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. There are plenty of yoga teachers out there who have trained at places like yoga teacher training bali, so you know you’ll be in good hands.
Having started my yoga journey a year ago, yoga has become a big part of my life. Yoga is fantastic and on top of that ketosis and yoga go hand in hand! For me, practicing yoga alone at home was out of the question. Nonetheless, I don’t have anything against people who practice alone at home. I understand that doing yoga at home offers a closer sense of solitude and calmness. I have always been fascinated by how they wear High waisted yoga shorts, use their yoga props, and do the asanas while appearing relaxed and at ease. To me, though, I’ve always needed a place to go with my mat, 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.
For me, finding ways to practice yoga solo involved doing a lot of research. For example, one way that you can help to focus your mind involves using ancient Chinese tools like jade or yoni eggs. In case you are unfamiliar with these revolutionary gemstones, a jade or yoni egg is a crystal that has been specially designed to be inserted into your vagina. It is believed that using a gemstone in this way can help to tighten your pelvic floor muscles while at the same time allowing you to take on the powerful spiritual energies imbued within the crystal itself. Moreover, there are a lot of people who claim that jade or yoni eggs can help you to focus your thoughts on a place deep in your core so that you can achieve an enhanced sense of mindfulness. I suppose what I am trying to say is that practicing yoga solo is all about finding what helps you to stay calm so that you can focus on your mind and body.
Anyway, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.