YOGA: WEEKLY SCHEDULE (in PARIS)

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Do you want to practice yoga in Paris? Please come and join me on the mat!

MONDAYS

6:30pm – 7:30pm : Ashtanga Beginners 1 @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République PARIS)
8pm – 9:30 pm : Intermediate Vinyasa class@ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République 75011 PARIS) – Be ready to sweat and try some fun asanas!

TUESDAYS

8pm – 9:30pm : Intermediate Ashtanga class @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République 75011 PARIS) – We go through the Primary Series until Janu Sirsasana C / or some Marichyasanas.

FRIDAYS

10am – 11:30am : Soft Vinyasa class @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République 75011 PARIS) – We’ll take our time in the postures and find some ease and quietness at the end with some yummy Yin Restorative postures.

SATRUDAYS

4:30pm – 6pm : Vinyasa class @ Casa Yoga Paradis (4, rue du Paradis 75010 PARIS).

6:15 pm – 6:45pm : Restorative Yoga class @ Casa  Yoga Paradis (4, rue du Paradis 75010 PARIS) – Let us release all the stress and tension from the past week and be ready to feel renewed!

SUNDAYS

3:15pm – 4:45pm : Vinyasa Yoga class @ Casa Yoga Canal (42, rue des Vinaigriers 75010 PARIS)

 

See you on the mat!

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: SAUCHA

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Saucha is one attitude included in the Niyamas, the self observances “recommended” by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras.

Nurturing these niyamas can help us live in harmony with our inner self and others.

Within the Niyamas, there are five attitudes to cultivate so that we can work towards emotional stability:

– shauca or purity (more on that topic in the following text),

– santosha or contentment

– tapas or a strong desire to commit to self-transformation (being eager to sweat to purify our inner thoughts and our body for instance!)

– svadhyaya (being eager to know who we are deep inside, reflecting on ourselves)

– Ishvara – pranidhana (surrendering to the universe, trusting life)

All these behaviors and attitude patterns are linked somehow. Observing at least one of them helps us observing another one.

 

 

Saucha can be translated as purification or cleanliness.

We can consider the physical aspect of purification :

  • keeping the body clean inside by eating healthy. We should all become more aware of what we put in our body : Can we really call a coke a drink? Why is this cookie made of more than 50 ingredients (most of them being preservatives, additives and crappy sweeteners)?? Just start by paying attention to the ingredients listed in the food you eat. Avoid eating too many ingredients you cannot pronounce… That’s already a good start!
  • keeping the body clean out as well by taking showers and taking care of oneself (“pampering”, keeping the body fit and strong). It’s the same thing here: The things you put on your body matter! So many cosmetic products are made with hazardous ingredients. Here are some clean and easy tips : What about using pure coconut oil as a body moisturiser or maybe this more sophisticated DIY body cream recipe? Is your face dry? Try this natural honey and aloe vera mask or this DIY carrot and calendula mask. Do you need a body scrub: Mix together powdered coffee, sea salt, coconut or sesame oil and an essential oil… hellooo rejuvenated skin!

Believe me … it matters. We rarely nurture our health until a disease comes and slams us in the face!

 

But we should also consider the cleanliness of our mind.

Let’s strive and work on developing our own positive state of mind:

  • Be kind to yourself and to others. Kind words often lead to a peaceful mind. Small displays of caring goes a long way: So do not hesitate to send a card to your mum, to call a friend, to give a back massage to your partner, to keep the door open for a stranger, to help an old lady go up the stairs, etc.
  • Be optimistic. Stay positive. It’s said that people who have confidence in life and in themselves can really act on their own potential. They dream big and do believe that anything is possible. And you know what… they are often up to magical stuff! I know I have to work on that one… but I’m sure it’s really worth it! What could we achieve if we knew we could not fail?
  • Be patient an enjoy the ride. No need to rush!
  • Strive to keep an equanimous mind.

 

 

A third aspect of Saucha that can be regarded is the cleanliness of our surroundings.

Keeping our home clean and free of clutter. Cluttered surroundings often offer too many distractions! And this often leads to a cluttered mind.

