I'm Cristiane Sprengel, and together with Daniela Gonçalves, we created the Yoga Mais method.
The paths that led us to Yoga almost 20 years ago were very different, but we found it more or less at the same time, in 2002. And, as soon as we got to know this practice, we were sure we had found something truly special.
At age 35 I had already experienced a lot of physical discomfort and pain, because of almost 30 years of swim training. Dani, despite being younger, started to realize how much stiffness and limitations she already had in her body.
Feeling the benefits of the practice in ourselves and seeing the same results being replicated in many others, we decided that this was a path worth following.
We did our training in the same school where we practiced - a very big yoga school in Curitiba, Brazil and started working there as yoga teachers.
We normally had around 500 students per week in our classrooms during the 10 years we worked there. We also eventually became teachers in the method training courses that took place in Curitiba.
In 2016 we decided to open our own studio. We wanted to be closer to our students and decided that we would have classes with a maximum of 20 students.
Because we were closer to our students, we could clearly see how our students move, we could see the reason behind the pains they reported and it started to become very clear to us how we could help them. This closeness also allowed the necessary changes to happen in a faster and more assertive way, generating amazing results!
Besides the physical improvement, which was very clear to each one of our students, we noticed a great change in their own perspective of themselves. They became more aware and were able to act in their own development, inside and outside of the yoga room.
When we saw the impressive results happening consistently, we decided it was time to spread this knowledge.
This is a simple practice with simple movements and, using Leonardo da Vinci’s quote: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.
The goal of this practice is never to accomplish a pose or a movement, but to be in the pose, to be aware of your thoughts, of the sensations in the body, of your breath.
The practice will not reduce aging, as this cannot be done, but it will reduce the loss of movement and circulation, and will keep your body as mobile as possible for as long as possible. The regular practice of yoga allows us to reduce the effects of daily life on our bodies and mind, and to slow the stiffening of the body that happens naturally as we age.
As the practice becomes a routine, not only our bodies will become freer, but it will also lessen negative thoughts and feelings of anxiety and sadness. Regular practice helps in cases of lack of focus and concentration, and even insomnia.
Simplifying the yoga poses allows us to control and adapt each movement as needed. And, because the movements are simple, they can be executed by anyone, allowing the benefit of the yoga practice to be available for all those who seek it.
The use of movement, pressure and focus during classes are the tools we use to lead students deeper into the various layers of the practice itself.
MAIS in Portuguese means more and our idea has always been that more people would join us and benefit from this amazing and very inclusive yoga practice.
Co-Founder of Yoga Mais