Ipanema’s Blyss Yoga
A well-established yoga center in Rio, Ipanema’s Blyss Yoga aims to make yoga available to anyone and everyone by making beginners up to advanced feel welcome through their abundance of teachers and variety of classes. It holds regular classes but also welcomes drop-ins for tourists on a short vacation or for those simply curious about the nature of yoga. It also occasionally gives classes on Ipanema‘s beach in front of Rua Vinicius de Moraes, offering one of the most outstanding backdrops for a yoga class. The classes often gather large crowds, with sometimes up to 40 people attending one class. These outdoor classes are free, hence the larger numbers of attendees. It’s not just the free entry that attracts the masses, though — the experienced teachers there offer quality yoga that will relax the body and the mind. Class dates are regularly updated on their Facebook site.
This yoga center played a central part in the development of yoga practice in Rio de Janeiro and still maintains an influential role with the majority of teachers in Rio having been taught or at least influenced by the founder, Professor Hermogenes. Hermogenes is described as a pioneer of yoga in Brazil, having writtens various works and receiving a doctorate in yogatherapy from the World Development Parliament in India. His ample knowledge and rich experience serves as the infrastructure to this yoga center, which is currently run by his grandson after his retirement in the 1980s and passing last year. There are no mixed classes here; separation of the sexes is mandatory to provide maximum concentration. As well as yoga, there are also meditation classes. The classes are pricier than other schools, yet the yoga experience is one of a kind.
These yoga classes are perfect for those that are interested in trying it out for the first time or those that have a short time scale in Rio. The classes welcome drop-ins just as much as they do regular attenders. All are welcome to these classes held at Espaco Akasha Humaita, including children. The owner, Mariana Soares, occasionally does outdoor classes at the serene Parque Lage, a natural haven in one of Rio’s most tropical neighborhoods near the Tijuca forest. Also offered are longer yoga weekends where yoga-goers can spend a couple of days in deep relaxation at the stunning Paraty. Classes at the space in Humaita are regular, yet outdoor classes are more random and can be confirmed on their Facebook page.
Held at the stunning Lagoa, these outdoor yoga classes open their arms to all ages, abilities and level of commitment. Held every Sunday around 4 p.m., these classes offer yoga based on the DeRose method, and the time of the classes gives students the chance to watch the spectacular sunset over the lake. The DeRose method is considered a lifestyle approach to yoga with a combination of various yoga techniques and concepts that have been drawn from historical yoga traditions. This group at Lagoa attracts Brazilians and foreigners alike, so it’s not only a great opportunity to practice yoga but a great way of meeting new people, too.
Yoga Surf School
This innovative concept combines yoga with surf classes at the beautiful beaches of Barra da Tijuca, an ideal surfing spot. As well as being obviously great for anyone with a love of surfing and yoga, it is also a possibility for those wanting to try surfing but have fear of doing so; the pre-yoga warm up puts students in a relaxed frame of mind. The classes begin with a half hour combination of Hatha stretches and meditation on the beach before entering the water for either surfing or stand-up paddle boarding. Many famous professional surfers mix yoga and surfing, such as Brazilian star Gabriel Medina. The idea is to get the surfers in tune with their natural environment and feel relaxed yet focused before entering the water. Days and times are updated on their Facebook site.
By Sarah Brown