Are you looking for health and wellness travel in Rio de Janeiro? The biggest lesson I have taken from the Brazilian culture is to be quiet on the inside despite the chaos happening on the outside. Local Rio residents, Cariocas, spend a lot of time at the beach. This greatly contributes to their peaceful ways, their constant smiles, fit lifestyles and the abundance of tropical fruit and açai in their diets. Rio de Janeiro is quickly coming up in South America as a wellness destination. It is no longer a challenge to find choices for local healthy food, yoga classes, ashrams and a zen way of life. If you are needing a bit of grounding, these yoga studios are not only peaceful places to practice but come with well-trained teachers who love their craft.


For the most authentic Indian yoga experience with highly-qualified teachers, you will find your solace at Shiva Shankara Yoga in Ipanema. If you practice Ashtanga or proper Hatha, this will be your home. The space is simply decorated with a large Shiva motif, brought over from India and images of classic deities and gurus. Living many years myself in India, I can tell you this is the real deal. The yoga studio is for those with a serious practice, who enjoy a light chanting of mantras at the beginning of class and a proper meditation at the end. The studio is the Rio location of a larger ashram located in the mountains outside of the city. Monthly wellness retreats are also held that include a full Brazilian vegetarian menu, accommodation and deep mat work.


Blyss Yoga on Praça Nossa Senhora in Ipanema, is very popular with the locals. With two studios, located around the corner from the other, you are able to practice throughout the whole day no matter what your style. The studio is geared more towards the beginner/intermediate level, so do not be apprehensive to sample all the classes. This will allow you to properly tailor your new wellness regime. There is an amazing introductory offer of 50 Brazilian Reais for 2 weeks unlimited. An insider tip: take a class around sunset at the Nossa Senhora studio for a gorgeous view of the mountains and palm tree lined streets.


The international sensation Bikram yoga, has only one home in Rio de Janeiro at By Rio in Copacabana. As an ex-pat living in Brazil who has practiced this hot yoga for half her life-time, stepping into this studio is like stepping back into home. The room is heated to a perfect 40°C / 105°F, the wooden floors make for a very clean environment, the teachers are all trained in California thus can train you in English or Portuguese and they even sell local, post-workout wellness tonics. The staff is exceptionally friendly and all practice yoga themselves. They will make you feel welcome from the first time you step into the studio.

A few bits of yoga advice…

  • Many studios have no or limited Saturday classes. By Rio is the only one to offer a Sunday class.
  • Teachers in Brazil go through extensive training, as in your home country, so class prices reflect their hard work.
  • Double check that your studio offers rental mats or bring your own.
  • Show up 15 minutes early to your first class to allow time to register.