Inside the Old City of Jaffa: YafoYoga with Maya and Matan


Maya made Aliyah seven years ago from New York after her parents decided to leave New York City and buy a home in Jaffa. With their Mediterranean roots, they all felt right at home.

“My parents restored the home to its original stone, and now when you walk in, it feels like you are being transported to another century,” Maya says “We all say that the house has a special personality.

Conveniently, Maya and Matan’s growing yoga studio, YafoYoga, is in the same building.



After teaching yoga around the world for many years, Maya and Matan decided to open their intimate studio in pursuit of helping locals and visitors find peace and wellness.

“This is such a healing space,” Maya says. “We have our daily classes, which are both dynamic and therapeutic, as well as workshops of all kinds and monthly Urban Retreats - a unique six hour retreat in a space designed to leave you feeling renewed, re-energized and rejuvenated. It’s a small space, so we try to not have more than 10 students in a class.”

Making use of the original space and keeping with the authenticity, they added a Japanese Tatami floor to add a special touch to the yoga studio.




Maya has been in love with Jaffa her whole life, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to practice and teach yoga there. “I spend all of my free time in Jaffa,” she says. “Its atmosphere is so unique, with a mixture of the old and the new. It’s incredibly genuine. I’ve never been anywhere that feels like this; it has a special personality.”




Maya and Matan offered us some wellness tips to help us all ease into the day more smoothly, and actively live more balanced and peaceful lives:


1. "The way that you get up in the morning is very important. Try to be mindful of the first minute that you open your eyes, even if you’re still groggy. Take five minutes to check in with yourself and be aware of your current state, such as how well you slept and what mood you’re waking up with. Think of what you’re entering the day with, and set intentions that will guide you through the rest of the day." - Maya

2. “Start your morning with 7 minutes (or more) of quiet time with yourself. It brings clarity and tunes your nervous system.” - Matan

3. "Throughout the day, do something that helps you connect to yourself. Maybe it’s going on a quick walk, or stepping away from your computer, but whatever it is, take a small amount of time that allows you to be just with yourself and not distracted." -  Maya

4. “Breath into your back and move often to change your perception.” - Matan

5. "Try to be more mindful with the way you eat. Typically, we find this difficult in our daily lives, and we eat in a rushed and anxious state. Studies show that gratitude, especially with food, is very important, so we should appreciate the time we have to eat and be mindful of what we’re putting into our bodies. Try eating in a quiet space without multitasking - it can change your entire day! ."  - Maya

6. “Do at least one thing you love every day.” - Matan


Contributed by Lena Elkins