At Manduka, we were founded on the simple concept of creating a foundation to support those (teachers, studios, community guides) who Inspire the Practice. The yoga teachers and studios inspire more they will ever know. They become people and places of familiarity, comfort, community, and joy. They help create strength in the chaos. They push us when needed and grant space when it's best. They facilitate our own 'moments' on and off the mat.
Quite simply, they are our inspiration.
Manduka is grateful for the thousands of teachers and studios who make it part of their life's work to create a sanctuary for us to move our bodies, free our minds, and find peace. Even if for a moment, we honor you and say thank YOU for Inspiring the Practice.
Inspiration is what unites us all to make ourselves and this world a better place. Let's take off on this journey together to celebrate those that #InspirethePractice.
MEET ASTEYA YOGA STUDIO
Asteya Yoga Studio is located in Maribor, Slovenia. This beautiful space offers Vinyasa Yoga, exclusive Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra events and functional strength training to small groups. We dove into founder Anja's world to get to know her and her journey to opening Asteya Yoga Studio.
Tell us a little bit about Asteya Yoga Studio and the energy it brings to the local yoga community. When people enter your studio, what do you want them to feel?
Ko ljudje vstopijo v Asteya yoga studio po navadi najprej zaznajo prijeten vonj in zaslišijo nežno glasbo. Ob prihodu pogosto sledi komentar v smislu “Kot, da prides v drug svet”. Hvaležna sem za prostor v katerem ustvarjam, vanj vlagam kolikor zmorem in redni obiskovalci to opazijo in cenijo. Želim si, da se ljudje ob vstopu v studio počutijo kot “doma”, da se počutijo dobrodošli, sprejeti in da lahko zadihajo. Upam, da ustvarjam prostor, kjer se obiskovalci spomnijo na hvaležnost, sočutnost, prijaznost, tako do sebe, kot do drugih. Mislim, da mi zaenkrat uspeva in je to tisto bistveno, kar dam skupnosti.
[English translation] When people enter the yoga studio, they usually first notice a pleasant smell and hear soft music. A comment like "It's like you've entered another world" often follows. I am grateful for the space I create in, I invest as much as I can in it and regular visitors notice and appreciate that. I want people to feel at home when they enter the studio, to feel welcome, accepted and to be able to breathe. I hope to create a space where visitors are reminded to be grateful, compassionate, kind, both to themselves and to others. I think I am succeeding so far and that is the essential thing I give to the community.
What are the key elements of Asteya Yoga Studio, that you feel enhance the practice of your students?
Mislim, da je zelo pomembno, da je studio svetel, z veliko naravne svetlobe, da oddaja občutek topline in udobja. V studiu je kar nekaj zelenih rastlin, kar je obiskovalcem všeč. Studio je preprost in brez odvečnih dražljajev.
[English translation] I think it's very important that the studio is bright, with lots of natural light, so that it gives off a feeling of warmth and comfort. There are quite a few green plants in the studio, which the people present love. The studio is simple and without unnecessary stimuli.
What do you want all of your students to take away from an experience at your studio?
Želim si, da jim izkušnja joge v studiu prinese karkoli dobrega. Naj bo to boljše zavedanje telesa, hvaležnost za vsak dih, mogoče “samo” boljši spanec ali manj bolečin v hrbtenici. Želim si, da jim redno obiskovanje joge v studiu prinese pozitivno spremembno v vsakdanu, ki se odraža tudi v dnevih, ko ne pridejo v studio.
[English translation] I want them to get something good out of the experience of yoga in the studio. Whether it's better body awareness, gratitude for every breath, maybe "just" better sleep or less back pain. I want them to feel that attending yoga classes regularly in the studio brings a positive change in their daily life, which is reflected even on the days when they don't come to the studio.
What do you think has been particularly successful for your business?
Prepričana sem, da so na uspešnost in prepoznavnost studia pomembno vplivali prijatelji, ki so mi pri ustvarjanju imena znamke nesebično pomagali. Pri tem mislim predvsem na mojo drago prijateljico oblikovalko in prijatelja, ki se ukvarjata s fotografijo in videografijo. Seveda pa se mi zdi ena bistvenih sestavina uspeha tudi to, da res delam in delim nekaj v kar resnično verjamem.
