This past weekend I was teaching in Belgrade, Serbia which was part of what was formerly known as Yugoslavia. Ashtanga yoga is making waves especially in Eastern Europe in that there is much growth in these areas and a new found interest in things such as yoga. Still on the fringe it is slowly gaining momentum especially with Vairagya Ranko being the main teacher in the city. He has unparalleled energy, discipline and focus for the practice and it is truly inspiring.
The city of Belgrade itself has charm and a bit of grit and I have to say I enjoy being there. With the Springtime weather everyone is out milling around the city and/or leisurely sitting at one of the many outdoor cafes. The one thing I can't get over is the smoking! They still allow smoking in most restaurants which is reminiscent of my childhood days when that was still allowed in designated areas inside. Here it is a free for all and the percentage of smokers is the highest in the world. With that being said, with things such as yoga becoming popular a contrasting consciousness is taking shape. I think the best part of Serbia is the people. Warm, welcoming, and affectionate, it is definitely the country's treasure.