Buying buying buying… vs decluttering… mmm… this is tricky in our consumer society. We should maybe start small: Next time you want to buy a white T-Shirt, ask yourself ‘Do I really need this fifteenth white tee-shirt?’. If the response is ‘well… not really… but…’, do not even bother listening to your ‘but’, just move along and forget about this T-shirt.

Turn off your phone at night. Turn off the wifi when you sleep. Do not charge your phone next to your head. Minimise the exposition to all the waves created by electronic devices. I am even considering investing in an Himalayan Salt lamp for its air purifying properties and as its negative ions are said to neutralise the positive ions created by devices such as TV, phones, computers, etc. (NB : Please notice that I wrote “invest in”… and not “buy”… ahah!).

Try to disconnect from social media (Facebook, Emails, Instagram, etc) from time to time: You will be able to connect with your inner self, tune in with your creativity and better connect with the people next to you as well.

And well… also… be aware of the people you surround yourself with. Don’t let toxic people drag you down. Wait wait! It does not mean that you should disregard friends asking for help or going through a difficult time in your life! No. It means that you should not let anyone tell you that you are worthless. You should not let anyone push you into doing things you do not want to do. Don’t let anyone destroy yourself.

Nurture honest and healthy relationships with your family, friends and partner.

 

To sum up: stay heathy, stay simple and stay happy!

Classes in Paris – July 2016

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SATURDAY, 2nd

10 – 11 am : OUTDOOR Ashtanga Beginners 1-2   @ Le Pavillon des Canaux (39, quai de La Loire 75019 PARIS)

SUNDAY, 3rd

4:30 – 5:30 pm : Ashtanga Beginners 1-2 @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République 75011 PARIS)

MONDAY, 4th 

7:30 – 9pm :  Ashtanga 2-3 (Intermediate – Advanced) @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République 75011 PARIS)

THURSDAY, 7th

7:30 – 9pm :  Ashtanga 2 (Intermediate) @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République 75011 PARIS)

SUNDAY, 10th

Private sessions

12:30 – 2pm : Ashtanga 1-2 @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris

4:30 – 5:30 pm : Ashtanga Beginners 1-2 @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République 75011 PARIS)

MONDAY, 11th

6:30 – 7:30 pm : Ashtanga Beginners 1 @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris

7:30 – 9pm : Ashtanga 2-3 (Intermediate – Advanced) @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République 75011 PARIS)

WEDNESDAY, 13th

12:30 – 1:30 pm : Vinyasa Short @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris

6:30 – 7:30pm : Ashtanga Beginners 1 @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République 75011 PARIS)

THURSDAY, 14th 

12:30 – 2 pm : Ashtanga 1-2 @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris

7:30 – 9 pm : Ashtanga 1-2 @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République 75011 PARIS)

SATURDAY, 16th

10 – 11 am : OUTDOOR Ashtanga Beginners 1-2 @ Le Pavillon des Canaux (39, quai de La Loire 75019 PARIS)

SUNDAY, 17th

Private sessions

4:30 – 5:30 pm : Ashtanga Beginners 1-2 @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République 75011 PARIS)

MONDAY, 18th

6:30 – 7:30 pm : Ashtanga Beginners 1 @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris

TUESDAY, 19th

7:30 – 9 pm : Yin Yoga @ Casa Yoga Paris (4, rue de Paradis 75010 Paris)

WEDNESDAY, 20th

12:30 – 1:30 pm : Vinyasa Short @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris

6:30 – 7:30pm : Ashtanga Beginners 1 @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République 75011 PARIS)

SUNDAY, 31st

Private sessions

12:30 – 2pm : Ashtanga 1-2 @ Ashtanga Yoga Paris (40, avenue de La République)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: NON-ATTACHMENT

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When you do yoga, you will happen to hear the words Abhyasa (Practice) and Vairagya (Detachment). In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali says that we have to develop practice and detachment, in order to progress on our yoga journey.

