Meet your yoga teachers: surfing and yoga is what they love and know best. Donovan and Yvonne are licensed surf coaches and certified yoga teachers. Together, they design surf and yoga retreat and yoga experiences, that draw from their in-depth knowledge and first hand experience of the life of surfing yogis, real water people and earnest yoga practitioners.

“We love the ocean, yoga, surfing, meditation and being close to nature. We savor the moments of warmth, laughter and friendship. This allows us to be really present and feel completely alive.”

This is what Apura Yoga is all about and shares with the amazing people on Apura Yoga Retreats. Come and be a part of it!


Donovan Longaker, Surf and Yoga Teacher Meet your yoga teachers: Donovan Longaker
Santa Cruz, California – Meditation, Yoga and Surf Instructor

Donovan has grown up in a Tibetan Buddhist environment since the age of four and has met some of the greatest spiritual masters of our time, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Due to these amazing influences he has been practicing and studying meditation for over 2 decades and has completed a traditional three year Buddhist retreat in the south of France.

After seeing the benefits of self-discipline and exercise, Donovan had begun to incorporate Yoga into his life over 20 years ago. He is Yoga Alliance certified and has been teaching yoga since 2007 in retreats and yoga studios.

Growing up in Santa Cruz, California, one of the premier surfing capitals of the world, surfing became a way of life for him. He loves the ocean and all ways to surf its waves, but is a long-boarder at heart.

Meet your yoga teachers: Dr. Yvonne Stolz-LongakerYvonne Stolz-Longaker, PhD, Surf and Yoga Teacher

Germany, Surf Coach, Yoga Teacher, systemic Coach

“Everything changes – yoga stays. No matter what one experiences in life, there is always the chance of getting onto the mat and reconnecting the mind to the body, feeling the ebb and flow of the breath and becoming calm and centered.”

Yvonne has been practicing since the late 90s. Mainly Vinyasa Flow, Kundalini, Hatha and Restorative Yoga. The asana practice has opened the doors to a more profound meditation practice. She is a certified Yoga Teacher, surf teacher, systemic management/life coach and mother of a sweet girl.


What is Yoga?

The word yoga is Sanskrit and means to unite, to join, to connect. “Yoga may be anything that gives you a sense of unity” (T.K.V. Desikachar).

Yoga has its origins in the Indian Vedas. Patanjali, an Indian sage compiled the ancient oral wisdom into the Yoga Sutras.
They describe yoga as a way of life that consists of eight limbs:
1. YAMA – the right speech, action and thoughts
2. NIYAMA – discipline in action and conduct towards ourselves
3. ASANAS – physical postures of Hatha yoga
4. PRANAYAMA – the control of the breath
5. PRATYAHARA – the withdrawal of the senses
6. DHARANA – concentration of the mind
7. DHYANA – meditation with a one-pointed focus
8. SAMADHI – arriving at the natural state of mind, illuminated state of absorption.

In the West often only the physical postures (asanas) are associated with yoga. But yoga is actually a state of mind. Arriving in the present moment: non-distracted by thoughts and emotions. Being attentive to what is happening around us, experiencing the pure essence of your being – that is the state of yoga. Often, sports like surfing or being in nature can put us into that state automatically. Many people in the west refer to it as flow. Why is it desirable to attain that state? Because it is a “means by which we can make the changes we desire in our lives” (T.K.V. Deskachar)

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