My search for answers and first teachers
I was born in Southern Estonia (1962). My upbringing included developing a caring attitude towards nature and an engineering-type of approach to investigating life. Already from an early age I became interested in how things happen in nature, in the environment and with myself. This was the starting point that evolved into an interest to identify the root causes of our sufferings and find solutions to them. I had a lot of questions and no answers. So, I decided to go deeper.
My first experiences with Yoga date back to teenage years. A more systematic practice and empirical study of the inner world began in 1981. The 1980s and 1990s was a period of intense search. I visited many spiritual teachers in order to find answers to my questions. I learned and practiced martial arts (karate, kung-fu), naturopathy, different yoga styles (Raja, Buddhi and Agni Yoga), Dzogchen, Buddhism, Shamanism and the teachings of Castaneda. Driven by my quest to find answers, I also received initiations from Namkhai Norbu, teacher of the Dzogchen school; Chetsang Kyabgon Rinpoche, the head lama of the Drigung Kagyu school; as well as from Buddhist teachers Drubwang Rinpoche and Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche. However, I did not receive sufficient answers from those teachings either. So, I continued studying on my own.
Babaji Kriya Yoga as a path towards the ultimate goal
In 1992 I started teaching Raja and Buddhi yoga in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Courses became popular, attracting hundreds of people. In 1993 Lilleoru educational center near Tallinn was founded with my yoga students. There we tried and tested hundreds of techniques and methods over the years. I was looking for a holistic system, but some pieces were still missing.
In the early 2000s, I was initiated into Vedic knowledge by Sri Muniraj, leader of the Haidakhan Babaji's ashrams. In 2004, Durga Ahlund initiated me into Babaji's Kriya Yoga system, that originates from the South Indian Tamil 18 Siddhar tradition. In 2007, Marshall Govindan Satchidananda initiated me as the master teacher - Acharya - of Babaji's Kriya Yoga with the spiritual name Ishwarananda. By applying the knowledge, techniques, and realizations I received from these initiations into practice, I received insights that caused all of my previous knowledge to merge into a wholesome picture. This resulted in a realization about the blueprint of human nature. Through consistent practice, deepening and direct experience with reality I reached a point that in ancient scriptures is described as (re)discovering one's primordial True Self, attaining self-realization. This ended my search and answered my questions about "who am I?" and "why am I here?"
A new teaching emerges
Thereafter, I spent years developing a methodology that would help others to realize their true nature as well. I discovered that the biggest obstacle for my yoga students is their own autopilot - automatic activation of emotions and thinking. After investigating the process closer, I created methods that would enable them to decrease that automatic part and use awareness instead, transitioning to the new paradigm.
I simplified this approach further so that it became applicable also for people without any experience in yoga. This is how the five-part The Art of Conscious Change method and course series was formed in 2008. Since 2010 I have been receiving invitations to teach this method abroad - recently expanding into Russia in 2017 and the USA in 2018.
Due date I have been researching the inner sphere of humans for 35+ years, mainly using empirical methods known in yoga. Past 25 years as an awareness teacher have lead to valuable experience in guiding people on their paths. Of the two main teachings that I conduct, The Art of Conscious Change helps to elevate the quality of daily life and Babaji Kriya Yoga allows further deepening to open hidden potentials.
Starting the dialogue with academia and science
In 2016 a dialogue with academic researchers on an international scale began. For the first time I shared my empirical research results on awareness as the key to the sustainability transition. As part of a research colloquium on the emerging topic of personal sustainability, I conducted a workshop Awareness as the key to (Un)sustainability in July 2016 at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany.
The workshop was closely followed by an invitation to contribute as a co-author the trailblazing book “Personal Sustainability: Exploring the Far Side of Sustainable Development”, published by Routledge (2018). In April 2018 I participated at the international “Emotion Revolution“ psychology conference in Norway, where I presented my findings on human capacity and emotions during the poster session. In July 2018 several workshops titled "Personal Sustainability" were held during the "Wisdom of the Conscious Communities" conference in Lilleoru, where I proposed greater use of awareness to play a key role to achieve positive outcomes in personal sustainability.
Helping to advance education about the inner sphere
During 25 seasons of uninterrupted lectures and teaching, over 3000 public lectures and workshops in the EU and abroad have been given. In 2018 my first book “Emotions. Humanity's Biggest Addiction” was published, becoming a national bestseller. 2018 also saw the first book in English "Turning Point", that opens a radically different view to human nature and potentiality.