Yoga in Madrid: a beginner's guide

Yoga in Madrid: a beginner's guide

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Here's a short introduction to yoga by Julie Knight, plus a listing of yoga centres in Madrid.

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.

• Yin yoga is a blend of Indian yoga practises and Buddhism. It is based on Hatha Yoga postures including some variations in its purpose and practise. All postures are practised on the floor. 

• Kripalu yoga is a practise more based on a Yang, or external practise versus Yin practise. While encouraging being fully present in the body sensations, emotions and thoughts, Kirpalu yoga teaches to meet challenges with a sense of relaxation, self-acceptance and strength. 


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.

The following list provided by Expatica includes specialised yoga centres as well as general sport centres that conduct yoga classes. There, you will have the option of being served by trained professionals who can speak basic English and can assist you as you go about practising yoga.

Do note that yoga at the following places is offered at different proficiently levels. Check schedule and availability of places with the different centres before starting. Some would schedule beginners groups starting every few weeks; some others might offer all levels throughout all the year. Mats and towels might be offered for free at entrance by some places while you would need to bring your own in others.

Before deciding which class to go for, it is worthwhile visiting the premises. Staff listed in the following list is very friendly and ever willing to show you around. If you ask they might even offer you to attend a complimentary class on a chosen day.

Calle Palermo, 47
Tel: 913 887 948

This sport centre offers daily yoga classes in addition to the wide range of sport activities such as step, G.A.P., cycling and aerobics. You can enjoy all these facilities by opting for a monthly package.

Calle Santa Elena, 6 (semiesq. C/ Alcalá, 289)
Tel: 914 055 972
C/ Téllez, 3
Tel: 914 330 444

This sport centre is recently offering yoga in addition to their usual wide range of sport activities, thus times offer are limited at the moment – Fridays 21.00 to 22.00. Classes can be paid individually or a monthly fee can be arranged which would grant you access to their wide range of activities.

C/ Isaac Peral, 14
Tel: 915 448 320 / Fax: 915 448 320

Yoga is another sport you can try out at this sport centre. Friendly staff will make sure you make the most of their premises.

Calle Juan Ramón Jiménez, s/n - Parque Empresarial Las Rozas (Centro Lúdico Heron City)
Ver otras direcciones
Tel: 916 402 540 / Fax: 916 402 560

Very friendly staff will welcome you when you visit the centre and ensure enrolment is carried out smoothly. Yoga classes are available daily at allocated times.

Tel: 915231141

This is an innovative centre where yoga is done at 42 degrees Celsius. Sessions last for around 90 minutes each and it is recommended that you attend classes on a weekly basis for best effects rather than just joining in for one session every month. Bikram yoga is based on 26 postures.

Lessons are offered in English only on Saturdays and special discounts are offered to students under 18.

Tel: 913 093 607

Very friendly staff will be glad to introduce you to the yoga centre and its philosophy. The school which focuses mainly on yoga classes offers many different classes throughout the day. They also offer Pilates classes.

Hermosilla, 102

Artistas, 43
Tel: 915 534 751

Groups of Yoga tuition start quarterly and can be scheduled for one or two days a week for the three months which makes a total of 14 or 28 classes. Should you have any further queries, just ask for the English native manager.

Kripalu and Yin Yoga Personal Trainer
Profesora de Yoga para niños
Health and Wellness Life Coach C.P.C.
Tel: +34 619 709 088


Daura Carballo / Expatica

[updated June 2010]

Readers' recommendations

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11 Comments To This Article

  • Nataliya posted:

    on 11th January 2017, 13:37:16 - Reply

    Hi Rachel,
    are you still in Madrid? I have recently moved to Madrid from Richmond and looking for some yoga one on one classes.
  • Rachel posted:

    on 24th October 2016, 14:22:45 - Reply

    I teach private yoga classes in Madrid - vinyasa flow yoga - and will include pranayama and meditation if appropriate. I visit your home, hotel, or workplace etc and welcome enquiries so do get in touch via my website which you can google as Rachel Young Yoga.
  • beingdivine posted:

    on 5th August 2016, 12:57:28 - Reply

    My name is being divine, I'm a yoga adept from India.
    I teach yoga , meditation and pranayama in private classes or small groups in and around Madrid.
    Classes are exclusively taught in English. I've moved to Madrid from India and I can offer an authentic and wholesome yoga experience.
  • Carlos Jaramillo posted:

    on 10th October 2014, 14:15:19 - Reply

    Great to hear that Bikram Yoga is growing in Spain... i am trying to the same online sharing my knowledge on my site
  • Alison posted:

    on 18th February 2014, 18:02:18 - Reply

    Hi I am a Bikram teacher in the school mentioned above and the student discount is for people under 27 not 18 years of age and they have to show a a student card.
  • Divya posted:

    on 31st December 2013, 18:27:32 - Reply

    My email is
  • DIvya posted:

    on 31st December 2013, 18:25:08 - Reply

    My name is Divya, I'm a yoga adept from India.
    I teach yoga , meditation and pranayama in private classes or small groups in and around Madrid.
    Classes are exclusively taught in English. I've moved to Madrid from India and I can offer an authentic and wholesome yoga experience.

    Thanks for your time.
  • Carol posted:

    on 6th November 2013, 13:24:43 - Reply

    There is a new yoga center in Madrid .hot yoga, flow yoga, hatha yoga and more
  • Niki posted:

    on 1st October 2013, 15:11:16 - Reply

    I teach yoga classes around Madrid, both in English and Spanish.

    Check my schedule here:

    Or send me an email if you are interested in classes near your place, we might be able to set up a new group or have a private one:
  • AlfonsoVS posted:

    on 19th August 2013, 13:26:26 - Reply

    A new and interesting yoga center is Binomio Ocio, in Madrid. You can practice there aero yoga and aero pilates (antigravity yoga and pilates), plus hatha yoga, mat pilates and tai chi.
    Cartagena, 164, Madrid 28002
  • kathycamp posted:

    on 10th September 2012, 10:15:30 - Reply

    GREAT New Studio all in English. Love the teachers