Whilst Yoga has been sweeping the western world for over a century, the last 30 years have seen a real explosion of yoga practices to the extent that it’s become a part of daily life for many. Barack Obama’s urging in 2011 of all US citizens to make yoga a daily practice has brought the system of health and exercise to the forefront yet again. Today’s article by ShMadrid will tell you a bit more about the history of yoga and a few places where you can join yoga classes. Enjoy!
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History of yoga
Traditionally, Yoga is a Hindu spiritual discipline of living – of which the physical postures we now associate with the term yoga are only one part. The other components include breathing, diet, meditation – basically a complete life philosophy. In the west, we generally think of Yoga as the body part of the equation, and as such, yoga classes are offered by gyms, fitness studios and specialised yoga studios. Madrilenians (the people of Madrid!) have always embraced the new and interesting and are especially fond of sports and fitness, and as such, Madrid is a fantastic place to find all sorts of yoga classes. Here are some of the classes and courses on offer.
The Mysore Shala
The Mysore Shala teaches Ashtanga yoga, which can be described as the 20th-century version of classical yoga, in which postures and stretches are combined with breath work. This small independent studio (read: friendly and non-threatening) is located right in the heart of Madrid, close to Puerta de Sol. Group classes are €15, and instructors Tamir and Aimhoa offer private one on one tuition also – foreigners may do well to begin with a private session which can be conducted in English. (Plaza Conde de Miranda, 1)
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Yoga Center Madrid
Canadian Expat Westley Eckhardt founded Yoga Center in Madrid after more than 20 years experience in India studying with yoga masters. This centre offers classes suitable for beginners through to hardcore devotees, including teacher training, workshops and meditation courses. Great for the serious- minded pupil. (Calle de Serrano, 6)
The Natural Yogi
Those who know about Meetup.com will be unsurprised to learn that Madrid has a meetup group for outdoor Yogis. Teacher Eliza Coolsma leads yoga classes outdoors in parks and gardens across Madrid, so yogis can breathe and stretch in the fresh air. Create a Meetup.com profile to find out about upcoming meetups and workshops in Madrid.
Do you practice yoga regularly? Who is your favourite yoga teacher?