Each month we feature an ambassador who inspires us, their students, and the community.


Eric Paskel, Ahnu Yoga Ambassador

"I wanted to bring yoga to the street," said Eric Paskel, a rock'n'roll personality in a normally quiet world of yoga. Eric is an energetic and unorthodox guy. His goal, one that people all over the world have discovered since his company, Yoga Shelter, was created in 2004 — was to prove that yoga can be moving, exciting, and relatable. His classes are a combination of bootcamp, dance party and group therapy. In 2004, he opened the doors of the first Yoga Shelter in West Bloomfield, Michigan and has continued to open a new studio just about every year since - serving more than 1 million students and counting.

Eric is a licensed marriage, family and child therapist, a certified sports counselor and a certified yoga instructor. He has been teaching yoga and conducting seminars at Yoga Journal conferences, nationally and internationally. He has also brought his brand of yoga to the Wanderlust Festival, Bhaktifest and to the Kripalu Center.

“It’s hard to live a life that no one else is living, but even more difficult to be part of the herd,” Eric says. "In the end, what I do is about bringing people together. My goal is to push them and me, a little further ahead. I want us to collectively think for ourselves and live the life we want to live”.

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
I became a yoga teacher in order to save my life! I am a person who must work with like minded people, who must serve and help in any capacity I can in order to save my ass. If my work helps others to save themselves then it's a huge bonus.

What are your future goals?
My future goals are simply to be less of an asshole and more of the whole. The business stuff is a means to have something to measure my growth as a person. I don't spend much time thinking how to grow as a brand or company.

What’s playing on your iPod right now?
Pink Floyd Animals, maybe their best album and certainly their most overlooked. There isn't a single hit yet each song hits me right in the heart. Just turned my 15 year old daughter on to it and she sees the light!

What advice would you give to someone just beginning to practice yoga?
What's like poison in the beginning is like nectar in the end! Be patient, if you’re looking for a quick fix or something you'll immediately realize you're in the wrong aisle. Yoga is for bad asses who are willing to go through hell to get to heaven.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you!
I am scared!