Keep fit: A Brussels yogathon

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At Yoga Sala you can come for to collective, silent gathering in the morning from 08h00 (with prior authorization) for the people who want to practice without a teacher. And one class is given almost every day throughout the year at 18h45. The yoga here is Iyengar postural style, with bricks and belts and hanging devices on the walls. No real flow, just long poses. Classes are donation based. www.yogabruxelles.be

KEEP FITThis first place was very fruitful, but after a while I was longing for my hot yoga experience so I decided to go hunting a little further afield.

I decided to go to a fancy yoga station that has been gaining popularity downtown: the colourful YYOGA chain, also called “the urban sanctuary”. Here the schedule is full from morning to night: three rooms filled with classes over the day. You can follow all kinds of different yogas: Hot Yoga, Hot Flow, Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin/Yang and Restorative for all levels and needs. The teachers are foreigners, and so is the very expat crowd of followers. The place is charming, simple with a nice shop full of expensive accessories that create a jolly, tribal effect. The teachers come from various lineages such as Ashtanga, Prana, lyengar, Vini, Jivamukti, Power, Yin, Sivananda and more. Most of the classes are open to beginners and all yoga classes are taught in English.

The class I followed was hot-flow yoga. 90 minutes in a 39°C room. Our teacher that night was very quite and poised. He gently gave us the names of the postures and drove us effortlessly through the 90 minutes. I remember it being a very peaceful class, unlike the Bikram I had experienced in Venice, where it sounded more like an army boot camp (which was good fun too by the way). You get free tea all night, and the stone like cushions offer a very relaxing atmosphere way to hang out. I would definitely go back if it wasn’t for the distance (I live uptown, and even back town, in Uccle). You will need to download the app if you want to make sure to get a space in this busy place (they offer beginner and newcomer packages). More info on yyoga.be.

Closer to my barrio, someone recommended the YOGA ROOM, a newcomer in the Brussels scene. I tried the 10-day pack and started off with a hot yoga for 90 minutes. This time the temperature was set at 42°C. It felt like an ordinary day… in Bali! I was off to a tropical destination for only the price a yoga class! The class was rather intense, but feasible. The crowd was an initiated one. No real beginners here, as they all floated to their respective class halls.

The premises are quite cold and bare. The changing rooms are simple, but with a good atmosphere, as a mixed crowd of Belgian aficionados and expats mingle joyfully (and you’ll find free shampoo and shower gel in the shower in case you forgot yours!). No merchandising and no food here as they really want to focus on their core business: yoga. More info on www.yoga-room.be/classes-brussels/.

For the weeks ahead, I am planning to try the Garnier School on chausée Alsemberg (but somehow it is never open when I call them :/) and I’ve heard a lot about the Shanti Home on rue de Darwin too; apparently there is a very nice Monday lunch class there. More info www.shantihome.be and yoga-ashtanga.net/jean-claude-garnier/.

Namaste.