“Do this practice daily as an offering to the Divine, without ego and without any attachment to result. Have full faith and you will have success.”
Jörgen Christiansson is a lifelong student, devoted teacher, and active practitioner of Ashtanga yoga. He teaches all levels of students, from complete beginners to advanced students and teachers with years of training and experience. Jorgen considers it a privilege to be able to guide each student along their own path.
Jörgen’s journey began over 4 decades ago in his native country of Sweden, where as a youth, he demonstrated strong interests in yoga philosophy and Vedic traditions. He began practicing different systems of yoga including Asana, Kriya, Pranayama, Japam, Meditation and explored various Yogic traditions. In his early teens, his mother introduced him to Transcendental Meditation, and later, he immersed himself in Paramahansa Yogananda’s Kriya lessons.
In his teens, Jörgen began traveling extensively, and at 19, his curiosity took him to the Indian subcontinent. From Kanyakumari to Kashmir, he studied various forms of yoga at several ashrams. Under the tutelage of different teachers, he delved into the various aspects of yoga, including Pranayama in Varanasi, Bhakti Yoga with the Vaishnavas in Vrindavan, Sivananda Yoga at the Neyardham ashram in Kerala, Rishikesh, and the Bihar School of Yoga method, amongst others. He also studied with renown teachers, Aadil and Jehangir Palkhivala (who also remain his close personal friends), and developed a strong foundation and understanding of Iyengar Yoga.
In 1987, Jörgen first began practicing Ashtanga Yoga taking daily classes at the then-new Yoga Works in Santa Monica with Chuck Miller, his first Ashtanga Teacher. He connected immediately to the practice and within one year, he ventured to Mysore, India to study with "Guruji" Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, who would become Jörgen’s Teacher. After observing Jörgen's abilities, and recognizing his sincerity and devotion to the practice, Guruji gave his blessings and authorized him to teach the Ashtanga Yoga Method. Jörgen later also received the prestigious Certification from KPJAYI.
A lifelong and devoted student himself, Jörgen continued practicing with Guruji until his passing until 2009, and also with his daughter, Saraswathi Rangaswamy and grandson, Sharath Jois.
In the early 90’s, Jörgen spent a year in his hometown of Malmö where he opened and ran the first Mysore program in Sweden. He returned to California and taught at Yoga Works Santa Monica, and later at Yoga Nemo in West Hollywood, LA Yoga in Westwood, Yogis Anonymous in Santa Monica, Brentwood Yoga and MahaYoga in Brentwood.
From 1999-2005, Jörgen taught both morning and afternoon Mysore classes. During this period, he was also the daily personal yoga teacher to Madonna for six years. including going with her on 3 world tours. He was also hired by Julia Roberts and was on set during the filming of “Erin Brockovitch”. He was the private teacher to Sting and Trudie, Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Tobey Maguire, Gwen Stefani, Regina Hall, and several others. In addition to this, he taught 3 times a week at a Malibu Substance Rehab/Recovery Center working with people with addictions.
On Diwali, November 5th, 2010, Jörgen founded Omkar108 Yoga in Culver City, California. He successfully ran a Mysore program along with other classes for another 10 years there until the COVID lockdown in 2020. Quick thinking, Jörgen immediately took to teaching live on ZOOM from the onset of the lockdown, supporting, encouraging and guiding students everyday. As weeks turned into months, daily yoga practice live via Zoom continued and the classes went beyond just Mysore. He added alternative yoga classes (Hatha based) for the non-Ashtanga students, and Donation/Community-Based classes.
Today, as some studios try to reopen, Jörgen continues to teach online. The community is global and reside in different time zones, and live all over the world. He continues teaching daily, the Mysore program, as well as led classes (Ashtanga and Hatha). So no matter where he is, or his students are in the world, students can always practice with him online.
Jörgen incorporates his experience and wisdom in his teaching and applies what is necessary to the student regardless of background. He has a unique ability to sense each student’s limits and abilities, and has been noted as a very intuitive teacher. Besides alignment and Vinyasa, Jörgen emphasizes correct breathing, consistency, and attitude in the practice. With his inspiring attitude and positive nature, he keenly guides students to break through old patterns and fears, to find freedom and growth in their yoga practice, and in life.
Bianca began learning about Indian philosophy through her parents at a very young age. Growing up, her home life was filled with regular discussions of scripture, and chanting in Sanskrit. She always had an interest in yoga, but it wasn’t until early adulthood that she began to deepen her practice. While attending graduate school for her master’s degree in Public Health, she became disillusioned by the state of healthcare and lack of focus on overall wellness and integration of alternative methods for health improvement. As a result, she began exploring yoga as a means for overall wellness. She eventually discovered Ashtanga Yoga in 2013 and fell in love with the challenge and discipline of the practice. In 2014, she completed a teacher training program to share her passion for yoga with others. Her goal is to build a career that melds her background in healthcare with yoga, and spirituality. She is a dedicated student of Jörgen Christiansson and is currently finishing Advanced A (third series) of Ashtanga Yoga.
A former Army Ranger officer with combat command and reconnaissance experience, a fitness freak (30+ marathons), former flight instructor, mountaineer, military/counter terrorist technical advisor, Gary has led an interesting life. He began to question whether or not he really wanted to continue on this path. His study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism confirmed that it was time for a change. Meanwhile an old military parachuting injury led him to investigate yoga as an alternative to surgery. He discovered yoga, when practiced with awareness resolved the pain that had been with him for so many years. Gary’s love affair with yoga led him to completing the 500-hour Teacher Training and Professional Programs under the personal supervision of Annie Carpenter and Lisa Walford. His study and practice continued under the watchful eye of Jörgen Christiansson until March 2020 when Omkar108 Yoga Studio in Culver City closed due to COVID.
Gary continues his personal practice at home in San Diego, 2nd series Ashtanga with some Vinyasa Flow for variety. Gary likes to include eclectic music to spice up the strong mixture of Vinyasa Flow with some inversions just for fun, while providing doable alternatives for those who may be new to yoga. The use and benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama are always included, as is at least some meditation as time permits. The result is a challenging, well-balanced practice designed to leave you calm, centered, happy, and feeling good, no matter what your level of experience.
Gary is currently exploring the use of yoga and meditation to assist combat veterans battling PTSD.