The point of yoga - Interview with Petri Räisänen

Updated: Jan 27

Everybody talks about yoga. But what is really the point of yoga?

Finnish Petri Räisänen is a world known yogateacher and has been a huge influence in spreading Ashtanga Yoga in the world for the past 30 years. Over a weekend in September he visited us at Åhus Finest Yoga at a workshop for curious yoga practitioners. Mimi Gall sat down for an interview with him to hear what he has to say about this ancient method that has now taken the west by storm.

M = Mimi

P = Petri

M: What brought you to yoga in the first place?

P: I was a vegetarian and into the animal movement. I started to be interested in world religion and philosophies. And I started to read books that was related to India. I first practiced Hatha yoga and it was very light in comparison to Ashtanga Yoga. In practicing Hatha Yoga I learned how to relax my body. When Ashtanga came to Finland in the 80’s I took a workshop and from the beginning I loved it. I used to be a icehockey player and I was really heavy and stiff. I understood I needed the flexibility and to feel more comfortable in my body. The deep relaxation coming from yoga was important to me. I also had the feeling that it affected my mind. What really interested me was also the mindwork. How to develop concentration and meditation. And perhaps that was more important than the physical aspect.

Watch the interview on Yotube.

M: What is mindwork to you?