Yoga Festival Paris 2013

It is hard to believe that the Yoga Festival Paris happened a little over a week ago. Perhaps it feels like time has contracted because the Festival itself was able to pack so much YOGA into such a short amount of time. The classes, workshops, lectures and conferences represented more than 30 different styles of practice and brought together people from around the world: India, Brazil, Japan, Martinique, Tibet, Uruguay, United States…

In its second year, Santé Yogaboosted the Festival’s profile through partnerships with established sports, health and wellness brands (Dr HauschkaLolë, Lululemon, Nature & Découvertes, Reebok) as well as through partnerships with media (MCS Bien-être, Doctissimo, Santé Sport and Clés magazines.) The diversity of these brands reflects the 21st century yoga spectrum, and helped reach a broader audience of new and seasoned practitioners, whether they “live with fire” or live with something less smoldering :-)

By moving the smaller workshop spaces, known as “Yo” and “Ga” off the main exhibitor floors, the Festival organizers were able to increase the number of vendors. In addition to more natural products, clothing, yoga schools, books, films, retreats and wellness purveyors, there were two restaurants this time around: SOL Semilla, with its superfood-laced vegan cuisine, and Ahimsa Bio, an Indian cantine, both of which remained open around the clock. I was thrilled to have more options after my workshops, and especially delighted to sip Vita Cocoand Yogi Tea.

I keep thinking about something that Micheline Flak said during her Yoga Nidra and Meditation workshop*: “On ne peut pas connaître le yoga par les mots. Il faut le sentir à l’intérieur” (“You cannot know yoga through words. You have to feel it inside of you”). Learning about yoga through feeling**, through physical experience, is precisely what the Yoga Festival Paris is all about -- it is about deepening your understanding of and appreciation for yoga through direct contact, through the body and the breath.

* OMG, Micheline Flak is wonderful! If you have the chance to study with her, you absolutely must. She is brilliant.

** It also reminded me of Nikki Costello’s exhortation to “Feel the practice!”