Swaha Yoga Center

With the ancient science of Yoga at its core, Shri Gaia Institute focuses on conscious evolution, while increasing our skills as professionals and practicioners

Instructors 5

Tanya Popovich

Tanya Popovich is a senior teacher, teaching 200-hour and 500-hour training, yoga retreats, and workshops internationally. She is the founder of Swaha Yoga Center in Athens, Greece. She is also a Jivamukti yoga certified teacher and a Yoga Acharya (master of yoga) in the Sivananda tradition with a long background in alignment-based Anusara yoga. While keeping her base at the moment in Athens, Greece, she is mostly on the road sharing the joy of yoga across the globe.

Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 (Jivamukti Yoga)

Echo Giesel Widmer

My name is Echo. I am a 500 E-RYT and have thousands of hours of teaching experience. My background is in Hatha, Vinyasa, Baron Baptiste Power yoga, Yin Yoga, Restorative, Sivananda influence, and Tantra. I have done multiple trainings with Shri Gaia Institute under the teaching of Tanya Popovich, and co-taught on multiple of her trainings. I have adapted the methodology and philosophy into my teaching and am so happy to be a part of the teaching faculty on this training. Like progression, my practice evolves as I do. Most of my teachings are quite fluid and I focus on alignment and breath.

Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 (Yoga)

Maria Macsay

Maria came to her mat as a form of cross-training in 2009 to help heal a back injury. What started as an interest in just the physical benefits of yoga, quickly shifted to a deep interest in learning more about yoga philosophy. Maria completed her 200-hr training with Swaha Yoga under the guidance of Tanya Popovich, her 300-hr training in India, and recently a Yin training. When she's not in NYC, Maria travels around the world assisting and teaching on trainings. Previously she has assisted Shri Gaia in Bali, taught alongside Tanya in Greece, and will be teaching on the next Bali 2019 course.

Portia Leigh

An avid interest in spiritual philosophy led Portia to study Eastern philosophies including the Vedas & the Bhagavad Gita in college. She began practicing yoga 10 years ago. Portia completed her 200 HR Hatha & Vinyasa YTT led by Tanya Popovich and went on to teach on the island of Koufonisia before returning to the states to teach in Florida & Los Angeles, California at Yogis of Hollywood. She’s also taught in Mexico, Bali & Sri Lanka. Soon after she completed another training with Shri Gaia Institute & Tanya Popivich in Bali and will assist Tanya on her next 200-HR Haha & Vinyasa YTT in Goa

Sissy Fragiadaki

Sissy is a founder of Social Yogis, a thriving yoga community in Athens, Greece. She studied with Lotus Yoga Academy, Swaha Yoga Center and Shri Gaia Institute. In addition, she is a graduate of Academy of Ancient Greek and Chinese Medicine, specializing in acupuncture, moxa therapy and lymphatic massage. This year Sissy will be assisting Tanya Popovich and Shri Gaia Institute in the 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training Program in Goa, India.

Reviews 9

Elienne De Vries

from Singapore, May 2018

"Best choice ever"

Phenomenal teachers, diversity of teachings and lectures, superb quality of methodology, lovely atmosphere amongst students, great location

Charlotte Freese

from Germany, May 2018

"Blissful Experience"

This Yoga Teacher Training exceeded my expectations in many beautiful ways. The hotel and food was very good and clean, a little monotonous at times but we have alternatives for every meal.

The teachers are the reason, why the experience was this wonderful. Their openness, empathy, relativeness, knowledge and warmth made everyone feel welcome and integrated by day 1.

Being with a group of people on the same path, even if the stories were different, made it feel like a family.

The schedule was tough but very reasonable and fairly split up.

Blanka Erhatic

from Slovenia, September 2018

"A life changing experience!"

Yoga teacher training by Tanya Popovich and her assistants Maria and Melina was a fantastic and transformational experience.

It was very challenging physically, emotionally and mentally, but only through hard work I was able to grow and completely transform my mindset in so many ways.

Training was led in a very responsible and professional way, with a deep, passionate yogic knowledge and attitude from all three dedicated and experienced teachers, who had in such a short time ensured to all the students to get equal attention at learning and gained quality knowledge of the skills to be a competent yoga teacher in the future.

All three teachers were very genuine, understanding and helpful, opened to all the students, their wishes, needs and ideas. Also the location was wonderful, peaceful and relaxing, with the shala with the beautiful view of the ocean, placed above a pretty, tiny beach.

Because of the sense of love, gratitude and understanding, floating in the air during all of these four weeks of training, I can feel the real significance of yoga and believe in myself more than ever.

I am forever grateful to all three teachers for all their support during this incredible life transformation, and I recommend Swaha Yoga Teacher Training to everyone. Because of the help of all these beautiful souls I believe in better world and nicer future.

Thank you girls and I really hope to see you soon! Namaste.

Katy Stephenson

from Great Britain, August 2018

"An amazing course where I met some wonderful people."

I've done yoga for a few years on and off but wanted to understand it more and the philosophies behind it. I chose this course for the content and the location and it didn't disappoint. The setting was beautiful and although I was staying in extra accommodation which was of less quality (which I had fully expected as this was communicated to me when booking), the accommodation did not hinder my experience.

The course was intense but interesting. It's been a long time since I've learnt this much material in the time allocated and due to the support of my fellow course attendees we got through it together.

I am so thankful and appreciative of the like-minded and kind-hearted people I met on this course. They made it all worth while and I continue my yoga journey with them.

Magdalena Vojáčková

from Czechia, August 2018

"Amazing transformational experience"

Amazing yoga shala and food, amazing and knowledgeable teachers

I loved the morning practises and very detailed methodology with a lot of modifications


from Denmark, August 2018

"I don't like being treated as an ill-mannered kid every day "

I liked the accommodation, the food, the surroundings, the staff, the schedule and the other students.


from Ireland, August 2017

"Pure magic"

I loved the balance between yoga asanas, and philosophy and yoga teachings. It felt really holistic, and I learned so much more than I expected. The teachers were amazing and the location is stunning.

Tamara Dukanac

from Switzerland, August 2018

"An overall wonderful Experience"

It was an overall beautiful experience with a lot of beautiful souls. The location was gorgeous and provided the perfect little space for yoga without any distractions. The training overall was very interesting and provided a good base. Philosophy was thought very in depth. I loved Methodology, which I think was the best part of the whole training. It was thought very detailed and I love that we learned how to sequence, cue and assist from the early beginning. Tanya has a lot of experience and knowledge to share and Malina and Maria were just the perfect addition to the training. Maria was such an inspiration and kept the training going strong.

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