Harmonising with Nature: Yoga’s Role in the “Healthy Park, Healthy People” Movement at Prespa National Park

Harmonising with Nature: Yoga’s Role in the “Healthy Park, Healthy People” Movement at Prespa National Park

In a world swept up by the tide of urbanisation and modernisation, the NGO Albanian Center for Environmental Governance in Prespa National Park orchestrated a unique event, inviting people to rediscover the wild beauty of nature through the practice of Yoga. An event aligning perfectly with the ‘Healthy Park, Healthy People’ initiative.

The “Yoga n’Park” initiative not only served as a means to showcase the park’s pristine wonders but also underlines the pressing need for humanity to re-establish a connection with the natural environment. In this, Yoga, an age-old discipline fostering harmony between the body and mind, provides a powerful tool to reignite this connection, especially within the protected confines of Prespa Park.

The participants of the Yoga session spanned a diverse range of ages. Children, some accompanied by their school director and others by their parents from Korca and Bilishi, joined the event. Also, many youngsters were seen taking part in the activity. Representatives from the Pustecit and Devoll Municipalities, RAPA Korçe, attended, and it piqued the interest of foreign tourists staying in the local guest houses.

Elisabeta, the Yoga instructor from the Elisabeta Balance Center, expressed her surprise at the attentive participation of the attendees. Although the majority were young, they remained engaged throughout the Yoga session. “Yoga, with its emphasis on mindfulness, physical awareness, and spiritual connection, can bring individuals closer to the natural world”, said Elisabeta for Korca Local TV. This was Elisabeta’s first visit to Prespa, and conversations with local businesses, ignited her aspiration to enhance her offerings there, attracting more visitors from Tirana and international tourists to this less-explored gem in the heart of Albania.

Spase Tërpo, a teacher in Pustec school, and Hermalda Ago, an official of the Tourism office in Devoll Municipality, played a pivotal role in organising the event, even adorning the Yoga space with handmade carpets to celebrate the artisanal traditions of the broader Prespa area.

Yoga encourages practitioners to immerse themselves in the present moment fully, and when surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of Prespa National Park, this practice deepens. Participants become attuned to the park’s sights, sounds, and sensations, fostering a profound connection with the environment. Margarita, the head of the ACEG center, noted that Prespa National Park provides an enchanting backdrop for Yoga enthusiasts seeking to harmonise with nature while actively supporting its conservation efforts.

In a rapidly changing world, initiatives like “Yoga n’Park” in Prespa National Park offer a glimmer of hope and a refreshing way to bridge the growing gap between humanity and the natural world. Through Yoga, participants reconnect with their inner selves and rediscover the importance of preserving the pristine beauty of this very old lake, ensuring that they remain sanctuaries of biodiversity and serenity for generations to come.

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