The idea for taking these photos around Prishtina stemmed  from the desire to shed light on the beautiful landmarks of Kosovo and the Albanian culture through yoga.

Newborn Monument

The Newborn monument was unveiled on February 17th, 2008, when Kosovo declared  independence. Thousands of citizens signed their names on the monument, which was originally painted in yellow. Each year, the monument is painted a different color to reflect a certain theme. On the fifth anniversary of independence, the monument was adorned with the flags of all the countries that recognized Kosovo. On another anniversary, the monument depicted a beautiful blue sky that was off limits due to barbed wire — as a metaphor of the isolation of Kosovo due to the EU visa regime.

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Wheel Pose  (Urdhva Dhanurasana) –  as a symbol of unity between the people.

Kosova Art Gallery 

Exhibits of young and old artists give life to this wood and stone building. It’s a common hub to meet new people and discuss art over wine and crackers, while enjoying the stylishly dressed attendees.

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Camel Pose (Ustrasana)– Keep our souls and hearts open and use our creativity to change and better our reality

The National Library

The National Library is home to thousands of books that have endured centuries of active effort by oppressors to do away with the Albanian language. The language was taught fervently in homes when it was banned in schools; books in Albanian were read and written behind closed doors and abroad. During the 1990s, Albanian students were banned from attending and using the University of Prishtina facilities; consequently, many Albanians who lived in diaspora at the time offered their houses, which were turned into makeshift schools and faculties. Today, we can freely go to school and speak our language on the streets.

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Ring Pose – to remind us that even though our language is alive, we have to actively protect and cultivate it.

Former Hotel Union
One of the last remaining Austro-Hungarian architectural pieces, the former Hotel Union beautifies the center of Prishtina. When the building faced demolition a few years ago, civil society organizations protested peacefully along with the media and succeeded in protecting one of the landmarks of the town.

Hotel Union is located in the middle of the newest segment of the Mother Teresa Square, dedicated and named after the deceased president Ibrahim Rugova, who fought nonviolently for independence. It is surrounded by colorful flowers, with a water fountain in the front and the parliament and the government buildings on the opposite side.

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Chair Poe (Uttkatasana Pose), to reflect its literal meaning that “power is not about domination or control over someone else, so much as it is about aligning with the life energy within and around you, to the benefit of all of us.”

Monument of Gjergj Kastrioti – Skënderbeu

The national Albanian hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skenderbeu, proudly stands on the Ibrahim Rugova square. He is a symbol of our perseverance and fight for freedom during the rule of the Ottoman Empire for five centuries. The monument faces Hotel Union and the National Theater.

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Kneeled Warrior (Virabhadrasana I) – To honor the resistance


Mother Teresa Square

In the early hours you’ll encounter elderly drinking their morning coffee on the sidewalks and benches along the Mother Theresa Square and discussing current developments, recalling the past and contemplating the future. In the afternoon, young people(Kosovo  has the youngest population in Europe, with the majority of the population under 30 years old) rush to find a spot to sit and hang out with friends along the boulevard or adjacent streets packed with cafes.

In the evening, the Mother Teresa Square is a gathering for all — children, young people, adults, and elderly alike — strolling peacefully up and down the granite-paved street, cherishing their time with their loved ones and friends.

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Side Plank (Vasisthasana Pose) – To remind us that even though we walk freely we need to work together to stand on our own hands and feet.

Mother Teresa Statue 
The most renowned Albanian in the world, Mother Teresa, stands peacefully in the center of Prishtina, reflecting peace and kindness. Her presence reminds us that we still have much work to do to improve our country through compassion and positive change.
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Tree Pose (Vrksasana) – to symbolize that we need patience and work to become fully sustainable as a country.

The National Museum

These stairs take you to our beginnings and tell you about our ancestors and their traditions. You can marvel at the Goddess on the Throne dating all the way back to the Neolithic era four millennia BC, which has become the symbol of Prishtina. Here you can also learn about our quest for freedom and the war during the 1990s.

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Side Plank (Vasisthasana Modification), to reflect our continual cultural development, while always being grounded by our roots.

Doors to the Ethnological Museum 

These doors lead you inside our traditional lives showing you how we cooked and ate, the rooms we slept.  rooms where decisions for the household were made, our crafts… The Ethnological Museum gives you a peek at our colorful garments and delicately handmade silver jewelry. If you come at the right time, you might also get to sample our traditional flija.
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Warrior III (Virabhadrasana on left foot), to celebrate our ethnicity.

Jashar Pasha Mosque

Kosovo is a secular state, yet a large number of people are practicing Muslims.  Mosques dating from the Ottomans (who first introduced Islam in the region) are present throughout the city.

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Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana Modification) — to symbolize the crescent moon in Islam.


Mother Teresa Cathedral

Religious tolerance is a defining feature of the Albanian culture. Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Jews have peacefully coexisted in Albania and Kosovo for centuries.  Albania was the only country in Europe, where the number of Jews increased after WWII thanks to Albanians who sheltered them from the Nazis. This is the recently constructed Mother Teresa Cathedral situated in the very heart of the city.

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Lotus Pose – to symbolize the Christian prayer.


Sahat Kulla (Clock Tower)

The Sahat Kulla gracefully decorates the sky in the old part of Prishtina. Dating from the 19th century and located near the Sami Frasheri Gymnasium, the clock tower faced the recently renovated Turkish Hamam and the Emperor’s Mosque.

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Upward Plank (Purvottanasana) – to symbolize the clock hands and to emphasize the need for positive change in our country

The article was originally published on MindBodyGreen 

(Photos by Norik Uka and Rina Hapçiu)

Learn more about the project here.

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