Elin Maria in a yoga pose on the rocks in front of the sea
ElinMaria offers yoga with well-balanced yoga sequences and a focus on inner listening to create greater access to ourselves; both on the yoga mat, in nature and further into everyday life. By exploring a subtle understanding of body and consciousness, we can come into greater contact with our own healing potential and inherent joy.
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Yoga with the first snow! Improvised sequence by ElinMaria Sydänvirta

Balance with nature. ElinMaria Sydänvirta


Yoga with ElinMaria has been good for my fibromyalgia, that I feel stronger and relax better in my body. When you have pain in your body, you tense up, but after yoga I feel really light

Inga-Britt Sjöström
Morning Yoga

I can warmly recommend Elin Maria’s yoga. It provides increased mobility and creates an inner calm. The sessions are adapted to the participants and have a very permissive atmosphere

Katarina Isaksson
Soft Yoga

Yoga with ElinMaria provides peace and quiet and to find and feel your different muscles and body parts at a leisurely pace. The classes can be adapted to your own capacity and to skip the performance

Maria Lagström
Dynamic Hatha

But ElinMaria, you learn on your own mat to land in your body and sort of push everything else away and just be for a little while. In the evening in bed, I can use yoga to relax. Yoga is so very good!

Liselott Fagerlund
Dynamic Hatha

With ElinMaria, yoga doesn’t have to be so complicated. I can use the exercises in my everyday life, if the exercises were too cumbersome I wouldn’t use them

Anita Bergman
Dynamic Hatha

The best Yoga out in nature. ElinMaria is a calm and clear instructor who can give different options of a movement. You can participate in ElinMaria’s yoga even if you have no previous experience. ElinMaria succeeds in creating a nice calm atmosphere. After the yoga you feel rested , energetic and satisfied. Can highly recommend ElinMaria as a yoga instructor!”

Niclas Nylund
Soft Yoga

ElinMaria’s lessons are relaxing, the instructions are clear and precise. She motivates well the benefit with different movements. All in all, I am very satisfied

Ann-helen Saarinen
Dynamic Hatha


ElinMaria Sydänvirta has more than 20 years of daily experience with yoga and meditation. Graduated by the Nordic Yoga Institute (200hRYS), Mindfulness Center Sweden (MfC), ISLO Dance and Somatics and I have studied Somatic Selfcompassion® (SSC) and further training SSC trauma Informed Approach.

Values and focus shared with my facilitation:
– Yoga as a practice where we gain access to more and more subtle levels of our body and consciousness.
– Increase an understanding of the connections between mind, thoughts, feelings (mindfulness), breath (pranayama), position (asana), movement (vinyasa) and gaze (drishti).
– To facilitate a safe and sustainable practice of yoga, with building blocks also from physiotherapy and movement theory. To gradually build up the fundamentals and development of each asana and transitions in between.
– To offer philosophical nuggets and themes where I convey philosophy with an investigative approach to enrich and create a curiosity and wonder about yoga and life and to skip dogmatic signs.
– A healing space; to integrate compassion and care for our body- and mind and its ever-changing rhythms. To find an approach in practice where we can learn from our body and heart’s and dare to be transparent with different needs in different moments.
– The joy of movement and a space of inner and outer freedom. Learning new skills can be playful and fun!

I found yoga as early as 14 years old through my curiosity about new views and approaches to life. Yoga became for me, together with other somatic practices, an important resource in dealing with my rheumatic pain and recurring depressions, and even today, yoga can keep me both pain- and symptom-free most of the time.

I am versed in many different traditions, such as Satyananda Yoga, Kundalini yoga, Iyengar yoga, Acro yoga, Yoni Shakti Yoga Therapy, yoga nidra and for many years Astangha vinyasa Yoga. With Virya Yoga I found my home as a yoga teacher and it’s humble approach based on the latest findings within movement analyses, bio-mechanics and history research and with a joy and playfulness in both philosophy and practice. Other practices that strongly influence my yoga teaching are compassion, somatics (such Body Mind Centering, developmental movement patterns), nature and mindfulness.

On this page you can read further about my approach with yoga! You will recognize the style of hatha, vinyasa and more gentle approach such Yoni Shakti Yoga. You will get familiar with somatics and mindful movement as well get some food for your philosophical thoughts!

