Yoga: it brings to mind serenity and well-being; something we all strive for. Whether you’re a complete novice or an out-of-practice yogi, September is the perfect time of year to begin a new regime. Here is an explanation of the benefits and where to go in Luxembourg to practice this spiritual discipline.
The Yoga Scene has exploded in Luxembourg over the past couple of years. With so many offerings, it is difficult to choose the right class for you. Adding to the difficulty is that what the right yoga class varies from person to person. Below is an incomplete list of classes available in English in Luxembourg, but first the ‘A-Z’ of yoga!
The A-Z of Yoga: What’s right for you?
Anusara1&6 – A slow, mindful but powerful practice based on Iyengar Yoga. Good for people looking for strength and flexibility; beginners; people who like a meditative practice.
Art of Living – The teachings of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Art of Living offers a traditionally Indian Yoga practice. Good for people looking for a spiritual practice based on Hinduism, and everyone.
Ashtanga2,3&9 – The Teachings of Sri Patthabi Jois, Astanga yoga is a set series of steady postures interrupted by short dynamic sequences called vinyasa. Good for people who like routine; building overall strength and flexibility.
Ayurveda – the cleansing, medical and nutritional side to yoga, based on finding balance with the body by regulating input (of food, sleep and healthful practices) and output (use your imagination.)
Barre1 – A mixture of yoga, ballet and pilates. Good for improving flexibility and people who regretted giving up ballet in their youth.
Bhakti – the Yoga of devotion. Bhakti yoga is found when we are so engaged in something we love we forget when we exist. Usually associated with ecstatic dance, music and group prayer.
Bikram4&5 – A series of set asana based on the Astanga teachings but performed in a room heated to 37-40°C. Good for beginners; improving flexibility; cold people.
Body Flying1 – a mix of yoga and acrobatics performed on a swing or cloth trapeze. Good for people who secretly want to run away to join the circus and people who like being upside-down.
Children’s6,7&11 – Fun yoga for kids improved general fitness and introduces body awareness, conscious breath and mindfulness. Some are with you, giving a chance to enjoy an activity together. In choosing a class in English, your child should also speak English unless you plan to be there too. There are many offerings in Luxembourgish, German and French – even Bulgarian– for non-English speaking kids. All it takes is a google to find classes.
Commune – There are so many fantastic places to do yoga in Luxembourg and it can be a great way to meet people in your area too! Check your local community centre for classes.
Community yoga8,11&14 – Based on tantra teachings, community yoga is an outward-looking, non-serious yoga that seeks to build bonds and friendships between practitioners. Aka “Fun Yoga.” Good for people new to town, people with families, people who don’t take themselves too seriously.
Diet – Different yoga philosophies have different dietary laws but they are all based on finding sound nutrition without harm. The ideal yogic diet is organic, locally produced and vegetarian but has evolved over time and space to encompass everything from vegan to meat-eating.
Energy – The increase of prana (elemental life-force) found from instituting a regular practice of any of the yogas mentioned in this article. Also, the physical benefit of an increase in prana.
Forrest4 – A highly physical, emotionally transformative practice based on the teachings of Anna Forrest. Good for people looking for intense asana practice and for people needing to heal from emotional trauma.
FNELY – La Fédération Nationale des Ecoles Luxembourgoises de Yoga is the National body of Luxembourgish Yoga teachers. Although most of the classes offered are in Luxembourgish or French, they offer interesting workshops throughout the year in English.
Guruparampara– the traditional method of teaching yoga, where a yogi studies with a teacher on a one-to-one basis. If you have a teacher you particularly enjoy, ask for a private lesson to participate in the Guruparampara. In modern times we speak of Yoga Lineages and name our teachers. Because every yoga teacher has a yoga teacher.
Hatha2,6,7,8&13 – All yogas that are physical practices. (In this article, all the yogas mentioned here are hatha yogas except: Ayurveda, bhakti, karma, nidra, mindfulness and meditation.) Hatha has evolved over time to be considered a good all-around yoga practice available to all levels of physicality. Good for everyone, especially beginners.
HIIT Yoga9/Cross Yoga7 – Yoga mixed with high-intensity short interval training. Good for people who want to improve their fitness levels, people short on time, people with a short attention span.
Hormone Yoga2 – A physical practice based on the teachings of Dinah Rodrigues, designed to help women through the ups and downs of hormone imbalances like the menopause. Good for women in perimenopause, having PCOS or fertility issues.
Iyengar9 – A set sequence developed this time by BKS Iyengar, Iyengar is notable for its long holding of postures and emphasis on proper alignment. Iyengar yoga is often used as a way to (re)enter a yoga practice after an injury. Good for people with joint pain and bone-related injuries; people who like to take time to fully explore their range of motion.
Jivamukti9&7 – A spiritually-based Vinyasa flow, it is a fast-paced, physically challenging practice based on the teachings of David Life and Sharon Gannon. Good for incorporating spiritual and philosophical teachings into your fitness routine.
Jnana yoga – The spiritual journey of the aware yogi, the yoga of knowledge.
Karma Yoga – the yoga of selfless giving. AKA volunteer work.
Kriya – the cleansing practices of yoga. Deep breathing and brushing your teeth are traditional yogic kriyas, but there are other more exotic ways of cleaning yourself both inside and out!
Kundalini Yoga10&2 – a spiritual practice based on the teachings of Yogi Bajan, Kundalini is heavy on pranayama and Kriyas and uses loose movements to awaken awareness along the spine. Good for people looking for a dynamic but gentle class, pranayama fans, beginners who are spiritual seekers.
