Friday, April 1, 2011

Yoga in Brazil

I've always been a pretty big yoga-doer (I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a Yogi but hey, you feel free).  Trouble is, I haven't really found any serious yoga here that really appealed to me.  To be fair, I've only tried about 4 different classes.  But doing yoga in Brazil really made me realize something... 

Part of why I love yoga is the encouragement and language used to help you deepen your movements and breath.  And, well, yoga in Portuguese doesn't have quite the same effect!  Especially when I really don't know the specific yoga language in Port and I was constantly turning my head to see what everyone else was doing.  Little hard to relax like that. 

So I was a bit turned off of even finding a class here (that and the yoga at the gym was not at a convenient time for me).  I'm not so into pilates (and they have lots and lots of pilates here) so basically I just gave up on yoga.

Recently we joined the gym close to our house and I tried the yoga class there.  It was so totally against all yoga principals that I believe I actually stopped in the middle of the class with a look of pure horror and just stared at the seemingly sweet little instructor.  Seriously, I couldn't believe it.
She was acting as a drill sergeant, screaming out "encouragement", no flow, no focus on breathing, all show.  If you're interested in the principals of yoga, this is a good article.

So, it really got me thinking back to the yoga I enjoyed in the past.  The effects of yoga had been innumerable for me.  Physically and mentally I felt connected and strong.  I used to do this this ridiculously amazing video with my favourite yogi Eoin Finn.  You can find the video available for sale on amazon here.  Seriously, eez best maan.  Anyway, something had to be done about the lack of yoga in my life.

Unfortunately I left my copy of the video at home though so in a very non yoga way, I looked for some pirated videos.  I found one called Power Yoga with Rodney Yee, another great instructor.  Then I went and bought a yoga mat.  The brand I bought is called Body Up and I got it from the gym in New York Shopping in Barra.  It is AWEESOMMMMEEEEEE.  Like, I was ridiculously happy just because of this mat.  A little pricey at R$95 but it came with a case and it's a nice colour.  It has excellent grip and has the Om symbol at the top as a guide for your feet.


So the moral of this story.  Tonight I did my yoga class in my living room with my new mat.  Do you ever do an activity that makes you so happy that you just smile involuntarily all the way through?  It was just that good.  The only other two activities that make me do that are Zumba and Body Jam.

Finally, if you are interested in a yoga studio in Rio, I found this yoga network that mentions all of the studios associated with this Registered Yoga Association.  Here you go!

Have fun and namaste :)


  1. I have a good friend who is an American yogi who practices here in Rio. Her website is

    She also does kick ass yoga retreats.

    Anyway, I guess it's a close enough network. Maybe she can recommend someone near you? That or she teaches here in Zona Sul...

  2. Gooooooooooooo yoga! I wish I was atthe class with the military teacher. We would have been laughing our butts off! :)

  3. You have almost inspired me to start doing yoga. ALMOST. Nothing gets past my impenetrable barrier of laziness.

  4. what's zumba? im visiting the US finally in June and my mom said "oh you are coming with me to the gym for zumba" ok sure! i figured its a dance class...i've never been able to get into yoga. tried classes at gyms and even a credit class at my university, but it just never did it for me. but i do need a yooga mat! im a distance runner and my embarrassing lack of stretching is killing my arse. too hard to stretch on tiles...will buy one at Target in June!! :D

  5. If you are into the power yoga, you should try Matthew Wollner who teaches at Sauer Danca near Jardim Botanico (rua Lopes Quintas)...he's the most respected Astanga teacher in Rio and he's amazing. If you want something infinitely more internal, than I can also vouch for kimberly, she rocks as a yoga teacher and a person.

  6. yeeesh, I'm behind on my comment responses. Sorry! Rach, thanks for the site! I'll check it out for sure.
    Danielle, just do it! I swear on my right arm you'll like it.
    Anna my love we would have such a good time in that other crap class until we really realized that it's pure crap and its' not funny anymore.
    Mal, ZUMBA is amazing. That's all you need to know. And yes it's dance but it's not 'just another dance class'. I promise you this.
    Tasha, awesome!! I love the power yoga yes. But infelizmente I live nowhere near Jardim Botanico. :( But I really appreciate that tip...


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