- Chang Mai, Thailand
Gernot has been practicing and studying yoga since 1996, when a co-worker at his Silicon Valley startup offered to teach him Ashtanga vinyasa and pranayama in the spare conference room during lunch breaks. When he quit high tech two years later and took a career counseling class to figure out what to do with the rest of his life, he clearly remembers thinking “Perhaps I should be a yoga teacher”, only to immediately dismiss the idea as preposterous: “You are too lazy, too fat, and not athletic enough to teach yoga!” It took another 10 years, a traumatic breakup, and the stress of being in grad school at Cornell University to make him realize that yoga was no longer optional in his life. He defended his thesis on the correlation between wing shape and migration distance in swallows in April 2009 and in June 2009 completed his yoga teacher training. He has been teaching yoga full time ever since.
His yoga background includes Anusara, Iyengar, Forrest, Kripalu, and Ashtanga Yoga. His main influences include Erich Schiffmann, Richard Freeman, Desiree Rumbaugh, Ana Forrest, Roger Cole, Doug Keller, Carlos Pomeda, and Richard Miller. Born in South Africa and raised in Germany, Gernot has spent over 20 years in the United States and is now based in Thailand, while teaching workshops and retreats in Asia, Europe, and now the US. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University.
In his teachings, Gernot draws on a broad range of life experiences that includes working in Silicon Valley, traveling extensively in Asia and South America, volunteering for anti-globalization and alternative-transit nonprofits, making salads in a restaurant in San Francisco and baking pies for a café in Chiang Mai, conducting biological fieldwork in California’s Sierra Nevada and Argentina’s Pampa, and teaching wildlife monitoring to inner city youth. He loves cooking, eating, bicycling, and wilderness travel, and practices monkey acro yoga with his two young sons.