Yoga is an oriental discipline that has now become well established in the West. We can now find yoga classes in every corner of the European continent, and in Málaga there is increasingly more and more choice. The early days of yoga in the city, back in 1978 when Enrique Moya founded the Yantra Centre, are now far away. And not only are the private schools growing. In the last few years Málaga City Council has started offering yoga classes in five of its ten districts. Since January 2006, the “Aula de Formación Ciudadana” has been offering about 30 different courses and workshops, including yoga at two different levels.
Thus both those who are discovering this discipline for the first time and more advanced students can enjoy the courses offered by the City Council. Training takes place over two terms from October to December and February to June, and the courses are subsidised by Málaga City Council so the student only has to pay 18 or 30€, depending on the term, as a registration fee. This makes the cost of the yoga course just 6€ a month. Lessons run twice a week for an hour and a half, and anyone living in Málaga over the age of eighteen can apply for a place. Applicants can go to their nearest “Centro de Servicios Sociales Comunitarios” or fill in an on-line form in the section “Participación Ciudadana” on the Málaga City Council’s website (www.malaga.eu).
Reyes San Martín is the teacher in charge of the yoga lessons in the five districts where they are available: Málaga Este, Centro, Palma-Palmilla, Cruz de Humilladero and Puerto de la Torre. Reyes usually teaches yoga based on the Sivananda School, although sometimes introduces yoga in pairs or even yoga dance. Reyes emphasizes “these courses provide a social role and also help to spread the word about yoga. Students usually recommend the courses to their relatives and neighbours”, she continued, “spreading yoga gradually though the city.”
If you are looking for a flexible schedule however, based in the heart of Málaga, the best option is YogaSala. Owner Joaquín García Weil, makes sure this is really taken into account – after paying the monthly subscription, up to 55€, students can attend as many classes as they want, running at a total of 18 hours a week. Situated in Calle Moreno Monroy, n°5, floor 3°, next to Calle Larios, YogaSala is not only used by students, pensioners and civil servants, but has become an important centre for the workers in the area, who are attracted by the flexible schedule and the opportunity to practice yoga in a charming venue with views of the Cathedral. Joaquin is the permanent teacher in the centre and has been teaching yoga in Málaga for 9 years. Joaquin explained that in YogaSala, “We teach classical yoga according to Patanjali principles, based in the practice of asanas (physical exercise) and pranayamas (attention to the breathing)”. In addition another teacher, Isabel Martínez, has started to teach “1 hour of yoga in Málaga City Centre”, which, as Joaquín explains, “consists of yoga in the morning, before office hours and at lunch time so that people who work in the area can learn and practice yoga”.
YogaSala also offers courses in Dynamic Yoga with José Luis Cabezas, Pregnancy Yoga with Carolina Pino, and a special class on Fridays for advanced students with Joaquín. The recently renovated YogaSala, which now has a capacity for 25 people, also offers other activities complementary to the practice of yoga, such as relaxation workshops. In spring and autumn, when the climate is more favourable for practicing outdoors, YogaSala organizes “Weekends of Yoga and relaxation” at Hotel Kadampa in Alhaurin el Grande. Joaquín considers that there is now plenty of good yoga on offer in Málaga, with excellent teachers, both veterans and newcomers. However, he also points out that there is still plenty of opportunities for yoga to expand in the capital.
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