Stephen Thomas is the founder of Yogakailasa. He is a devoted practitioner and teacher. He leads classes, workshops and immersions as well as teacher training programs in Asia and Europe. His teaching is rooted in the traditional Hatha Yoga practices of asana,pranayama, and meditation. His philosophical approach to the practice is influenced by studies in Classical Yoga, Buddhism and Tantra and earlier studies in design, philosophy and art.
He began his education in Canada graduating in Environmental Studies and Design. He discovered yoga in these years and began practicing intensively, eventually co-founding a yoga centre in the mountains outside of Vancouver. In 2002, he moved to Asia to pursue further studies and assist in the development of the emerging yoga scene in Hong Kong and Taiwan during the early days of its growth.
In 2003, he met and began to work directly with his root teacher, O.P. Tiwari with whom he continues to expand his knowledge in the fields of yoga, particularly in the fields of pranayama, philosophy and ayurveda. He has completed advanced pranayama studies with Tiwari, and continues to dedicate his work to promoting health and personal transformation through this lineage based practice.
Asana forms the other major part of his teaching and has been influenced by the alignment principles of the Iyengar based methods and the transformational elements of the Ashtanga Vinyasa system. His method is to present asana in an alignment-based, dynamic form, designed to suit the individual growth of the student as a way to purify and stabilize the system and then expand its potential. "Through the asana and pranayama, the innate power and joy of the body and breath are re-discovered and a gateway into the deeper realms of the practice is revealed."
In his teaching he encourages a synthesis of the practices of asana, pranayama, kriya and meditation, with the study of traditional and contemporary philosophy, chanting, meditation and devotion. His emphasizes an approach of integrating yoga into the life, and life into the yoga.
He teaches with a spirit of joy and clarity, and encourages a students to find their path through dedication, discipline and surrender to the practices that are suited to them. He offers respect and gratitude for his root teacher Tiwari-ji and those who continue to influence him over his many years of study, including, Sri. K. Patthabi Jois, Richard Freeman, Paul Dallaghan and Patrick Creelman.
Stephen currently divides time between his training and retreat schedule (European and Asian) and regular classes and workshops at AIRYOGA based in Zurich, Switzerland where he lives with his wife.
For more on Stephen, please see www.stephenthomasyoga.com