We should always practice consistently and with enthusiasm. It can be about our yoga practice, about implementing yoga in our everyday life by being a better person (working on ourselves every single minute of each day) , about our life dream (doing something towards our dream everyday without giving up), about our relationships (we should try and practice being a better friend, a better partner, etc).

But, we should not be attached to the outcome (of the practice or effort). We should learn to enjoy the journey of the practice, learn to remain consistent no matter how slow the progress is coming or no matter how quickly good we become.

This philosophy can help with a lot of things. Here are my “work-in-progress” elements:

  • I practice yoga almost everyday with curiosity: I’m trying to improve my forearm balances, my handstands and my “leg-behind-the-leg” asanas. But I try not to be attached to the results: Even if I don’t remain long in my forearmstand, or handstand, I’m satisfied with what I’ve dared to accomplish. I am enjoying the journey. I won’t be grumpy if I’m not arriving at the destination.
  • I practice being a good friend or partner but I try to stay detached from the way the other person feel about me (yay… I try). I know I do not own the other person, I cannot force him to care more, I cannot wish for her to change. I want to love the people close to me exactly the way they are.
  • I’m trying to work towards my dreams without any expectations. Doing a little bit of research on that, networking with one or two people, lauching a little personal project, etc. I’m not expecting it to work right away. I try to be patient. (Well, to be honest, I should work a little more towards them… :p ).

But, as we learn, being detached does not mean not caring … hence the importance of practicing everyday.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: SMILE

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Guess what guys! Smiling and laughing are a good way to balance our hormones and make us feel happy!

I’m reading a book about health and hormones by Dr Jacky Thouin in which he explains how laughing helps the body release “happy” hormones such as serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin. These chemicals are also the ones produced when you are in love or when you are doing something you like (such as doing sports, soaking in the sun or enjoying a spa day).

And even when you “force” yourself to laugh or smile, the same effects are produced: Your body will secrete the very chemicals produced when you are experiencing pleasure. Being happy makes us smile. The other way is true as well: Laughing or smiling helps us feel good.

So go ahead, and move the corners of your lips up… Here you go! You’re smiling lovelies! Take the time to feel all the alterations of your biochemistry. Slowly and slowly this will help you fall into a state of wellness and happiness.

Side note: The chemicals produced when you are happy are the very ones that would attract potential love mates. Yep! Happiness is attractive!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: FINDING BALANCE

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Yoga can teach us how to find balance.
Throughout our yoga practice, we ought to find balance between flexibility and strength, between fluidity and stability, between letting go and holding a pose, between being compassionate with ourselves or challenging and pushing ourselves.
These yoga lessons can also be translated into our everyday life so that we experience balance in things we do or say.

Let’s take the example of the edge between compromising and unyielding. Being mindful and putting things into perspective can help us know when to take a step back and make compromises, or when to be firm and take charge of our beliefs and convictions.

If you feel you’ve entered a pattern of complaining about a person or a situation in your life; stop and think twice.Turn your complains around. Have a FLEXIBLE mind. Look at your own behavior and see if you are not to blame or judge as well. Then, start to give the universe or the other person what you “wish to get”.

You wish people were friendlier? Just go ahead, be friendlier yourself first and smile at strangers in the street.

You wish people were more “social”? Stop criticizing them about using their iPhone all the time and be the one to turn off your phone when you are on a date, at a family dinner or with friends.

You wish people were more helpful? Go and help this woman carrying her suitcase up the subway stairs. Positive vibes are contagious!

But, your core values -may that be honesty, integrity and respect eg- are your foundations. They are what make you grounded. Be FIRM and don’t let anybody make you doubt those convictions. You can be unyielding about those fundamental values: Don’t let anybody disrespect you, abuse you, play you, or whatever. Even if the people who are doing this to you are your (so-called) friends, partners, boss. You will forgive them at one point. But first, stand up for yourself and leave them. Don’t let anyone attack or use you in any kind of way. You are worthy of love and respect.

Namaste.

ABOUT FEAR…

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Yoga reveals our weaknesses, our fears and subsequently enables us to acknowledge and face them.

