Best of the Maldives Online: Yoga Instagram – Jessica Olie

In addition to having the world’s first underwater yoga session, Hurawalhi also secured one of the world’s best yoga Instagrammer, Jessica Olie. Her collection of Maldives shots are some of the best yoga post shots I have come across (and that is quite a competitive category in the atoll photo anthology). Here are a collection of some of the most stunning…

Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Anantara Dhigu - 5

Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) Anantara Dhigu 1

Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Anantara Dhigu - 7

Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Anantara Dhigu - 10

Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - 3

Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - 5

Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - 6

Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - 9

Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Givaavaru - 2

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Yoga – Hurawalhi

 

No joke this time (or this time), but Hurawalhi really did do underwater yoga in a world’s first:

  • “Jessica promises the 1-hour vinyasa flow to provide physical and mental rewards, with captivating views of fish around you as you move from one pose to the next bringing you even closer to a state of the zen-like state of mind.”

The one hour Vinyasa flow session was conducted by Jessica Olie (who frankly has one of the best yoga Instagram feeds…stay tuned for more on that).

Hurawalhi - Jessica Ollie underwater yoga

Seaside Śīrṣāsana on the Sand

A post shared by D A R I A (@__kuznetsova__) on

Maldive guests are absolutely head over heels about yoga. Whether it is your standard Śīrṣāsana, or a bendy Scorpion, One-Legged Wheel or even being suspended in an aerial yoga hammock, the breath of ocean breeze is always a boost to mind-over-matter (even when the mind is well under the matter)…

  1. Daria Kuznetsova (Russia) – Royal Island [ABOVE]
  2. Kino MacGregor (USA) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Kino MacGregor (USA) - Sun Siyam Irufushi 2
  3. Philine Pi Roepstorff (Denmark) – Cocoon
    Philine Pi Roepstorff (Denmark) - Cocoon
  4. Paola (Poland) – Velassaru
    Paola (Poland) - Velassaru
  5. Elena Minagi (Italy) – Kudafushi
    Elena Minagi (Italy) – Kudafushi
  6. Mar Mengot (Spain) – Athuruga
    Mar Mengot (Spain) - Athuruga
  7. Yoshie Roux-Chabert (France) – Amilla Fushi
    Yoshie Roux-Chabert (France) 2
  8. Emma Pensini (Australia) – Finolhu
    Emma Pensini (Australia) – Finolhu 2
  9. Tippawan Tanchai (Thailand) – Atmosphere Kanifushi
    Tippawan Tanchai (Thailand) - Atmosphere Kanifushi
  10. Jena Frumes (USA) – Park Hyatt Hadahaa
    Jena Frumes (USA) - Park Hyatt Hadahaa
  11. Jinx (Hong Kong) – Milaidhoo
    Jinx (Hong Kong) – Milaidhoo
  12. Paige Rene (USA) – Maalhoss
    Paige Rene (USA) - Maalhoss
  13. Lisa Jakobsson (Sweden) – Anantara Kihavah
    Lisa Jakobsson (Sweden) - Anantara Dhigu

  14. Katrin Amaure (Austria) – Furaveri
    Katrin Amaure (Austria) - Furaveri
  15. Eden Adar (Israel) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Eden Adar (Israel) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  16. Juhi Chawla (India) – Six Senses Laamu
    Juhi Chawla (India) - Six Senses Laamu
  17. Adell Bridges (USA) – Maalifushi
    Adell Bridges (USA) – Maalifushi 2
  18. Kristina Schulman (USA) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Kristina Schulman (USA) - Shangri-La Vilingili
  19. Dominika Myslivcová (Czech) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Dominika Myslivcová (Czech) - Gili Lankanfushi
  20. Sarita Câmara (Brazil) – Anantara Veli
    Sarita Câmara (Brazil) - Anantara Veli
  21. Kseniya Cherezova (Russia) – Sun Island
    Kseniya Cherezova (Russia) - Sun Island
  22. Nicole Dzikowska (USA) – Meedhupparu
    Nicole Dzikowska (USA) - Meedhupparu
  23. Karen (Sri Lanka) – Maalhos
    Karen (Sri Lanka) - Maalhos
  24. Anna Kleb (Germany) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Anna Kleb (Germany) - One & Only Reethi Rah

