Pour toutes les mamans (qu’elles fassent du yoga ou non) : Joyeuse Fête des Mères !
For all the moms (whether or not they do yoga): Happy Mother’s Day!
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 Keller, Yoga 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 :)
It’s been cold and snowy in most parts. Wouldn’t you rather be somewhere warm, like Meghan Currie here in Costa Rica? Mmm…
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.)
When Iya Traore’s professional football career stalled (he played briefly for PSG,) he transformed his athleticism and skill into a new art form: freestyle football. Keeping the ball afloat and bouncing in percussive counterpoint to his poised exterior, Iya performs impossible-to-imagine feats of balance and strength. If you think sitting in sukhasana with a football on your head looks plenty difficult, check out the video after the jump and prepare to have your mind blown.
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.
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?
"J’ai découvert le yoga, et c’est un truc que je n’aurais jamais pu faire il y a quelques années. J’étais trop dans le contrôle. Avec cette discipline, j’apprends à ne pas vouloir tout, tout de suite. Pour moi, ça représente déjà un petit bout de sagesse. Et la sagesse, je vous le dis, ce n’est pas des conneries!" Translation after the jump.