Everyone has their magical place. A place where the spell of childhood has never been broken. A place that, through the simplicity, authenticity, and dreams that still live inside and outside of us, can lead us back to our true essence. In these places, we can tune into something greater than ourselves. They can hold up a mirror for us to see what we’ve become, what we’ve lost, and, maybe, what we can still find. Making a mockery of the concept of time, these are the perfect places for yoga.
Whether you’re immersed in the iridescent green of Mongolia, among lush ponds and streams in British Columbia, or in an early 19th century villa in Turin, the practice of yoga is always about breath. In this article, we’re looking at three perfect places for yoga, all of them united by atmosphere, light, nature, airy spaces, and captivating colors. And all of them perfect places for stepping out of your mind and finding your breath.
With its backdrop of majestic mountains and rolling hills, Inner Mongolia has since ancient times been home to fragile, shifting communities, battered by freezing dry winds and monsoonal rain. But this mixture is also what makes Mongolia such a magical place, where towns serve as genuine shelters from the elements.
This is the setting for a landscaping project conceived by ANTAO, inspired by the local scenery and Mongolia’s kaleidoscopic culture. The design of the entire project, shortlisted Landscape THE PLAN AWARD 2020 (>>>submit your project, THE PLAN AWARD 2021) is based around the curving banks of the lake. Its trails reflect the contours of the magnificent mountains in the distance, which, instead of a dark presence in the background, are active and spectacular participants in the overall design.
This place, created to provide local communities with a place for outdoor activities, is perfect for practicing yoga.
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An enormous white lotus flower grows on the shores of Lake Kootenay, British Columbia. It’s the Temple of Light, home to one of the most respected yoga centers in the world, the Yasodhara Ashram.
Opened by Swami Radha in 1992, the center is located in an area of enormous visual impact, where nature – despite human’s attempts to domesticate it – remains lush and wild. This is an ideal place for a life of contemplation and enlightenment.
The building we see today is actually the new Temple of Light – a replica of the original structure destroyed by a fire in 2014. The temple, designed by Vancouver-based practice Patkau Architects, is a true masterpiece of harmony. A simple design that hides the complexity of its structure, it won the Wood Design Award in 2019.
Occupying a grand early-20th century villa at the foot of Turin’s nearby hills, the new Adi Shakti yoga center offers a warm, intimate, and neutral setting, intended to help practitioners center themselves during their yoga practice.
A unique feature of the center is its lighting, all of which is diffused, which creates games of light on the walls based on the essential shapes of the line, circle, and triangle.
The ground floor is home to a reception area and the yoga room, which overlooks an internal courtyard with extensive plantings. The original slab floor of the yoga room was completely demolished and replaced with hemlock framing, a timber with warm tones similar to the oak used for the flooring. The room’s indirect lighting is provided by cable lights, with the cables attached to the walls. The design of the newly installed painted metal Secco windows recall the past. An altar with statues of Buddha has been created along the back wall of the yoga practice room.
From the reception area, you enter the changing rooms, where the focus is on natural materials such as wood. In those places where resin flooring has been used, the ceilings are finished with timber battens, adding real warmth to these spaces.
Visit the Adi Shakti yoga center