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By Claudia Zambrana, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – After what feels like a month of Carnival; it’s time to recuperate from all the celebrating and revelry. We owe our tired bodies a cleanse, a retreat, a moment of purifying action: a moment for Yoga.

Ana Bugarim Santos
Ana Bugarim Santos, Founder of Shakti Activewear, photo courtesy of Ana Bugarim Santos.

Yoga can be practiced at many different levels and for a variety of reasons: meditation, reinforcing good posture, stretching, breathing techniques, exercising, building fine muscles, finding a better “flow,” etc. It has even been known to fight stress, help depression and help quit smoking; all while getting a trimmer and harder body.

In Rio, where the obvious options of Samba classes, Capoeira and Jiu Jitsu seem to be the mainstream cultural activity, one can find some great yoga studios. To help find the best and most accessible while traveling, we’ve profiled some to check out while in Rio.

While there is no actual Bikram class, Ana Bugarim Santos is the only certified Bikram teacher in Rio de Janeiro. She also studied different types of yoga in Los Angeles, Boston, and in New York.

Ana mostly caters to foreigners as she has studied and worked mostly throughout the USA (NYC, LA, Hawaii). She offers private and personalized yoga classes in English and Portuguese, and as an avid yoga practitioner, Ana recommends Gestos Yoga studio and Sauer Dancas.

Gestos, located in Jardim Botanico, offers a wide array of yoga types, as well as pilates, dance and stretching. It is a beautiful space next to the Botanical Garden, to retreat and find yourself again. visit the website for more information.

Nirvana, located in Gavea (inside the Jockey Club), is known as the biggest yoga studio in Rio de Janeiro with wooden floors, a beautiful view, saunas, a day spa and an organic restaurant for your culinary pleasure. At Nirvana, they offer a variety of different yoga classes including Ashtanga and Hatha yoga. See their website for more info on class schedules and prices.

Coaracy Nunes Neto from BLYSS Yoga
Coaracy Nunes Neto from BLYSS Yoga Studio in Ipanema, image recreation.

BLYSS Yoga, located in Ipanema, is known to offer yoga classes as well as yoga retreats year-round. If you have never done yoga before, BLYSS yoga also offers a first free experimental class: all you have to do is send an email to: blyssyoga@gmail.com indicating which class you would like to try (see their website for more info: www.blyss.com.br).

Uni-Yoga, located in Leblon and in Copacabana prides itself in being an international non-profit entity. The school follows the DeRose method and offers group classes as well as private sessions. You can find Uni-Yoga in NYC (SoHo), Hawaii (Mililani), London (Middlesex), Germany (Bochum), Spain (Barcelona), among many other countries: See their website for more information: www.uni-yoga.org.br.

So if you live in Rio, or just traveling through for Carnival and other adventures, don’t miss the opportunity to experience Yoga in the Cidade Maravilhosa.

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