A beginner's guide to yoga (in Belgium)

A beginner's guide to yoga (in Belgium)

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Don't know your asana from your elbow? Here's a short introduction to yoga by Julie Knight, plus a listing of yoga centres in Belgium.

To many people, the word yoga conjures up the image of a long-haired, bearded Indian man sitting in the lotus position and chanting. It has been increasingly in the public eye, mainly due to celebrities such as Madonna, Geri Halliwell and Gwyneth Paltrow singing its praises.

Reported improvements such as toned upper arms, trim stomach and firm thighs and bums have encouraged them to take up yoga classes, but for the uninitiated and uninformed, what is it all about? Yoga originated in India around 6000 years ago. The practice sometimes seems to have an air of mystery about it, which perhaps prevents many people from trying a class. It can be seen as new-age, 'alternative' or a bit of a fad in the exercise world. In reality it is a holistic practise that benefits body, mind and spirit.

People take up yoga for a surprisingly wide range of reasons: to gain flexibility, to tone-up or lose weight, to improve their ability to relax or to prepare their body for a physical event such as childbirth. Regular practice of yoga will improve your general fitness and body shape, make you stronger, calmer and more able to cope with the stresses and strains of life. Types of yoga Hatha (or physical) yoga is broken down into eight stages or limbs.

Traditionally these are followed progressively to reach Samadhi, the last stage, where the spirit is liberated and becomes 'at one' with the universe. Yoga practised in the west mainly encapsulates stages three and four. Stage three (Asana) is the practise of the postures or poses and stage four (Pranayama) is rhythmic control of the breath.

There are many styles of Hatha yoga currently being taught, all of which have slightly different emphases.

  • Astanga yoga is the form of yoga currently enjoying the most attention. Also known as power yoga, the moves or transitions between asanas are performed at a higher speed than usual, thus providing an aerobic workout, missing in the alternative yoga forms.
  • Iyengar yoga, based on the teachings of BKS Iyengar from Pune, India, concentrates on the postural alignment of the body and limbs. The practice makes use of ropes, blocks and belts to aid in the attainment of the asanas.
  • Sivananda yoga focuses on the flow of energy in the spine. This style is built around a specific sequence of twelve postures or poses.


What to look for in a yoga class

Yoga includes elements such as stretching, balancing and posturing - the combination of which can seem like a contortionist act to the newcomer. However, a good yoga teacher will tailor the postures to suit the different abilities within a class. Some classes will focus heavily on meditation and visualisation, but for others, meditation simply refers to the period of cool-down or relaxation at the end of the session. Controlled breathing is a hugely important part of the practice.

Yoga is suitable for both men and women and can be enjoyed by the full range of fitness abilities. Even if you have trouble touching your toes, yoga can still be open to you. Classes can be found by looking in the telephone book or by recommendation from friends or work colleagues.

There are numerous teachers in the larger cities and a few are listed below. Try out one or two sessions before committing yourself to a lengthy course, as your relationship with your yoga teacher is one of the most important factors in your enjoyment and progress of yoga.

Where to take yoga in Brussels

Sampoorna Yoga Studio
www.sampoornayogastudio.be   
Rue du Houblon 40, Brussels     
Tel: +32 496 127266     
Sampoorna Hatha Yoga   
     
Sampoorna Yoga – a vigorous, energizing, relaxing practice of hatha yoga in the Sivananda tradition – which gives your body a complete workout while calming your mind and nourishing your spirit.
Daily adult classes, plus children's and teens yoga. And an interesting variety of workshops and events!

The Yoga Loft
www.theyogaloft.be 
Place du Tomberg 18
1200 Brussels
M: 0483 139797
Ashtanga Vinyasa         
The Brussels Yoga Loft is a health and wellness yoga studio in Brussels offering private and group class instruction in the ancient art of ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga yoga classes are well suited for a wide variety of experiences and are taught in an open and warm culture within our beautiful studio in Brussels. Also available are an assortment of specialty classes, such as vinyasa yoga, intro to yoga and more.

Inspiration        
www.inspirationyoga.eu
616 chaussee de Waterloo, Brussels     
Tel: 32473269990     
Hatha Yoga         
Susan Hopkinson began teaching yoga in 1998, and distills her various influences from B.K.S. Iyengar, Anusara, Astanga Vinyasa, Viniyoga as well as Yogic, Buddhist and Ayurvedic philosophy into each class.

YogaDarshan         
www.yogadarshan.be
Grote Bosstraat 69, Brussels     
Tel: 02-2452924     
Holistic Yoga          
YogaDarshan is a local organisation teaching Yoga in French and Dutch in Schaerbeek / Brussels, and moreover sharing information in English on this website.
    
Yoga In the City
www.yoga-in-the-city.com
Schuman, Brussels    
Tel: +32479265392     
Multi-style          
Veronica from Yoga in the City has been a practising yogi for over 35 years. “Knowing how well yoga has served me in every aspect of my life it was a natural progression for me to want to share yoga with others.“

Ashtanga Yoga Institute Brussels

www.yoga-ashtanga.net
610 arrière, chaussée d'Alsemberg, Brussels     
Tel: 02 340.67.87 or 81     
Ashtanga Yoga Vinyasa          
The teaching given in the classes at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute is faithful to the Ashtanga Yoga (Yoga Korunta) taught by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, Karnataka, Southern India.
    
bYoga (Iyengar Yoga)           
www.byoga.be

Place de la vieille halle aux bles, 30, Brussels 1000     
Tel: 0479/990.400     
BKS Iyengar Yoga          
Offers Yoga lessons in group (or individual on request) according to Iyengar method. Located in the heart of Brussels city..

Bikram Yoga college of India
www.fbyci.com/brussels    
207-209 Avenue Louise, Brussels     
Tel: 032-02/644.1224     
Bikram Yoga          
Bikram yoga is a complete system of wellness, restoration and rejuvenation. Bringing Bikram yoga into your life cleanses the body and calms the mind. The studio is HOT (over 100 °F) to facilitate deeper stretching, prevent injury, relieve stress and tension and to detoxify the body.                

Pregnancy Yoga/ Post-natal Yoga (Mum with Baby)
www.sophieyoga.net     
Tel: +32 (0)499 41 41 91     
Active Birth Yoga for Pregnancy          
Active Birth Yoga for Pregnancy is a unique and empowering way of preparing your body and mind for the birth of your baby.
The use of gravity and the breath in gentle yoga-based movements helps you develop confidence and strength in your body in preparation for childbirth.
                
Yoga Studio     
www.moanayogastudio.com
32, Rue Leman 1050 Brussels, Brussels     
Tel: 0478 034 330     
Hatha Yoga   
      
Luisa Fernanda Velasquez comes originally from Colombia, but lives in Belgium since 2000. She has always been interested in spirituality and good health so she became a committed yoga and Reiki practitioner.   After 4 years she became a certified Yoga teacher by the Yoga Vedanta Academy in Aalst (Belgium).
    
Sampoorna Yoga Teacher     
www.yousoundgood.com 
Brussels,
Tel: +32 477 412 924     
Sampoorna Yoga          
Father of two, and wishing to share the yogic way of life with my children, I enrolled in the YogaKids® program and recently graduated as a Certified YogaKids Teacher. Being a musician, I have always been strongly attracted to sound as a healing medium. I graduated as a sound masseur at the Belgisch Instituut voor Klankmassage en Klankpedagogie              

Shanti Home
www.shantihome.be
Rue Darwin 8, Brussels
Hatha Yoga, Astanga Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Yin Yoga, Sivananda, Kids Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Baby and Mother Postnatal Yoga, Viniyoga, Chanting, Yoga Nidra. In English/French
Shanti Home offers yoga, relaxation and meditation classes from various traditions. Shanti Home also offers workshops and lectures on a variety of subjects.

 

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5 Comments To This Article

  • Marc posted:

    on 24th February 2016, 21:40:58 - Reply

    The Yoga Loft has several classes daily (still at the lowest prices in Brussels - even after 8 years). They offer ashtanga, ashtanga vinyasa, vinyasa, yin, pre- and postnatal yoga, kids yoga and also private and group classes.

    Their teachers are excellent, Yoga Alliance certified and really focussed on improving every students enjoyment of every class.

    Highly recommend.
  • Vanitia posted:

    on 6th January 2016, 14:40:33 - Reply

    Dear Friend, if you living near St Gilles or Forest, there is a new lessons at www.yogiandyoga.be. Arround Wiel's place.
  • Ian posted:

    on 14th August 2015, 11:36:55 - Reply

    I tried and like Brussels Yoga Pilates (BYP they call themselves as well) in the centre of Brussels. Different styles of yoga, most teachers speak English and they also offer Meditation classes. Easy sign in on their website www.b-y-p.be
  • olga posted:

    on 4th February 2015, 15:06:59 - Reply

    For Ashtanga Yoga I strongly recommend MYogis:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/MYogis-in-Brussels/294283847250491?fref=ts
    http://www.myogis.com/
    Classes are given in en&fr, close to place Jourdan in Etterbeek.
  • Darshan posted:

    on 15th January 2014, 13:30:37 - Reply

    You should try:
    Shanti Home
    8 Rue Darwin, 1190 Brussels
    www.shantihome.be

    Great Yoga and workshops