The Divine In Me Honors the Divine In You

divine yogaA little bit about myself, and why I want to serve as a yoga teacher

The start shot for my self-enquiry and inner exploration happened when I was trotting along the academic route toward high carrier ambitions. I fell ill while living and working in India, and looking back, this was one of the turning points and signs from the Universe telling me to seriously start a deeper introspection. I soon thereafter met the man I today call my life partner and he was the catalyst for the natural changes that my being had been anticipating and longing for. I called for ‘timeout’, quit my job and gave myself a year to find ‘the way back to myself’. My sole focus became what had so far only been a side activity of mine – yoga and meditation. Soon I realized that this ‘new’ focus and pace was not supposed to be only a phase – but the way to live my life. I have never been more certain about anything in my whole life. I had found the path. Since then I have dedicated much of my time to understanding myself, in order to better understand the world. I dedicate a lot of my time to seva, self-less service, as well as nurturing myself and other beings around me. I firmly believe in what Gandhi said ‘Be the change that you want to see in the world’, and I like what Osho said in that regard ‘Be, don’t try to become’. This is, in short, what I see as my life purpose. But just as much as others have been there for me along my path, I want to be there for others. Inspiring and guiding, motivating and supporting others – this is one of my main goals in life.

When the yoga-related changes in my life took place, I was already attending various types of yoga classes, all with the aim to find balance in the midst of the busy life I led. But I soon realized that this was not enough. While living in India, I took an intensive yoga teacher training (200-hrs of traditional hatha yoga, Sivananda lineage) in Rishikesh and soon after my first longer meditation retreat (a 10-day silent Vipassana retreat). Now I can proudly say that I have taken two 10-day silent retreats (on two different continents!) and absolutely loved the depth and insights it provided. It is not always easy to take such deep dives, but needed never the less. All introspection has led me to believe that the inner science is really where I should put my focus and it is through such introspection I can be of service to others, and by teaching the same.

Today my life revolves a lot around Seva, giving freely from my heart. Much of my focus goes toward eating habits and nutrition, as much as toward the ingrained attitudes and believes we hold. On a personal level I work a lot with conditioning and aspire to become as pure, radiant and enlightened as possible. My life partner is both a great teacher and companion in this quest, guiding and inspiring me through questioning and exploring the depths of our inner beings.

My background is in public health and while working in the field I realized that very little attention is placed on preventive medicine. This has been another reason why yoga and meditation took such a strong hold of my life. Since all this began, I have had a deep desire to share and explain what the yogic journey has given me thus far, so I started writing a book. The book itself contains portraits of people who have inspired me greatly along the way, who’s stories I feel need to be shared in order to inspire others to listen to their own hearts and values.

The book also contains recipes for a yogic and meditative lifestyle, as well as other valuable contemplative food for thought. I talk about the yogic philosophy, in relation to my own search and experience, which provides ideas on how to turn some of its values into ones daily life. It also serves as a photographic journey, to hopefully motivate others to start or keep up their own voyage.

Love, compassion, nourishment, energy, health and healing, perspectives, meditation, self-sustainability, heart space, mindfulness, thoughts words and action, conditioning, resistance, letting go, daily blessings, magic, awe and wonder, are just a few of the things that I contemplate daily. The book is a compilation of my thoughts and journal entries, photographs from travels, portraits of amazing people and other significant food for thought. I want to share how one can live the yogic values in our contemporary western world. All of the above, I try to mediate in my daily routine as well, from the smallest encounter to the deepest discussions.

I have jumped across oceans, lived on different continents (as a Swedish native) and I now find myself living deep in the mountains of Colorado, USA. Living as close to a contemporary sannyasin as I can, I find that life is richer than it has ever been. We live very simply, in our small camper, during the summer in our teepee, and most recently in a yurt. We do our daily duties in the woods and love cooking over open fire. I want to go back to nature as much as I can, learn the basics over again and learn about my inner being and light. Today I teach Hatha yoga in our little mountain town and also serve as a photographer and crafts maker, sister, partner, co-creator and fellow seeker of truth. Last summer my partner and I were photographers at the Telluride Yoga Festival and it was amazing to stumble upon a combination of two passions – photography and yoga – shared with him. We want to see ourselves as active co-creators of the yoga community and society as a whole. We want to see the world tuning more into holistic thinking and action. Our aspirations are high but also centered and deeply grounded. We want to see our fellow beings and Mother Nature thrive in co-existence.

