How do you feel about yoga in general? Be really honest.
If you’re like me you may like yoga but hate (oh gosh such as strong word – I toyed with actually replacing it with dislike) self-proclaimed yogis – I tend to shun anything that has a this is how you should live persecution. And even though I enjoyed yoga in my twenties in NYC, in Paris I often found that (outside of my close group of yoga Teacher pals) it’s just a world I didn’t feel comfortable with. I felt like I was the odd man out what with my love of wine, good food including meat and obscene aversion from hideous long crotch orange cotton pants that scream – see look at me I’ve studied at the ashram India under the tutelage of such and such guru ok, maybe I’m being bit too bashful here but you get how I feel about yoga right??
So for all intents and purpose, I never do yoga with people who don’t look like me or share similar values. I’m not a puritan in any sense and enjoy a #slowlife but I’ve found its a place where so many worlds contradict; we see more elitism, separationist doctrines ( there are so many different forms of yogas, gurus) and institutionalized classism rather than a focus on having people living happier healthy (er) lives.
For years I was left asking where is the yoga for people who want to progress to their best self but without feeling the shame of prejudice and where it financially advantages to do it on a sustainable basis.
If you know me you know I’m all about democracy and sustainability in choices.
One of the best experiences of my life was this past summer in Trafaria Lisbon – 20 mins outside Lisbon is a little beach town, well rather fishing village with the cutest mix of local dilapidated hand-made homes and more fancy homes. The sound of birds chirping and dogs walking around is the scene every morning, and in the evening as we had dinner we looked out at the most beautiful deep pink sky above the softest ivory sands at your feet.
Sounds like a dream!
But this was really the scene for a week of wellness, vegetarian eating and yoga twice a day. You can see more of my yoga retreat photos here on exposure.
My hat goes off to the most peaceful voice and patient bomb ass yoga teacher I know – Michelle for being so present with us and never with a judgmental energy. I tried to record our sessions a few times on my iPhone, so I could try following her voice instructions when I got back home ( I sort of “hate” going to a class to do yoga back in Paris).
So fancy my surprise when I learned that :
A. Next trip is for June in the south of France – same small group feel with two of the most awesome people I’ve now come to call gals pals – Michelle teaching Vinyasa yoga and Mardi cooking up her yummy (SERIOUSLY YUMMY – no pasty looking bland food) vegetarian and organic dishes.
Email me and I’ll send you the South of France Wellness PDF ( I’ve tried putting it here – but I’m not too techy with that!). Email –myparisianlife (at) gmail.com
B. Michelle and Sebastian (they get the cute couple award!) has just launched this cool video service to do yoga at home! Follow their Facebook page, Baantna Yoga for more details.
Here’s what they have to say
With Baantna Yoga we hope to create and hold a place for you to experience the blissful and wholesome sensation in body & mind of exploring your practice. A place for you to stay connected to the natural simplicity of your yoga practice no more complications, pricy studios and images of a yogi lifestyle which you feel like, you cannot live up to. Instead this place where everyone for him or her self can explore what, in our eyes, yoga simply is: a beautiful practice of self-exploration and self-understanding. A practice which opens the doors to yourself, so that you can rediscover and reconnect to your human default state of contentment and happiness.
And here’s the video that have them explaining their philosophy and how they came up with the idea: