Yoga On the Road: My Yoga Journey Around Brazil

After a year living in Buenos Aires and practicing yoga, among other things, we headed for the open road to begin our travels throughout South and Central America.

I’d recently read an  interesting article in Wanderlust magazine called “Why Can’t I Practice Yoga Alone?” and I could wholeheartedly relate to what the author  says about the importance of having yoga community support and  a teacher to guide you through your practice. Having started my  yoga journey a year ago, yoga has become a big part of my life. For me, practicing yoga alone at home was out of the question. I always felt like I needed a place to go to with my mat,  have people around me and a teacher to guide me. With starting our road trip,  I was now facing the challenge of practicing yoga on the road, sometimes on my own with no teacher, no community, nor my structured weekly classes. For the first time, I was left on my own to continue my practice.

I’d decided that as hard as it might be, it was time for me not to be so dependant on a teacher or structured environment and start feeling comfortable practicing alone.  If I happened to find myself in a place where I could find a teacher or a studio I would go and enjoy the structure and comfort of attending a teacher lead class. However,  I  wouldn’t let the fact that I couldn’t  practice with someone disrupt my yoga routine.

On my travels around Argentina, Chile and now in Ecuador, I’ve managed to practice yoga solo.  Luckily, throughout my 3 months of traveling around Brazil, I  managed to do both: practice in different studios and complete my own yoga practice.

Traveling around Brazil was an amazing experience and in this post I want to share my yoga journey around Brazil, and the places I practiced solo or with a teacher.

Yoga Bliss, Rio

We stayed 1.5 months in the beautiful Ipanema neighborhood in Rio, so I had lots of time to work, do yoga and of course have fun in this amazing city. Yoga Bliss was the closest yoga studio to my airbnb flat and since I’d heard so many great  things about this studio I knew this was the place for me. It was hard at first to adjust to  classes conducted in Portuguese (I speak Spanish), but there are many similar words in Spanish, so eventually I got used to it.

What I love about yoga is that every teacher and every studio is different and teaches  you so much on  so many different levels. When I went to Yoga Bliss in Rio, I usually went to the Vinyasa flow classes, which were all great and inspiring with different and talented teachers. It was amazing how every class was different: different music, vibes, challenges.

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They also had Hatha and Power Yoga, and many interesting lectures, retreats and workshops with guests and teachers from all over the world. My most memorable  Vinyasa class was with the head instructor of the studio, Coaracy. At the end of the class during the Savasana, he  played a beatles song with his guitar and sang  I must say, it was so moving tears began to flow while I was laying there on my yoga mat.  It certainly was one of the best yoga classes I’ve ever had and taught me  that yoga really gets it out of you- it can release both the physical and emotional tensions.
I had an amazing experience in this lovely intimate studio and truly recommend it to anyone visiting Rio and looking for an authentic Yoga experience.

Búzios

Buzios was a lot of fun and we stayed in a few lovely hotels for the  week. Since our hotel rooms were so spacious, I had enough space to practice yoga by myself, even if it was just for 20 minutes each  day.

MarZen Yoga, Vila Velha

We stayed in Vila Velha for 1.5 months. This lovely coastal town is located in the Espiritu Santo region, outside the usual tourist route in Brazil and we were probably the only (or one of the few) tourists there. While here I went  the MarZen yoga and wellness center. This yoga studio was  a real gem and offered a number of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga classes. Rafael was an amazing teacher. His guidance and teaching methods made me so comfortable and motivated in every class. I was struggling to understand Portuguese and Rafael, kindly, began instructing the class in English to help me…His  Hatha classes  were completely  different than the ones I went to in Buenos Aires. Through these classes I learned new yoga poses and  new, beautiful yoga chants and mantras.

Barra Grande, Bahia

Barra Grande was one of my favorite places we went to in Brazil and Taipu de Fora was one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen! We stayed in a bungalow on the beach at DreamLand Bungalows, so we had a few amazing and super relaxing days in paradise. Besides swimming, drinking coconuts and soaking up the sun, it was the perfect place to practice yoga by yourself and meditate.

Capão, Chapada Diamantina, Bahia

We stayed in the small and charming village of Capão just for 4 days to explore Chapada Diamantina National Park, where we hiked up the mountains to see the famous Cachoeira da Fumaça and went  swimming in the beautiful Cachoeira do Riachinho. This hippie village was  full of pousadas, cute cafes, shops and last but not least,  Capoeira and Yoga retreats and centers. We stayed at pousada Tarumim which is located at the entrance of the village, surrounded by mountains and had a beautiful garden with hammocks, flowers, hummingbirds, and a lot of space to practice yoga.

20160114_145155 During these 4 days, I have been enjoying having time, place and energy to take my own yoga practice. After a long day of hiking I did my afternoon yoga session outside my room. Although I was a bit tired by the time we got back from the hikes, it was a great feeling to do the stretching and strengthening poses to release the tension in the muscles and to just relax under the sky, surrounded by nature.

Sao Migule Dos Milagres, Alagoas

Another paradise we found in Brazil was Sao Miguel dos Milagres, a fishing village, located on  the North coast of the state of Alagoas. Here we visited a few incredible white sand beaches and dreamy turquoise coral reefs. We stayed in a beautiful pousada called Peixe Do Mato located in the middle of the Jungle. They had a beautiful space to practice yoga, although most of the time I did my yoga sessions outside my bungalow on the porch, surrounded by nature.

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