Sami Mälkiä - Personal Biography
Sami had his first taste of Ashtanga in 1999—and found the vinyasa system to be so natural and so invigorating that, after just one sweaty class, he felt a couple of inches taller and several grams happier. He dove headlong into Mysore practice with Juha Javanainen and Petri Räisänen whilst also grabbing every opportunity to practice with Lino Miele, who came often to teach in Finland.
It wasn't long before Sami began traveling to India for periods of intense study with Lino and Lino's teacher, K. Pattabhi Jois. Inspired by Guruji, Sami started assisting at the Astanga Yoga School in Finland in 2001. He also began assisting Lino's retreats in Finland and India, an experience that shaped Sami into the skillful and sensitive teacher he is today.
Throughout the years Sami has demonstrated a commitment not only to his students but also his personal practice. Along with maintaining a daily asana practice, Sami cultivates subtlety and depth through pranayama. He believes practicing asana to the rhythm of your breath, ideally in a Mysore setting, allows you to go deeper and enables the body to open. "It's all about being aware of one's breath," he says. "It's about cultivating gratitude in the present moment."
Fueled by a growing enthusiasm for yoga, Sami began accepting teaching jobs around the world (Paris, Chicago, Yokohama, Manila). His most recent position was as resident Mysore teacher in Oslo, Norway (2011-2014), and now Sami teaches in Helsinki and around Europe. Sami has practiced pranayama with Sri O. P. Tiwari at Kaivalyadham Yoga Institute, India since 2009 and has also been assisting Sri Sudhir Tiwari at his workshops in Scandinavia.