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Smiling Buddha

Feature Story XpBonaire Island Life

We all have heard about Yoga, introduced to the western world in the 20th century. The practice is well known for its physical exercises, but Yoga has been around since the 5–6th century BC and is an exercise for your body, mind and spirit.

For those who have participated in a yoga class, you know how important your teacher and their approach to yoga can be. As a student, you have to find the teachings that speak to you the most. For that reason, we shine a light on one of the yoga teachers available here on Bonaire.

Laura Stefani, who was born in Italy, had a very successful career as a journalist in Milan for 15 years.

Life in the big city is hard and stressful, with the next competitor knocking at your door. One day, Laura decided to take a sabbatical for one year and travel the Caribbean and South America with her partner.

Traveling to different worlds made a big impression on Laura and her view on life. The one year was expanded to three years and when she arrived on Bonaire, she found Yoga or as she says, “where Yoga found me”.

Her own experiences during her first classes were unexpected and surprisingly different from how she normally felt. To learn how to really breathe, feel the expansion, the space, clearing your mind and relaxing can be life changing.

Before becoming a Yoga Alliance certified teacher, Laura was practicing yoga with a passion. It became her way of feeling most connected to herself.

Describing what yoga means to her, she said this, “The practice on the mat is a metaphor for our lives. If you can stay present and kind and deep breathe when you are in a challenging pose, you can do the same off the mat. If you accept your fears, you will be gentler with yourself. If you can laugh instead of being judgmental, you will feel lighter wherever you are. It is a life changing experience.”

Laura is the owner of a Yoga school, called Smiling Buddha Yoga Studio, at Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire. The studio offers Vinyasa flow yoga, Hatha yoga, deep stretching and relaxation practices. All of the classes are suitable for all levels.

Here is the Schedule:


6:30pm – 8:00pm Vinyasa flow (intense, for students with a regular practice)


5:30pm – 7:00pm Stretching, Relaxing & Restoring (gentle, ideal for beginners)


5:30pm – 7:00pm Vinyasa flow (moderate, calming practice)

7:15pm Zazen meditation


9:00am – 10:00am Morning yoga all-levels

5:25pm – 5:55pm Laughter Yoga (Florence)

6:00pm – 7:15pm Yin yoga (gentle, suitable for all)


10:30am – 12:00pm Vinyasa flow (moderate, energizing practice)

Private classes and Prenatal Yoga are available on request.


Plaza Resort (50 meters from main gate on the left)

Phone: +599 700 5779

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