We were introduced to Antonio by Viviana. The two of them met in Pescara in 2005, an encounter Antonio playfully describes as “love at first thighs!” It’s true, Viv has great legs. Antonio is a yoga devotee and private coach who moved to Ibiza from Italy last year. He graciously let us capture glimpses of his practice around the island and opened up about life and wellness in Ibiza.
When did you first discover yoga and what attracted you to the practice?
After feeling bored of working out in a gym, my friend Esther invited me to a yoga class. I was intrigued so I accepted the invitation, took a deep breath and entered the class. The rest is history. It was so painful at first! There is no gain without pain in yoga. But there was a group of strong, mature women all focused in their practice and it felt like the epitome of health. 10 years later, I can’t imagine living a single day without it.
Ibiza is often connected to the idea of nightlife and partying – can you talk about the wellness scene here? How is a practice like yoga received?
Thinking of the island only as a spot where nightlife is part of the tourism is quite reductive. Ibiza has been a hippie refuge for many years, so spirituality and holistic disciplines have their roots here. Discos came after and marked an era in Ibiza. But this is the duplicity and strong dichotomy of the Island. You can come to life only at dusk or have your early morning practice in front of a marvelous huge monolith like Es Vedra and connect yourself with the uncontaminated environment.
What would you like to see more of in the wellness scene in Ibiza? What would you like to see less of?
Actually I am pretty satisfied by the wellness scene in Ibiza. The island offers a huge range of services connected to health, depending on one’s intentions. It is true that someone who is really into yoga doesn’t need to do that much more to workout.
It is pretty much common to see people at sunset walking with their mats on their shoulders. The island also has a lot to offer for other activities. Swimming pools, spas, crossfit corners, hiking, trekking. I would love to see more people connected to a good and healthy lifestyle.
Balance is important in yoga, but also in many facets of life – can you talk about how you achieve balance in a place like Ibiza?
You need to follow your own spirit and energy to schedule your life, to make it happen in a place that never sleeps, that absorbs so much of your energy and that always surprises you. Through yoga I tend to keep my life balanced here. One hour a day I disconnect from the frenzy of the island and with do my practice. Silence is so precious. We all need silence to listen to ourselves at least one hour a day.
What are the most beneficial aspects of yoga, to you?
From increased strength to flexibility to heart health, yoga creates very tangible benefits. I’ve experienced yoga’s healing power in a very real way over the years, first by seeing my body change shape completely. It requires focus and concentration which allows for proper breathing. Studies have shown that consistent yoga practice improves depression and led to a significant increase in serotonin – so it makes you happier!
What do you love most about Ibiza?
The nature and colors, the light at sunset. My early morning walk in the harbor. The energy of the island that keeps me focused and motivated. This is really what I love most about Ibiza. Ah and driving around in my old Volkswagen Beetle.