About us


Yoga Association Auki ry

The association behind Auki Yoga School welcomes new members! For the membership fee of 25 €/year, you will be eligible for a (one-time only) discount of 25 € for any card (10 classes or monthly pass) purchased at the school. Of course, you also get to have a say in our activities and the opportunity to get to know other yogis!

The activities of the yoga school are the responsibility of Joogayhdistys Auki ry. The association is open to everyone. We encourage the active participation of all members and welcome new ideas and suggestions.

Contact us at aukijoogakoulu@gmail.com

Auki Yoga School

Learn and practice Ashtanga, Shakta and Yin Yoga, mantras and meditation in the serene atmosphere of Auki Yoga School in Kaleva, Tampere. The instructors at the school are (from the left) Risto Suikkanen, Meri Tiitola, Frank Kappas, Johanna Ropponen and Johanna Nokireki (not pictured). Our main focus, irrespective of the type of yoga practised, is on bringing joy, health and balance though yoga.

We use the traditional tools of yoga: meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises), and asana (the physical practice of yoga). The roots of the more dynamic Ashtanga Yoga are in the form of yoga developed by the “father” of modern yoga, Tirumalai Krishnamacharyan, and his student Pattabhi Jois. Shakta Yoga is part of Kaula Yoga (Kaula is Sanskrit and means, among other things, a system and a whole) and represents a more traditional form of yoga.

We continue to explore the history of yoga and the interface between traditional and modern yoga, the formation of the new from the old, as it gives us a better understanding of why we do what we do. Even though we rely firmly on tradition, we are also open to learning new things and adopting new ways of looking at yoga both as a physical and a mental practice.

Om shanti, shanti, shanti

Photo: Tommi Natri


Frank Kappas

“I thought I would do Ashtanga until I could sit with my back straight. I was so stiff back then and thinking how it was really easy for me to run 10 kilometres but so hard to stop and stretch for a bit. In fact, it was not until I started Vipassana meditation that I realised how important it is to calm the mind. The restlessness was gone. It felt like I had found what I had been looking for.”



One of the experiences that have really stayed with me was when I met Lino (Miele) at a workshop in Solhanga, Sweden, in 1998. During that week in Solhanga I felt very strongly that I would devote my life to a path of yoga. Lino became my main teacher, towards whom I feel deep respect and gratitude. In addition to Lino, the warm-hearted presence of Gwendoline Hunt and the inspiring attitude of John Scott have also had a lasting impact on me.

I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to practise yoga with Sri Pattabhi Jois in India. In India I could sense a pure and intense yogic energy and atmosphere.

I took my first course in Vipassana meditation in 2002. I understood how important it is to calm the mind and consciousness. I was inspired by meditation and it became a natural part of my practice.

I have always found it fun and motivating to teach Ashtanga Yoga. It gives me the opportunity to share my experience and see the change in the yogis.

In recent years, I have been lucky to meet some excellent teachers, such as Eddie Stern. I have also had the pleasure to work with Meri Tiitola, who is tremendously skilled in teaching mantras and recitation.

It is clear to me that I still have a lot to learn and, for each of us, the foundation for each new discovery lies in the person’s own practice.


Johanna Nokireki


Yoga entered my life in the early 2000s, when, on a couple of occasions, a sciatic nerve entrapment made me lose control of my legs. Even though the problem was gone soon after starting yoga, I drifted away from my practice.

In the last few years, my yoga path has, on several occasions, veered to India, even though Auki Yoga School, my current yoga home, has recently proved an equally important place of study.

I began teaching yoga at the Tampere Ashtanga Yoga School in 2015. Before this, I did a RYT 200 yoga instructor training in India, focusing on Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga and Pranayama. I have since trained as sports masseur.

My studies have brought a great deal of joy both to my practice and my teaching of yoga. A deeper knowledge of the human anatomy and body awareness have allowed for more experimentation and playfulness and contributed to a way of thinking where yoga is meant to serve the yogi – it can have very different meanings in different life stages. For me, yoga is fun, empowering and therapeutic.


Johanna Ropponen

Photo: Tommi Natri

“Before yoga, I suffered from back pain related to hypermobile joints and unhealthy postures. With the help of yoga, I managed to be free from them. After starting yoga, I have also recuperated from two major operations – the reasons for which are unrelated to yoga – so well that both the surgeons and physiotherapists have expressed their surprise.”



I have taught Ashtanga Yoga since 2016 – first in Rovaniemi and now in Tampere. In winter 2017-18 I spent five months in Mysuru in India. I completed an intensive training in the instruction of both the primary and the intermediate series under Masterji (M. S. Viswanath) and practised both asana and pranayama (breathing exercises) six times a week as is traditional.

I also utilise mindfulness techniques in my day job as a psychologist.

My own yoga path started from the need to fix some long-term issues with my back, and these issues have since been resolved through yoga. As a yoga instructor, and in my own practice, I value respect to tradition, but also a sufficiently relaxed approach and accounting for the specific needs of each student.

Risto Suikkanen

Photo: Tommi Natri


I started practising yoga in the last years of the 20th century. A couple of years later I started teaching Ashtanga. I continue to practise and teach Ashtanga today.

Soon after starting, it became evident to me that Ashtanga is a relatively new form of practice that evolved in a specific historical and political situation, with a somewhat problematic relationship to its own roots. This has led me to study the history of yoga to try to understand how and why different forms of practice have developed and why people opt to practice within certain traditions. As can be expected, this has been a lot of work, and the work will remain unfinished. As I understand, the history of yoga offers a great number of tools, the knowledge of which would benefit most of us in our efforts to be and feel our best as we navigate changing life situations (and support others in doing so).

“At the end of my first asana practice, I was flying high. My senses were open, and I was able to see everything from a greater perspective. The feeling does not prevail, but something about it stays with you. Life has more light than it would otherwise. Everyone has their own experience of life, lighter or darker, but you can adjust that (a little) through yoga.”

Meri Tiitola

Kuva: Anne Lehtinen


Singing teacher and mantra yoga instructor

I love the human voice and working with it. It is important to me that everyone can enjoy their own voice and its positive impact on our wellbeing. I have graduated from the Department of Folk Music at the Sibelius Academy and studied the recitation of mantras for several years with Indian teachers.

tel. 358504447021
e-mail: meritiitola@yahoo.com

"For me, reciting mantras has brought on a new attitude towards my own voice. I no longer react to things the way I did before. When I would be playing, for example, and someone would sit beside me and look at what I was doing I would get bewildered. The tension has disappeared, because mantras aren’t sung for other people’s ears, but the aim is to stop the movements of the mind, similarly to meditation."


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