May Day

Photo: The Interpretation of Dreams

Today is La Fête du Travail (May Day), a day on which people give each other sprigs of muguet (Lily of the Valley) to commemorate Spring. As it’s a national holiday, expect yoga studios in Paris to either be closed, or to offer revised schedules of classes for the day and -- in some cases -- the entire week and then some (Ashtanga Yoga Paris, Big Apple Yoga France, Centre Anjaliom, Espace Nataraja, Himayoga, Paris Yoga, Qee, Samasthiti Studio, Studio KellerYoga Bikram Paris, and Yoga Village, for example.) Be sure to check the listings before heading out with your yoga mat!

In the study of flowers, the muguet symbolizes sweetness, humility, trustworthiness and heralds the return of happiness. All things that you put into practice when you do yoga :)

Juilletiste or Aoûtien?

There are two kinds of people in France: Juilletistes and Aoûtiens. Juilletistes are people who take their big summer vacation in July (juillet,) and Aoûtiens are those who go away during August (août.) My friend Frédéric was the first person to ask me which party I belonged to, and when I couldn’t answer, he laughed. “You freelancers! You’re either always on vacation, or always at work… Centrist!”

Declaring your tribal affiliation is not as insignificant as it might at first seem, for Juilletistes and Aoûtiens have completely different values, and preconceptions about both groups run deep. Juilletistes are thought to be idlers because they take off when many of their colleagues are still at work, returning when offices are empty and expectations of productivity are low. (Juilletistes, naturally, think they are smarter for vacationing when everything is cheaper and less crowded.) Aoûtiens are considered unoriginal; they go on holiday when everyone else does, get stuck in traffic and then spend most of their vacation in a competitive land grab for a small parcel of beach. (Aoûtiens are quick to point out, however, that they are still tan when La Rentrée comes around.)

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Yogateau… en Mouvement!

 

One of the best things about developing Yogateau has been getting to know the people who make yoga in Paris so unique. With every Teacher Spotlight, we discover how truly open and international the community of Parisian yogis is: of the three teachers so far interviewed, one is Canadian, one is Swedish, and one is Colombian! Their native cultures couldn’t be more different, yet they are all connected by their love and gratitude for the practice and by their desire to share it with others.

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