  25. Bianca Jade (South Africa)
    Bianca Jade (South Africa)
  26. Babe Sik (OAE) – Kandooma
    Babe Sik (OAE) - Kandooma
  27. Katarina Rodriguez (Philippines) – W Maldives
    Katarina Rodriguez (Philippines) - W Retreat
  28. Jessica Rae (USA) – Fihalhohi
    Jessica Rae (USA) – Fihalhohi 1
  29. Sarah Meith (Germany) – Makunudu
    Sarah Meith (Germany) - Makunudu
  30. Marta Filipkowska (OAE) – Six Senses Laamu
    Marta Filipkowska (OAE) - Six Senses Laamu
  31. Beth Sykess (United Kingdom) – Finolhu
    Beth Sykess (United Kingdom) – Finolhu
  32. Grace Kelly (Portugal) – Paradise Island
    Grace Kelly (Portugal) - Paradise Island
  33. Anne (Sweden) – Six Senses Laamu
    Anne (Sweden) - Six Senses Laamu

  34. Michelle (OAE) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Michelle (OAE) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  35. Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
    Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
  36. Scarlett De La Torre (Hong Kong) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Scarlett De La Torre (Hong Kong) - LUX South Ari Atoll
  37. Jemma (Australia) – Constance Moofushi
    Jemma (Australia) - Constance Moofushi

Prana in Paradise

A post shared by Real Maldives (@realmaldives) on

The International Yoga Festival takes place this week in neighbouring India and home of all things yoga, but the Maldives is an international yoga festival in its own right all year round…

  1. Amanda Strachan (Canada) – Milaidhoo
    Amanda Strachan (Canada) - Milaidhoo
       
  2. Jessica Rae (USA) – Fihalhohi
    Jessica Rae (USA) – Fihalhohi
       
  3. Sofi Anna and friends (Germany) – Maalifushi
    Sofi Anna and friends (Germany) – Maalifushi
        
  4. Bridget Bahl (USA) – Shangri-La Villingili
    Bridget Bahl (USA) – Shangri-La Villingili
       
  5. Kristina Schulman (USA) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Kristina Schulman (USA) - Shangri-La Vilingili

       
  6. Naysilla Mirdad (Indonesia) – W Maldives
    Naysilla Mirdad (Indonesia) - W Retreat
       
  7. Alisa Ilieva (Ukraine) – Kanuhura
    Alisa Ilieva (Ukraine) – Anantara Kihavah Villas
       
  8. Ocean Bloom (Canada) – Finolhu
    Ocean Bloom (Canada) - Finolhu
       
  9. Nicole Dzikowska (USA) – Meedhupparu
    Nicole Dzikowska (USA) - Meedhupparu
       
  10. Raquel Cueto Ruiz (Spain) – Anantara Veli
    Raquel Cueto Ruiz (Spain) - Anantara Veli
        
  11. Ali Dixon (Australia) – Kandooma
    Ali Dixon (Australia) - Kandooma
       
  12. Joanna Jović (UAE) – Cinnamon Dhonveli
    Joanna Jović (UAE) - Cinnamon Dhonveli
        
  13. Michaela Griffin-Smith (OAE) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Michaela Griffin-Smith (OAE) - LUX South Ari Atoll
       
  14. Ekaterina Dmitrieva (Russia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Ekaterina Ilina (Russia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
       
  15. Jeong Hwa (South Korea) – Halaveli
    Jeong Hwa (South Korea) - Halaveli
        
  16. Melini Jesudason (Japan) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Melini Jesudason (Japan) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
       
  17. Xenia Deli (Moldova) – Six Senses Laamu
    Xenia Deli (Moldova) – Six Senses Laamu
       
  18. McKenna Ray (USA) – Conrad Rangali
    McKenna Ray (USA) - Conrad Rangali
       
  19. Devie Suhendi (Dhiffushi) – Indonesia
    Devie Suhendi (Dhiffushi) – Indonesia
       
  20. Dannielle Blaker (OAE) – Ayada
    Dannielle Blaker (OAE) - Ayada
       
  21. Sandra Dobuschinsky (Germany) – Reethi Beach
    Sandra Dobuschinsky (Germany) - Reethi Beach
       
  22. Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
    Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi

