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Hello I’m John and I started teaching when I opened my first Yoga School in downtown Johannesburg in 1969.

Under apartheid South Africa, it wasn’t long before the school was shut down by the authorities. Working as a singer and music composer, I lived a lavish lifestyle, but found somehow something was always missing. My intrigue for eastern mysticism never dimmed, and with the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, sanctions barring South African’s from India were finally lifted, and hungry for knowledge, I went and lived in India as a western Sadhu.


In 2005, I met my Master through whose grace I was able to assimilate the knowledge and developed my passion for Upanishadic wisdom. Over the next seven years, in the town of Thiruvanamalai, I discovered that मोक्ष mokṣa, ultimate freedom comes not through exercise or meditating but through knowledge. Initiated in परा विद्या Para Vidya, told by my teacher to share what I have learnt, I have been travelling with the knowledge and sharing it ever since.


Calling what I teach इष्टम् ISHTAM, I use a traditional teaching methodology to deconstruct and break open the timeless secret of the Self hidden in upanishadic scriptures (शास्त्र sastra). Taught by India’s greatest teachers Sri Krishna and Adi Shankara, Self-Knowledge, आत्मा विद्या Atma Vidya, has been uplifting humanity and resolving the problem of human suffering for generations.




Lift the hood on the nature of happiness and bliss (satchitanandam) experienced in yoga and meditation



Rather than new ideas and beliefs, Self Knowledge challenges all our ideas and beliefs, leaving us with nothing but the truth of who we are.



Understand the meaning of Vedanta and its relationship to yoga


To question everything, questioning the very nature of our existence



Easy to understand examples from every day life that support the teaching methodology



A teaching style filled with insight, humour and depth


I asked John to come and teach on our training course not only because of his great reputation in his field but also because every interaction I have had with him has filled me with a sense that I have come to a better understanding of life simply by talking to him. John helped me and our students by simply explaining many complex concepts in a way that was fun yet without losing their depth. The result was we were all left feeling we had had grown as people after John’s lectures. One thing I liked was the way he really made his lectures enjoyable to listen to, he spoke from his heart and used our own personal experiences to elucidate his points. We all found our experience with John to be very rewarding, I would unhesitatingly recommend John to people who need  to understand more about the depth that life has to offer.

Simon Borg-Olivier

John’s lecture at AIRYOGA was very very inspiring – after class I tried to push every thought away and just be me – it was most relaxing (even in a terrible traffic jam I was smiling) and to be not caught up in a thought:) Thank you so much John. Can’t wait to have you back at AIRYOGA next year!

Dagmar Stuhr

John’s depth of understanding of Self-Knowledge and Advaita Vedanta and the Bhagavad-Gita are beyond compare. Even more beautiful is his ability to communicate or translate in an accessible way the meaning and nuances of these vast philosophies and texts. The sign of a true teacher is when he can share his knowledge in a way that inspires, helps us to understand concepts and ideas through our own deep knowing and experiences, as well as leave us with the desire to want to know more. John is this kind of teacher.

Jodi Boone

As a teacher of Self Knowledge John is really open to questions and discussions and has a seemingly endless pool of examples to help you understand the knowledge of who you are.  John manages through his in depth teachings to create a unique experience that brings you to yoga in a broader context helping you to find yourself and get a different view on your life.

Simone Sipply

John Weddepohl taught philosophy on my Yoga Teacher Training course in Goa. The students loved him and I’m impressed by his kindness and humility. He teaches in a way that dusts off the old manuscripts and brings the Gita to life off the page. As a lecturer, he brilliantly takes difficult concepts like Advaita Vedanta and renders them simple and comprehensible. He is a brilliant teacher of Self Knowledge and shares his knowledge in a way that inspires others. John’s Kirtan performances are filled with beauty and bhakti. He teaches with humour and compassion – a truly great soul.

Heather Elton

John has the ability to speak about the burning questions of life with a childlike wonder and fascination. By breaking down complicated philosophical teachings through the use of real world examples and stories, the lessons became easier to grasp. The stories also provided as much entertainment as learning value…we will never see ice-cream the same again! Our only complaint was not having more time to sit and learn from such a generous soul. We thoroughly enjoyed every moment with John and will take advantage of any opportunity to study with him in the future!

Simon and Lyndsay


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