Warmly welcome, ElinMaria

Dynamic hatha

Movement and breath based on the well-balanced sequences of Virya Yoga where we do yoga through the whole body, get to know the positive effects of movement theory and how position (asana), breathing (pranayama), movement (vinyasa), presence (mindfulness) and philosophy can work together in our relationship with ourselves, each other and life. Each class offers philosophical thoughts for the possibility of new perspectives and with a curiosity about how we relate to both yoga and life.

“Viryayoga stands for a modern and learning yoga, with building blocks from physiotherapy and movement theory where old knowledge is questioned and new experiences are incorporated. ..It’s about how force and movement affect the body, short and sweet movement theory, and how we use the body in a healthy way. ..As much as we constantly update ourselves with current knowledge in movement theory, we are equally devoted to yoga’s thousand-year-old philosophical roots. Viryayoga is a philosophical yoga, but at the same time undogmatic.”

/Nordiska Yogainstitutet Virya Yoga

Yoga and somatics

Yoga with a focus on integrating presence and an increasingly subtle awareness of body and mind. We get a respite for recovery where we can gently strengthen ourselves through conscious and gentle movements; a meditation in movement and breathing. When we create an awareness of ourselves, the nervous system is given a space to heal and we increase our ability to be with life as it is. The focus is on recovery and body awareness, where modern knowledge from stress management, somatics and physiotherapy is mixed with yoga’s traditional breathing exercises and methods for deep relaxation. Each class offers philosophical thoughts for the possibility of new perspectives and with a curiosity about how we relate to life.

Embodiment and somatics is an approach to integrate our whole being; our mind and body in relation to the earthly matters and forces. We will engage in practices that settle us deeper in relationship with gravity, ground reaction force, our hearts, center and breath. While coming at home in our bodies and it’s relation to the Earth our perception changes and we get a wider access to what we are and what yoga can be. With a somatic approach to yoga we may give the possibility to direct our practice to bring freedom and easy to our body rather than the traditional approach where yoga is practiced in order to control the body.

ElinMaria draw inspiration from Body Mind Centering, developmental movement-patterns, Mindful movement and a deep curiosity of the wisdom of our bodies. I give the same value to building blocks from physiotherapy and movement theory as well from the inner understanding, listening and felt experience of the body and body-consciousness. From this rich soil I build up a curiosity towards our body-systems and changing rhythms of our living breathing bodies.

“Where is the alignment of the inner vinyasa? How do we accept the alignment that we have so that we are the most balanced in the body that we have at the moment? Not the body that we used to have or the body that we want to have or the one we see the picture of the ‘right’ form, the ‘right’ shape, the ‘right’ hair color, the ‘right’ sized foot.”
– Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen

Yoga in nature

Bathe your senses in all the impressions of nature, anchor your body’s landscape with nature’s and give space for the experience of contemplation and vitality. When we do yoga in nature, we are invited to land with the present and we become naturally integrated with changing surfaces and sensory impressions. The focus is on grounding ourselves in ourselves and integrating the experience of nature in and around us, recovering the nervous system from stress, increasing cognitive ability and creativity and building presence, balance and new vitality.

ElinMaria roots her own yoga practice partly outside, in the nature and in different seasons. I love the creativity and possibilities that nature offers; how it breaks my habits and bring me to the present moment. With nature I have a lot of fun; making body-puzzles with my body and interesting nature surroundings, expanding my mind to all the impressions of nature. How about asana balance with the gaze resting on the water or changing clouds? Arm-balance on top of a stone? Or adjusting my inter-versions with a branch in the tree? Rest upside down on rocky hill or smell the moss in i moist forest? To contemplate of nature inside of my and it’s interconnection to nature around me support me stay humble and full of wonders!

Philosophy and values

Yoga can provide a space for our human drive to seek meaning, context and value in this wondrous experience which is life. With yoga, we can explore philosophical and ethical approaches that can nourish this longing. Yoga can touch on more existential questions that touch on ethics and our place in the world or questions that touch our health, for example.

Yoga’s rich philosophical tradition has its origins in Eastern philosophy, where Hinduism and Buddhism influenced and developed the multi-faceted approaches to yoga that are practiced today. Classical Yoga literature and philosophy are around 2500 years old and are based on traditions that can enrich and give new perspectives to Western perspectives on existence. In the East, a holistic view of human dominates; where body, soul and intellect are a whole and in a constant interaction unlike in Western culture where they are considered as separate entities that many times have nothing to do with each other.

