Moss garden at the Silver Pavilion, Kyoto
Tirtha Yoga offers lessons in integral yoga for small groups and individuals. Integral means that different techniques are practiced to complement and support each other. It depends on the adept whether the emphasis of the practice is on physical, energetic, cognitive or meditative aspect. The lessons are given by Ram Tirtha either in German or English at the Yogi Lodge in the Western part of Stuttgart. His style has been shaped by the Sivananda and Satyananda tradition and his main themes are yoga for health, meditation and kundalini yoga, especially kriya yoga. Basic techniques are relaxation, postures (asanas) and breathing (pranayama); also some aspects of Iyengar yoga are applied as well as spiral dynamic elements. The techniques are adjusted to each individual person so that everybody can practice. There are no prior requirements, but regular attendance is essential for progress. Yoga is not a religion so followers of all creeds as well as agnostics and atheists can practice it. There is mention made of Hindu and Buddhist yoga but that only means that some traditions of yoga developed in these cultural and religious contexts.
Learn more in an interview (German) with Ram Tirtha.
At the temple Kusum Sarovar near Vrindavan
Courses & Seminars
Information about the courses and seminars currently offered you find here (German).
Supporting the film documentary project THE INNER REVOLUTION
"The world runs amok" said Ama Samy, a contemporary Zen master, about the current state of our world. Today's societal longings are above all based on promises of the economy and new technologies which are supposed to help us to live a more secure and comfortable life. This current materialism with its fixation on growth, competitive thinking, effectiveness and greed has become an end in itself without being questioned any more. The resulting traits in most people’s character and lifestyle lead to ecological destruction, social conflicts and mental disorders. The projected films want to show that change is possible through awareness, mental focus and self inquiry.
Since these will de non-profit films, we will be pleased if you support the film project with a donation. We are happy to send you further information. Donations can be transfered with the indication "donation film project" to the account of Victoria Knobloch, IBAN: DE60 8008 0000 0762 6691 00 BIC: DRESDEFF800. Thank you very much indeed for your support.
Street children practicing tatrak, Delhi
Yoga is a science based on experience for raising awareness and changing consciousness which has developed over thousands of years. Through awareness, change happens naturally. The darkness disappears with the light, we need not fight against it. This alone gives us a perspective to work with the severe social, ecological and psychological problems we face and are going to face.
Yoga begins with the insight that it is our own view of the world and our reactions to what happens that define us. The feeling of being a victim of adverse conditions subsides – it is our own mental structures and habits which hold us in dependencies and lead to conflicts. Suffering and unhappiness grows out of that conditioning, but suffering can also lead to a change of the perspective and the openness for something new. If practiced with awareness, the techniques of yoga help to transform and decondition the mental sphere.
Yoga understands health in a comprehensive way. Humans need to be understood as a whole; mental and physical health can not be separated from each other. Mental health in yoga means bodily, emotional and mental harmony; means a balance of extroversion and introversion, means freedom from dependencies and contradictions; means inner joy.
On a spiritual level, the yoga is connected with tantric, vedantic and Buddhist teachings and wisdom; with different perspectives, those traditions emphasize the wholeness, unity and fullness of life.
Adepts of Zen, Kamakura
Asanas offer an easily accessible start with yoga practice since the body is used as a concrete means of support. On a pure physical level the postures can be understood as a kind of self massage which reaches down to the inner organs. In this way, many parts of the body are supplied with fresh blood. Moreover, asanas treat wrong postures and tensions on a physical plane which come about through a sedentary lifestyle. Contrary to sport, the postures, if practiced slowly and with awareness, lower the metabolism and the frequency of breathing. After the practice, the feeling is of increased energy and wakefullness. But the effects of asanas go even deeper:
On an electrochemical level the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems become balanced. Because of that, the digestion gets improved and the blood pressure decreases, what has - apart from one‘s mental attitude - a major effect on health. With the nervous system, the endocrinal system gets also harmonised, what brings about positive changes to the shape of the body, the metabolism, the emotions and the habits. Blockages are loosened, the energy can flow more freely and work with more harmony. When experiencing tension, which has become normal in our culture, the human potential of energy can be used only to a small degree. With regular yoga practice, empowerment happens naturally. In conclusion, we can say that healing happens in all aspects of the personality.
