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.