Cristina Amstutz about Yama, Niyama & Love

What do you like about Omuah So many of my students and I are wearing your shorts. This makes me very happy as a teacher, because I can see the leg work of my students a lot better than with long pants. And the fabric chosen by you is sooooo pleasant that you can say calmly: Once you put on your pants, you do not like pulling them off again!


Your heart beats higher with my Yoga practice and the feeling afterwards… spend time with lovely people, but I also do enjoy time by myself were I can experience fulfilment… good music, concerts and dancing… have a walk in nature…sports like biking, skiing, snowrboarding… 


What or who inspires you Nature, conversations with interesting people, my yoga students, books, reports, interviews, movies, Facebook posts ( only a few ;) music, concerts, playing the piano, exhibitions, markets, cooking, good food, traveling,…


What are your most important values Yama and Niyama. This is the name of the 10 ethical virtues that Patanjali, the father of Yoga wrote 500-200 before Christ in the Yoga Sutras.

The five principles of Yama are the moral, ethical and society guidelines for a righteous life in society.

The five Yamas are in all levels: non violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, non-coveting.

Niyama is the second limb of Patanjali’s eight limb practice. The practice of Niyama helps us maintain a positive environment in which to grow, and gives us the self-discipline and inner strength necessary to progress along the path of yoga.

The five Niyamas are: purification, contentment, asceticism, self-study, devotion.

Theses 10 virtues are far-reaching in their meaning. I try to have them present and integrate them in my life.


Where do you teach yoga In the old town of Biel/Bienne since almost 12 years now. In a wonderful and inspiring yoga studio. With my bicycle its just five minutes away from the lake where I live. It is very practical!

Even though three of my students fulfilled the Iyengar Yoga teacher training, I am teaching alone at the moment. Every week I teach nine groups and one private lesson.


Who or what has brought you to yoga Heartache! Really! When I got separated in 2000, I was devastated and I had to leave my hometown Biel. i had to leave Switzerland. So I packed my bag, rented my appartment, i quit my work as School teacher and started to walk with my heavy bag. 2700 km with 25 Kg on my back. From Biel across Vézeley, Pyrenees and through all of north Spain till Finisterra. All walking! 

In Spain I stayed a few months. I helped a whole winter in an Olive harvesting. Then I moved again, with my bag, only with one pair of pants… from Madrid I flew to India. My goal was to learn more about Yoga. I asked myself what is Yoga? And to this questions I got a clear answer. The second night in India I arrived in Rishikesh, the “Yoga city”. I met a Spanish girl there, that was studying Iyengar Yoga there for a year already. Before then, I never heard anything about “Iyengar”. My spanish friend wanted to fly to Spain to walk the Santiago´s road. I just was there and wanted to learn yoga. We talked about yoga and the Santiago´s road and exchanged our experiences. There I was in India, only two days passed and I had so many addresses that I could spend half year there and learn everything about Iyengar Yoga. I visited Rudra ( in Rishikesh ), the Chanchanis ( in Dehra Dhun ) and Sharat ( in Dharmsala/Bagsu ). I stayed in India for half year to get a proper introduction to the Iyengar Yoga method. When I came back to Switzerland I was able to start with the first Iyengar Yoga teacher training.


How has yoga changed your life Before my long hike and yoga expedition in 2000 and 2001, I was a secondary school teacher and lived with my boyfriend for twelve years.

Yoga has enabled me to live independently.

I work independently and am my own boss. I am still a teacher and a student - today in yoga and not in elementary school. With about 100 students who come to me weekly.

I love my self-determined life. I live alone, by no means lonely. Loving people surround me. My loyal circle of friends is important to me and also the contact and exchange with my students.

A new partnership has not materialized since my great journey that rearranged my life.

Even without a partner, I feel complete, filled, satisfied and thankful with and in my life.

Having yoga in my life makes me strong. It is an incredibly powerful tool for standing steady on earth as a human and for touching the sky with your head. 


What do you like most about Yoga Letting go of the outside world - the immersion in the inner world, the sinking in the inner spaces, the precise physical stabilization and alignment, which transfers to the mental, the fixing, stretching, grounding and opening of the body, the perception, the connection of different parts of the body , the training of alertness, awareness, intelligence, conscious breathing, letting go after a harmonious yoga practice in Savasana, feeling-kneaded-all through.


What do you want to give to your students Greater self-knowledge, greater self-confidence, and also confidence in the flow of life, greater physical and mental flexibility, openness, ease, better body awareness, increased awareness, more compassion.


Has yoga changed the lives of your students I have to ask them - but I think so. I believe that students agree with the points in the last question.


Will you visit us in Barcelona I really want to in autumn holidays. I want to visit two retreat locations and then decide where I want to offer a yoga week in 2019. A center is in Tuscany / Italy and yours near Barcelona. From 1. to 10. October  I will be traveling and looking at two retreats in Italy and Spain. After that I will decide...

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