While the idea of Yogateau had been percolating for some time, the site itself sprung up only twelve months ago. Having spent years practicing yoga in Paris, amassing info on studios, and having composed countless emails to friends and colleagues about where to go and which teachers to seek out in different arrondissements, I finally had an apple-falling-on-Newton’s head moment: what if all of this were online and accessible to everyone, not just people I know?
Yoga means “to yoke” and many define yoga as the yoking of body and mind and heart. For some, the practice yokes the physical to the spiritual; for others, the practice yokes their desire to action, transforming an amorphous intention into something tangible and real. Implicit in the meaning of yoking is the idea of agency, the notion that you are actually doing something. Yoga is not about complacency, it is about engagement! Engagement for the purpose of continuously growing and deepening your self-awareness, so that you can be more skillful in your attunement to your environment. Even as you ease into savasana or a seemingly passive restorative pose, you are engaged in a process of inquiry that yokes the external to the internal, the transient to the eternal, all the while refining your relationship to yourself and to those around you.
And relationship is a central theme at Yogateau, especially as it relates to developing connection and amity across borders and cultures. Thanks to the site, we are now yoked to each other! There are so many people to thank for their support, inspiration and participation right from the start:
• Linda Munro, Kia Naddermier, and Carolina Daza who kindly agreed to be interviewed for our Teacher Spotlight series, generously sharing their experiences and insights into what it means to live yoga on and off the mat in Paris
Many thanks to everyone for contributing to this project which dances on the midline between Paris and the Anglophone world like Philippe Petit. The next 52 weeks of yogic abundance will not only include Paris’ very first yoga festival in October, but promises more news, interviews, workshop and retreat ideas -- all of it designed to sweeten your yoga practice in Paris and beyond!