Lake Hertha, a place for pagan worship at Rügen
The breathing practices are very important key techniques of yoga. They build the bridge between body and mind. With our breathing, our thinking is affected immediately. Also there is a close interdependence between breathing and emotions. Rapid breathing is connected with restlessness, unease and bad health whereas slow breathing is connected with peace, relaxation and happiness. Oftentimes life is as fast and superficial as our breathing.
On a physical level, deep and slow breathing optimizes the intake of oxygen. Additionally, breathing is a gate to the vegetative nervous system and also influences the bio energy (prana). Therefore, through harmony in breathing, a positive effect on our health occurs directly. On the mental level, our perception becomes more subtle and intuition develops. Our mind becomes less distracted and therefore clearer, more peaceful and less agitated.
Close to Radha Kund
Often times our thinking and mental attitudes lead to an lingering tension. Other people as well as ourselves have expectations on us and our environment which the reality of life cannot fulfill. Instead of accepting this we develop negative thoughts and emotions. This leads to mental tension as well as continually stimulated and tense muscles, what in turn puts stress on the internal organs and weakens our body and the immune system. Sickness is unavoidable. For some, even sleeping offers no relaxation since also in the night negative thinking and conflicts prevail. Distraction or even drugs do not promote relaxation; on the contrary, they impede awareness and relaxation.
How then does relaxation work? Our mind is told to focus perception on our motionless body, away from thoughts and emotions. The muscles are not stimulated any more and can relax, the body can recover, the mind becomes more clear and free. At first, the effect will last after practice for a very limited time. With regular practice, supported by positive thinking, slowly a more relaxed attitude towards life can be developed. Then life is again more enjoyable, less sleep is needed, social contacts become more comfortable and concentration becomes easier.
Buddha at Jokhang, Lhasa
In yoga the intellect has only a relative value. Thinking is not always helpful; in many cases it is an obstacle. Therefore, it is important to understand the possibilities and limits of thinking. Instead of becoming carried away by self-centeredness, the power of thoughts should be used constructively: Firstly, conviction about positive values and qualities is developed on a rational level. Then with the help of different yoga techniques these mental attitudes are regularly called into consciousness and get internalized. The most important mental attitudes are acceptance, openness along with neutral observation and feeling of the current moment which also play a major role with meditative techniques.
Transformation and change is only possible with complete acceptance of the current situation, without the feeling of guilt or reproach – which have destructive effects. Openness decreases preconceptions, distrust and conflicts and makes change possible. The present moment is the only moment we can experience directly; brooding over the past and fantasizing about the future is more often part of the problem than part of the solution and distracts from the essential. Mental clarity develops through cultivation of an attitude of observation to reduce identification with the body, the emotions and the thoughts. Our perspective broadens so that the roles we play in life are not about the core of our being. Especially in critical situations one should observe one‘s own reactions. Step by step, mental patterns can be broken and blind reaction can be replaced with appropriate action.
Meditative techniques turn the mind towards the experience of the current moment without following the thoughts and emotions. With that focus, a space can open which is not influenced by outer or inner forms which as a rule imprison our awareness. From this space a new view of the world opens up. One feels connected with the essence and the root of being, which brings about joy, equanimity and mental stability.
With these cognitive and meditative techniques, a consciousness can develop that leads to understanding and compassion.