       
  23. Natalie Molhart (Sweden) – Vakarufalhi
    Natalie Molhart (Sweden) – Vakarufalhi
       
  24. Mu Qi Yi Ma (China) – W Maldives
    Mu Qi Yi Ma (China) – W Retreat
       
  25. Dolores Semeraro (Italy) – LUX Maldives
    Dolores Semeraro (Italy) – LUX Maldives
       
  26. Precious Angellyn Sanchez (Philippines) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Precious Angellyn Sanchez (Philippines) – Gili Lankanfushi
       
  27. Bubee Kanpaibool (Thailand) – Lily Beach
    Bubee Kanpaibool (Thailand) – Lily Beach
       
  28. Rosemary Vandenbroucke (Hong Kong) – W Maldives
    Rosemary Vandenbroucke (Hong Kong) – W Retreat
       
  29. Clarice Lanta-Lilly Armstrong (United Kingdom) – NIYAMA
    Clarice Lanta-Lilly Armstrong (United Kingdom) – Huvafenfushi

        
  30. Regina Chow (Singpore) – Cocoa Island
    Regina Chow (Singpore) – Cocoa Island
       
  31. Klutzclumlov (Malaysia) – Gangehi
    Klutzclumlov (Malaysia) – Gangehi
       
  32. Dodo Said (Germany) – Jumeirah VIttaveli
    Dodo Said (Germany) – Jumeirah VIttaveli 
       
  33. Melissa Pretorius (Australia) – Kandooma
    Melissa Pretorius (Australia) – Kandooma
       
  34. Tatiana Orleanskaya (Russia) – Conrad Rangali
    Tatiana Orleanskaya (Russia) – Conrad Rangali
       
  35. Gökçen Arikan (Turkey) – LUX Maldives
    Gökçen Arikan (Turkey) – LUX Maldives
      
  36. Yulia Obraztsova (Russia) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
    Yulia Obraztsova (Russia) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
     
       

Gudhu Guru Girls

A post shared by H A N N A H (@yoga_girl_london) on

The Maldives has as many if not more female than male fitness fanatics and by far their fitness fashion of choice is yoga.  So much so that I’ve featured a number of yoga pose collections, but none more challenging and expert than the gaggle of gurus below…

(note:  “gudhu” means “curve” or “bend” in Dhivehi)

  1. Hannah (United Kingdom) – Amilla Fushi [ABOVE]
  2. Kat Harding (Australia) – Four Season Kuda Huraa
    Kat Harding (Australia) – Four Season Kuda Huraa
      
  3. Kino MacGregor (USA) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Kino MacGregor (USA) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
      
  4. Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
    Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
     
  5. Dannielle Blaker (OAE) – Ayada
    Dannielle Blaker (OAE) - Ayada
      
  6. Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa GiraavaruJessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - 3
     
      
  7. Elena (Italy) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Elena (Italy) - Adaaran Hudhuran fushi
      
  8. Rimma Pryadchenko (Russia) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Rimma Pryadchenko (Russia) - Centara Ras Fushi
        
  9. Deepika Mehta (India) – Six Senses Laamu
    Deepika Mehta (India) - Six Senses Laamu

          
  10. Tatyana Afanasyeva (Russia) – Eriyadu
    Tatyana Afanasyeva (Russia) – Eriyadu
      
  11. Jessica Rae (USA) – Maafuyshi
    Jessica Rae (USA) - Maafuyshi
  12. Melini Jesudason (Japan) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Melini Jesudason (Japan) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa   
       

 

 

Upside Down, Girl, You Turn Me

A post shared by Emma Ekholm (@emmmaekholm) on

International Yoga Day today. And the Maldives, with its idyllic tranquillity and serene beauty is becoming an international yoga hot spot itself. My very first yoga session I ever did was a sunrise session at Kuda Huraa years ago. Lori and I still take a weekly class, but I still struggle to balance in Eagle Pose never mind a full-fledged shoulder stand. But the top practitioners in the Maldives have no such difficulty, at least this inverted study thirty…

