Birgit Pöltl’s yoga classes are grounded, powerful, warm, anatomically precise according to clear principles, and always spiced with a pinch of yoga philosophy–a balanced mixture of physical yoga practice and wisdom for life from the house of yoga.
After studying business administration, Birgit Pöltl worked as a consultant in the IT industry and as a management consultant. She then worked for several years for international banks in the sales department of a security printing company. Since 2008, Birgit Pöltl has been running the Mödling Yoga Centre together with Florian Reitlinger. She shares her knowledge and experience in the print and online sector as the publisher/editor of yoga.ZEIT–Austria’s only yoga magazine.
Since 2014, Birgit has been passing on her knowledge in short and concise instructions in ORF’s yoga magazine TV channel on ORF Sport+. On the online platform yogamehome.org and yogazentrum.online, you can find even more yoga courses to join. Birgit Pöltl is also the creator of the Austrian yoga fair YOGA Planet–an event that currently unites yogis and fans of vegan life in Vienna, Innsbruck, and Graz.
Tell us a little bit about your journey with yoga. Why did you begin?
I first started practicing yoga at a fitness center in Vienna. At the beginning, I couldn’t explain what happened in these 90 min. I just recognized that I felt better when I left the class than, when I entered. It took me a long time to understand that there are no magic things happening in the class. It’s was all about using the right techniques to “reorganize” my body and my mind.
After going through several teacher trainings, I finally found Anusara Yoga in 2008, and I am still very thankful that I did. To be honest, I really hurt myself doing yoga. My knees and hips were injured because I did not have enough anatomical knowledge. The first time it really started to get better was when I started to integrate Anusaras principles of Alignment (UPAs). This is also the moment I started my long journey of studying Anatomy, Therapeutic Yoga and Osteopathy.
I have managed the Moedling Yoga Center since 2008. I also share my knowledge and experience in the print and online sector as the publisher/editor of yoga.ZEIT–Austria’s only yoga magazine.
Since 2014 I have been providing my experience on the ORF Sport+ Yoga magazine (TV channel) and also on yogamehome.org
At what point did you decide to become a yoga teacher?
I decided to pursue a yoga teacher training the first month I started practicing yoga.
It’s not that I wanted to be a teacher, I just wanted to learn more about Yoga.
At the time–and I think it is still the same today–there were no opportunities to learn about yoga philosophy or Asana practice, except by doing a teacher training.
This is by the way, one reason why I love the Anusara path–Anusara Immersions are for anyone who wants to dive deeper into yoga without doing a teacher training course
Immediately after my Anusara training, I started teaching my friends and from that point on, teaching became part of my life more and more.
After 8 years of teaching as a side job, I decided to quit and become a full-time yoga teacher in 2009.
This was a big step from safety to entrepreneurship, but I have never regretted it. It was and still is a job where I really feel Like I’m doing something useful for my students and for my environment.
For those who are unfamiliar with Anusara, could you briefly explain the main principles?
Anusara is an alignment-based branch of Hatha yoga that integrates deep spiritual teachings and precise biomechanical principles into the practice. At the heart of Anusara Yoga are its life-affirming principles of “Opening to Grace” and “Aligning with the Divine.”
What you can expect from an Anusara class is:
- Inspiring and uplifting classes
- You will practice profound spiritual principles as a base for your physical practice
- Classes are fulfilling for every student at every level of practice
- In every class you will find a life-affirming philosophical theme and supportive physical alignment
- Classes begin with an introduction
- The teacher will guide you through a warm-up and then progressive sequences of poses
- Classes take the students deep into the feeling sensations of eachpose and sequence
- Once a peak pose is reached the class winds down into an extended rest period
- What’s the best advice on your yoga journey that you have ever received?
Yoga is an inside practice that will change everything outside.
For whom is an Anusara class for?
- For all who want to expand their practice
- For all who want to use a powerful method for doing yoga poses based on biomechanics
- For all who want to develop profound knowledge of the body
- For all who want to live an inspiring and sacred live
- For all of you who just want to enjoy their body and have fun doing yoga
How has yoga impacted your relationship with yourself?
It raised my level of consciousness. I took responsibility for my life. I completely stopped finding excuses for my discomfort or challenging situations. This means on one hand, I have to work harder on some of my patterns, but on the other hand, I am the creator of my own life in every possible way.
To go along with this month’s theme, could you give us a few tips about how to become more loving with ourselves.
- Live intentionally–find friends with similar ideas and desires who challenge and support you at the same time
- Selfcare is important–Practice Pranayama. This will help you to generate enough Prana to realize all ideas and visions and also to set boundaries!
- Take care of your body–Practice Asanas. This will help you to feel at home in your body
- Become mindful: Practice Meditation–this is the most important practice, because it brings confidence and wisdom in all your decisions
- Forgive: everybody does something stupid sometimes. Don’t punishing yourself for someone else’s actions. Take care of your relationships and support your friends