At the entrance to Karla caves, Maharashtra
Traditionally the different forms of yoga are classified as follows:
Bhakti yoga, the yoga of purification of emotions goes sometimes also under the name „yoga of surrender“. This means surrendering to something fundamental or divine that transcends our personal existence. The purification can only take place when we are able to forget our limited personal perspective and open up. For that rituals also play a role. It is said that Bhakti yoga is the easiest yoga since it leads immediately and without much effort to the goal. Unfortunately, few of us are capable of this simplicity. But all genuine paths of yoga will inevitably lead to the state of Bhakti, since they have the same aim as Bhakti yoga, namely liberation from the bondage of ignorance caused by self-centeredness.
Karma yoga, the yoga of renunciation of desires, is also known as the yoga of selfless service. While acting we serve the whole as good as we can. The results are then taken as they are, with equanimity, whether they are in line with our wishes and expectations or not. Through this attitude we gain fulfilment, not through the results. In theory we could incorporate this yoga in our daily life. But this is rather difficult for us, since we have the habit to measure our actions by the results. Moreover, we still have a lot of selfish desires; we are not mature enough that we can let them go. One needs to be careful: suppression of desires has detrimental effects.
Jnana yoga, the yoga of (self-)knowledge, works mainly with meditative techniques and also with reflection and cognition - like inquiries, e.g. the famous „Who am I?“ by Ramana Maharshi or the koans of Rinzai-Zen. Some schools like Vedanta or Tibetan Buddhist yoga work extensively with scriptures; others like Zen have a non-intellectual approach. It is said that, at least for most of us, this is the most difficult yoga since as a rule it requires a great amount of clarity, stability and determination.
Raja yoga, the yoga of mind control, was codified by the sage Patanjali. It was influenced by Buddhist yoga. It advocates eight branches which eventually lead to liberation: yamas & niyamas (ethics), asanas (postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (sense control), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (liberation). The first five limbs are a kind of preparation for the last three which can be regarded as a type of jnana yoga.
Sadashiva at Elephanta island, near Mumbai
The tantric yoga can be best understood with some background from the tantric philosophy. Reality from a tantric perspective has a strong dynamic aspect. While the classical paths of yoga emphasize the static principle of reality, tantric yoga also appreciates the dynamic principle. In non-dual tantra they are considered as two equally important aspects of one reality which do not oppose each other. This is the reason for the richness of tantric practices. They can be rather sophisticated, radical and unconventional; but they are very practical and have a positive view toward life, body and the world. Enjoyment of life, senses and our bodies need not lead to bondage. The mundane aspect of life can be a means of liberation if used without attachment and indulging in pleasures. The other main underlying principle is the connectedness of the physical, energetic, mental and psychic realms. When working in the energetic „sheath“ of the body, all other realms of one’s whole being are transformed.
Hatha yoga, the yoga of „force“, consists of five components: balanced nutrition, relaxation, postures, breathing and mental techniques (positive thinking and meditation). The main practice of hatha yoga is to work with the body, which is supposed to prepare one for higher forms of yoga, especially kundalini yoga. Historically, hatha yoga came about through a degeneration of values and life in the Indian culture during the middle ages. Because of that decline the traditional yogas could not be practiced any more as in the past. In our times, hatha yoga is practiced mainly out of therapeutic reasons, especially in the West. It helps, if not overcome then at least minimize the sicknesses of modern life.
Kundalini yoga, the yoga of energy, can be regarded as a natural extension of hatha yoga. Here the main means are mantras („nada“, sound), yantras (geometrical diagrams) and foremost the work on the human energy system with its nadis (channels) and chakras (knots). Different cultures developed different forms of this path: the white tantric traditions of India, Tibetan Buddhist yoga, the esoteric Taoism in China and the tantric Japanese Zen.
Integral yoga advocates the promotion of all classical forms of yoga as well as tantric yoga. They support each other. Every practitioner should choose one main path to which he or she is inclined and support it with the practices of other forms of yoga.
