Innsbruck Yoga Summit – August 3-5, 2018

Not so long ago I realized the importance of connecting to others and helping each other out any way possible. Originally a full-time book worm, super sensitive introvert, and a kind of person who just gets headaches and panic attacks in big gatherings, I pushed my comfort zone boundaries with the Berlin Yoga Conference waaay beyond my limit. Yet, in the process, I came to understand that connecting to other like-minded people, nurturing friendships, and using any opportunity to life each other up (rather than drag each other down) is what gives us a meaning in life and what makes us truly happy.

So this is how I met Moni Brachmayer, a very special, strong yet kind, powerful yet compassionate, down-to-earth yet visionary woman, yogi, teacher. She is the co-organizer (together with Helene Krainer) of the Innsbruck Yoga Summit that already runs for the third time this year. She shared with me her personal story via phone one day, and I was so inspired and excited by her example, that I had to follow up with this interview to present her story to a wider audience. Enjoy!

Moni Brachmayer, the co-founder of the Innsbruck Yoga Summit

Q: Let’s start with your yoga background: how did you start practicing yoga, how long has it been, and what has your teaching experience been like until now?

A: Actually my Yoga practice started at a gym, where I used to do Aerobics, Dance Aerobics and all kinds of these workouts. In these days I was very eager to “succeed in something” … in climbing mountains, in running (half) marathons, in being “slim” and so on. Life was about succeeding in something. Until that day or rather that period in time, when I realized… well, something is missing. I did reach all those mountain tops I wanted to, I did finish the half marathon, I did prove to myself that I could do this or that if I really wanted to. But after that, there was this emptiness inside. It didn’t satisfy me anymore and I was looking for other ways to feel good. So I stumbled into a Yoga class at the gym and I knew in an instant I liked it, the movements, the breathing… and I started diving deeper, finding a nice Yoga Shala and started practicing regularly. That was 10 years ago. Today I love to teach and share my thoughts, I love the look in my YogiNis eyes when I touch something deep inside, something they didn’t dare saying or even thinking about yet. My teachings are about love, leading a more spiritual life, about finding peace of mind and how this can heal the world. Because peace inside will lead to peace outside. Individually and worldwide.

Helene Krainer, the second co-founder & dear friend

Q: How did the idea to organize the Innsbruck Yoga Summit first come about?

A: The idea to organize a Yoga Festival in Innsbruck came from my dear friend Helene Krainer. She is one of the most gifted Yoga teachers I have came across so far. And she is full of “tapas” so she’s constantly spreading and sparkling with ideas and today I know it was only a question of time until she came up with the idea to organize a Yoga festival in the Alps. When she told me about her idea and asked me to co-organize it together, it didn’t take me a second to answer “let´s do it!” ;-).

Q: There are so many yoga events, festivals, and workshops… What makes Innsbruck Yoga Summit stand out? 

A: Our goal in organizing the Yoga Summit was to bring different Yoga styles and Yoga-related topics and workshops into Innsbruck and Tirol, which wasn’t the case until some years ago. There was only a certain number of classes you could visit and not much choice regarding styles. So we brought it all in! That’s what the Yoga Summit is today: 33 teachers from all around the world, more than 80 workshops and so-so much community!

FeetUp on the Mountain

Q: I can imagine the first year was the most challenging: what were your main difficulties and how did you solve them?

A: Hm… the most challenging. I can´t remember really! It was more about an overall excitement and  effort I felt, hoping we organized everything well, that all of our plans would work out, that all the teachers would arrive at the right time, that they would have everything they need, and that they would do their job well and most of all: that all the Yoginis and Yogis joining us would go back home after 3 days, feeling they have had an amazing, heart-opening and soul-shaking weekend, having gathered new insights, having learned something new, having met new friends, and most of all … were just happy.

Q: Now that the Innsbruck Yoga Summit is coming up on 3-5 of August, and it’s your 3rd year already, what are the highlights of this year’s edition?

A: Again we have an incredible line-up with teachers from all sorts of backgrounds, from all over the world and so many styles. We are happy to welcome the most popular teachers and a lot of good musicians! One of our highlights will be an Acro-Yoga session on the Seegrube, which is high above the city of Innsbruck, in the mountains, 2000m high and another heart-opening kirtan on Saturday evening!

Heart-opening kirtan

Q: You are one of the most friendliest, kindest, and open-minded yoga festival organizer/business owner that I came across. Unfortunately, there are not that many people like you in the yoga industry… Why do you think this is the case?

A: Oh dear, that´s very kind of you to say and I can only give that back! Well, to be honest… I don´t really know!? I understand, that beside doing Yoga and trying to lead a good Yogi-style life we all have to earn a living. And it is not disgraceful to earn money, not at all. But still, as somebody who sees him/herself as a YogiNi, one should also act like one. I like this saying: “In a world where you can be anything… be kind!” It is so true! I appreciate so much that the Berlin Yoga Conference and Yoga Summit Innsbruck cooperate and support each other! This is the only way to be – not just in Yoga “business” – everywhere! Create community, come together, help each other. It will all come back to you.

Q: As a yogi, teacher, and yoga business owner, what words of wisdom would you give to the following people: a yoga practitioner, a yoga teacher, and someone who would like to start their own yoga business?

To the Yoga practitioner:  Yoga is 90% theory, 10% practice.  And never forget:  Yoga is not about touching your toes, it’s about touching your heart.

To the Yoga teacher: Stay humble and never stop being a student.

To a Yoga Start-up Owner:  follow your heart, your dream, your inner voice… connect with others, cooperate and support each other. In the end… Karma will handle it all 😉

Final words:

Wow, what a brilliant interview! I personally learned a lot, and the most important things and ideas got re-confirmed. I hope you found a lot of value and inspiration in Moni’s story and do check out Innsbruck Yoga Summit Program for August 3-5 this upcoming summer – it will be an incredible experience – no doubt!