Being of the sannyasin mindset, where money is not the primary focus but a side effect of our giving, another teacher training may sometimes feel very distant. Though I feel that now is the time. I usually try to emphasize to the students at the end of my yoga classes, that they need to treat themselves royally during their day ahead. I often give that as their ‘homework’. And with that I don’t mean that they should go home and splurge, but be mindful to treat themselves to what strengthens and nourishes their body, mind and soul.

By giving ourselves this, we can strengthen and inspire others, which in turn will empower our community as a whole. So, their homework is to do something that inspires and delights them. Whatever nourishment is needed, they are asked to accommodate the space and energy to whatever that may be. And I realize that this application for the advanced yoga certification is my own personal attempt to strengthen and nourish myself – in order to inspire and empower others to start, or maintain, their own path to expanded awareness.

And I want everyone to experience the revelation of the ultimate truth we all hold within. I highlight this kind of food for thought to my fellow yogis, but just the same do I try to practice what I preach. So, this entry is an attempt to open the next door on the path of my own spiritual evolution. I feel that the time is mature and that my heart is fully opened to new input and learning. I would love to dive deeper into the yogic sea of knowledge and to share that knowledge in my community to strengthen the whole.

My favorite yoga teacher and how they did inspire me

I truly see all the people I have met along my path as a teacher in one way, shape or form. Yoga is so much more than just asanas and I have been blessed with various teachers in all realms of yoga (meditation, self-enquiry, pranayama, yamas and niyamas, kirtan, diet and nutrition, devotion, seva etc). If we choose to see everyone as teachers and fellow co-creators, this world would be so much more harmonious. And we all have to learn from each other’s experiences to evolve as a species. I have been truly blessed with MULTIPLE inspirational and guiding beings crossing my path, as well as learned much from just looking within. We all are teachers, to ourselves and to others.

Why I would like to take a yoga teacher training course with the Tribe Yoga school

As I learn more about myself and more about yoga each day through my sadhana and through interaction with the world, I realize that my path has merely begun. There is so much more to the depths and I feel that it is time for me to share my journey with other yogis with the same ambitions. I feel that this kind of exchange will be nourishing and much appreciated. But most of all, I want to learn more about the prana, the chi, the life force, whatever you want to call it – the science behind all of life.

I realize now that this is the piece of the puzzle I want to investigate next and with the guidance from the teachers at Tribe Yoga. I want to explore the depth and the width of what they offer. Something about the school really resonated with me and that’s all I can explain. Synchronicity and timing has a lot to do with it and trying to read the signs from the Universe, now is the time and Tribe Yoga is the school for it!

How I plan to make an impact in the world as a yoga teacher…

My life has been guided to where I am today and I have full faith that with even more yogic wisdom under my belt, the situations where I can share what I learn through this advanced teacher training will be manifold. I already hold classes and I want to complete my book, and I will always continue to reach out to people who seek my guidance. Whatever is next will unfold. But what is certain is that I want to be a strong living example of someone who was on the ‘right’ path (according to our western society and thinking) and who took a u-turn into a simpler but richer life. I want to inspire others to have the courage to do the same.

There is no doubt that I am on the right path, now it is only a matter of diving deeper into my own practice after giving and serving a lot. There has to be a balance and this is what will be the focus of the next few steps of my own personal path. The training would give me the confidence to be more of myself and to radiate just that. I want to shine as an example and provide alternative ways of thinking, communicating and acting in our world. But the changes we want to see on a global level has to start with the individual, hence the advanced teacher training is the next step for me to take.

I sincerely hope that we will all find the balance and inner peace we strive for. And I hope to share my story as a reflection of a fellow yogini’s journey to find balance.

Lokaha Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu

May all beings everywhere be happy and free
and may the thoughts, words and actions
of my own life contribute in some way
to that happiness and to that freedom for all


2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay

By: Hanna Pernefeldt

If you liked this article and want them to win a free yoga teacher training, then make sure to vote for her by leaving a comment (scroll all the way to the bottom), and sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter. Each comment, Facebook, and Twitter share counts as one vote and you can do all three!

Are you interested in becoming a yoga teacher? Then visit our Yoga School Directory to find the right teacher training. Or, visit our Yoga Retreats page to explore beautiful yoga vacations from around the world.

