What would you highlight about this city?
María Macaya is a yogi, she's versatile and overflows with energy. She has lived in Barcelona for 3 years now but was born in Madrid. Despite having visited the city before, she decided to settle here without expectations, allowing herself to be surprised and discovering it again. She knew about yoga almost by chance and, since then, she has turned this discipline into her way of life. In addition to teaching Jivamukti Yoga, she has created the Radika Foundation, whose purpose is to offer yoga as a complementary therapy to people with mental disorders.
What I like from a new city is to capture its essence and to integrate in it, and in Barcelona it is easy to adapt to the life of the city. You immediately know how to move around and you can easily live like the locals, walk along their streets, eat like them, enjoy the sea, the mountain, and there is always some new corner to discover.
In Barcelona, people live near the museums and monuments, and this makes the city vibrant. MACBA , for example, with skate boarders, or the Picasso Museum with that special energy transmitted by the Born district.
Do you think the cultural activities in Barcelona are good?
Barcelona has traditionally been known for being a very creative city, for its artists, chefs, musicians and designers. There are few cities like this where in just a couple of days you visit the works of Gaudí, Miró and Picasso, feeling that you have lived a full and varied cultural experience. Musically speaking, its offer is varied, from Palau de la Música and Liceo and other events such as Sonar or Primavera Sound festivals, that certainly attract many people around the world. When it comes to food, restaurants and shops have been opened throughout the city offering good vegan food. The restaurateurs and chefs have taken a risk and have turned Barcelona into a recognized city for its conscious gastronomy.
Your favorite place to take a break?
Collserola Park – in 5 minutes I am in a forest where the city disapears, trees and vegetation grows, wild boars stroll and you only listen the sound of birds. If I were to choose something in the center of the town – I would say Basilica of Santa Maria Del Mar in the Born district. I like the silence that is found in both places.
What would your ideal weekend be like?
Ideally with my husband and my children (notice: I may need more hours than a weekend can offer): I would like to do yoga (when I do not practice alone at home, I go to Jivamukti Yoga Barcelona, which is where I also teach), workout, visit some exhibition or listen to something that makes me question my comfort places, spend some time in nature, sleep a little more, read something that makes me think, laugh with people I love, and eat something very good.
If you were not a yoga teacher, you would be?
If I were not a yoga teacher I would be an investigator, or writer, or therapist, or nun.
If I were not from Madrid, I would be Swiss or Mexican.
If I were not the mother of three children, I would be the mother of two or four.
If I were not a woman, I would be military or unbearable.
If I were not vegan, I would have a farm with happy animals.
If I were not an athlete, I would be a lot more stressed and would have to find some other escape for my energy, because I am aware that I have a lot.
If I were not a student, I would be a student.
If I were not a perfectionist, I would have needed less yoga.
If I were not someone who has lived in nine places in six countries, I would be different and I think I would not be so grateful for the stability and tranquility that Barcelona offers me.
We want to thank María Macaya for the time she has offered us for this interview. You can know more about her and her work by visiting radikafoundation.com and jivamuktiyogabarcelona.com