learning new postures
Once you understand the core principles of good internal alignment, you will re-experience all poses of your practice as fundamentally new.

From that moment, learning "new" poses will become a lot easier when you see that they are all just variations of the same core principles of practice.

Healing your practice
Teachers have full responsibility for their students' health. Most injuries in yoga simply come from misunderstandings about the nature of correct practice.

As soon as such ignorance is removed, the body will no longer be strained (or even re-injured). The body will then heal, that is it's nature.

Typical unnecessary injuries
Due to the methodological approach of Ashtanga, Grischa has become an expert in removing the causes of typical injuries that can be found in the Ashtanga series. With good alignment, practically all injuries can be avoided.


Arrival by car
If you cannot avoid using your car, simply navigate to "Holzmannstett 1, 83539 Pfaffing." Please consider sharing the ride with others to reduce the negative impact per passenger.

Arrival by airplane
They can't consider themselves yogis if they ignore and violate its ethical foundation. Everyone must care for the future of the planet and stop using planes. Join Grischa's trainings only if you can arrive by train or other sustainable means.

Air travel is by far the single most harmful action with regards to individual CO2 emissions. People must stop fueling global warming, because yoga means taking responsibility.

Arrival by train
The best way! From Munich to Grafing with S4, S6 or Meridian (it takes 14 minutes from MUC Ostbahnhof to Grafing). From Grafing, you can share a cab (12 minutes, ~31 EUR, Taxi Sima: 0175 5533355).

Holzmannstett 1 1, 83539 Pfaffing, Bayern, Deutschland


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