Home Travel tips Health An interview on yoga with our yoga expert cabin manager Oktay Derici

    An interview on yoga with our yoga expert cabin manager Oktay Derici

    We got tips about yoga and the best yoga centers in the world from Oktay Derici, the cabin manager of Turkish Airlines, who has dedicated his life to yoga and has seen many parts of the world due to his profession.

    Turkish Airlines Blog
    Yazar ekibimiz tarafından yönetilen bu hesapla, seyahat tutkunları ve keşif meraklılarının keyif alacağı blog içerikleri üretiyoruz. Özenle hazırladığımız içeriklerimiz aracılığıyla ilham vermeyi, bilgilendirmeyi, heyecanlandırmayı, eğlendirmeyi ve küçük ipuçları ile yolculuğunuzu kolaylaştırmayı amaçlıyoruz. Aynı zamanda yola çıkmanın yenileyici ve özgürleştiriciliğini sizlere tekrar hatırlatmak istiyoruz. Çünkü Tolstoy'un dediği gibi: “Tüm muhteşem hikayeler iki şekilde başlar; Ya bir insan bir yolculuğa çıkar ya da şehre bir yabancı gelir...”

    1. When and how did you get to know yoga?

    As an amateur, I have been interested in many sports in almost every phase of my life. Yoga has always had my attention. The doors opened for me when I decided to turn my weight regime, which I‘ve always tried to keep under control with diet or exercise, into a lifestyle. As I grew older, I looked for a sport that was easy to perform and doesn‘t require a lot of equipment. My motivation increased with the wide range of yoga that can be practiced by young and old, and solely with your own physical strength. Now I see that I made the right decision.

    2. How does yoga make you feel?

    A man communicating with an elephant

    My favorite aspect of yoga is its diversity, its simplicity and the intensity in that simplicity. The part of the day you devote about 1 hour of your time is hardly comparable to the rest. I have taken group yoga classes for the past two years. I was impressed with the differences between yoga classes and yoga in gyms. When you walk in the door, you are immediately greeted by the warm atmosphere, positive-minded people, colorful facilities and a pleasant smell. When I met smiling eyes and faces during the breaks and we talked about books or music, I realized that yoga, with so many aspects, is much more than just a sport. The “time” dynamics, the most important factor of a flight crew, was for me the main reason why I continued with yoga. Generally, we are not quite able to take part in group activities or training courses on certain days and hours. We spend our free time resting or doing personal activities. In this case, yoga is very suitable for people like us whose working hours are not fixed. It is an incredible joy to be able to practice yoga anytime, anywhere.

    3. Did Yoga change you?

    I landed at the place I’ve always dreamed of, where I can combine my interests and feel fulfilled. I’ve always been very active, social and full of energy. I was interested in many topics, I hurried from place to place, my head has always been full of ideas. The people around me are even surprised at my current pace, but actually my life is calmer and more relaxed compared to the past. The unnecessary is gone, my environment has shrunk, the excess has decreased, everything has been replaced by the beautiful and the relevant.

    4. What is the most important awareness that you owe to yoga in your life?

    The simplicity and calm that yoga gave me made my job easier. When asked about my favorite feeling, my answer is to give a break’! The time you spend on your yoga mat is yours and I cannot describe the pleasure of that serenity. Sometimes I even go to class just to rest or practice to recharge my energy.

    5. What Are the Physical and Psychological Benefits of Yoga?

    A man jumping in front of a temple

    Correct inhalation and exhalation thanks to yoga means healing from the first stage. There are some diseases that are related to our job. Unfortunately, as we are under constant pressure, the problems we often encounter are often associated with spinal, head, neck and heart diseases. Even people who don’t fly all the time like us, especially those who sit at a desk all the time, have many problems. This is where yoga can help you. It helps solve many problems by keeping you in neutral postures, properly aligning your body, giving you flexibility and strength. My pain has been gone since I started doing yoga. With the right use of my energy, strength and body, I became more productive. The biggest benefit is that my mind is relaxed and I can concentrate better. It’s like everything is easier and more relaxed.

    Yoga is a wonderful teaching that always directs you towards the better and changes you in terms of self-improvement. In its rationale, it contains many positive orientations that we hear about so often, such as seizing the moment, cherishing ourselves and thinking positively. It encourages you to always be a good person. Contrary to popular belief, this is done in a very lively, energetic and varied manner.

