Yoga in Italy

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Yoga in Italy is the practice of yoga, whether for exercise, therapy, or other reasons, in Italy.


An international Ananda Marga group singing a Kirtan on the occasion of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti's liberation. Italy, 1978. The organisation uses asanas alongside mudras, pranayama, and other practices of Patanjali's ashtanga yoga.[1]

A pioneer of modern yoga as exercise in Italy was Vanda Scaravelli (1908-1999),[2] author of the "classic"[3] 1991 book Awakening the spine.[4]

Another pioneer, Carlo Patrian (1930-2008), began studying yoga in 1950 and founded the yoga institute that still bears his name in Milan in 1965.[5][6][7]

In the 21st century, yoga is growing steadily in Italy, and the International Day of Yoga (21 June) is celebrated across the country each summer. By 2017 there were some 830 recognised yoga schools in the country.[8] The 2018 Coop report (compiled by Nielsen in 2017) stated that 11% of the women of Italy and 3% of the men practiced yoga or Pilates; 32% of those consulted said they intended to practice in future.[9][10]

Among the forms of yoga in Italy are hybrids such as aerial yoga and Acroyoga.[11]

Italy is a popular destination for yoga tourism, with yoga retreats and holidays taught in various languages.[12][13]


By 2019, yoga teacher training was still not regulated in Italy despite the country's 3 million yoga practitioners, resulting, according to Bianca Carati writing in La Stampa, in excessively "accelerated" courses, some taking as little as 2 months to deliver 150 hours of training at a cost between €1500 and €3000. Carati reported that the Associazione Italiana Iyengar yoga[a] considered this inadequate; it required at least 3 years of training. It, along with the Associazione Italiana Insegnanti Yoga[b] and the Associazione Yoga Satyananda,[c] has created a set of proposed standards for yoga teacher training in Italy, requiring at least 500 hours of training over a period of at least four years, and to have taught for at least four years.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Italian Iyengar Yoga Association
  2. ^ The Italian Association of Yoga Teachers
  3. ^ The Satyananda Yoga Association


  1. ^ "What is Ananda Marga Style Yoga?". Ananda Marga. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  2. ^ Mannarelli, Sibilla Vecchiarino (23 February 2018). "Vanda Scaravelli: Gravita', Colonna e Respiro" (in Italian). Yoga Magazine.
  3. ^ Catalfo, Phil (5 April 2017) [28 August 2007]. "Vanda Scaravelli". Yoga Journal.
  4. ^ Redfern, Helen (3 January 2019). "Book Review: Awakening The Spine by Vanda Scaravelli". Yoga Matters.
  5. ^ Mannarelli, Massimo (1 March 2019). "Carlo Patrian, Il Pioniere Dello Yoga in Italia" (in Italian). Yoga Magazine.
  6. ^ "Istituto Yoga" (in Italian). Istituto Yoga Patrian. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  7. ^ Patrian, Carlo (1971). Yoga (in Italian). Sperling & Kupfer.
  8. ^ "Esplode la yoga-mania, in Italia oltre un milione di praticanti". Giornale di Sicilia (in Italian). 9 June 2017.
  9. ^ a b Carati, Bianca (14 March 2019). "Yoga sempre più in voga, ma il settore non è regolato". La Stampa (in Italian).
  10. ^ "Rapporto COOP 2018" (PDF) (in Italian). Coop. 2017.
  11. ^ "Yoga" (in Italian). Festival dell' Oriente. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  12. ^ Dunford, Jane (7 October 2018). "Perfect positions: 20 best yoga holidays worldwide". The Guardian.
  13. ^ "Diese Hotels sind perfekt für Yoga-Fans" (in German). Welt. Retrieved 10 December 2019.