Varanasi, at the Ganges
The word „tirtha“ comes from Sanskrit and means „crossing over“. The ancient meaning of the word is „fort“, the place or the town at a river where it can be crossed over. Many of the great Indian places of pilgrimage are situated on the banks of rivers and many routes of pilgrimage go along the great rivers.
„Tirtha“ also means a place of spiritual power, a place where energies merge. „Fort“ is then understood in the spiritual sense as a metaphor for the crossing of the unreliable, ever-changing mundane reality to reach the other shore, the aim of the spiritual quest. At a tirtha the mind can be more easily transcended since a deeper dimension of being manifests itself there for humans, clearer and more palpable than at other places.
Ram Tirtha, Seyfferstr. 51, 70197 Stuttgart
info[at]tirtha-yoga.de, ++49 (0) 711 2841912
Ram Tirtha was initiated in the year 1990 by Yogi Ram Prakash Sharma at Khajuraho and was thereafter lucky to encounter many other teachers from different tantric, vedantic and Buddhist traditions. The meeting with Yogi Sharma had a life-changing effect on him; later his practice and understanding were strongly influenced by the personal instructions he received from Anantharavi Thillainathan and Ama Samy. In the year 2010 he did a formal yoga teacher training course within the Sivananda tradition. It is a joy for him to share his knowledge and experience with those interested.
Ram Tirtha Dr. Tino Lukaschek
Phone: ++49 (0) 711 2841912
Ram Tirtha Dr. Tino Lukaschek
As service providers, we are liable for own contents of these websites according to Paragraph 7, Sect. 1 German Telemedia Act (TMG). However, according to Paragraphs 8 to 10 German Telemedia Act (TMG), service providers are not obligated to permanently monitor submitted or stored information or to search for evidences that indicate illegal activities. Legal obligations to removing information or to blocking the use of information remain unchallenged. In this case, liability is only possible at the time of knowledge about a specific violation of law. Illegal contents will be removed immediately at the time we get knowledge of them.
Our offer includes links to external third party websites. We have no influence on the contents of those websites, therefore we cannot guarantee for those contents. Providers or administrators of linked websites are always responsible for their own contents. The linked websites had been checked for possible violations of law at the time of the establishment of the link. Illegal contents were not detected at the time of the linking. A permanent monitoring of the contents of linked websites cannot be imposed without reasonable indications that there has been a violation of law. Illegal links will be removed immediately at the time we get knowledge of them.
Contents and compilations published on these websites by the providers are subject to German copyright laws. Reproduction, editing, distribution as well as the use of any kind outside the scope of the copyright law require a written permission of the author or originator. Downloads and copies of these websites are permitted for private use only. The commercial use of our contents without permission of the originator is prohibited. Copyright laws of third parties are respected as long as the contents on these websites do not originate from the provider. Contributions of third parties on this site are indicated as such. However, if you notice any violations of copyright law, please inform us. Such contents will be removed immediately.
The following information will provide you with an easy to navigate overview of what will happen with your personal data when you visit our website. The term „personal data“ comprises all data that can be used to personally identify you. For detailed information about the subject matter of data protection, please consult our Data Protection Declaration, which we have included beneath this copy.
Who is the responsible party for the recording of data on this website (i.e. the „controller“)? The data on this website is processed by the operator of the website, whose contact information is available under section „Information Required by Law“ on this website. How do we record your data? We collect your data as a result of your sharing of your data with us. This may, for instance be information you enter into our contact form. Our IT systems automatically record other data when you visit our website. This data comprises primarily technical information (e.g. web browser, operating system or time the site was accessed). This information is recorded automatically when you access our website. What are the purposes we use your data for? A portion of the information is generated to guarantee the error free provision of the website. Other data may be used to analyse your user patterns. What rights do you have as far as your information is concerned? You have the right to receive information about the source, recipients and purposes of your archived personal data at any time without having to pay a fee for such disclosures. You also have the right to demand that your data are rectified, blocked or eradicated. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time under the address disclosed in section „Information Required by Law“ on this website if you have questions about this or any other data protection related issues. You also have the right to log a complaint with the competent supervising agency. Moreover, under certain circumstances, you have the right to demand the restriction of the processing of your personal data. For details, please consult the Data Protection Declaration under section „Right to Restriction of Data Processing.“
The operators of this website and its pages take the protection of your personal data very seriously. Hence, we handle your personal data as confidential information and in compliance with the statutory data protection regulations and this Data Protection Declaration. Whenever you use this website, a variety of personal information will be collected. Personal data comprises data that can be used to personally identify you. This Data Protection Declaration explains which data we collect as well as the purposes we use this data for. It also explains how, and for which purpose the information is collected. We herewith advise you that the transmission of data via the Internet (i.e. through e-mail communications) may be prone to security gaps. It is not possible to completely protect data against third party access.
