Senior Teachers

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Sahajananda

Sahajananda, the main founder of Hridaya Yoga, is a meditation and hatha yoga teacher with over 30 years of experience. His message conveys the non-dual tantric teachings. An engineer in electronics by education, Sahajananda started practicing yoga and meditation in 1981, the year in which yoga was banned in Communist Romania. This fact only brought him more depth, determination, and spiritual aspiration. At age 14, the revelation of true Love came when he first met Simona. This sparked the first inspirations regarding the core message of Hridaya. Her presence was both an inspiration and a guide for what sacredness and wonderment of…

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Antoaneta Gotea

Antoaneta Maria Gotea was born in July 1972, in Bucharest, Romania. The memories from her early age about her father practicing complicated physical exercises (known in yoga as uddiyana bandha) and unusual breathing (pranayama) synergistically connected with her mother’s teachings about the existence of subtle bodies and reincarnation and this blossomed later in a genuine spiritual aspiration. Her search for an authentic spiritual path led her at the age of 21 to a yoga course while she was a student at Politechnical University in Bucharest. She studied Raja Yoga, Mahavidya Yoga and Kashmir Shaivism at a yoga school in Romania.…

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Arnaud Philibert

Arnaud Philibert is a senior yoga and meditation teacher. As a child, he was passionate about history and spirituality. That led him to walk the Camino of Santiago in Spain and to explore ancient and sacred places in both Europe and Asia. After an intense period of sadhana in Tantra Yoga and Vajrayana (Tibetan Buddhism), he met Sahajananda in 2007 and started a series of Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats with him. He lives with his family close to Longeval.  

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Claud Vaduva

Claud has dedicated his life entirely to spiritual matters since 2005, a culmination of many intersecting circumstances and tributary interests cultivated since childhood. In 2007 he met Sahajananada. In 2011 he joined the Hridaya Yoga School mission. When involved in teaching, whatever the topic he shares about has a single pointed direction: a rallying towards the essence, what he believes to be of utmost importance for humanity, that shift towards freedom.  

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Simona Trandafir

Simona Trandafir has been a spiritual teacher since 1985. During this time, she has inspired and coordinated large groups of yogis. She is an experienced yoga teacher, as acknowledged by Yoga Alliance (E-RYT 500). Even though she is a graduate of the Automation and Computer University, she felt that her entire life should be dedicated to opening people’s hearts towards the inherent beauty of existence. This is what she was called to do since she was 12, and she now continues her mission.  Hundreds of people from Bucharest, Constanta, Brasov, and other places in Romania started practicing yoga with Simona.…

Hridaya Teachers

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Elaj van Remmen

Elaj was raised by her parents with a grounding in spiritual values, so was already familiar with many of the teachings shared at Hridaya upon encountering the school in Mazunte during a trip to Central America in 2015. She was, however, not familiar with the teachings within the context of the yogic tradition. Finding herself deeply inspired by these traditional teachings, her outlook on life subsequently changed in a quite radical way. She discovered newfound confidence in herself and started to share what she had learned with her family and friends. Two years later, and with a desire to share…

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Estelle Vincent

Estelle found her way into spirituality through movement and dance. In dancing, she reached meditative states, but only years later recognized them as such. In 2015 she traveled to Guatemala, where she came into contact with yoga and formal meditation for the first time. She started realizing that what she had previously experienced had indeed been a form of meditation, and her curiosity and fascination for the inner world drove her further into the esoteric teachings of spirituality. In Guatemala, she had her first experience of retreating into silence – an experience that had a deep impact on her, and that…

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Gesine Leicht

Gesine found in the teachings of Hridaya a well of personal transformation and a fountain of freedom. Being a practitioner of Hridaya Meditation and Yoga since 2012, a deep love and appreciation developed for the teachings and the community. Since completing the teacher training in 2015, she has taught in both Hridaya centers and also brings the practice of contemplative yoga to different social projects. Sharing the Hridaya philosophy has become a joyful passion – seeking into the Heart of each moment a life purpose.

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Julio Garreta

Julio was born in Barcelona in 1989. As a teenager he started to develop a fascination for spirituality, with a longing to understand and go deeper into love. This intuition brought him to participate in a Vipassana retreat, which was the first step in his spiritual path. A couple of years later he went to India to find answers to all his questions. India finally brought him to Thailand, where he met Sahajananda for the first time. His heart was deeply touched by the purity of intention in Sahajananda’s teachings. Now, he also shares these teachings with deep joy as…

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Kyle Brooks

Kyle’s spiritual seeking and aspiration to find a deeper Truth began when he was just a 15-year-old boy studying Buddhism in England. After traveling to Peru in 2013 to work with plant medicines, he met Sahajananda. Kyle connected very deeply with the teachings during his first Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat. He decided to travel to Mexico to go deeper in his practice and to partake in the Hridaya Teacher Training Course. Since that time, Kyle has been sharing the teachings and leading Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats internationally.

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Paulina Gostomski

Paulina’s curiosity towards yoga started as a physical exercise around 2003. However, everything shifted when she did her first 10-Day silent retreat in 2011. Since then yoga, in all its facets, is at the very core of her life and all else revolves around it. She has participated in and taught silent meditation retreats, yoga modules and workshops in Mexico and Europe. Paulina loves to share the depth and light that meditation and yoga have brought into her life. What keeps her enthusiasm is to see the transformation and peace that this way of life brings to people from all…

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Xavier Lequarré

Originally from Belgium, Xavier is a seasoned traveler who is passionate about exploring other cultures, lifestyles, and traditions. In 2006, he became almost blind, which was a turning point in his life, forcing him to pause and look inside. Realizing that what he was seeking externally could be found through an internal journey, he simultaneously recovered his sight and started practicing yoga, at first in the Iyengar tradition, practicing yoga and meditation in India, and then doing a teacher training course in the yoga of energy in Switzerland. He discovered Hridaya in 2015 and deepened his practice with the school,…