Jacob Handwerker

About Jacob:

I’ve always been a mover and explorer.   When I was young the wilderness and physically pushing my body was how I found peace of mind and happiness.  Although I grew up in a vegetarian house and Yoga, Tai Chi, and Shiatsu were part of my vocabulary it took time for me to listen.

Eventually I discovered tools which took me on the inward journey and are more sustainable over the decades.  Ashtanga Yoga is a moving and breathing meditation while Vipassana meditation is a seated practice.  They are like two wings of a bird; when both are nourished power, grace, and compassion can be developed.  I also love sharing AcroYoga.  This community based activity blends the spiritual wisdom of Yoga, the loving-kindness of Thai massage, and the dynamic power of Acrobatics.

"Jacob has been my student for 12 years and assisted me at Ashtanga Lanka for five seasons.  He and I are in complete alignment concerning the practice.  He has wise hands and a compassionate outlook."  

When I was five my parents signed me up for kids yoga classes in New York City and also gave me the book, Be a Frog, a Bird, or a Tree.  The seeds of Yoga were planted, but it took some years of growth, wandering, and getting lost for them to sprout.

I dabbled with Yoga in my 20’s and always enjoyed the classes but never knew what to practice when I was on my own.  Looking back I realize that I was searching for a self-practice the whole time.

In the fall of 2005 a friend suggested I try a “Mysore” Ashtanga Yoga class.  It clicked immediately.  I loved the 1:1 instruction, the hands-on adjustments, and the sound and power of Ujayi breathing.

Two years after discovering Ashtanga I was at Burning Man and found AcroYoga.  Both of these practices have significantly shaped and influenced my life.   I’ve experienced many changes and growth, and I’m excited to share these powerful and transformational practices with you.

My primary Ashtanga teacher is Kathy Cooper, who began practicing in 1976.  Her light, energetic spirit, and passion for living fully is contagious.  I met Kathy when I was doing work trade at Ashtanga Lanka.  Kathy was the resident teacher and from December 2007 to the spring of 2014 we spent 3+ months together in Sri Lanka.  

I’ve also attended Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor’s one month Teacher Intensive.   Studying with them was empowering and very beneficial.  They are creative, insightful, and their knowledge and explanations of the Ashtanga practice and it’s subtle aspects is profound.  I hope I can share some of their wisdom in my teaching.

I have also studied in Mysore, India multiple times.  Once I had the special opportunity to spend an entire month studying “Yoga Mudras” with B.N.S. Iyengar one on one.  The Mudras combine a specific asana with a certain pranayama technique.   Mr. Iyengar had colorful stories to go along with each mudra.  This was a memorable experience I will never forget.


Some of my teachers:

Kathy Cooper
Kathy in Vrschikasana
Me with BNS Iyengar
Within the AcroYoga and Acrobatic realm I’m a certified Immersion teacher with AcroYoga International.  I’ve also studied with the Dutch couple Det & Jim.  They are like “the grandparents” of the recreational adult acrobatics which has seen a huge resurgence in the past 30 years.  It’s a joy to study with them and connect.
For more details contact me anytime.   I look forward to meeting you and sharing.
With metta, Jacob