[English translation] I am convinced that the success and visibility of the studio has been significantly influenced by my friends who have selflessly helped me to create the brand name. I am thinking in particular of my dear designer friend and my photography and videography friends. Of course, one of the essential ingredients of success for me is that I really work and share something I truly believe in.
What is your goal or mission for Asteya Yoga Studio?
Želja in cilj v prihodnje je širitev studia, mogoče kdaj dodaten prostor, dodatna lokacija in vsekakor nujna širitev ekipe. Ker trenutno delam v studiu samo jaz in moj partner, ki vodi funkcionalne treninge.
[English translation] The wish and goal for the future is to expand the studio, maybe some day to have an additional space, an additional location, and certainly a necessary expansion of the team. As at the moment it's just me and my partner who runs the functional training.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you find yoga and what was your path from student to teacher and finally into a studio owner?
Prvi stik z jogo sem imela v srednješolskih letih in priznam, ni bila ljubezen na prvi pogled (prvo izkušnjo). Ni mi bil všeč pristop učiteljice, ni mi pasal njen glas in komaj sem čakala, da ura mine. Kasneje sem v času študija na Fakulteti za šport na enem večjem športnem dogodku spoznala in izkusila dinamično, flow obliko joge. Takoj mi je bila všeč in vedela sem, da si nekaj takega želim enkrat tudi predajati sama. Eden izmed razlogov zakaj sem postala učiteljica joge je tudi ta, ker se nisem videla v opravljanju svojega poklica, kot učiteljica športne vzgoje. Gibanje, ukvarjanje z različnimi športi mi je bilo blizu od malih nog. Nikoli nisem dvomila v to, da je gibanje zdravo in da se po tem počutimo boljše, tako telesno kot duševno. Zato sem postala učiteljica joge takoj ko je bilo to zame dostopno, časovno in finančno. Bi rekla, da sem postala pravi yoga student šele takrat, ko sem se se vpisala tečaj za učiteljico joge in seveda ostajam še zdaj, tudi kot učiteljica joge in lastnica znamke Asteya. Kot lastnico studia se vidim od leta 2020, odkar najemam samo en prostor, kjer učim. Prej sem od leta 2017 najemala različne prostore in prakso joge učila na različnih lokacijah v Mariboru in okolici.
[English translation] My first contact with yoga was in high school and I admit it was not love at first sight (first experience). I didn't like the teacher's approach, I didn't like her voice and I couldn't wait for the class to be over. Later, while studying at the Faculty of Sport, I was introduced to and experienced a dynamic, flow form of yoga at a major sporting event. I liked it immediately and knew that I wanted to do something like that myself one day. One of the reasons I became a yoga teacher is because I didn't see myself in my profession as a physical education teacher. Movement, doing different sports, has been close to my heart since I was a little girl. I have never doubted that exercise is healthy and that it makes us feel better, both physically and mentally. That's why I became a yoga teacher as soon as it was affordable for me, both in terms of time and money. I would say that I only became a real yoga student when I enrolled in the yoga teacher training course and of course I still am now, also as a yoga teacher and owner of the Asteya brand. I see myself as a studio owner since 2020, since I only rent one space where I teach. Previously, since 2017, I rented different spaces and taught yoga practice in different locations in Maribor and the surrounding area.
What kind of yoga do you practice personally?
Kadar mi ostane dovolj časa in energije, to je takrat kadar učim manj ur v tednu, se rada predam dobro vodeni srednje intenzivni vinyasa jogi, vedno bolj pa mi je pri srcu tudi restorativna praksa joge. Želim si, da se v prihodnje uspem boljše organizirati in tudi disciplinirati, da bi posledično imela več časa za lastno prakso joga asan. Vem, da jo potrebujem. Sicer pa sem mnenja, da jogo prakticiramo tudi izven okvira jogijskih asan, izven joga podloge. V tem kakšen odnos gradimo so sebe, kako se obnašamo do narave, kakšni smo v odnosu z drugimi in kako se odzivamo na stresne situacije.
