I recently spent a lot of time in the wonderful region of Puglia (Apulia), an area that is easily identifiable as the heel of the Italian boot and that I totally fell in love with.
I haven't found a lot of Yoga around, at least not in the way I would have liked to, e.g. yoga studios open for walk ins that focus on daily asana practice, meditation, kirtan, and inspiring workshops to raise spiritual awareness.
I noticed that often the difference between Yoga and Pilates is still not clear, and often Yoga is treated as a fitness practice and offered within gyms with the sound of dropped weights in the background or maybe in shared spaces like school gyms or public buildings but only a couple of times a week. No real Yoga Shalas there!
Once I got over the fact that I was basically alone practicing my Yoga around and people would look at me with curious faces, I realized that there was a great opportunity there and that I could be the one creating the Yoga Studio I would have liked to be part of!
So I spent the summer offering yoga classes on the main pier in Otranto and in local resorts, collaborating with local associations and like minded people, while I kept nurturing this vision, and now it seems it may become reality in Otranto pretty soon!
In the meantime I want to share few of the yoga offerings I found.
- Il Sole, Scuola Arti Orientali, Lecce. They offer Iyengar Yoga but need a monthly commitment and a medical certificate.
- YIS, Zollino (LE). They offer Yoga retreats and classes open to public, mainly Ashtanga, but schedule is not very clear and it varies all the time. I don't personally like the way the center is managed and their attitude, but the yoga classes I attended were good.
- Ratna Yoga, Maglie (LE), I've been told about this but no info on their site, you have to call them, which by the way it's pretty common.
- Namaste Yoga, Ostuni (BR) I've been told good things about it but didn't try.