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Yoga teacher Ayda Ellis, creates a therapeutic practice for the body, mind and soul. Much more than a series of stretches and ohms, she focuses on mental and physical alignment, plus self-healing through a deep, hatha-meets-tantric yoga style. Ayda's own personal yoga journey began in the late '90s, practicing personally for nine years before taking it to the next level with 18 months of intense training in India followed by 15 months Alliance teacher certification in Germany. She has now teamed up with 38° North to offer luxury Yogalates retreats in Ibiza. Ayda will take you on an inner journey to recovery, revitalization and more. Each class is different, taught from the heart and suitable for all levels, from 'yoga virgins' to highly experienced yogis, and especially for those suffering from burnout, injuries or recovering from operations.
How did your personal yoga journey begin and why did you become a yoga teacher?
My yoga journey started 10 years ago. I'd been very ill for a number of years and yoga gave me the strength to overcome my mental and physical barriers and step by step helped me to recover. I became a yoga teacher after meeting a tantric master who invited me to his Ashram in India.
Why do you think some people find the idea of practising yoga intimidating and what advice would you give to them?
I think that some people find the idea of yoga intimidating because they feel ashamed to open their hearts to strangers in the room. Yoga is personal and overcoming the fear of other people watching can be intimidating. I would suggest that those people who feel intimidated to briefly close their eyes and concentrate on the teacher's voice.
What tips can you give to get the very best out of your yoga workout?
1. Breathing (pranayama) is the first step - be conscious of your breathing.
2. Don´t look at what others are doing as it is not competitive, feel your own limits.
3. Trust yourself and your body to feel the connection with your own limits and transformations.
4. Find an environment and teacher that you trust and can connect with so that you get the most out of your yoga session.
There are various different types of yoga from Hatha to Ashtanga. How does someone find the right style for them?
There are more than two hundred types of yoga. Hatha is the starting point for Yoga, which is focused on the female and male energy balance, Ashtanga is more dynamic. To find the right style for you I recommend you try a few different types and you will feel really connected, and your body more aligned with the one that is right for you.
A one on one rooftop yoga class on a 38 Degrees North Yogalates Retreat
What makes Ibiza such a special place to practise yoga?
Ibiza is a very healthy and energy rich environment to all those that come to the island. With 300 days of sunshine a year, fresh sea air, beautiful and individual people and Mediterranean cooking, Ibiza is the perfect place to practice Yoga.
Can people who have little or no yoga experience go on the 38° North Yogalates Retreat?
Yes, all those interested in the 38° North Yogalates Retreat are welcome. Every yoga position has a few variations so it can be adjusted for beginners or advanced. I always take a hands-on personal approach to each Yogi on the yoga mat.
What are the benefits of having a one-to-one yoga lesson and are these tailored for beginners only or all levels?
The benefits of a one-to-one session are to achieve a higher level of intimacy that would be more difficult to achieve within a group session. One-to-one sessions can be tailored to an individual's requirements whether they are beginners or advanced students.
What is your favourite yoga pose and why?
My favourite asana (yoga pose) is the lotus (meditation pose) because I've understood that I don't need my body as much as I used to, to achieve my inner peace.
Ayda stretching on the roof terrace at Aguas de Ibiza
Aside from yoga, what other holistic activities or treatments do you think strengthen the body and mind?
Deep tissue massage because it relaxes the muscles and the mind and helps pain release, shamanic healing (Fogo Sagrado). Reiki or Cranal Sacral helps release physical and emotional blockages and pure meditation calms the mind and the soul.
What are the top health benefits of practising yoga regularly?
Practising yoga on a regular basis improves: mental and body awareness, mental and physical flexibility, concentration levels, inner peace and love.
On the 38° North Yogalates Retreat, how will you provide people with an understanding of the foundations of yoga?
The yoga philosophy helps every time. One of the most beautiful trips to accomplish on earth - your Inner space! I am amazed by the incredible self-healing power of yoga. Many a stubborn mental & physical complaints were resolved over time. Dip with me into your beautiful inner & outer world! The great unity in us will support us on all levels for all our efforts.
The original Yoga teaching says that Yoga is a path of self-perfection, curbing the cravings among us by exercising methods of purification. The traditional view is that Yoga is the combination of postures, movements, internal concentration points (that stimulate breathing technique) and the use of mantras (meditation words or sound syllables) and mudras (postures in combination with bandhas or "finger yoga"), the vital energy (kundalini), so that it begins to ascend through Sushumna in the etheric spine out to the chakras (energy centers).
"Yoga is the inner state in which mental and spiritual processes come to rest" - Patanjali Sutra Citta-Vrtti-Nirodah.
For more information about our luxury Yoga and Pilates retreat with Ayda Elllis visit 38° North Ibiza Yogalates Retreat.