The data processing controller on this website is: Tino Ram Tirtha Dr. Lukaschek, Seyfferstr. 51, 70197 Stuttgart. Phone: +49 (0) 711 2841912. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . The controller is the natural person or legal entity that single-handedly or jointly with others makes decisions as to the purposes of and resources for the processing of personal data (e.g. names, e-mail addresses, etc.).
A wide range of data processing transactions are possible only subject to your express consent. You can also revoke at any time any consent you have already given us. To do so, all you are required to do is sent us an informal notification via e-mail. This shall be without prejudice to the lawfulness of any data collection that occurred prior to your revocation.
In the event that data are processed on the basis of Art. 6 Sect. 1 lit. e or f GDPR, you have the right to at any time object to the processing of your personal data based on grounds arising from your unique situation. This also applies to any profiling based on these provisions. To determine the legal basis, on which any processing of data is based, please consult this Data Protection Declaration. If you log an objection, we will no longer process your affected personal data, unless we are in a position to present compelling protection worthy grounds for the processing of your data, that outweigh your interests, rights and freedoms or if the purpose of the processing is the claiming, exercising or defence of legal entitlements (objection pursuant to Art. 21 Sect. 1 GDPR). If your personal data is being processed in order to engage in direct advertising, you have the right to at any time object to the processing of your affected personal data for the purposes of such advertising. This also applies to profiling to the extent that it is affiliated with such direct advertising. If you object, your personal data will subsequently no longer be used for direct advertising purposes (objection pursuant to Art. 21 Sect. 2 GDPR).
In the event of violations of the GDPR, data subjects are entitled to log a complaint with a supervisory agency, in particular in the member state where they usually maintain their domicile, place of work or at the place where the alleged violation occurred. The right to log a complaint is in effect regardless of any other administrative or court proceedings available as legal recourses.
You have the right to demand that we hand over any data we automatically process on the basis of your consent or in order to fulfil a contract be handed over to you or a third party in a commonly used, machine readable format. If you should demand the direct transfer of the data to another controller, this will be done only if it is technically feasible.
Within the scope of the applicable statutory provisions, you have the right to at any time demand information about your archived personal data, their source and recipients as well as the purpose of the processing of your data. You may also have a right to have your data rectified, blocked or eradicated. If you have questions about this subject matter or any other questions about personal data, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time at the address provided in section „Information Required by Law.“
You have the right to demand the imposition of restrictions as far as the processing of your personal data is concerned. To do so, you may contact us at any time at the address provided in section „Information Required by Law.“ The right to demand restriction of processing applies in the following cases: In the event that you should dispute the correctness of your data archived by us, we will usually need some time to verify this claim. During the time that this investigation is ongoing, you have the right to demand that we restrict the processing of your personal data. If the processing of your personal data was/is conducted in an unlawful manner, you have the option to demand the restriction of the processing of your data in lieu of demanding the eradication of this data. If we do not need your personal data any longer and you need it to exercise, defend or claim legal entitlements, you have the right to demand the restriction of the processing of your personal data instead of its eradication. If you have raised an objection pursuant to Art. 21 Sect. 1 GDPR, your rights and our rights will have to be weighed against each other. As long as it has not been determined whose interests prevail, you have the right to demand a restriction of the processing of your personal data.