Join the Conversation

  1. jyoti says:


    Hansa is my better half.

    I know some things she didn’t tell you guys… Like the times when she gets up in the middle of the night because she has a great idea for her book, then she can’t think of the word in English (because she’s Swedish) so she’ll wake me up.. After she’s vented, she ends up sitting in lotus until the sun comes up. Or the time when we were traveling through New Zealand and she spent most of our food money on Yoga books.

    Editors note: That’s awesome!!!

    Hansa eats sleeps and breaths all the limbs of the yogic lifestyle. Her focus remains outward even after she comes home from a day of teaching because cooking is her second passion. When she goes to visit anyone she always has something homemade in her hands waiting to be given.. While living in India she collected hundreds of beads from sacred temples and pilgrimage sites. In her spare time she makes beautiful necklaces, full of shakti, like a homeopathic remedy, called ‘No-mind Mala’s.’ All these things she give away. She works really hard, but most of the time makes it look easy..

    Please help vote for her, she really wants to continue this education and lifestyle. It in-turn would help lots and lots more..

    pass it on..


  2. Kristin Ramerman says:


    Your ability to selflessly help anyone who needs it is inspiring. To be connected to you has been a great blessing. Jyoti, a guiding light thank you for all you have given so many.

    Om Tat Sat,



  3. Shanel says:

    I am witness of the astounding light and love that imbeds Hansa, and her teachings! I know she would be the best choice for this opportunity as she has a lot to offer. From her travels, yogic practice, and lifestyle she truly embodies a higher soul. She looks to share love and light with whomever she comes in contact with. Choose Hansa!!!

    Best wishes and love!!!

  4. Aron wängborg says:

    Hansa –
    A true yogi, living in truth, connected by the roots and heart, spreading the light, a true inspiration and long time soul mate. All my best wishes!!

  5. Erin Quinn says:

    Very inspirational! I hope this opportunity allows you to explore even further into sharing love and light.

  6. Erin Brittain says:

    Hansa is a beautiful person…I cannot imagine anyone more deserving of this than Hansa.
    Good luck Chica!

  7. Hansa says:

    THANK YOU all wonderful beings and fellow yogis! You are all truly my guiding stars in life… You all hold a unique story and bring so much light. Without you I would not be where I am today…so no matter where this competition takes me – THANK YOU for your kind thoughts, words and supportive actions! Love you dearly…

  8. Ingrid Cordesius says:

    To me Hanna is a very special young woman. I wish she will have an opportunity to take part in this further journey! Love, Pyttan!

  9. henrik jonsson says:

    I can not imagine a better person or someone that in my view ombodies how I see yoga. To make it possible for Hansa to receive even a better understanding would be fantastic.

  10. Sach says:

    Good luck and I wish u mahAnanda (The Ultimate Bliss)

  11. M says:

    Hansa is great! She should win the competition!!!

  12. Rebecca says:

    I truly hope Hansa receives this scholarship. I had the opportunity to teach alongside her in Colorado, and her students felt blessed and nourished by her classes!

  13. Des says:

    Hanna’s tenacity, compassion, thoughtfulness and beaming light are just a few of the qualities that make her such a wonderful person and teacher. If she wins this scholarship, it will not only stoke the fire within her (providing momentum to her various creative pursuits), but that fire will also warm and cast a fiery glow on everyone fortunate enough to be in her presence, as she is a truly luminous, giving person.

  14. jaime says:

    So glad that Hanna is teaching my 1 and 1/2 year old yoga. A great person and teacher. love you hanna!

  15. shane says:

    Hanna is a wonderful person, amazing yogi and a great friend ! When we met years ago in Rishikesh India, she was already deep into her life path. A vibrant and vital human being !

  16. SAgar Luu Smith says:

    I met Hansa briefly during her travels in New Zealand. Though our interactions were few I have felt very touched and inspired by her positivity and commitment in the path of yoga and living with integrity.

    I strongly recommend that Hansa be grabbed with a big YES in response to her application!! The world needs more people with her light, energy and conviction and I believe that through continuing yoga training she will continue to expand in helping guide others to love living consciously!! I believe whatever ‘work’ she does, it will be done with love and integrity.

    I genuinely hope you choose Hansa for this Yoga Study Application!! I eagerly watch his space!!

