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Manduka Medium Vertical #2 - EU

Friday
Oct262012

Still Life: Beyoga

Beyoga’s location in Montparnasse predisposed me to liking it: its street, rue Campagne-Première, is reknown for the many studios and ateliers occupied by fantastically creative twentieth century painters, photographers, composers and writers: Eugène Atget (No. 17 bis), Man Ray (No. 31), Marcel Duchamp (No. 29), Kiki de Montparnasse (No. 29), Érik Satie (No. 29), Yves Klein (No. 14), Patti Smith (No. 9)… To subsequently learn that Beyoga (situated at No. 17) was the former atelier of Isadora Duncan? Well then, I just about tossed my yoga pants aside in favor of diaphanous Grecian tunics! While I’m not sure those would be the most practical tenue for downward-facing dog, I do love thinking about the connection that my body’s movements might have to the past, and how each expressive stretch of my fingers and toes might simply be art history rippling through them.

You can’t miss Beyoga when you wander down the little cobbled alley: its pippin green door and pretty tree give way to a bright reception area that is, more often than not, presided over by the totally adorable and friendly Grégoire who makes everyone feel welcomed.

If you’ve ever wanted to live in the 14e to play out your Lost Generation/Années Folles fantasies, now you can do so without endangering your liver or your sanity ;)

Wednesday
Oct242012

Creation then Dissolution… then Creation again!

I am off to the Hautes Pyrénées for a bit of R&R (I had no idea this was a military term!), and thought I would leave you with this image from the Yoga Festival Paris 2012.

During the entirety of the festival, this mandala grew in complexity and beauty, each exuberant color a reflection of the energy and dynamism of the events and people. I am still a bit electric myself from the workshops I attended and observed, the teachers and vendors I spoke with and the new friends I made.

While I process all that I experienced, I leave you with this news: the festival was a great success, and there will be another one in 2013! Make sure you add your name to the mailing list and Like the Festival on Facebook in order to be kept apprised of news and opportunities to participate next year.

After creation, dissolution… then creation again!

Monday
Oct222012

This Week/Cette Semaine à Paris

Saturday
Oct202012

YogaLab at Yoga Festival Paris 2012

Imagine doing yoga with headphones on, groovy music and a teacher’s voice being fed into your ears while images are projected onto a screen and your movements feel in sync with the moving landscapes in front of you… that’s YogaLab! Created by Jivamukti yoga teacher Mika de Brito and musician Marco Prince, this yoga “en immersion sonore” is a unique and mesmerizing experience that turns your usual practice on its head in the best way possible.

It used to be possible to take weekly YogaLab classes when they were held in a studio in the 19ème. For now, your best bet is to Like Mika’s Facebook page and YogaLab’s for info on when the next sessions will take place in Paris.

Highly recommended!

Yogalab / Paris / 19-10-12 from YogaLab on Vimeo.

Friday
Oct192012

Yoga Festival Paris 2012

Photo: Yoga Festival Paris 2012

Let the yogamania begin! Today Yoga Festival Paris 2012, France’s first ever yoga festival, throws open its doors and invites people in to discover all of the many permutations that yoga has taken since its birth a zillion years ago in India. With studios and centers flourishing throughout Paris and the provinces, and a wave of interest in wellness and alternative health modalities, the timing for this big yogic get-together could not be better. This will be an opportunity to demystify yoga on a large scale, and demonstrate to a growing audience that while all yoga lineages share fundamental principles, yoga isn’t one-size-fits-all. It is more, as the tagline says, “À chacun son yoga!” (“To each, his or her own yoga!”)

Photo: Yoga Festival Paris 2012

To give you an idea of how comprehensive this festival will be, here are the numbers:

• 40 styles of yoga and more than 30 different yoga schools represented
• 80 workshops
• 60 free classes designed for all level of students
• Two spaces dedicated to yoga discovery, “Yo” and “Ga”
• One Satsang space
• Ten classes for children and neighborhood groups
• 16 prestigious conferences
• One choreographed performance
• Two incredible concerts 
• Films, dance, music
• Book signings
• The Yoga Village with 80 vendors
• Vegetarian food

In case you think France has fallen for yoga the same way it falls for trendy crazes like the basket compensée (the high-heeled, concealed wedge sneaker that is ubiquitous), be advised that yoga was imported between 1930 and 1935 by three intrepid pioneers: Maryse Choisy, Cajzoran Ali, and Constant Kerneïz who each wrote about yoga, taught it and founded the first schools. Thanks to them, French yoga continues to multiply and diversify, each variation a different facet of this centuries-old and unique practice.