“I have been practicing yoga with Irena for app. 8 years now. I go a lot through high and lows in my yoga practice, due to many injuries, for e.g. from skiing accidents etc. Sometimes my stressful job and not always so peaceful surroundings, set me back in my practice as well. However, Irena has helped me a lot through her guidance, serious approach and advices. She is a very brave women with strong character, although you wont tell that immediately from her gracile appearance.
She has a lot of commitment for every student, unlimited patience and you can tell that this is her true life call.
I feel very grateful to her for passing her positive energy, inspiring life attitude and love for yoga. Yoga classes with Irena and especially a retreat that I attended with her in Portugal, Sintra belong to my great yoga experience, great holiday and most beautiful and harmonious days.
She is a great organiser and very capable lady. Let her transfer to you her energy, deep yoga practice, passion, commitment and ability to aim and reach for higher goals, as well as her love for life, travel and adventure! Thank you for your inspiring leading and guidance. Love, Sandra 😊”
Sandra Hutter, Zagreb, Croatia
“I started practicing yoga with Irena at age of 14, as a teenager of buzzing mind (still am), who needed something to steer her energy into. By guidance of most beautiful and kind teacher, my practice became something much more than just gymnastics – it became a source of happiness, relaxation, security and energy. “
Sara Krivacic, Zagreb, Croatia
“There are a lot of different yoga styles, speeds and rhythms. There are also so many different kinds of instructors and teachers. There are really good teachers who make fantastic classes. There are seasoned teachers and the beginners in their job, the young teachers and wise teachers, and then there is Irena.
Yoga is my own practice and it’s very important to me. Irena has opened my eyes to yoga physiology, switching on my muscles and educating me about body consciousness and how to keep it safe from injury whilst pushing it to it’s limits. With that said Irena is one of the most brilliant, knowledgeable and talented teachers that I’ve met. Her classes are just as powerful as they are calm, exactly as her spirit. Irena creates a safe inspiring space. She is also so much fun and very engaging, and has a beautiful manner. I couldn’t speak more highly of Irena or be more grateful for her presence and teaching. I would very highly recommend Irena!”
Marta Novovic, Melbourne,Australia
“Irena introduced me to Ashtanga Mysore Yoga. I really thought that this yoga was not for me, because of back problems related to a herniated disc. Too fast, too demanding… afraid of hurting myself with the sequence of asanas. I do already practice Hatha in a restorative approach and I need to take time between each movement. Irena convinced me to go beyond that fear. To go in trust with her, under her supervision… to go in trust with my body. Irina sees all. Pushes you gently but firmly to get the right alignment with the right breath. Pushes you to go beyond your mental and physical limitations. Overcome my inner fears. She was able to explain to me and adapt the asanas to my physical abilities, finding ways to get around my physical blockages. In fact, very naturally, I practiced with her, in her shala in Bali, for 1 month, every morning except Sunday. I have gained in mobility, stability, cardio, flexibility. I learned to perform the asanas correctly, identify the postures that are right for me and avoid false movements that lead to injury. I learned to chain them together at my own pace. I gained confidence and won an important battle, the one against my limiting beliefs. And I didn’t hurt myself. I got a reward : to discover the concept of “yoga bliss” after each early daily class. Since then, I have been a convinced practicing yogi.”
Jean Pascal Beauchamp, Paris, France
“Rare is it to encounter a teacher who manages to balance the linear tradition of Ashtanga yoga with the inherent gentility and empathy that modern Mysore teachers must employ. Irena Bartolec is able to make her students comfortable in their own abilities, while steadily moving them further into the practice. She is a teacher who softly maintains integrity, respect and commitment, while teaching in a memorable manner that does not promote egotism. With Irena I always felt that the onus is put on the practice and the student, while the complexities of the tradition do not muddy the waters of our peaceful Mysore space. She is dedicated and honest. We are lucky to have her as our teacher.”
Douglas E. Weiss, NYC, USA
You help me to pell off my layers and disguise, that takes away a lot of burden from me. I am forever grateful.
Coming to your class everyday, I feel like resting my head on your laps… having a chat about everything, feeling safe and loved.
Teacher does exist
Loving, caring, and kindness is not sugar coat
Brave heart and sincere willingness to care about other being is real
Me down on my knees for the first time in my life.
Thank you Irena Bartolec, feels so good
Thank you for being my teacher and show me all that ❤”
Suisana Tjwa, Bali, Indonesia
“Irena has a unique ability to connect this fun loving, earthy, no-nonsence quality with the profound wisdom of the practice. Thus creating this ultra safe space in witch I, as a student, can explore my own path, accepting all my flaws and possibilities to grow with the bravery of a lion. Not because i am so brave. But because her demeanour tells me it’s ok to be afraid sometimes. And have a laugh at the same time. “
Danny Van der Schoor, Amsterdam, Netherlands
“Irena is a very authentic, lovely, inspiring yoga teacher/person! I learned a lot in one week with her so i am more open to go further in my practise! The lessons are very supportive and she motivates me a lot in her beautiful way of teaching! 🙏🏼”
Liza Entholzer, Vienna, Austria
When I came to the first class in Irena’s studio in Zagreb I was in terrible shape. I remember me practising, sweating and thinking I’ll never come again. However, there was a special energy in that studio and I felt so good after the class so I continued visiting studio and practising ashtanga yoga regularly for the next six years even during two pregnancies. Irena was an excellent instructor and very supportive even during that time and I can’t imagine going trough this period without her. Although now there is almost the whole continent between us and although I had an opportunity to practice with many excellent teachers during the years my every yoga practice is dedicated to Irena, my first yoga instructor. She is really professional and very dedicated to her students and just being near her and feeling her calm energy helps one to feel like a better person. Today, every opportunity to practice with Irena is a special occasion for me and my partner as well when we take our annual leave from work just to spend few days practising yoga with her. I can’t imagine learining yoga from more beautiful person. Thank you!
Iva Krekovic, Zagreb, Croatia
I was a total newbie to traditional Ashtanga (although not to yoga) when I met Irena in Bali last year. I was so nervous going to that first Mysore class! I forgot the whole sequence, got all turned around and befuddled and I thought so many times, “I cant do this I cant do this”
But no one else in that room seemed to think that. The lack of judgment in Irenas’ Mysore room was something I felt very strongly that day (And I was feeling a lot of things!) It was amazing to be a part of a group of people at such different levels their practice, and be treated all with the same love, patience and respect. Ashtanga can be a very rigid and intimidating practice and Irena made it seem ‘normal’ and completely accessible.
“Don’t be afraid , just do it, just show up, don’t worry Ill be here”
I think she said those exact words to me when I was expressing my fears of starting a daily Mysore practice. That sentence, said with such an easiness, a smile, such an open heart, – that way of being is exactly what she , as a person, and as a teacher is. Compassionate, yet firm, Traditional yet open to all. It really is a profound thing to experience the journey of Ashtanga, with a teacher such as Irena. Practicing with her was life-changing for me, and an experience that I will carry with me in my heart wherever I go in life.
Like my true north, I will always try to get back to my teacher, to Irena. And I you are lucky enough to be able to practice with her, do it. Don’t be afraid, just show up, she will be your guide…
with so much love !
Bree Kennedy , Vancouver BC, Canada