    With Love, Aum, Prem and Best wishes,

    Sagar (Aotearoa, New Zealand)

  17. lina says:

    <3 <3 <3

  18. Tea says:

    Lycka till fina, någon vacker dag kanske vi ses i yogan, det skulle vara spännande. Allt gott. Kram Tea

  19. dave says:

    This one deserves it!

  20. Roberto says:

    All the best, Hannah!

  21. Carson Rutherford says:

    Hanna is a wonderful soul and the world would benefit from her sharing the philosophy of Yoga with others. Burn bright!!

  22. Bellis says:

    It’s our blessing to have You in our universe, wanting to spread all this love and light. All the best and good luck!

  23. Russell Fletcher says:

    Just be… it’s always the best choice. Much love and hugs to you, Hanna, and I hope that you are blessed by receiving the scholarship. If you don’t get it, I know you’ll still thrive. You are a pillar of peace. Take good care.

  24. Claudia O says:

    Hanna, your contribution to the program would be wonderful and I know you would do even more good in the world with the knowledge you gain from the program. All the best!

  25. Sadea says:

    All my love to you sister.

  26. Johanna says:

    Lycka till Hanna!

  27. Lovisa S says:

    Hejja Hanna, good luck! Kraaam

  28. Dick says:

    The right soul on the right challenge – good luck!

  29. AnnaKarin Linered says:

    Hanna gives me a lot of inspiration! Always stay true to yourself!

  30. Tove says:

    Hansa is yoga and natural lifestyle impersonated. Help her rich the life of others even more through this scholarship! Good luck Hanna!

  31. Carl Johan says:

    Hansa is so very special. All the best, Hannah!

  32. Sanna says:

    Of course you should get this. Hope to see you soon.

  33. Christer Mårtensson says:

    I know that you will be an active part in making the world a better place.

  34. Andre says:

    Couldn’t imagine a better, lovelier and more deserving person for this! Go Hanna! xx

  35. Rosemerry Trommer says:

    Beautiful Hanna,

    what a gift to read this and see your aspirations–your generosity and deep love for the world are so apparent. blessings to you

  36. Angela - Yoga of Devotion says:

    the training program will be blessed to have hanna! i cannot express what a beautiful soul she is. she’s genuine, the real thing, and will bless so many with this advanced training. Om tat sat!

  37. Jaime Watson says:

    Hanna would be FABULOUS for this – I truely hope she is selected. Go Hanna!!!

  38. kandra says:

    a lovely person and a lovely sentiment. best wishes!

  39. Ilkka Hautala says:

    Hanna. All the greatness to you!

  40. Oskar Pernefeldt says:

    As her brother I’m probably the most biased person on this wall. But I want to emphasize that we are so different in many lovely ways, and that I learn from her everyday.

    I live in stressful Stockholm and work in the hectic field of advertising. Life rushes by and I tend to forget to actually take in what’s happening. Hanna has taught me to stop and calm down. That I shouldn’t forget to live. To smile more and really show the people I love that I would give the world to them.

    And that’s the reason why I’m writing this, because I would give the world to Hanna.

  41. Julie Herbison says:

    Hanna, your love and lite, inspire and uplift, a true pioneer in teaching how we should live in this New Earth. Lots of love x

  42. Jennifer Burke says:

    I met Hansa when she was studying in Colorado. She had an amazing spirit about her unlike anything I had ever experienced before, in the short time I knew her. She is one special woman and really deserves this!

  43. Adrianna Santiago says:

    Wishing Hanna the beautiful opportunity to continue her growing as she continues her journey.

  44. Kirsten West says:

    Hanna – I have always know you have deserved this and I know you will be given it for all you give others. In love, light and the beauty that you are, love to you always,

  45. Em Stenning says:

    My beautiful girl- you deserve this opportunity for so many reasons but mainly for having such a beautiful soul. Reading your statuses definitely keeps me going and reminds me of those much needed mango and pomegranate breakfasts in the mad old world we used to live xxx

  46. Karl Shinn says:

    Hanna is a truly perfect candidate for this opportunity. Hanna is the real deal. She approaches everything she does with incredible intelligence, humility, and sincere dedication. I have seen her take on new challenges, such as moving to India to live and work, with a positive attitude and strong commitment rarely exhibited by people in such a genuine form. It is unusual to find people as trustworthy and reliable as Hanna. Her honest approach to life and her integrity are unparalleled. The kindness and concern that Hanna shared with me as a close friend, and that she shares with everyone she encounters, are pure and selfless. In addition to her having the necessary knowledge, skills, and dedication to teach yoga, I am confident that Hanna will make an excellent instructor simply because she has always been committed to enriching the lives of others.