[English translation] When I have the time and energy, i.e. when I am teaching fewer hours in the week, I like to do a well-guided medium-intensity vinyasa yoga practice, but I am also increasingly interested in restorative yoga. I would like to be able to organise and discipline myself better in the future, so that I have more time for my own yoga asana practice. I know I need it. Otherwise, I think that yoga is also practiced outside the framework of yoga asanas, outside the yoga mat. It's in the attitude we build towards ourselves, the way we behave towards nature, the way we relate to others and the way we react to stressful situations.
Do you have any tips for balancing your personal practice while teaching full-time?
Imam en nasvet, ki je nasvet tudi zame. Ta je, da, kot učitelj joge najdeš način, da ne porabiš preveč energije pri učenju joge, da ti je ostane še nekaj zase. Torej, da vodiš ure na način, da lahko čim več vodiš z besedami in ob tem praktikante usmerjaš v boljše izvedbe asan in prehodov med njimi in manj učiš preko same demonstracije. Je pa težko in je vsekakor velik izziv sploh na začetku poti in v skupinah, kjer je veliko joga začetnikov.
[English translation] I have one piece of advice, which is also advice for me. It is that as a yoga teacher you find a way not to spend too much energy teaching yoga, so that you have some energy left for yourself. So that you lead the classes in a way that you can lead with words as much as possible, while guiding the students to better executions of the asanas and the transitions between them, and teaching less through demonstration. But it's difficult and it's definitely a challenge, especially at the beginning of the path and in groups where there are a lot of yoga beginners.
What’s your approach/philosophy to teaching yoga?
Moja filozofija je že od samega začetka enaka. Po mojem mnenju smo v vsakdanu pod različnimi pritiski – službe, družbe, lastnih pričakovanj, družine … Zato je moja želja od nekdaj, da ponudim prakso, kjer se prisotni lahko sprostijo, vsaj v času prakse joge spustijo vsa pričakovanja in se spočijejo od skrbi in bremen, ki jih sicer nosijo. Moj pristop je nežen, odprt v smislu, da poudarjam, da naj vsak prakticira po svojih zmožnosti, glede na počutje, energijo v tistem dnevu, v tisti uri. Ker se zavedam, da ne zmoremo vsak dan enako. Na kratko pa je moja filozofija stavek, ki je zapisan tudi na moji spletni strani.
»Joga je povabilo, da povežemo telo, um in duha, vzpostavimo stik s seboj, sprostimo napetosti in se celovito vrnemo nazaj k sebi.« Praksa joge, ki jo predajam ni le gibanje telesa, ampak pristna spremljevalka za zdravo življenje. Je filozofija, ki nam pomaga ustvarjati upanje na prijaznejši svet.
[English translation] My philosophy has been the same from the very beginning. In my opinion, we are under various pressures in our daily lives - work, society, our own expectations, family... Therefore, it has always been my wish to offer a practice where those present can relax, let go of all expectations, and rest from the worries and burdens they otherwise carry, at least for the duration of the yoga practice. My approach is gentle, open, in the sense that I stress that everyone should practice according to their own capacity, according to how they feel, according to their energy in that day, in that hour. Because I am aware that we cannot do the same thing every day. In short, my philosophy is a sentence that is also written on my website.
"Yoga is an invitation to connect body, mind and spirit, to get in touch with ourselves, release tensions and come back to ourselves holistically." The practice of yoga that I give is not just a movement of the body, but an authentic companion for a healthy life. It is a philosophy that helps us create hope for a kinder world.
Asteya Yoga Studio is hosting a series of free in-person yoga classes (sign up here!):
- 18 November 2023: "slow down" restorative yoga
- 6 January 2024: My New Routine (new year's class)
- 20 January 2024: Men's Yoga
- 10 February 2024: Wake up your inner fire Vinyasa
- 20 April 2024: Beat Spring fatigue with Yoga
- 1 June 2024: Yoga for everyone that sits a lot
Asteya Yoga Studio is geared up with the eKO 5mm Yoga Mats, PROlite Yoga Mats, cork & foam yoga blocks, Align straps and Enlight rectangular bolsters. For Manduka Studio Equipment and studio discounts, visit here