    6. How can people who want to practice yoga choose what type of yoga they want to do?

    Yoga practice aims at the harmony of body and mind. In this sense, the person should know him-/herself in both directions. You should know your imperfections and excesses. In this way, you can manage your expectations internally. In the physical sense, one should be able to anatomically realize and use his body. People of all sizes and weights, from young to old, can practice yoga. It would be absolutely advisable to start in a professional studio. The possibilities in which every yoga course offers its lessons under a get-to-know package term with different options, advertises its studio, introduces its teachers, are perfect for the beginning. Those interested in taking as many classes as possible, working with different people, and trying all kinds of yoga are sure to find the type of yoga that suits them physically and mentally and to make progress.

    7. India is the home of yoga. Which cities are suitable for yoga? Why?

    Goa is the first place to welcome foreigners who went to India for yoga. There you can train yourself in both nutrition and practice. The yoga centers there enrich your training with massages and activities and offer a tourist vacation option with alternatives such as sea and nature. Another location is Rishikesh. Here you can continue your education and improve yourself in yoga. One further example is Kerala. Those who want to practice or learn yoga for health and therapy purposes can choose this place. The stronghold of yoga in India is Bangalore, where Vivekenanda is the world’s first and only yoga university. Many esteemed yoga teachers from all over the world are trained in this college.

    8. What are the options for yoga in India? 

    A priest praying by the sea in India

    Yoga has a special local value in India. The possibilities for those who come to the country for yoga are developing day by day. In other words, yoga has been a constantly developing industry in India for the past few years. There is a disciplinary system in the country called the Ashram, which is passed down as a child and which the child develops further. The biggest resources are valuable libraries and bibliotheca. You can use all of them to train yourself in the theory of yoga.

    9. What types of yoga should yoga enthusiasts learn in India?

    Anyone traveling to India for yoga training can start with the hatha training. Hatha is a principle that examines postures individually, uses breath control according to the posture and supports them with various auxiliary materials. In general, the Asthanga system comprises a more closed and disciplined system. For yoga enthusiasts who want to progress in this area, I recommend, unlike the West, traveling to Europe, although there are places in India where outsiders can start.

    10. What should you pay particularly attention to in India?

    The first thing to think about is hygiene. Sealed food should be preferably consumed, personal hygiene items should always be packed in the bag. The use of bathrooms and toilets should take place with caution in the accommodations. It would also be useful to research the country and the city to be visited beforehand. This is very important in order not to start feeling the cultural difference too sharply and to get to know the Indians better.

    11. What other cities do you recommend around the world for yoga?

    Two women and a man doing yoga in nature

    Bali is the first place I would choose for yoga especially since we started our direct flights, as it is easy to get to. Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam are also suitable and authentic options. Surfing and skiing are areas that are related to yoga. It should be remembered that the centers where these sports are practiced are located in beautiful yoga camps or training venues. These places also offer the opportunity to combine yoga with another experience. On the other hand, yoga is an area that, after the East, has now also found its way into the West. First spread in India, UK and America, yoga has now also established itself in Europe in recent years. Europe tries to reconcile the knowledge and experience of yoga with different approaches and methods. Advanced yoga training is offered all over Europe, especially in Germany. Spain and Germany have been very popular countries in Europe for yoga in recent years.

    12. How much time should be spent on ideal yoga training abroad?

    If you want to receive professional training, you should consider a period of at least one and maximum 6 months. There are many experienced people and training centers for yoga in our country. You can get basic education in our country and then go abroad for further training. A good option would be to start practicing yoga in your native language, according to your own transport and accommodation options, and then continue studying elsewhere depending on your personal circumstances.

    13. Are there any yoga moves you can recommend to passengers, especially during their flight?

    Breathing exercises based on yoga in your seats make the journey easier in many ways: from fear of flying to sleep disorders, fatigue and stress. All yoga-sitting positions can be practiced in an airplane. You can do small stretching exercises as well as opening and stretching movements while sitting. You can try small twist exercises as well as exercises aimed at specific parts of the body or joints. With hand, foot, finger, neck, knee, back and chest exercises you will feel comfortable throughout the trip.

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