Yoga is all about unity of mind, body and spirit, and not about quantifiable progress. The practice of yoga is so personal to each individual; for some it’s about toning and relaxing the body, for others flexibility, for others it’s for the feelings of calm, connectedness and mindfulness. Practicing yoga is not about whether you can get into a perfect lotus position or maintain a headstand for hours… it’s in the overall effect on your wellbeing made up of a multitude of tiny advances… Simply having a regular yoga practice is progress in itself. For some of us, it can be about stretching further – getting out of your comfort zone in inversions, maintaining balances… slowing down your breathing and meditating effectively – all of these benefits transfer into better quality of everyday life…
Following, four students who regularly practice yoga at Radiant Yoga Marbella reveal how their yoga journey has positively impacted on their lives:
Alexander ‘Sasha’ Sorokin, 51, is a keen golfer, who splits his time between Marbella and Moscow. “I had always enjoyed sports – but had never considered yoga until my friend recommended I try a class at Radiant. I decided to give yoga a try, and at the same time, clean up my diet; cutting out meat, sugar and alcohol. I have to say this had a very comprehensive impact on my body and mind.
My first ever yoga class was at Radiant last October – and I very quickly got hooked. For the last three months I have been doing classes six days a week – sometimes two classes a day…
When I first began, Cameron one of my teachers at Radiant told me I would soon get addicted to stretching. Having been an “adrenaline junkie, into skydiving and heli-skiing, I was quite skeptical… but I honestly feel it! If I miss a class, my body will notice…
In terms of the physical benefits of yoga, I already had strength and power, but like most men when they begin yoga, I wasn’t very flexible. Now I am pretty supple, and the good thing about yoga is that it also impacts on the mind. Getting into the postures or asanas helps your mind to switch off, to disconnect, and to control the ego; the bad thoughts and temptations of the ego. For this I am very happy.
Then there is the spiritual side of yoga. I am a religious person, Russian Orthodox.
I feel that when most people think of yoga, it is only from the physical point of view – but yoga can be the route to enlightenment, or Samadhi. For me, my yoga practice helps me with my religious life. I see God and Samadhi as one and the same. I am so grateful that my destiny brought me to yoga.
I am lucky to live just five minutes away from Radiant Yoga Marbella. The advantage of the studio is the excellent range of teachers and yoga styles on offer. I regularly have classes with four different teachers at Radiant. Over the past five months, I have tried around ten different types of yoga from Ashtanga, Rocket, Iyengar to Prana-Kriya Yoga and Hot Yoga. You can find the style that suits you best.”
Susan Mariani, English
“At 68, I am probably one of the oldest in the group and I seriously began my yoga practice a few years before I came to Spain 15 years ago. It took a couple of years to find Lori. We had many years with her at Manolo Santana before she opened Radiant. We began yoga at first to help my husband with his back problem and to keep flexible and strong. We started attending classes at Radiant from the moment it opened.
I tend to do the same classes – on Monday and Wednesdays, Anusara with Lori and Yin Yoga on Thursday. My aim is to keep up my level rather than progressing. I like to maintain my strength and flexibility with a teacher whom I can trust to challenge and encourage me without forcing anything. My yoga practice is an intrinsic part of my daily life. It helps me to be aware of my body and move with ease, and to use my breath to stay calm in stressful situations.
For me it is very difficult to separate mental and spiritual wellbeing…The main purpose of yoga for me is to help me grow spiritually and control the mind stuff. Yoga helps me keep my body as well as possible, and to learn breathing techniques as well as tools to deepen my spiritual practice.
The biggest gift Lori has given me is to introduce me to my spiritual teacher who now gives monthly talks at Radiant Yoga Marbella. It is always a work in progress but without the tools I have been given it would have been very difficult to get through some of the most stressful parts of my life. My husband died very suddenly 6 years ago and without my yoga practice and the support given to me by the yoga community at the studio I would have been adrift. I learned to accept and let go and not take life too seriously and not become a victim.
A very big element for me is all the lovely people I have met at Radiant Yoga Marbella. After class we stay for coffee and over the years have laughed and cried together. To be in a place where people do not judge but support and care for each other is invaluable.”
“I started my yoga practice more then 15 years ago in Lithuania. I became inspired through my aunt because she started yoga first and liked it a lot!
I took up classes at Radiant Yoga Marbella around three years ago. After moving to Spain, my yoga had stopped because I couldn’t find a good studio with teachers I would like. I found Radiant by Googling “Yoga in Marbella” and from day one, I fell in love with the atmosphere and people there!
At the beginning, I tried classes with most of the teachers and then selected my favorite four or five, the ones that inspired me to drive 20 minutes from my home for class! I originally avoided classes taught by men, until I went to Cameron’s Prana Kriya class in September. I was going through a hard period in my life and after the first lesson something changed. I was initially afraid, but interested to continue. Now I’m at another level of my life. I mostly attend Cameron’s Prana Kriya Yoga and Hatha Yoga classes as well as his workshops. When he is away I have classes with Lori or Ariana.
