HLIN MAINKA JOHANNESDOTTIR
Born and raised in Germany I moved to Iceland in summer 1996 to start my education as a horse trainer and subsequently as a school teacher. In the meantime I gathered more than 20 years of experience in training horses. After having given birth to my two children I graduated from Holar University College (HUC), Iceland with an MBA in Tourism and Leisure. Following I had an appointment as a lecturer at the Tourism Department of Hólar University College. Driven by a strong desire to work with horses I enrolled for a Bachelor's program at the Dept. of Equine Studies at HUC with a major in 'Horse Training and Riding Instruction'. After graduating in 2013 I established a riding school at my farm during summers. During winters I had appointments at the Dept. of Equine Studies of HUC as a lecturer for the pedagogics of riding instruction as well as physio-training for riders. In addition I was engagaged as project manager for the publication of the Icelandic Riding Levels (Knapamerki). In 2016 I earned the official degree as a Yoga teacher. Combining Yoga with my classical education in Equine Science I teach riders to achieve a better and more efficient seat and to improve their communication skills with the horse. In my view an analysis of the biomechanics of rider and horse along with the right inner mindset of the rider are essential to gain physical balance and mental strength - the prerequisites for a natural communication between rider and horse.
I first felt attracted by spirituality in my early youth. Ever since I have been in search for the purpose of life as well as the experience of oneness between body, mind and soul. After having moved to Iceland, where spirituality for most people still is an integrated part of everydays life, I had the great opportunity to learn from various spiritual masters who guided and helped me settling into my new life. This spiritual guidance along with the life in a country with an overwhelming and sometimes very rough nature helped me to develop a more and more positive mindset and to keep balanced even in difficult times of my life. The biggest step in this process so far was a 200 hour training as a Yoga teacher which I completed at the Indian Yoga school Rishikul Yogshala as well as a 300 hour training for advanced teachers in the hometown of Yoga in Rishikesh, North India which I just completed. My experiences in India entailed that my old passion for horses now is accompanied by a new one, the passion of sharing my Yoga knowledge and skills with others. Teaching Yoga classes for children and women groups as well as special Yoga classes for riders made my life so much richer.