I just LOVE to practice yoga in Cyprus.
Camel pose - Ustrasana
Cyprus is the perfect place to indulge in yoga, whether at home on the roof terrace with your own yoga mat (yes that's me in the picture opposite) or at one of the many classes available on the island.
I just love the energy created by your body moving in rhythmic flow to the sound of your breathing as you perform your vinyasas and it's even more energising with the warm sun on your back!
I discovered yoga 4 years ago, having been introduced to a wonderful teacher called Nausika by a close friend. I became hooked almost instantly and can now proudly call myself an addict - a yoga addict that is :)
Aside from the numerous yoga books I've purchased, the best one being B.K Iyengar's Light on Yoga, I also love the haunting uplifting Indian chanting music that is perfect for both yoga practice and meditation.
I recently spent hours finding and then downloading music by Deva Premal - if you're looking for stunningly beautiful yoga music, you can buy her entire collection on Amazon - my favourite Deva Premal album is Dakshina.
The mild all year round climate means that asanas can be practiced outdoors at almost any time of day, except perhaps in the summer months when the extreme heat favours early morning or late evening yoga in Cyprus practice.
Classes and excellent experienced teachers can be found all over the island (see below) together with a variety of different types of yoga from hatha to iyengar and ashtanga vinyasa flow yoga. There are also opportunities to book week long yoga retreats in some stunning locations on the island.
My current teacher Vanessa is an inspiration and I relish getting my yoga mat out on my own in between yoga classes.
Tip: Invest in a good quality NON-SLIP yoga mat, perfect for hard floors or tiles like we have in Cyprus. It makes a HUGE difference to your practice. I bought my 6mm thick eco-friendly mat from Yoga Mad and I love doing my yoga in Cyprus on it!
For me personally, yoga calms the busy mind and keeps muscles flexible while offering a serene, holistic form of exercise, especially when combined with meditation. Once correct breathing or pranayama, as it is known, is mastered, the yoga student can start to experience the feeling of asanas at both a physical and mental level. It took me a few months to master the breathing, but once you do, you will feel like you're pulsating with energy as you practice and you can move deeper and deeper into a pose with each deep breath.
Photo taken by fab photographer Andrea Christofi
Yoga in Cyprus is also a great form of stretching and for me as a mountain biker, it's especially good for active sports like cycling where certain muscles like hamstrings are not well used. It's also a great way to make new friends if you have just moved to the island!
Don't worry if you are a beginner as there are classes for all levels from novice right up to advanced and some teachers offer special yoga workshops to help advance your yoga technique even further.
Whether you are an outdoor activity junkie or just someone who wants to keep their body fit and healthy and ward off the inevitable stiffness of ageing joints, give Cyprus yoga a go.
If you're looking for a yoga teacher in Cyprus, here are some recommendations. If you are a yoga teacher and want to be listed here, contact me for further details.
Vanessa Yoga - Based in Paphos, Vanessa offers vinyasa flow style yoga classes for all levels in Paphos and Polis, including challenging ashtanga yoga postures for advanced yogis. If you want to be inspired by an amazing teacher, you can contact her on Tel: +357 99289134 or read more about Vanessa on her website Vanessayoga.co.uk
Ruby Harris - Based in Larnaca, Ruby offers ashtanga yoga classes for all levels. Tel: +357 96563780.Claire of Yoga-Flex, RYT200, trained and qualified to teach Hatha and Ashtanga yoga whilst living in India, the birthplace of Yoga. Claire provides private tuition and group classes at both beginner and intermediate level plus offers couples yoga and corporate yoga packages. You can find out more about her by visiting her website www.Yoga-Flex.net. Whether you wish to have an introduction into yoga whilst you are on your holiday, have a beginners recap if you are resident, or take your yoga to a deeper level if you already practice this ancient art form, call Claire on +357 9924 8026 or contact via email Claire@Yoga-Flex.net.