Classical Yoga can be described as a way to gain insight into oneself and life, where the physical practice is only a small part of what coin the concept of yoga. Modern yoga has developed around the physical yoga exercises and their positive effects on well-being, stress management, fitness and health. Yoga is today strongly connected with an ideal of beauty and the idea of the perfect body. By including philosophy in our yoga practice, yoga can gain a value base that is not based on disciplining the body to perfection but instead exploring possible approaches to ourselves and life. Perhaps this is where yoga can be different from other physical forms of exercise or today’s today’s capitalist body culture; even existential aspects of existence are allowed to take place and a holistic view of being alive is examined.

ElinMaria’s yoga teaching integrates an exploratory and philosophical approach to life’s big or small questions where there are no obvious answers. I think it is just as important for us humans to create room for existential wonder as it is to consolidate resources for well-being in life. I’m curious to make a holistic approach graspable for the context we now live in and then practically feasible; through body and mind. The philosophical nuggets that I share here are not only from the classical literature of yoga, but have their inspiration equally from modern Buddhism, mindfulness and somatic practice. I convey philosophy with an investigative approach to enrich and create a curiosity about yoga and life and I skip dogmatic signs. In my classes, a humble exploration of both body and bud is encouraged, where not infrequently humor is also given space when we engage with philosophical statements and approaches.

What I hope when you come to yoga with me is that you get a space to most of all just be; into the body and the present where there is an experience of consciousness that is not just the constant default mood of the intellect. At the same time, I want what you take with you from the yoga mat to be grains of thought and questions that can create a curiosity and wonder about how you want to live your life.

With me you may, if you wish, explore;
– What do you hold sacred and how do you want to take care of what you love in your life?
– How do I relate to myself and what I experience here and now; in the body, mind, thoughts and feelings?
– How do I experience it when I deepen my contact with body, movement, breathing, position and gaze?
– What happens when I contemplate a holistic approach to body and soul; myself in interaction and relationship with the outside world?
– How can compassion and non-violence change my perspective and approach to life?
– In what way can yoga be a resource for facing life as it is with all its moments of both suffering and happiness?
– How can Eastern philosophies be an inspiration to create more wonder, care, compassion and meaning in my own life?


Difficulties and suffering in various forms is something that unites us humans. Compassion makes us aware of how we belong to each other and can create meaning and connection with the world around us. When we cultivate empathy, we open doors to better understand the situation and suffering of others and it gives us the joy and strength to respond to it in compassion. A fundamental approach in Eastern philosophy is to understand how we all, both humans, animals and nature, interact and influence each other and therefore it is ethically valuable to take care of each other, to cultivate a concern for others. Buddhist tradition calls for compassion for all sentient beings as a basic approach in living. Ahimsa, the first ethical guideline in yoga philosophy, is a Sanskrit word commonly translated as non-violence. Compassion is today a proven and research-based method in the West as a way to increase well-being and resilience in the midst of life’s challenges. Self-compassion is used both as a therapy and as a method to increase the quality of life and create social change.

“Somatic Self-compassion is understanding the stressful world we live in today, and a desire to find tools to understand and remain grounded and nourished in these difficult times.” /Kristy Arbon.

Self-compassion is a radical way of recognizing suffering as part of being human and an understanding that being our ally rather than our enemy leads us to more constructive and sustainable ways of dealing with life. We practice being our friend, even when we need it most. With compassion, we can build a foundation for inner support in our learning processes and a sense of belonging, with the ability for our nervous system to create security in contrast to the survival mechanisms our bodies use when exposed to stressors.

“In the presence of one firmly established in nonviolence, all hostilities cease” /Yoga Sutra Sutra 2.35

I aim to integrate compassion into all my teaching as a recurring approach to ourselves and each other, both through attitudes and specific exercises. Practicing yoga with compassion and non-violence is a corner-stone for the ability to integrate presence and focus, so to say the very central practice of meditation. Without compassion, being with discomfort becomes to hard and will guide us rather to dissociation than wholeness and connection. As an ethical direction, compassion can give our yoga practice a wider dimension where our care for ourselves generates care for others as well. When we recognize our place in life as part of a community, perhaps our yoga can contribute to a greater peace, not just our own.

“Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” /Buddha


More info coming!

Free resourches - Audio files with exercises

Plant a seed – Loving kindness meditation 6 min (in english)

Yoga Nidra – tend with care and deep recovery 20 min (in swedish)

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