  1. Emma Ekholm (Sweden) – Olhuveli [ABOVE]
  2. Linzi B (United Kingdom) – Constance Moofushi
    Linzi B (United Kingdom) – Gili Lankanfushi
  3. Shona Vertue (Australia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Shona Vertue (Australia) - One & Only Reethi Rah
  4. Ali Dixon (Australia) – Kandooma
    Ali Dixon (Australia) - Kandooma
  5. Vanessa Hong (France) – Halaveli
    Vanessa Hong (France) - Halaveli
  6. Michelle (OAE) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Michelle (OAE) - Sun Siyam Irufushi 3
  7. Lowri Thomas (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Lowri Thomas (United Kingdom) - One & Only Reethi Rah
  8. Rimma Pryadchenko (Russia) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Rimma Pryadchenko (Russia) - Centara Ras Fushi
  9. Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
    Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi 2
  10. Jessica Rae (USA) – Maafuyshi
    Jessica Rae (USA) - Maafuyshi
  11. Dashama (USA) – Angsana Velavaru
    Dashama (USA) - Angsana Velavaru
  12. Isabel L. (Singapore) – Cocoa Island
    Isabel L (Singapore) - Cocoa Island
  13. Steph Claire Smith (Australia) – W Retreat
    Steph Claire Smith (Australia) – W Retreat
  14. Deepika Mehta (India) – Six Senses Laamu
    Deepika Mehta (India) - Six Senses Laamu
  15. Mabel (Singapore) – NIYAMA
    Mabel (Singapore) – NIYAMA
  16. Ocean Bloom (Canada) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Ocean Bloom (Canada) - Gili Lankanfushi
  17. Kino MacGregor (USA) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Kino MacGregor (USA) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  18. Roxet (Russia)
    Roxet (Russia)
  19. Zoe Jones (USA) – Kurumba
    Zoe Jones (USA) - Kurumba
  20. Denise Mak (Canada) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Denise Mak (Canada) - Gili Lankanfushi
  21. Ana Malina (Russia)
    Ana Malina (Russia)
  22. Gordeieva Ksenila (Russia) – Velaa
    Gordeieva Ksenila (Russia) - Velaa

  23. Jess Watson (Indonesia) – Maafushi
    Jess Watson (Indonesia) – Maafushi
  24. Judith Ko (Hong Kong) – Angsana Velavaru
    Judith Ko (Hong Kong) - Angsana Velavaru

  25. Dream Danzarina (Denmark) – Kuramathi
    Dream Danzarina (Denmark) - Kuramathi
  26. Xenia Deli (Moldova) – NIYAMA
    Xenia Deli (Moldova) – NIYAMA
  27. Anne (Sweden) – Six Senses Laamu
    Anne (Sweden) - Six Senses Laamu - 2
  28. Alana Kay (USA) – Anantara Dhigu
    Alana Kay (USA) – Anantara Dhigu
  29. Juju Norremose (Brazil) – NIYAMA
    Juju Norremose (Brazil) - NIYAMA

  30. Melini Jesudason (Japan) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Melini Jesudason (Japan) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

 

World Underwater Yoga Championships

World Underwater Yoga Chamionships 1 - April Fools

The Maldives has long been synonymous with honeymoon romance and spectacular reef diving. In recent years, it has established itself as a world class center for other things like Michelin star cuisine and top flight surfing attracting top talent to its shores. Its natural tranquillity has also turned it into a bit of a yoga haven. No premium resort is complete without sunrise and sunset yoga sessions for the guests. And its uniquely placid, reef-sheltered lagoons have afforded yet another opportunity for such Asanas practice – Underwater Yoga. So much so that the International Federation of Floatational Yoga (IFFY) are hosting their annual World Yoga Championships in the Maldives today. They are being hosted by the resort Apreelfulshi Spa and Villas.  Below are a few snaps from the early qualification rounds.

Above and below, a top contenders in the Ladies Levitating Lotus (Heat 1)…

World Underwater Yoga Chamionships 5 - April Fools

While below an entry in the Men’s Seafloor category warms up for his heat (Quarterfinal-FInal)…

World Underwater Yoga Chamionships 2 - April Fools

The shallow lagoons of the Maldives provide an ideal venue for the popular Semi-Submerged Padmasana (Semi-FInal round)…

World Underwater Yoga Chamionships 6 - April Fools

A number of demonstration workshops were also featured for aspiring fans attending the event. Below one of the master classes is led by an underwater guru…

World Underwater Yoga Chamionships 4 - April Fools

World Underwater Yoga Chamionships 3 - April Fools

Namaste #1!  Go team!  Winning!

