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Manduka Medium Vertical #2 - EU

Monday
Jul212014

Do Yoga in Paris

ATELIERS/YOGA WORKSHOPS IN PARIS
24-26 juillet Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga with Sadie Nardini 
26 juillet Retrouver Alignement et Aisance Corporelle (Focus: la peau) avec Nadine Garnier 
27 juillet YogaFun avec Tatiana Avila-Bouru  
27 juillet Ashtanga, Pratique Commune avec Renan de Germain 
27 juillet Extensions Arrières—Ouverture des Centres Energétiques avec Jean-Louis 
27 juillet Hatha Yoga avec Sri Venudas  
27 juillet La Grammaire du Yoga avec Meïr  

COURS SOLIDAIRES + GRATUITS/DONATION + FREE CLASSES
23 juillet Yoga on the Rooftop of BHV with Lolë Paris (FREE! GRATUIT !) 
25 juillet Yoga Vinyasa avec Lolë Paris (FREE! GRATUIT !)
26 juillet Cours d’essai/Trial class at Centre Sivananda Paris (FREE! GRATUIT !) 
26-27 juillet Yoga devant le Pavillon des Canaux (10€, 2€ la loc d’un tapis) 
27 juillet Yoga Yin au Wanderlust avec Lolë Paris (FREE! GRATUIT !)
27 juillet Community Class at Centre de Yoga du Marais (10€) 

EVENEMENTS + FESTIVALS/EVENTS + FESTIVALS
2-10 août Festival Européen de Yoga (Loir-et-Cher) 

FORMATIONS/TRAININGS IN PARIS + BEYOND
28 juillet-29 août Formation Professorale Intensive Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga avec Gérald Disse + Linda Munro 

RETRAITES YOGA/YOGA RETREATS IN FRANCE
26 juillet-2 août Yoga Surf Healthy Cuisine in Hossegor 
3-9 août Summer Iyengar Intensive in Ardèche  
4-8 août Yoga in Bourgogne 
23-27 août Yoga à la Montagne in Haute-Savoie  

Friday
Jul182014

August is Coming! OMG! You need a home practice.

We are two weeks away from August, and the panic is setting in. As you know, Paris in August is dead, with yoga studios offering fewer classes or downright closing for a couple of weeks as part of their annual holidays.

OMG! You need a home practice.

A home practice is an essential part of yoga life. Of course teachers do it -- it is an important method for discovering and gaining insight into sequences and poses -- but yogis of all types can benefit from letting their breath and body guide their movements. You know how occasionally at the beginning of class, a teacher might congratulate the students for simply showing up? They are speaking from experience! There is sometimes nothing harder than unrolling your mat at home. Trust me on this. 

That said, teachers have an advantage over Beginners because they have an encyclopedia of poses in their heads and can feel their way into a postural sequence that responds to their energy level, their therapeutic needs or their desire to play with a particular pose or class of poses. Beginners, on the other hand, are not sure where to start. So many poses! Which one should follow trikonasana? This is where studying Ashtanga or Bikram has advantages -- students learn a set of poses, performed in a fixed order, and this repetition makes it easy to remember what to do when you’re away from the studio.

Don’t panic! Here are some ideas.

 Sign up for Sophie Boller’s series of three workshops (28-31 July) to develop your personal practice and greet the month of August with confidence. This is a terrific way to acquire or hone the trust and skills you will need for doing yoga on your own.

Use videos or podcasts to stay inspired! If you don’t yet have faith in your inner guru, let a teacher guide you.

• Mix your chocolate (Ashtanga) with your peanut butter (Bikram.) (Check out this super ridiculous commercial for the reference) Try a traditional Surya Namaskar A and B (1 breath per movement) then use Bikram holds for subsequent standing postures (1 minute for the first hold, 30-45 seconds for the second.) A nice standing pose sequence is Virabhadrasana II, Parsvakonasana, Ardha Chandrasana, and high lunge. Judith Hanson Lasater has some great advice for how to create a well-rounded practice, too.

• Make your practice area inviting by preparing the space with care. Make it pretty with flowers or meaningful mementos, make it smell good with candles, incense or essential oils, make it sound fun with a groovy playlist.

• Speaking of setting the stage… if you don’t already have your own yoga mat, now is the time to get one! Spend some time thinking about how you’re going to use it. Will you only use it at home? Will you travel with it? Is your practice super sweaty, or more zen? I’ve used a Tapas mat (light but not very durable,) Yogistar (easy to transport,) a Manduka PROlite (great however a bit heavy,) a Jade travel mat (super light and practical,) and I am now test-driving a Tayrona Tolima (so far, so good.)

• Cultivate a restorative or slow practice. Close your eyes, breathe deeply for five minutes. Move into a gentle rhythm of cat/cow before relaxing into Balasana. Inhale and exhale for five counts. Stretch back into Downward-facing Dog, hold for five breaths, then melt back into Balasana. Repeat as necessary.