My original goal was to take two lessons per week. I took up yoga mostly to relieve lower back pain and it has helped me a lot. However, the biggest change has been the Prana Kriya Yoga classes. I have to be honest and say that it has transformed my life! These classes allowed me to remove blockages, be more self-aware, find inner peace, breathe better, laugh a lot and start to discover and feel for myself (rather than just reading theory about it) that I am a spiritual being and not just the body. Prana Kriya Yoga opened up a whole new world of experiences to me. Also, his Hatha yoga classes have helped me to dramatically improve my flexibility, strength and physical wellbeing.
Yoga allows me to be more aware about all aspects of my life, the emotions, the thoughts and physical sensations. And it has definitely helped me to discover inner peace and the value of daily meditation practice.
Physically, I feel healthy, my muscles have become stronger and more flexible I am able to do poses which were simply impossible a year ago. My breathing has improved in terms of lung capacity and also I am able to hold my breath for very long periods of time.
I have definitely become stronger mentally and emotionally and I have discovered a lot of joy in life, especially through the kriyas taught in Cameron’s classes that generate enormous amounts of energy and blissful sensations. In the last few months I have noticed that I don’t tend to get affected by others anymore and even when life has put this to the test, I have noticed I am able to stay centered in myself.
In terms of my spiritual wellbeing, I am starting to feel part of something greater, connected more to other people and my intuition has improved. The meditations Cameron taught me (which I practice for around one and a half hours each day) help me to feel a sense of oneness with the universe and they have been opening up new interesting internal experiences. Namaste.”
“My yoga journey started at University in the UK, and it was sporadic until juggling a business and a toddler here in Spain propelled me back into the studio some 15 years ago. I started regular classes with Lori when she taught at a Marbella tennis club and was so happy for her when she decided to open her own studio Radiant Yoga Marbella with partners.
I’ve been involved with Radiant Yoga Marbella since before it launched – encouraging Lori and promoting the studio to the press. The energy of a dedicated yoga studio is very different to a gym, and Lori and team have created such a dynamic yoga studio embracing so many different yoga disciplines; Radiant has become a thriving, uplifting yoga community. I love everything about the studio, the location, the light, the incredible view of the ‘La Concha’ Mountain, the superb teachers and good atmosphere. It is something of a sanctuary for the practice of yoga.
I usually prefer to attend classes at the weekend – many with Lori herself, with Zarah or Sara. I tend to favoor the yoga flow classes and I enjoy classes that introduce a spiritual element, a dedication and some meditation. I also enjoy aerial yoga and as I write the blogs for the studio, I like to sample different yoga disciplines, and attend the talks and open days at Radiant.
Yoga is always a work in progress; some classes flow, and at other times the body and mind resist and take longer to relax and surrender. The environment at Radiant is very conducive to getting the best out of your practice. I don’t continue the practice at home as often as I’d like. We used to have a cat that joined in with me if
I was doing some yoga in the garden, which was fun!
I feel that yoga has made me really aware of how our energy levels vary from day to day; sometimes we are more energetic, other times more soft and quiet. Yoga helps me to be more mindful – most of the time – and to navigate issues and problems in daily life.
Physically, yoga has helped me to maintain good general health and flexibility. My, hamstrings tighten up fast if I miss a few classes and I often ask myself how stiff I would be if I hadn’t invested time on yoga in the last 15 years! There is nothing like that feeling of deep relaxation at the end of a yoga class when your body just melts into the mat – it’s bliss!
I don’t know if yoga has made me stronger emotionally, and less affected by others. I have a very active mind and yoga helps me to slow down and control the thoughts.
When experiencing stress or anxiety, I find yoga deep-breathing techniques are extremely helpful. The hip-openers are also effective at releasing stored emotions.
On the spiritual level, during yoga class and at the studio, it is easy to tap into feelings of oneness and to heed the higher self. However, daily life and situations come along to challenge this. When I have a very strong, clear purpose, very little can rattle me, and yoga reminds me that situations are experienced differently by all individuals and that we are all connected.”
Radiant Yoga Marbella offers a variety of yoga classes in our Marbella studio including Hot Yoga (similar to Bikram, but with more varied sequencing), Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Vinyas Flow Yoga, Anusara Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Therapeutic and Restorative Yoga, Aerial Yoga and Prana Kriya. Radiant Yoga offers Retreats every year https://yoga-in-marbella.net/retreats/ and is hosting their first Teacher Training in September https://yoga-in-marbella.net/trainings/!
Please keep an eye on our Facebook page where you’ll find up-to-date information about our classes, workshops and other yoga information.