For those who don't know me my name is Maria Natsouli, I grew up in Athens, studied economics and worked successfully in the marketing field for 20 years. Overachiever, hard worker, always aiming high, had to relocate to Dubai with my family to finally realize nothing of that was full-feeling me. I resigned and found myself drawn into my yoga practice more and more every day and as my body became stronger and healthier, I soon discovered that my yoga mat was my place of self-awareness and mind-body connection. And then I realized that the best thing happening to me was that outside my mat I was becoming a better person, a better friend, a better mother to my twin boys. It was then that I decided to enroll into a Yoga Teacher Training, aiming to share my practice and experiences with others. As a teacher, I believe that yoga is a practice that fits all and that every person, no matter sex, body type or age, can embrace it and develop through it. As a student, I will be always excited to see the immense positive impact that yoga practice is bringing into my life.
áv̱ra, noun, the Greek word that means aura or breeze
Avra Yoga is a warm and welcoming place for everyone who wants to practice, grow, relax, get any benefits they need from their yoga practice. Respecting the rich yoga traditions, while also embracing all modern practices that support overall health and balance, Avra Yoga offers a range of classes, designed to appeal to both advanced practitioners and absolute beginners, including Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga, Alignment Yoga, Prenatal and Pilates classes.
Come visit our place, even if you haven’t tried yoga before, or you did and you didn’t like it, here is your opportunity to give it a go (or a second go) and fall in love with it as we did.
"Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured."
- B.K.S. Iyengar
The word yoga means “unity” or “oneness” and is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, which means “to unite”. The practise of yoga aims to create union between body, mind and spirit, as well as between the individual self and universal consciousness. On a more practical level, yoga is a means of balancing and harmonizing the body, mind and emotions.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras provide the traditional foundation of yoga, in which he outlines an eightfold path of the practice. Known as the ‘Eight Limbs of Yoga,’ it is comprised of :
Yamas - Five universal, ethical and moral observances to live by (nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence and non-covetousness)
Niyamas - Five spiritual and self-discipline observances (cleanliness, contentment, spiritual austerities, study of scriptures and surrender to God)
Asana - physical posture
Pranayama - breathing exercises to control the flow of prana (vital life force)
Pratyahara - Withdrawal of the senses
Dharana - Concentration
Dhyana - Meditation
Samadhi - Identification with pure consciousness
Each of the Eight Limbs offers a means of living with more integrity, self-discipline, respect for nature and connection with the spiritual aspects of life.
Modern yoga is most commonly associated with the physical practice of asana intended to build strength and stamina, to improve flexibility, coordination and balance, and to relax the body. However, this provides only one small aspect of yoga as a whole. Yoga provides a real tool to people to connect with their real selves, manifest harmony, show kindness, and embrace both inner and outer realities.