Find your 21st-century urban sanctuary at Yyoga
A new yoga centre in Brussels offers a focus on healthy living and mindfulness in modern surroundings
New year, new you
Yyoga is a place to relax, in one of the capital’s busiest areas. It took owners Robbie Makroczy and Colin Wolf two years to find the right space. “When we bumped into this former art gallery, we knew it was right,” says Makroczy.
“We turned it into a yoga centre of 400 square metres with several rooms for yoga classes. The building has a large window looking out on to Vismarkt, so we decided to transform the first part of the space into a shop dedicated to all things yoga.”
When you enter Yyoga, leaving the cobbled and bustling Vismarkt behind, you’ll find yourself in a modern yoga boutique. “We want this space to be open to everyone and focus on conscious, healthy living, rather than spirituality,” Makroczy explains.
“Tradition plays an important role with yoga. But we live in the 21st century and yoga needs to adapt to modern needs as well. Whatever religion or background our visitors have, we want them to come together and focus on themselves. Mindfulness, that’s what yoga is all about.”
No sitar music, no burning incense sticks; instead the centre has white walls and shelves, a yellow ceiling and a big blackboard featuring all the different classes. “My partner Colin is a yoga practitioner and an interior design architect,” says Makroczy. “He’s the creative brain behind the modern sanctuary look of the studio and all the Yyoga visuals.”
Something for mind and the body
Originally from Hungary, Makroczy started doing yoga at an early age. He is a certified yoga instructor and has trained in Europe, Asia and the US. “Over the years, the physical aspect of yoga has gained more importance,” he explains. “Working on your body, mastering the different postures and living a healthy life are key in our western society. But to me, the ultimate goal of yoga is to change your thinking and mind.”
To me, the ultimate goal of yoga is to change your thinking and mind
To cater for all our modern needs, Yyoga offers a variety of classes: hot yoga and hot flow, in heated rooms up to 37 degrees Celsius, hatha, vinyasa flow and freestyle flow. “We have six yoga instructors, me included, as we believe students need to practise with various teachers to get a broader picture of yoga,” Makroczy explains. “Some like to focus on breathing techniques and more traditional yoga, while others see yoga as an intense workout with lots of sweating.”
There’s no dress code at Yyoga, just wear something comfortable. Unlike with many other sports, you don’t need expensive shoes or attire to get started. “A good yoga mat and a light outfit will do,” says Makroczy.
“In our Yyoga shop we sell some essentials, mainly from small, European companies. We picked outfits in organic cotton and yoga mats from natural rubber to give our customers an alternative to what they find in big shops. Conscious shopping is part of a healthy lifestyle too.”
For those wanting to relax or practise yoga at home, the boutique sells all sorts of accessories too, from soy wax scented candles to eye pillows stuffed with lavender, organic soaps to a nail bed – a mat with sharp spikes to stimulate blood flow. A selection of yoga books is on its way.
The centre is open to anyone looking for information about yoga classes or yoga in general. Several classes are given every day and all the instructors speak English
Down on the Färm
For more conscious shopping, try organic supermarket Färm. It’s a couple of houses down the street and opened only a few months ago. Färm shares the same values as Yyoga: a mindful choice in the middle of the city.
Spread over nearly 400 square metres, you’ll find groceries from mainly Belgian, organic suppliers. There’s a large fruit and vegetable room, one with dairy products and meat substitutes, and alleys stacked with condiments and dry goods. The space was too small for an in-house bakery and butchery, but there’s a regular supply of fresh bread and vacuum-wrapped meat.
The shop was founded as a co-operative, and a share in Färm costs €20. Besides a 2% discount on your purchases, being a shareholder enables you to take part in meetings and workshops to improve the future of the shop.