Want to really, really relax? Try Yoga Nidra! This is a terrific complement to a more dynamic asana practice and feels especially delicious in the evenings after a sun-drenched day.

Thursday
Jul172014

Throwback Thursday

Photo: Vogue

Un Throwback Thursday qui vient de 1940 !

Monday
Jul142014

Faites du yoga à Paris !

ATELIERS/YOGA WORKSHOPS IN PARIS
14 juillet MLC—méthode de libération des cuirasses avec Inès  
15 juillet Hatha Yoga—Découverte avant Démarrage en Septembre avec Veronica 
19 juillet Core Vinyasa avec Christina  
19 juillet Pranayama avec Renan de Germain 
19 juillet Yoga de la Voix avec Caroline  
19-20 Nada Yoga avec Stefano Manfrin + Hamsini Sekfali  

COURS SOLIDAIRES + GRATUITS/DONATION + FREE CLASSES
16 juillet Yoga on the Rooftop of BHV with Lolë Paris (FREE! GRATUIT !) 
19 juillet Yoga au Wanderlust avec Lolë Paris (FREE! GRATUIT !) 
19 juillet Portes Ouvertes au Centre Sivananda Paris (FREE! GRATUIT !) 
19-20 juillet Yoga devant le Pavillon des Canaux (10€, 2€ la loc d’un tapis) 
20 juillet Community Class at Centre de Yoga du Marais (10€) 

EVENEMENTS + FESTIVALS/EVENTS + FESTIVALS
2-10 août Festival Européen de Yoga (Loir-et-Cher) 
18 juillet Weekend AcroYoga avec Yohann Guichard (Saint Tropez)  

FORMATIONS/TRAININGS IN PARIS + BEYOND
14-19 juillet Embracing the Essence of Yin Yoga Teaching + Practice (Level 2) with Biff Mithoefer (Haute-Savoie)
15 juillet-4 août Formation 100H avec Mika de Brito (Cévennes) 
17-19 juillet Next Generation Yoga Teacher Training  
28 juillet-29 août Formation Professorale Intensive Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga avec Gérald Disse + Linda Munro 

RETRAITES YOGA/YOGA RETREATS IN FRANCE
26 juillet-2 août Yoga Surf Healthy Cuisine in Hossegor 
3-9 août Summer Iyengar Intensive in Ardèche  
4-8 août Yoga in Bourgogne 
23-27 août Yoga à la Montagne in Haute-Savoie  

Friday
Jul112014

A little bit healthy

If you Follow/Like/Pin/Regram any yogi on social media, or subscribe to a yoga/workout/green/vegan/gluten-free/cruelty-free/dairy-free newsletter, or think about the newest/trendiest/most controversial way to eat or drink or apply to your skin the latest raw/cold-pressed/organic/phthalate- and paraben-free vegetable or fruit or seed or superfood from the Amazon, then you are probably MORE than a LITTLE BIT healthy.

One could even say, perhaps, MORE than a LITTLE BIT obsessed with health.

The other day, Garance Doré created a hilarious little health quiz to measure readers’ levels of health obsession (which in its most extreme form now has a scientific and diagnosable term: Orthorexia Nervosa.) In between recognizing my own deranged voice in hers and laughing at our shared paranoias, I was reminded that the key to wellness is… balance!

And balance means different things to different people. For Victoria Beckham, it means taking 60 vitamins and supplements per day. If you feel good on a vegan diet, eat that. If you feel happier as an omnivore, do that. If you prefer coffee to green juice? Cheers! The important thing is to feel good about your choices, and not let anyone shame you into thinking that to be healthy, you have to eat this or that, do this or that, believe this or that.

That said, here are a few of my healthy obsessions:

• Yoga
Obviously! 

• Juice of half of a lemon with warm water every morning
There are claims that this stimulates digestion, that it rids the body of Ama (toxins in Ayurveda) and that the Vitamin C helps with mineral absorption. I have read that none of that is actually, scientifically, true, but I still do it. Why? Because I like drinking a tart glass of warm sun in the mornings. For me, the positive effects are mostly mood-based and that’s good enough for me.

• Buying organic as much as possible
Whenever I can, I buy organic fruit, vegetables, dairy products and meat. I feel like this is good for me, and good for the environment. This is especially true of coffee and bananas -- the pesticides used on non-organic bananas, for example, are destroying songbird populations.

• Burn Palo Santo
Ever since one of my yoga teachers, Eric Stoneberg, burned a bit of this during a New Year‘s Day class, I have become obsessed with its “cleansing” properties. It is said to enhance creativity and chase away bad energy. Is this true? Does it matter? It smells good and I enjoy the ritual of lighting the stick, blowing out the flame and watching the smoke snake through my apartment.

No matter where you fall on the health obsession spectrum, it’s good to maintain a sense of humor and perspective about things! Life is too short.