  47. Kathy says:

    The quote “Be the change you want to see in the world” is something that I also strive for, and something that, in my opinion, Hanna truly epitomizes. Goodness and grace can be felt in her presence, and I believe she inspires many. Hanna is definitely deserving of this opportunity!

  48. Keri says:

    hanna, would benefit greatly if given this experience to enhance her yoga training. She is a great addition to the yoga community in Ridgway, CO.

  49. Katie Hill says:

    I can’t think of a person more deserving of this scholarship.

  50. Christyna says:

    This woman, Hansa~ she is filled with ASTOUNDING COMPASSION and LOVE. I am honored to be a witness to the continual unfolding of her wise and beautiful self. A teacher who has brought incredible insight and healing to my life, she is absolutely worthy of this scholarship. I pray she will be supported in all ways possible, and I trust she will accept this opportunity with humility, respect, and endless graditude. <3 <3 <3 <3
    Thank you for your brilliant and gracious heart. Abundant blessings dear one, may this path expand with ever-present ease and grace. Love and Light ~*~ HARI AUM! and so it is! xoxoxxx

  51. yanto egerö says:

    being a true sceptic to all “tree-hugging” activities, i still have to agree with most comments above; that I can’t think of any other person more suitable, competent or simply perfect for this yoga-delux level-up!

  52. Lucy Anderson says:

    Hanna, you are an inspiration!

  53. Joakim Schakonat Elfqvist says:

    I’m really sure that Hanna is going to be a great yogateacher and she had helped me in many ways in this aspect. So she’s really deserving this scholarship. Shanti

  54. Andrew says:

    Great essay Hanna. I enjoyed meeting you at the Ohui Retreat Centre and know that you are a sincere soul. Best wishes to you on your journey! Hari Om, Andrew.

  55. Atma says:

    Good on you Hansa. Keep up the good work! Aums, Atma.

  56. Shantimurti says:

    Glad to see that you are growing as a yogini. I enjoyed your essay and hope to see you again in New Zealand.

    Hari Aum,

  57. monika says:

    love this. go hanna!

  58. Karon says:

    Such a gentle spirit and such an inspiration. You deserve so much because you’ve worked so hard to earn it. God bless and continue to inspire you!

  59. phil says:

    I hope that this scholarship will give you an even greater opportunity to share the change in you with those around you and be a shining example of how to apply the principles of yoga to everyday life. Your dedication to becoming a yoga teacher is so inspiring and I wish you all the best. – [phil]

  60. sejal patel says:

    my dearest friend hansa is a pure spirit intensely passionately living a yogic lifestyle. it would be bad karma not giving her the possible divine opportunity, materialistically speaking scholarship :)

  61. Saga says:

    Good luck!!

  62. jennifer says:


    loved reading your essay! Good luck- <3

  63. claudia fantuzzi says:

    ive always remembering you touching my heart, im sure you will do it for everybody that can feel inspire by you. keep on trusting your yoga training

    much love

  64. Hansa says:

    Lycka till älskade syster, jag håller tummarna!

  65. Snulle says:

    Good luck Hanna, you deserve it!

  66. Monica Eisenman says:

    You deserve this Hanna! Puss och Kram!

  67. Sara says:

    Lycka till!

  68. Bhargav says:

    Awesome. All the best Hanna

  69. Sheila Manzagol says:

    Hannah, good luck. The world is brighter because you are here:)

  70. granatapfel says:

    love and light on your path!

  71. Kara Ananda says:

    Yes to Hansa!

  72. Martha Alderson says:

    Hi Hanna,

    I hope I’m not too late. I just now discovered the Messages section of FB — lame, I know — and stumbled across your request.
    Lots of love to your and your family.

  73. Kristen Long says:

    Good luck Hanna! You’ve just peeled another layer of the onion that is Hanna!!

  74. Kathy says:

    I hope you get the scholarship! You are a wonderful teacher and deserve it! Love and Light!

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