Yoga for every body
Indre Barkute, professional athlete
Indre Barkute has been participating in sports for most of her life, starting with athletics as a child in Lithuania, then growing up to become a professional athlete competing in marathons, triathlons and other competitions in Ibiza and internationally. Running, cycling, swimming and most sports came naturally to her, and her impressive stamina and strength sees her train for many hours a day. While many people would not look to add an additional class to an already packed training schedule, Indre felt she needed something to complement her action-packed days, with Hot Yoga Ibiza providing the perfect calming and therapeutic practice she was seeking.
What first attracted you to yoga?
I do a lot of really intense sport and training, and over the last few years I started noticing that there was too much intensity; everything was so explosive, so impactful and I also felt very accelerated in myself personally. I thought I’d try yoga to help calm myself, to do something relaxing. For me, the hot yoga classes were the most appealing as I felt that in the heat I’d be able to stretch more easily.
Did you feel an instant connection with the practice?
Yes, I instantly felt much more calm. That was about a year ago and even in the very first month I noticed a lot of differences, in myself and in my sport as well.
What kind of physical benefits have you seen since you started practicing?
I had problems with my hips and I wasn’t stretching enough after a workout, so yoga for me was like really concentrated stretching. It wasn’t just about relaxing – I now know if I come here I can stretch 100-percent. I noticed within a month that my hips didn’t hurt anymore and I could move a lot more easily. I was more flexible and I felt lighter when I was competing and training. My results also changed a lot and I think this is definitely because of yoga.
Have you noticed changes to the mind?
Yes! Such a difference. I am more patient and so much more relaxed. It’s like seeing the world in different colours. I’ve noticed I am much more calm in different situations and always try to find a solution rather than overreacting. I just think, calm down, later you’ll go to yoga and everything will be fine!
How does your practice affect your day-to-day life?
In so many ways… It definitely changed my life. I sometimes have up to four and a half hours of training a day, depending on whether I have competitions – for example, today I had one hour of running, two hours of cycling and then swimming and I will go to yoga on top of that. I need it to finish my day and be able to sleep well at night.
Tell us about your personal practice style?
I mostly do hot classes though I have started doing Ashtanga at least once a week too and I love it, it’s so much stronger. I try to go to three or four classes per week – I would go every day if I could. I need to have that time to myself. It’s not easy and sometimes when you tell people you do yoga they’ll say ‘oh, it’s so slow, so quiet, it’s for old people,’ but it’s not at all. There’s so much control, with your mind. There are times when you want to just stop or let go of the position – once you’re in the studio, it changes you completely. Every class is the same, but then when you see how much you improve at the end of it, you realise each class is different. You are always learning, always changing.
How do you feel if you miss a class?
No, no, no, no! I try not to! Every day I wake up and I look at Facebook to see what classes Sebastien has posted and then I plan my workouts around the time I can come to yoga. I make it a priority when I am organising my day.
How much do you know about the yogic philosophies?
Not so much, but I am very interested to learn more about it. I find it so interesting… Yoga is amazing.
How do you describe Sebastien’s teaching style?
The first time I came to class, I thought he was really funny, because the way he speaks [the dialogue] is very particular. Afterwards I thought… that’s a bit strange, but from the second class I just loved it. I haven’t tried a lot of yoga in other places, thought I always try to find somewhere to practice if I go away, but for me, Hot Yoga Ibiza is the best place in the world to do yoga.
What is your relationship like with him?
I wouldn’t say it’s like a student and a teacher, it’s more like a friend and a friend. You have to feel that connection between you, otherwise it doesn’t work.
Is that very different compared to your other trainers?
It’s very different. Here, you don’t have to talk, you just have to feel. Feel the energy. When I am working out and training, there’s more talking, more pressure. Here it is very friendly. I think it’s very important when you practice yoga to feel you are in the right place and to feel that connection – especially with your teacher.
Where do you see your practice going in the future?
I want to practice more in the future. I would practice as much as I can. I am still learning and I’m so bad at some of the positions! I would like to learn more about how you have to do each pose. Sometimes when you come to class, you think – I’m going to have to do that again! But then when you come out of class, it’s like flying. The satisfaction is so big for me, it’s the same feeling as I get when I finish a marathon or a triathlon. I’m always telling my friends how amazing it is. The day I finish my professional sports career, and stop training at the level I am now, I will continue to just practice yoga forever because the satisfaction is really there.