In recent years, the Mallorca yoga scene has evolved to the point where you could call Mallorca Yoga Island. Which is fantastic if you’re looking for a proven way to get healthy, become more mindful and perhaps change your life in even more profound ways.
Those of us on the island who practice yoga or who want to start are fortunate that the Mallorca yoga scene is remarkably diverse. You can practice anything from strong, powerful Vinyasa to Kundalini Yoga, an increasingly popular form with a powerful spiritual dimension. In Deià and Palma and all over the island, there are plenty of welcoming, friendly, world class studios where you can experience yoga at its best.
Because my Spanish is limited and I’m not sure about yours, I’m only writing about studios I know offer classes in English. There are other excellent studios more geared to the Spanish-speaking community. I’ve heard great things about Logo Yoga, the Iyengar studio in Palma, for example.
Louise Fletcher-Loni is a Yoga Alliance qualified teacher who offers yoga classes and workshops at her wellness centre in beautiful Villa Rullan in the centre of Deià. When the studio opens again in February, Louise will be offering classes for up to seven people on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. This will include a beginners’ class to attract new students to the mat.
Find out more here.
Earth Yoga is my home studio and the quality of the teaching and the strong, supportive community played a huge part in my sticking with the practice once I’d fallen in love with it.
Today, over 10 years since I started, Earth is still helping to drive the Mallorca yoga scene. This is a lot to do with the fact that the studio is a joy in which to practice. It’s large and airy and, although it’s conveniently located in Santa Catalina, peaceful and quiet. Teachers come from all over the world. Apart from specialist classes, everything is taught in English. Earth encourages students to stay after class, have tea and enjoy the vibe and this has helped build the strong community element.
Earth is not just a great place to dip your toe into the waters of yoga. It’s also the perfect place to meet like-minded people.
As someone who writes about yoga – in my case for Om yoga and lifestyle magazine – I’m interviewing more and more people who tell me they’ve moved away from faster, more strength-oriented forms of yoga to slow, gentle Yin and Restorative Yoga. In their own way, these are every bit as challenging as power yoga because you have to learn to stay in positions that can be mildly uncomfortable for several minutes at a time. But the effects are amazing. Recently, Earth has developed what Jay Roberts-Dean of the studio calls ‘a bit of a Yin scene’.
Another factor in Earth’s success is its popularity with visitors to the island. So much so that, as Jay told me, ‘People are coming to visit up from different countries. More and more people are focusing on a healthy holiday in Mallorca rather than a hedonistic blowout. Yoga is a major part of their holiday. And, of course, we’re in Santa Catalina where there are plenty of options to eat healthy too.’
Earth also offers a splendidly diverse range of workshops. On Sunday 12 January, the studio hosts a special Hang Drum and Vinyasa class. If you’re intrigued by the combination, you’ll need to book now as previous classes have been extremely popular.
Jay’s advice for anyone who wants to begin yoga or get back on the mat after a break is to start by simply dropping into Earth and having a chat about what you’re looking for. ‘We’re always happy to offer advice,’ she says. ‘We can tailor a schedule for you that focuses on gentle yoga to begin with. There are two classes in our large and small studios morning and evening. And if you want to make sure you commit, an unlimited bono card that enables you to try different forms of yoga is a good start.’
Zunray is a charming studio tucked away down a side street in the centre of Palma. It offers classes in all the popular forms of yoga in English and Spanish five days a week. The studio is also quick to embrace newer forms such as Bowspring,
Bowspring, which is becoming increasingly popular globally, draws on a scientific approach to body and movement. The main difference from classical yoga is that Bowspring emphasises the natural s-curve of the spine. Your back is never straight in a Bowspring class.
Later in the year, Desi Springer and John Friend – founders of Bowspring – will be offering classes at Zunray. This offers an unbeatable opportunity to experience the practice.
If you’re looking for a way to take your practice to another level in 2020 right now, Zunray offers a 21-day yoga challenge beginning on 15 January. You’ll practice every day except Saturday and, if you rise to the challenge, your name will go up on the Zunray Wall of Achievement and you’ll have the chance to win a Jade yoga mat.
Find out more about the Zunray 21-day challenge here.
Ra Ma, which has branches in LA and New York City, was started by yogi, poet and CEO Guru Jagat who is dedicated to pushing the envelope of what it means to cultivate spaces that are wellness-based and also boldly creative.
Kundalini Yoga is now an established part of the Mallorca yoga scene. Guru Jagat regards the island as ‘very esoteric and energetically charged, with this beautiful divine feminine current running through the land. I was called here for those reasons also. And since opening RA MA Institute Mallorca in Palma, we’ve seen that spiritual energy amplify. So many people are now making a spiritual pilgrimage to Mallorca just to visit RA MA.’
Globally, Kundalini Yoga is rapidly growing in popularity. According to Guru Jagat, this is because ‘Kundalini is the fastest yoga. In our computerised era, things move so fast and people don’t have time or attention to waste. When the pressure is this high and there’s such a heavy psychic demand on us, we all need something that actually works – and quickly.’
For Guru Jagat, Kundalini Yoga is an excellent place for beginners to start. ‘It’s the most accessible yoga,’ she says. ‘Literally anyone can do it, from 20-year-old college students to people in their 80s. If you can’t do something, Kundalini is supremely adaptable. It’s also full of bite-sized practices meant to be part of an integrated life. So you don’t have to separate your identity, your role in life or your duties from your spiritual work. Just do a quick Kundalini breath sequence or mantra and you can amplify your clarity, creativity and peace of mind in three minutes or less.’
Being part of the Mallorca yoga scene has introduced me to a community of mindful activists
Breath of Victory is a one of these bite-sized practices:
Whenever I practice Kundalini, I’m always reminded of its power and effectiveness. Especially when it comes to enhancing creativity. If you’d like to try Kundalini Yoga, go here. For online classes, go here.
RA MA also holds a yearly festival. This year it will take place between 17-20 June and feature speakers, artists and healers and culminate on the mega-charged celestial day of Summer Solstice.
Agnes Kru is one of my favourite teachers on the Mallorca yoga scene and a good friend. She offers public and private classes. If you’re an absolute beginner and would rather get comfortable and familiar with yoga in private before stepping into a studio, you might like to talk to her.
I asked Agnes to share some advice for beginners and people getting back onto the mat. ‘For a start, if you’re going to set a goal make it one you can reach. This is especially true at times like now, when people want to find their way back to a “healthier me”. Be honest with yourself about what you can realistically achieve and address the aspects of who you are that might throw up challenges. So, don’t kid yourself you’re going to make it to an 8 am class every morning when there’s no chance of that happening. You’ll only end up more frustrated with yourself.’
This is actually a great way to use yoga to change the rest of your life for the better. I like to practice in the morning, so I make sure not to eat too much the night before and to get a good night’s sleep. Yoga also naturally changed my diet because I wanted to feel comfortable doing all the various twists that are such a satisfying part of the practice.
When it comes to getting started, Agnes suggests you ‘Ask a friend or partner to go to classes with you. That way you can support each other and offer encouragement and motivation if one of you is struggling a little. Adjust your practice to the life you have now. For example, if you work a lot and there’s no studio near you, start with a private class at a time that suits you or try one of the many online options that are available now.
One of the unexpected benefits of yoga for many of us is that it often makes us much more empathetic and compassionate. This often translates into a desire to help the people around us. Being part of the Mallorca yoga scene has introduced me to a community of mindful activists keen to help make the island and the planet better who are also fun to hang out with.
If this can happen to me, I have no doubt the same will be true for you.