Lorien, the author of this article and a yoga teacher in Luxembourg.
Meditation9 – The practice of switching over from our regular, everyday awareness to activate the parasympathetic nervous system; detaching from your thoughts to find a higher level of awareness. It is Purusha, or pure consciousness devoid of thought. Good for busy and distracted people.
Mindfulness9 – the opposite of meditation, mindfulness is intense awareness of our surroundings, thoughts and feelings. Good for busy and distracted people.
Nidra Yoga4&2 The yoga of sleep, yoga nidra is an intensely relaxing guided meditation that brings vivid “wakeful dreams”. You are only semi-conscious during the practice, so bring a blankie. Good for insomniacs and people who have difficulty turning their brain off.
Om – the sound of the vibration of the universe. The symbolic circle of the cycle of life. The meeting of the self with the higher power. A syllable. Take your pick. The mantra which often begins and ends a yoga class.
Pranayama2 – breathing practices to provoke a higher state of awareness, calmness or equanimity. Can also be considered a kriya, pranayama is an essential part of what makes yoga Yoga. All yoga classes will do some pranayama, but Yoga La Source, Kundalini yoga, the Art of Living and prenatal and postnatal yoga will emphasise it more.
Pregnancy yoga8,9&2 – a yoga practice to prepare for birth and motherhood. Good for women of 12-14 weeks to 42 weeks gestation.
Postnatal Yoga8&4 – a community yoga practice to repair and energise the mother’s body during the “4th trimester.” Good for women with their babies of 6 weeks or more.
Qi Gong12&13 – Energy movement from the Buddhist lineage, slow and mindful movements suitable for all ages and levels of physicality. Good for people that like to imagine they live in a slo-mo video.
Raja yoga – the yoga of action, can be a way of describing Hatha yoga, but also includes the act of intellectual or academic investigation.
Sivananda1&2 – A traditional Hatha yoga sequence based on the teachings of Swami Sivananda, this practice interrupts physical asana practice with short rest breaks, making it accessible to people of all levels of physicality. Good for beginners and people who like routine.
Tantra8 – a yoga philosophy placing more emphasis on the duality of the universe and placing more value upon feeling than intellectual struggle. It’s not about sex, people! A really lovely tantric based class can found taught by Sabrina. Contact email@example.com for more details. Good for everyone.
Upside-down. In almost every class at least one asana will bring the heart below the head to help in the circulation. Also, some people find it fun.
Vedanta – a non-dualistic yoga philosophy on which most of the popular yoga styles in Western Culture are based. It places more emphasis on learning and effort than Tantra.
Vinyasa1,2,7,13&14 (aka Vinyasa Flow) – a fast-paced yoga style of American origin. Incredibly popular in Luxembourg. Good for overall fitness.
Viniyoga2 – A traditional yoga with a focus on movement in relation to the breath, viniyoga is a practice accessible to people of all levels of physicality. Good for everyone.
Well woman yoga – coming soon to Luxembourg
eXtatic Dance – is a form of Bhakti yoga, we have workshops in Luxembourg from time to time to explore the transformative power of ecstatic dance in terms of finding mental freedom and psychic healing. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Yin Yoga2,6,9,13&14 – Yin is a passive asana form based on the teaching of Paul Grilley. Focusing more on connective tissue rather than muscles or bone alignment, yin involves holding asana for minutes at a time. Good for people who don’t like to sweat and who don’t fidget.
Yoga Therapy – Although there is theoretically no Yoga Therapy in English in Luxembourg, Hector da Graça, Luxembourg´s only certified yoga therapist, speaks English. Yoga therapy is for people not ready to join an asana class because of a physical or psychic injury. Working in small groups or privately, you will learn pre-asana movements to find the strength to eventually join asana classes. http://www.rajayoga.lu/yoga-therapie
Zzzz – see yoga Nidra to enjoy the benefit.
Where to practise Yoga in English
There are plenty of other yoga classes in Luxembourg offered in community centres, gyms, clinics and pilates studios in plenty of languages including English. This is just a small sample.
2Yoga La Source – the mother of all yoga studios in Luxembourg. The first and largest yoga school in Luxembourg
9yogaloft. – a boutique yoga studio in Bel Air, the first purpose-built yoga studio in Luxembourg
6Yoga Balance – yoga on the Kirchberg, conveniently located in the Chambre des Metiers building
8Heart Centre Yoga – Several locations offering specialized courses for liminal times of life, most notably pre- and post-natal
7Yoga Palais – a pure Jivamukti studio conveniently located right in town.
5Hot Box – a purely Bikram studio in Strassen. Easy parking, fantastic community.
4BYLU – Conveniently located in Limpertsberg, this Bikram studio also offers interesting workshops from other lineages.
3Ashtanga Yoga – A purely Astanga class conveniently located in town
10Kundalini in Luxembourg – an association of Kundalini teachers based in Dudelange
11The Yoga Tree – community classes for adults, teens and kids
12Taiji Qi Gong Luxembourg – Tai Chi and Qi Gong classes in LU, DE, FR and UK.
13Well Being – yoga and other wellness classes in the Gare.
14Yoga Shanti – yoga and pilates classes in various locations including the North.
This list was put together by City Savvy’s favourite yogi, Lorien Mate. We are sad that she has recently moved to the Philippines but she is coming back! In Luxembourg, she is a certified yoga teacher and teaches at Heart Centre Yoga, specialising in community yoga: corporate and perinatal. We can’t wait until she returns in three years to teach both Hatha and Vinyasa styles without prejudice!