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Yoga Travel, Retreats, and Festivals

Yoga Around the World: A Global Flipbook by Robert Sturman

In honor of the second International Day of Yoga, Yoga Journal is proud to present a peek into the practices of 18 global yogis, photographed in locations around the world by Robert Sturman.

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In honor of International Day of Yoga, is proud to present a peek into the practices of 18 global yogis, photographed in locations around the world by yoga photographer Robert Sturman. “Moving in and out of countries around the globe in the name of celebrating the practice of yoga has shown me that we truly are all the same,” Sturman says. “I have never met anyone who is practicing yoga that isn’t trying to be the best version of themselves. And that is the story I seek to tell.”

18 International Yogis Share Their Practice

1. Shari Hochberg of Florence, Italy

Shari Hochberg of Florence, Italy.

Owner/Founder of Sole Yoga Holidays in Florence
Photographed in Florence, Italy

The yoga community in Florence is warm, supportive, and eager to learn,” Hochberg says. “Since the practice is still fairly new in comparison to the growth in the United States, it is such a joyful experience to teach my local Italians a new asana and see the pride and satisfaction and in their beautiful faces. My gratitude toward this beautiful community is immeasurable.”

See alsoStoke Your Spirit: Robert Sturman’s Top 108 Photos of 2015

2. Jurre Twijnstra of The Hague, Netherlands

Jurre Twijnstra of The Hague, Netherlands.

Leads Ashtanga Mysore classes/program at Delight Yoga The Hague
Photographed in Amsterdam

Yoga in the Netherlands is flourishing,” Twijnstra reports. “The wisdom of yoga is spreading wide through studios, festivals, events, and retreats in and outside of the city. One of the places where I teach is even right in front of the Peace Palace in The Hague; yoga is literally embracing the International Court of Justice.”

See also#FindYourInspiration: An Interview with Robert Sturman

3. Ninie Ahmad of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Ninie Ahmad of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Yoga studio owner/Ashtanga Yoga practitioner
Photographed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Yoga is beautifully blooming in Malaysia despite the ban on yoga for Muslims in Malaysia in 2008,” Ahmad says. (The ban was lifted shortly afterward, but Muslims were instructed to avoid chanting.) “In Kuala Lumpur, almost two dozen yoga studios and fitness centers with yoga classes popped up in 2015, along with the boom of health cafes and juice bars. Lululemon also opened their first ever showroom in Malaysia last [fall], offering free community yoga to the public.”

See also Preserving Each Moment With Yoga Photographer Robert Sturman

4. Eduardo Pimentel of Havana, Cuba

Eduardo Pimentel of Havana, Cuba

President of the Cuban Yoga Association 
Photographed in Havana, Cuba

Yoga in Cuba has been an excellent alternative solution to face the different situations that arise from the lack of essentials for basic living,” Pimentel says. “It is growing more and more, thanks to the labor of our Cuban Yoga Association and our yoga community.”

See alsoWhy Cuba Is 2016’s Karma Yoga Hot Spot

5. Todd Lavictoire of Ottawa, Ontario

Todd Lavictoire of Ottawa, Ontario

Movement Educator and Yoga Tune Up® Teacher Trainer 
Photographed in Ontario

[Canada has] such a vibrant and diverse yoga community with so many knowledgeable teachers,” Lavictoire says. “There’s really something to support every taste and ability. Even our prime minister is an avid yoga practitioner, and his wife (our ‘first lady’ of sorts) is a certified yoga teacher herself. As an example of our vibrancy, every Wednesday from May through September, we have thousands of yogis (usually between 2,000-3,000 participants every week) get together to practice yoga on our Parliament Hill. People from all corners of our city come out to enjoy and participate in the beautiful practice and celebrate our yoga community.”

See also5 Nature Yoga Photos to Get You Outside

6. James Uquala, Grand Canyon, Arizona

James Uquala, Spiritual Emissary and Cultural Guardian of the Havasupai Tribe, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Spiritual Emissary and Cultural Guardian of the Havasupai Tribe
Photographed in Sedona, Arizona

This discipline of yoga brings clarity [and] illumination into the very simple walk we walk as two-legged [beings],” Uquala says. “Yoga has brought an awakening of the body today. Prayer of body, prayer of ritual, prayer of ceremony are part of the journey of all the two-legged in their earth walk.”

See alsoYJ Readers Practice Desert Yoga: See the Photos

7. Rosalind Southward of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

Rosalind Southward of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, U.K.

Forrest Yoga Teacher 
Photographed in Malibu, California 

The yoga community in the U.K. is diverse, growing, and evolving—it’s an exciting thing to witness and more importantly be a part of,” Southward says. “My local community in the city where I live and teach is friendly, unpretentious, and fun! Its warmth and authenticity mean that I feel supported as both a teacher and student—for this I feel extremely fortunate and very grateful.”

See also5 Inspiring Group Yoga Photos From Readers

8. Gülnihal Özdener of Istanbul, Turkey

Gulnihal Ozdener of Istanbul, Turkey

Dharma Yoga 800-hour Registered Teacher
Photographed in Central Park, NYC

Yoga community has been slowly growing [here] in the last couple of decades, [but] the number of yoga practitioners is still not as big as the number in the U.S. or anywhere else in Europe,” Özdener says. “The locals who don’t know about yoga keep their distance. However, once told about yoga philosophy, even the non-practitioners embrace yoga with respect and curiosity.”

