June 30, 2022

1st North Cyprus Yoga Fest

at The Olive Tree Hotel, Çatalköy


By Margaret Sheard….

Olive Tree Hotel, Catalkoy
Olive Tree Hotel, Catalkoy

The 1st North Cyprus Yoga Fest was held from 15th to 19th May at the Olive Tree Hotel in Çatalköy and was organised by Işil Taşçi and Ayşe Oztoprak.

We managed to visit during the festival and wandered around the grounds of the hotel where there were many different sessions being held in quiet places with groups of mind, body and soul enthusiasts.   Everything was very calm and relaxed as you would expect at this type of event.

Michael de Glanville and Viola Edward
Michael de Glanville and Viola Edward

We made contact with our friends Michael de Glanville and Viola Edward who were part of the festival program with their Breathwork therapy.  Viola came to Cyprus from Venezuela in 2002 to join Michael who was born on the Island and returned from France in 1999. Viola and Michael are both trained therapists in Breathwork and they founded Kayana Ltd in 2003. Viola specialises in Relationship Coaching, Business Consulting and Colour and Image. Michael has an Engineering background and specialises in Massage and Watsu.

We met up with Işil Taşçi who introduced us to some young ladies who were performing Agroyoga and they gave us a private demonstration which was amazing, this was Birsen Hacielmaz, Menekşe Yenalin and Lale Cangil who have a studio called Bhujanga Woman Body in Alsancak where they specialise in yoga, pilates, zumba, kangaroo jumps and kids sports.

See Slideshow No. 1 below for further pictures of the girls demonstrating Agroyoga and Slideshow No. 2 below for other pictures related to  the Yoga Fest.

Organiser, Ayşe Oztoprak, was extremely busy keeping everything running smoothly but she found time to take us around to some of the sessions which were in progress and introduced us to some of the people who were participating in the festival.   We met Peter Petrou who is a yoga and meditation teacher at the Vedanta Centre in Limassol and also Marina Kyprigenea Mouyiasi who is a yoga teacher and integrative colon hydro therapist at the Zogonos Integrative Colon Hydrotherapy Clinic in Larnaca.

AntiGravity Yoga

Another interesting form of yoga we discovered was AntiGravity and Sevya Tűrmen told us that this was founded by Christopher Harrison, a trapeze artist who had an accident injuring both knees and he created a suspension technique in 1991, established the name AntiGravity and started training people in this method of yoga.  The hammocks are 50% silk and 50% linen.   Sevya is an AntiGravity yoga instructor at Cranberries Dance and Gym Centre in Lefkoşa which is run by her sister.

While we were wandering around the hotel gardens we noticed a group who were meditating in a ying/yang session and then we moved on to another part of the gardens where students were having a discussion session with Chacha Pancholi who is a Master of Indian meditation, yoga and healing massage technique.

We briefly had a chat with Suzie Heijari who also had yoga sessions during the festival.  We have known Suzie for Suzie Heijariquite a while and will be sorry to see her leave North Cyprus when she soon returns to her homeland of Finland.  Bon voyage Suzie.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to see all of the many sessions of yoga, meditation and other forms of relaxation and mind, body and soul therapy but we have some information of those people we made contact with and if there is anything of interest to our readers please do not hesitate to make contact for further information.

Isil and Ayse

It seems this first North Cyprus Yoga Fest was a great success with 217 participants and Ayşe said she would like to repeat it again next year and hopefully there will be people who can help her with the massive amount of organisation involved.  If you think you can be of assistance in organising the 2nd North Cyprus Yoga Fest in 2016 please contact Ayşe on 0533 882 3672.

The festival is now over and Ayşe is taking a well earned rest and will be writing her thoughts and recollections of the festival shortly so it will be interesting to hear what she has to say about this “first” in North Cyprus.

Slideshow No. 1 – Birsen Hacielmaz, Menekşe Yenalin and Lale Cangil of Bhujanga Woman Body in Alsancak

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Slideshow No. 2 – Other events at the Yoga Fest

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