Tanja Ottesen is an Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher & Yin Yoga Teacher in Copenhagen.
For the past decade, Tanja has been part of the Copenhagen yoga scene and has taught yoga around the city, in other parts of Denmark as well as international.
Tanja completed her first 200 Hour Yoga Alliance registered teacher training in 2010 at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center and in 2012 she graduated as a 300 Hour Certified Jivamukti Teacher in New York. The year after she moved to Berlin to study with her mentor Anja Kühnel where she completed another 500+ Hour Jivamukti apprenticeship program. In 2016, Tanja passed her Board Exam in Munich to become Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher, of which there exist only a few in Scandinavia. In 2018 she also finished a 100 Hour Advanced Studies Yin TT from Sattva Yoga Copenhagen.
She was the first to become a Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher in Denmark. Ever since she has been deeply committed to share her passion for the Jivamukti Yoga method and has inspired many others to go through the same transformative month long training (More than 16 teachers in the country so far). For 2 years she was the manager of Sangha Yoga Studio, a Jivamukti Affiliated center in Copenhagen. Here she worked hard to create a loving space for the fast growing Jivamukti Yoga community in Denmark and she hosted many great senior teachers from around the world, assisted in immersions and held kirtan concerts etc. However, as a deeply committed mother of 2 children she decided to close the venue in November 2017 to get “back to basics” and focus her work as a freelance yoga teacher while living a slow stress free life with her family being close to nature.
Tanja has always been curious about the human existence. As a teenager she started experimenting with yoga and meditation as a way to cope with loneliness, doubting her own worth and a general confusement of the society around her. Back then she also started to study different cultures, and over the years, this curiosity has brought her to places all over the world. The passion for yoga really caught fire while living in India as a young adult. A longer stay by the Ganga River in Rishikesh caused a number of radical changes and fundamental new insights for Tanja. Since then, she has several times lived in ashrams and spiritual communities to study yoga philosophy and psychology, self-development, meditation and the practice of Karma yoga. She has participated in volunteer programmes in children’s homes and educational projects outside New Delhi, and went on personal pilgrimages of spiritual growth on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Colourful experiences in jungles and full moon tribal ceremonies in Burma have added up to her life-changing adventures. However, Tanja’s most eye opening and sometimes fearful journey was and still is her daily practice on the yoga mat and meditation seat – here she meets herself and is confronted with her own limitations, responsibilities and human flaws in a way that furthers growth more than anything else. These realisations and principles of yoga she takes with her off the mat and aims to always integrate into her life and every action.
“Jivamukti Yoga helps me to keep my eyes open. It challenges me physically, intellectually and mentally and pushes me to a point where I make the most powerful realisations. Diving into this method I have learned to practice and have compassion for myself and all other living beings. Through discovering Jivamukti Yoga I reconnected to myself and started to feel a new sense of home within – a sense belonging. I fell in love with life again and am continuously reminded that I am part of something bigger. That we are all One. I am filled with gratitude to my teachers Sharon Gannon and David Life, the founders of Jivamukti Yoga, and my beloved mentor Anja Kühnel in Berlin for always believing in me and giving me the strength to do the same, for having created a beautiful and safe method and place for self-development and growth as a yoga teacher and as a student.” – Tanja Ottesen
Tanja’s background as former elite gymnast and body worker is very visible in her innovative and playful sequences, as well as in her focus on understanding body structures and anatomy. She always emphasizes a holistic approach to yoga and combines a vigorous physical asana practice with philosophical teachings, mindfulness and heart centered perspectives such as devotion and compassion. As a huge music lover her creative playlists are carefully put together and she also plays the harmonium and use mantra chanting to support a higher intention for the class. Tanja speaks from the heart, and her teaching is filled with empathy, thoroughness and love. With friendly appeals she encourage each student to look inwards to find the answers and the aim of her teaching is always to create a space for the students to feel nourished, inspired and elevated.