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By Georgia Grimond, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – One of the pleasures of the practice of yoga is that it can be done almost anywhere. All that’s needed is some quiet, a mat, and a relatively flat surface. With this in mind and with the reliably dry weather of summer approaching, yoga studios in Rio are making use of the city’s beautiful natural surroundings and holding classes outdoors.

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Blyss Yoga holds regular lessons on the beach throughout the summer, photo courtesy of Blyss Yoga.

Until December 19th, Mariana Soares will be hosting Yoga Verde in the grounds of Parque Lage in Jardim Botânico every Saturday morning from 8:30 AM to 10:15 AM. The class is a combination of Hatha yoga and mediation designed to stretch and expand the body as well as quieten the mind. The park is a cool and tranquil location, situated at the foot of the jungle and under Christ’s watchful eye.

Drop-ins are welcome and the price is R$35, or R$20 for existing students of Soares’s studio, Espaço Akasha in Humaitá. Refer to the event’s Facebook page if it looks like it might rain.

At least once a month throughout the summer, Ipanema’s Blyss Yoga relocates to the beach. Setting up in front of Rua Vinicius de Moraes, classes of up to forty people are held with a view out to sea. Director of the studio, Coaracy Nunes, says that it is something the students always ask for and the natural beauty of Rio lends itself to outdoor yoga.

“Both the students and teachers like the interaction with nature and they particularly enjoy doing the inverted positions on the beach,” he adds.

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Students practice inversions at a Yoga Verde session at Parque Lage, photo courtesy of Espaço Akasha.

If looking at the city upside down appeals to you, then upcoming beach classes are advertised on the studio’s Facebook page and website. They are free and open to all.

In Barra de Tijuca, the Yoga Surf School offers combined yoga and surf lessons. Sessions start with half an hour of Hatha poses, breathing and meditation on the shore before an hour’s lesson in either surfing or stand-up paddle-boarding. By combining the sports, students can expect to improve their focus, prevent injuries and enhance the spiritual relationship between them and nature. Both Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina and former world Number One, Kelly Slater are known yogis. Instructor Rodrigo Iorio has a selection of different packages and classes for all ages and abilities throughout the week.

Both Espaço Akasha and Blyss Yoga also offer regular weekend retreats to rural areas surrounding Rio. Soares will be holding a Spring Yoga and Meditation weekend from October 31st to November 2nd in Goura Vrindavana ecovillage near Paraty. Nunes will be hosting a retreat at Gaura Mandir ashram in Teresopolis on November 6th to 8th. Included in the price of R$700 is food, lodging, workshops, yoga classes, astrology and Ayurvedic analysis. Iorio is offering a weekend of surfing and yoga, with accommodation and equipment included, from October 2nd to 4th in Ubatuba, in the Itamambuca region as well.

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