Meet The Teacher: Tanja

Name: Tanja Ivancan
Country of origin: Croatian and German
Position at OM Yoga Stuttgart: Teacher and forever Student
Years of Yoga practice: 11 years practicing (I am a yoga baby ;-))
Before I became a Yoga Teacher I… I was a Student at OM Yoga.
I love this song: Because I’m me by Avalanches 
I cannot resist: Medejool Dates 
My motto: My mantra: Aham Prema – it is a Sanskrit mantra reminding us our true nature: “I am Love” or “I am Divine Love”. It has the power to open up and clear the heart, healing and awakening unconditional love and acceptance towards oneself and others. 
My favorite Asana (at the moment): Every Asana that awakens my Muladhara chakra, the root chakra. From Tadasana to Savasana. 
When I don’t teach I…read, doodle, make weird jokes and work part time in the communication sector. I also take every chance that I get to visit my family on a small Island in Croatia.

I started practicing yoga in my 20s. I started my journey because of my curiosity to learn & explore. I was a hyperactive child, experimented a lot, and was always involved in competitive sports – table tennis, handball, and swimming. The result was an autoimmune disease at the age of 11. But even then I kept on going. I always suffered from over-estimation of my abilities and energy, I guess.

In 2012, I had my first hot yoga experience. Tummy tingles and goosebumps, that’s what I felt during my first hot yoga class, despite the heat. Since then, I have tried many different styles of yoga. But hot yoga just did it for me. The mix of heat, stretching the fascia, focusing on the spine, and moving meditation is wonderful. For me, it was healing. It is still healing. 

Thinking Body, Feeling Mind: Yoga shapes my emotions and brings my awareness to the capabilities that my concrete physical body has in the present moment versus what I want my body to be able to accomplish. 

For me, Yoga answers two important questions: who am I and what am I capable of in the present moment. And I transfer that into all aspects of my life. I call this embodied knowing or somatic intelligence. I recognize my body as a source of knowledge and trust my somatic sensations. This is why I do yoga because I’m passionately curious about being in my body, especially when in our beautiful OM Studio. 

And this leads me to my story as a teacher…3 years ago I quit my job at an advertising agency and decided to take some time off to hone my body-mind journey. I was burned out from work and fired up for yoga. 

My beloved friends encouraged me to start a teacher training. My TT was in Hatha, Ashtanga, and Yin. At that time, I could not even imagine teaching. But that was somehow secondary because, thanks to the intense daily practice and meditation, the whole body inflammation caused by the autoimmune disease remained absent. 

So, I continued my practice. Everyday. Everywhere. Our beloved studio was a second home for me. Our teachers are my inspiration, and motivation. My Gurus. 

Over time, and with the guidance of our beloved teacher squad and Oz (thank you <3), I realized that I want to share this beautiful gift with others. I want to inspire others to move and travel into their body. 

Aham Prema: I am divine love when I teach. Every cell in my body tells me “I am in the right place with the right people at the right time doing the right thing”. 

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