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Designing for Yoga: Inspirations From Around The World

Posted by
on July 27, 2018 at 01:12 PM

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On the occasion of Guru Purnima and with the International Yoga Day just gone by, we decided to round up some fascinating meditative spaces from around the world! In these times, as the world tries to look inwards for wellbeing, the mind is inadvertently drawn towards spaces meant for these higher experiences. Spaces that are specifically designed for practices like Yoga and meditation have been sprouting up across the world, as people are eager to invest their resources of time and energy for their inner well-being. The spread of yoga to the US and European countries is an obvious fact but, some of the most exquisitely designed Yoga centres can be found in the most unlikely places. Today, we explore some beautiful Yoga studios in Mexico, Columbia and Vietnam.

Spa Querétaro, Mexico

Designed by Ar. Ambrosi Etchegaray in an area of around 500 sq m, the entire plot is built upon with a plinth and landscaped patios have been carved out at intervals in the super-structure clad in coloured concrete. The purity of form and material lends a fundamental serenity to the entire campus, while the intermittent patios serve to maintain a ‘close-to-nature’ experience in all parts of the building and also fill it with different kinds of light during the day.

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This pervasive ground floor is topped with cubical pavilions having glazed faces that enjoy beautiful views of the verdant surroundings. These are the Yoga halls which are completely insulated to exterior disturbances, while the ground floor has massage rooms opening on to private landscaped patios. The entire campus is immersed in an aura of tranquillity and relaxation.

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S. The Yoga Studio, South Korea

Y Space Design has conceived this Yoga centre in Geonggi, South Korea, as a warm woody interior in natural forms and materials which is, still, off-beat. The pervasive yellow lighting warms up the white brick walls to match up with the use of wood on the rest of the surfaces. 

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A major portion of the floor and walls in the main hall is clad in diagonally arranged differently grained wood boards of irregular lengths that allow sunlight to flow in from the irregular windows and jagged edges of the cladding to result in what they call the ‘sky lobby’ The design is aimed at portraying the dynamic inner force acquired by the dedicated practice of Yoga and, I dare say, it does very uniquely articulate a fired up aura of kinetics balanced finely with an enveloping calm. The gigantic ‘Om’ printed on the two end walls of the other yoga halls remind the practitioners about the importance of one’s breath, while the row of long rectangular glazed windows connects with nature while reflecting the rows of quaintly pink Yoga mats lining the floor of the hall.

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Kamadhenu Yoga Studio, Columbia

Designers Carolina Echevarri and Alberto Burckhardt have designed this privately owned yoga centre in Columbia, which programmatically includes various activity classes for the locals, making it a community centre with its prime focus on the practice of Yoga. Nestled gently on a sloping terrain, the complex basically comprises three built units housing the yoga room, the kitchen and dining room and the changing and washrooms, along with a central outdoor courtyard, all strung on either side of a long passage. 

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One enters at the highest level at one end and descends gradually along this passage, pausing wherever one needs to turn into a room or a courtyard. The meditating Buddha seated atop a Lily pond in the courtyard along with a small flame lit up in front and the glorious mountains in the background create a harmonious amalgam of the Elements as a welcoming visual for anyone entering the building. The wood used in the big sloping roofs over the yoga and dining halls helps to connect with nature outside while the huge glass openings establish the visual link with the outdoors. The stone used for the steps and floors reaffirms the bond with the earth while the concrete in the structure signifies stability. The experience, in totality, is one of serene harmony with nature as well as one’s inner self.

© Courtesy of internet resources

Naman Spa, Vietnam

The Pure Spa, a facility at the Naman Retreat at Danang in Vietnam, designed by MIA Associates, can be described as an exquisite green haven. Built around a central courtyard and adjacent to a water body, the spa is sandwiched between layers of natural green. Moreover, to screen it from the surrounding buildings of the resort, an exquisite fenestration derived by placing multiple layers of architectural and landscaping screens has been erected on the external faces of the spa building. 

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This fenestration includes a combination of louvered walls forming two layers of perforated screens and vertical gardens articulated eloquently by a curtain of changing creepers and other plants growing strategically among the screen walls. The same fenestration method is adopted in the central courtyard as well, where a thick green cover is punctuated by meditation platforms placed amidst serene pools of water. This arrangement ensures natural cooling in all the interior spaces including spa rooms, meditation and yoga halls, and close integration with nature. 

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As is apparent, from all these beautiful instances, a calming seclusion from external chaos and a close harmony with elements of nature are to be essentially factored into the design of a suitable place for the practice of Yoga. The limitless possibilities of creatively articulating these factors, which are as eternal and universal as the practice itself,  are what make such a project a designer’s delight.

© Courtesy of internet resources

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