If you have restricted the processing of your personal data, these data – with the exception of their archiving – may be processed only subject to your consent or to claim, exercise or defend legal entitlements or to protect the rights of other natural persons or legal entities or for important public interest reasons cited by the European Union or a member state of the EU.
We herewith object to the use of contact information published in conjunction with the mandatory information to be provided in section „Information Required by Law“ to send us promotional and information material that we have not expressly requested. The operators of this website and its pages reserve the express right to take legal action in the event of the unsolicited sending of promotional information, for instance via SPAM messages.
The provider of this website and its pages automatically collects and stores information in so-called server log files, which your browser communicates to us automatically. The information comprises: The type and version of browser used, the used operating system, Referrer URL, the hostname of the accessing computer, the time of the server inquiry, the IP address. This data is not merged with other data sources. This data is recorded on the basis of Art. 6 Sect. 1 lit. f GDPR. The operator of the website has a legitimate interest in the technically error free depiction and the optimization of the operator’s website. In order to achieve this, server log files must be recorded.
If you contact us by e-mail, telephone or fax, your request, including all resulting personal data (name, request) will be stored and processed by us for the purpose of processing your request. We do not pass these data on without your consent. The processing of these data is based on Art. 6 para. 1 lit. b GDPR, if your request is related to the execution of a contract or if it is necessary to carry out pre-contractual measures. In all other cases, the processing is based on your consent (Article 6 (1) a GDPR) and/or on our legitimate interests (Article 6 (1) (f) GDPR), since we have a legitimate interest in the effective processing of requests addressed to us. The data sent by you to us via contact requests remain with us until you request us to delete, revoke your consent to the storage or the purpose for the data storage lapses (e.g. after completion of your request). Mandatory statutory provisions - in particular statutory retention periods - remain unaffected.
We collect, process and use personal data only to the extent necessary for the establishment, content 5 / 7organization or change of the legal relationship (data inventory). These actions are taken on the basis of Art. 6 Sect. 1 lit. b GDPR, which permits the processing of data for the fulfilment of a contract or pre-contractual actions. We collect, process and use personal data concerning the use of our website (usage data) only to the extent that this is necessary to make it possible for users to utilize the services and to bill for them. The collected customer data shall be eradicated upon completion of the order or the termination of the business relationship. This shall be without prejudice to any statutory retention mandates.
We share personal data with third parties only if this is necessary in conjunction with the handling of the contract; for instance, with the financial institution tasked with the processing of payments. Any further transfer of data shall not occur or shall only occur if you have expressly consented to the transfer. Any sharing of your data with third parties in the absence of your express consent, for instance for advertising purposes, shall not occur. The basis for the processing of data is Art. 6 Sect. 1 lit. b GDPR, which permits the processing of data for the fulfilment of a contract or for pre-contractual actions.
If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter offered on this website, we will need from you an e-mail address as well as information that allow us to verify that you are the owner of the e-mail address provided and consent to the receipt of the newsletter. No further data shall be collected or shall be collected only on a voluntary basis. We shall use such data only for the sending of the requested information and shall not share such data with any third parties. The processing of the information entered into the newsletter subscription form shall occur exclusively on the basis of your consent (Art. 6 Sect. 1 lit. a GDPR). You may revoke the consent you have given to the archiving of data, the e-mail address and the use of this information for the sending of the newsletter at any time, for instance by clicking on the „Unsubscribe“ link in the newsletter. This shall be without prejudice to the lawfulness of any data processing transactions that have taken place to date. The data you archive with us for the purpose of the newsletter subscription shall be archived by us until you unsubscribe from the newsletter. Once you cancel your subscription to the newsletter, the data shall be deleted. This shall not affect data we have been archiving for other purposes.