See alsoThe Art of Teaching Yoga: 8 Ways to Weave Philosophy Into Your Classes

9. Eilda Zaghmout of Bethlehem, Palestine

robert sturman, wild thing

Co-Founder and Yoga Teacher at Beit Ashams for Self-Development
Photographed in Bethlehem, Palestine

Yoga in Palestine is a new concept that started gaining more popularity recently,” Zaghmout says. “Even though a few teachers introduced it some years ago, it is still considered new. People now are becoming more aware of taking care of themselves, in a culture that does not see this as a priority. My first learning in yoga was, ‘Take care of yourself so you can take care of others,’ and that’s why I believe that yoga is a major tool in our journey of self-discovery, to see our new way of being in creating a different future for ourselves, and the world.”

See also 4 Ayurvedic Self-Care Practices for Renewal

10. Selina A. Aziz, Malaysian yogini based in Singapore

flying crow, park, robert sturman

Yoga Teacher at Yoga Movement Singapore
Photographed in Central Park, New York City

Yoga in Singapore is really booming—more and more people are picking it up, and the level of practice has been rising steadily with more and more yogis picking up inversions and arm balances,” Aziz says. “The thing that still amuses me until this day is how popular hot yoga is over here, since our weather is already pretty hot and humid throughout the year!”

See alsoAsk the Expert: Will My Body Adapt to Hot Yoga?

11. Irene Auma of Nairobi, Kenya

Irene Auma of Nairobi, Kenya

Yoga teacher, Africa Yoga Project
Photographed in Nairobi, Kenya

Where I live, I teach yoga to everyone and it creates community from inside and outside,” Auma says. “I love the yoga culture in Africa because I can teach yoga in prisons without yoga mats [and] correctional officers can join.”

See alsoAfrica Yoga Project: 5 Yoga Teachers from Nairobi

12 & 13. Claudine and Honza Lafond of Sydney, Australia

Claudine and Honza Lafond of Sydney, Australia (they spend most of the year on the road)

International yoga teachers 
Photographed on Venice Beach, California

The Australian yoga culture is still very young, but vibrant,” the Lafonds report. “There are many new studios opening up that are experimenting and embracing of new styles, and it’s so exciting! We feel fortunate to be a part of this community and to witness the expansion in the yoga landscape Down Under.”

See alsoWhat’s Your Yoga Style? Take Our Quiz

14. Covi Gonzalez of Mexico City, Mexico

Covi Gonzalez of Mexico City, Mexico

Yoga teacher at Maha Yoga in Mexico City
Photographed in Santa Monica, California

Maha Yoga in Mexico City is helping people achieve their inner balance despite the noise, traffic, chaos and busy-ness,” Gonzalez says. “It is the moment where we reconnect our body and mind to create inner harmonization.”

See alsoKino MacGregor’s Sequence for Inner Strength

15. Shiri Segal Amiel of Hadera, Israel

Shiri Segal Amiel of Hadera, Israel

Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher
Photographed in Caesarea, Israel

There is an increasing awareness of yoga in Israel in training schools, centers, and studios,” Segal Amiel says. “Most popular among children, young adults, and the elderly are Hatha yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa, and Iyengar yoga. Beautiful hotspots that are perfect environments for performing yoga in the midst of nature are the Golan Heights, the Negev desert, and the Dead Sea.”

See alsoIn Focus: Photos of Kids Practicing Yoga

16. Jacob Parit Noomek of Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Jacob Parit Noomek, Maasai warrior, Amboselli at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro

Maasai warrior, yoga teacher
Photographed at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro

It’s not just yoga when you’re on the mat. Yoga is in you,” explains Noomek, who became a yoga teacher through the Africa Yoga Project.

See alsoCreating Jobs through Yoga in Kenya

17. Kris Daza-Taylor of Baumholder in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Kris Daza-Taylor of Baumholder, Germany

Holistic Wellness coach and therapeutic yoga teacher
Photographed in Amsterdam

As an instructor, I was excited to move to a rural community and looked forward to teaching in smaller, more intimate settings,” Daza-Taylor says. “This is exactly what I encountered. My students have been welcoming, loving, and receptive to the lighthearted and supportive approach I tend to take while teaching. It’s been an honor to work with such amazing students.”

See alsoHow Yoga Fosters Real Community + Relationships in a Digital World

18. Richard Pietromonaco of New York City

Richard Pietromonaco of New York, N.Y.

Restaurant owner and devoted yogi 
Photographed in Manhattan

NYC has an incredibly diverse group of yoga studios,” Pietromonaco notes. “We are truly blessed to have so many outstanding teachers with deep roots to the practice that are devoted to teaching and guiding this community. Yoga has become the number one survival tool in NYC—my hardest decision is deciding which amazing classes to take each week!”

See alsoYoga Girl’s 5 Tips for Cultivating a World-Changing Spirit Within

About the Photographer

robert sturman and dog

A dedicated yoga practitioner, photographer Robert Sturman has increasingly focused on capturing the timeless grace and embodied mindfulness of asana in his work. See more on:
Twitter: @robertsturman
Instagram: @robertsturman
Facebook: @Artist.Photografia