After a good and sweaty Ashtanga class with Carolina, she and I paused for a drink in the 10ème arrondissement. It was a beautiful afternoon, and we talked and talked and talked. I was feeling invigorated by yoga’s afterglow and Carolina’s energy, and as we parted, I decided to bounce home along the quai de Jemmapes. Somewhere between Oberkampf and Richard Lenoir the spring in my step turned to cement as I realized why I felt so weightless and free. It wasn’t the weather, or yoga, or lively conversation—I’d forgotten my yoga mat at the café!
In the past, this sort of faute d’étourderie would have unleashed panic, but not any more. This calmer moi can be attributed to a) yoga, and b) the fact that Paris boasts so many more options for yoga accessories and clothing than ever before. Lost mat? No problem! There are now plenty of places that sell the necessities for yoga. From studios with dedicated retail areas to full-fledged yoga-specific stores, it’s now easy to get a mat, or a new outfit (read this tip on learning when it’s time to retire the yoga porno pants and get a fresh pair!)
Personally, my favorite yoga-exclusive shop in Paris is YogaConcept on rue de Turenne. They carry everything you might need for yoga: mats and other accessories, clothing, malas and jewelry, candles and incense… What really sets this shop apart from the rest, though, is owner Pamela Levy’s warm welcome and attentive service. She spends as much time as it takes to ensure you’re happy with whatever it is you’re looking for; when I shopped for my replacement yoga mat, she gave me an analysis of all of the mats by their varying thicknesses, even weighed the different brands and versions on a scale, and gave me personal recommendations based on her own experiences with them. Because Pamela is herself a devoted yoga student, she really understands her clientele, and is able to anticipate their wants in a way that feels genuine.
The other exceptional thing about YogaConcept is that it’s become a sort of community center for all of Parisian yoga. Everyone pops by to say hello, to drop off fliers and business cards, and spread news of workshops and yoga events. Like YogaConcept’s Facebook page to stay in the loop!
My second favorite is Lolë Paris. Their shop in the Marais is a one-brand emporium of workout wear that crosses over from yoga and pilates to running, snowboarding and other sports. Thanks to their free in-store meetups and their participation in events such as Wanderlust Paris and We Love Green, their bright yellow yoga mats have been ubiquitous around the city, lighting the way toward health and wellbeing. And that is truly what makes Lolë unique: their commitment to bringing yoga and other active lifestyle modalities to as many people as possible, without the hard-sell. Their mission is to encourage people to find balance in their lives, in a way that feels natural and not commercial. Like Lolë Paris’ Facebook page for all of the latest and greatest!
By the way, Le Yoga Shop Paris’ pop-up last Friday was a gigantic success, and their next shop-in-shop event will take place Sunday 2 December at Ofr., the coolest fashion/art book store in Paris! Presentation at 15h, and shopping until 19h. With Hanukkah and Christmas coming up, this might be a fantastic place to grab unique and groovy gifts for the yogis in your life. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. And make sure you sign up for Le Yoga Shop Paris’ newsletter to be kept apprised of their official launch!