Irena Bartolec is an Authorized KPJAYI yoga teacher, based in Bali. She holds and organizes annual retreats, workshops, and teacher trainings internationally in Bali, Europe, and beyond.
Irena has 15 years of extensive teaching and management experience in the fields of Yoga, Health and Wellness, and Mindfulness. She is the creator and director at Ashtanga Yoga Mama, established in 2014.
Irena has studied Yoga and meditation extensively with Sri. K. Patthabi Jois, Sharat R. Jois, Rolf Naujokat, Richard Freeman, Lino Miele, Nancy Gilgoff, Eddie Stern, Dr. Jayashree and prof. Narasimhan. Their great wealth of knowledge, generosity, and tutelage have formed the pillars for Irena’s own yogic teaching style, and accompanying philosophies.
In 2014 Irena received her Authorization to teach Ashtanga Yoga from The KPJAYI Institute in Mysore, India. She spent many years in Mysore, returning annually, establishing a deep relationship to the Ashtanga practice and the traditional lineage, at the time.
Irena Bartolec had the rare opportunity to study yoga and mindfulness beside a carefully curated group of noted and revered spiritual teachers and masters. Her search for knowledge has taken her all over the world, from India to Colorado, Europe to Asia, Central America to Hawaii. She remains committed to spending time with teachers whom she admires, and they dutifully inspire her teaching path.
Irena Bartolec received her Master of Science in Kinesiology degree from the University of Zagreb, Croatia in 2004 where she graduated with a Master’s Degree in Physiology. Her final thesis was titled “ The Influence of Yoga on the Cardiovascular and Respiratory System.”
Irena continued her education in various yoga schools such as The Yoga Workshop in Colorado, Samahita in Thailand, and The Birthright School in the U.K.
This extensive education gives Irena a strong platform to teach different levels of classes and meet her student’s individual needs. She is fully versed in anatomical studies, various physical therapy programs, and has worked extensively with clients who suffer from various physical and mental disabilities.
Irena’s refined teaching philosophy balances well honed strength with proper alignment, ensuring that students develop an extensive yet firm yoga practice, equally pledging importance on creativity, individuality, discipline and tradition.
In 2004 Irena opened The Body Element Studio in her hometown of Zagreb, Croatia. She designed, conceptualized, created, managed, owned and taught at Body Element for 10 years. Her passion for yoga and wellness supplied Irena with the vision and fortitude to establish the first traditional Ashtanga vinyasa program in Croatia. Her early teaching choices and business inceptions laid the foundation for a rapidly growing and currently successful yoga community in Croatia.
In 2014 Irena Bartolec moved to Bali where she taught at Seminyak yoga Shala until May 2019. She developed and lead their Ashtanga Yoga program, overseeing and teaching a very successful and influential Mysore program that drew students from all over the world.
Irena is a published writer on The Medium and contributor at Sensa lifestyle magazine since 2008.