Sunny Saluations Side of Life

Maldives yoga

Delusion will vanish as the light becomes more and more effulgent, load after load of ignorance will vanish, and then will come a time when all else has disappeared and the sun alone shines” – Swami Vivekananda

Today is the birthday of yoga pioneer Swami Vivekananda. Maldives attracts scores of its own pilgrims and pudits bringing prajna and pranayama to its paradise. Vivekananda also spread the spiritual principles and ideas of yoga and Indian philosophy of Vedanta. In his honour, I’ve compiled a top ten collection yoga shots featuring that most spiritually inspiring time of day – sunrise and sunset…

  1. Rosemary Vandenbroucke (Hong Kong) – W Retreat
    Rosemary Vandenbroucke (Hong Kong) – W Retreat
  2. Tanya Shapoval (Ukraine) – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
    Tanya Shapoval (Ukraine) – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
  3. Katrina Robles (Phillipines) – Jumeirah VIttaveli
    Katrina Robles (Phillipines) – Jumeirah VIttaveli
  4. Beatrice Montessori (Italy) – Thudufushi
    Beatrice Montessori (Italy) - Thudufushi
  5. Danielle Peazer (United Kingdom) – Conrad Rangali
    Danielle Peazer (United Kingdom) - Conrad Rangali
  6. Ocean Bloom (Canada) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Ocean Bloom (Canada) - Gili Lankanfushi
  7. Amy Bond (USA) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Amy Bond (USA) - Centara Ras Fushi
  8. Tara Stiles (USA) – W Retreat
    Tara Stiles (USA) – W Retreat
  9. Fiona Seror Elbaz (France) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Fiona Seror Elbaz (France) – Centara Ras Fushi
  10. Jess Watson (Indonesia) – Maafushi
    Jess Watson (Indonesia) – Maafushi

The powers of the mind should be concentrated and the mind turned back upon itself; as the darkest places reveal their secrets before the penetrating rays of the sun, so will the concentrated mind penetrate its own innermost secrets.” – Swami Vivekananda

Best of the Maldives: Yoga – Taj Exotica

Taj Exotica - yoga pavillion

My first ever outdoor yoga session in my life was in the Maldives. I had been introduced to the discipline back during my West Africa travels with one lesson in Togo, but then it was 25 years later when Lori and I did the sunrise yoga at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa. I’m not quite an avid practitioner though Lori and I have a weekly lesson. Lori is well into it, has done some special yoga retreats and did several yoga sessions during our last Maldives tour. I always check out the resort spa and scan the treatments and classes on offer in every visit. And I have never come across the range of yoga sessions offered by Taj Exotica.

Taj features and over water yoga and meditation pavilion (see photo above) as well as two breath-taking over-water couple spa suites and the Heat, Hydro and Relaxation Pavilion, with its welcoming sauna, generous relaxation deck and waterbeds.

We have been studying yoga for over a year now and no two sessions are the same. I’m regularly surprised by the entirely new collection of poses that our teacher Vivian Campbell introduces to us each week. Yoga seems to have no end to the variety of not just poses, but also different styles and technique variations. Taj reflects the diversity of this ancient art with its own equally diverse menu of sessions…

  • Asana, Prananyama, Mudara, Banda
    • Balanced – 90 minutes
    • Advanced – 90 minutes
    • Abhilaya – 60 minutes
    • Advanced Surya Namaskar – 60 minute
    • Gentle – 60 minutes
    • Dynamic – 60 minutes
    • Pranayama – 60 minutes
  • ·Shatkarma
    • Laghoo Shankhaprakshalana – 90 minutes
    • Kunjal Kriya – 55 minutes
    • Jala Neti – 45 minutes
  • Meditation
    • Yoga Nidra – 25 minutes
    • Yoga Nidra Advanced – 50 minutes
    • Hirdayakasha Dharana – 50 minutes
    • Ajapa Japa – 50 minutes
    • Antar Mouna – 40 minutes

Yoga is almost like music in a way; there’s no end to it.” – Sting