This morning, during my Mysore practise, I realized that my mind wanted to prevent me from doing an asana out of fear!

After practising backbends I usually do dropbacks. But today, I didn’t want to do it. I was looking for excuses not to do it: “My back feels weak today. My harmstrings are a little bit tense. Bla bla bla!!”

I didn’t know why. Then I just paused. I said.. wait.. what’s happening now?

I remembered that some days ago I almost fainted after practising my dropbacks routine (because I didn’t have enough sleep the night before. Nothing too serious). I’m used to it normally. I’ve never been afraid of practising dropbacks.

How come then that I’ve been trying to avoid this practise for the last 2 days?

I realised that I was afraid of getting hurt, of fainting or falling. I almost got hit last time so now my brain is in protection mode. It doesn’t want me to fall or to have an accident.

But the thing is.. I fainted for another reason (the lack of sleep), not because of the dropback.

Anyway enough said about the dropbacks. The thing I wanted to point out here is that sometimes we find excuses not to do something out of fear. And if we don’t take the time to ask ourselves why we do not want to try, we will not know it’s because of past fears or past traumas that have nothing to do with the present moment.

This can be applied to a lot of situations I guess:

– When we’ve been cheated on once, it’s sometimes easier to mistrust everybody rather than giving somebody the chance to win our trust.

– When you’ve failed at an exam, you can think it’s the end of the world. You don’t want to give the exam another shot for fear of disappointing people and yourself.

– When you lost somebody you loved, it can be easier to refuse yourself from feeling anything, from giving your heart or your friendship.

But what if all these injuries and wounds were ways to learn how to go on being patient, to move on, to get stronger and… later on to do better?

We cannot change what happened in the past. We cannot change the fact that we felt pain. But, we can change the way we see these events. We can change the meaning we give to the injuries.

What if those pains were a means to empower ourselves and show us that we can recover. Rather than trying to avoid being hurt, let’s go outside and live! Pain teaches us that we have the strength within us to overcome a lot of things!

We fell? So what? Now we know how to be careful, how to fall without hurting us. We’ve been cheated on? Yep but now we may know whom to give our trust to, we know we have the power to walk away from the wrong person instead of clinging to this person. We are strong enough to claim our worth back.

We should strive to get passed these fears so that we do not hide ourselves behind our insecurities.

INDIGO AHEAD

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Hi pumpkins!

As some of you may know I’m working for YUJ – Yoga With Style, the first French yoga brand. I’m in charge of the sales and marketing department but also of the blog. Up to now actually… 

You’ll find below the article I co-wrote with the founder of YUJ, Hélène Duval, for the website Glowing.Co website.

Time to turn on our indigo chakra! 

Yogis make a big deal about chakras, and so they should. 

So, to get us all on the same page, here’s a brief introduction into the world of chakras and what they’re all about. 

Let’s make it short, shall we? We have seven main chakras or “energy centers” in our bodies. These are: the root chakra, the sacral chakra, the solar plexus chakra, the heart chakra, the throat chakra, the third-eye chakra and the crown chakra. It’s quite a combo. 

Following so far? Good! Let’s keep going. 

Each chakra takes a different “physical location” along the spine. It is said that our vital energy flows through these chakras and that, to stay healthy, the energy needs to be able to travel freely without hitting any roadblocks. If the energy is blocked in any way, we can become ill, depressed or we can feel unbalanced. 

Let’s focus on the sixth chakra, the “Ajna” in Sanskrit or third eye. It’s linked to a fabulous indigo color. 

The third-eye chakra takes its place between the eyes, on the forehead. This chakra is connected to our imagination and intuition, so it is often considered to be a door to our inner world. 

When this chakra is well balanced we are able to focus properly, to use our intuition, to see “the big picture” and to make wise decisions. All good things. 

But when this chakra is out of balance, we can suffer from disorientation, headaches, insomnia, and….what was the last thing again? Oh yes, poor memory. 

In our rational westernized world, we can relate the third eye chakra to the pineal gland, the organ in charge of producing melatonin. You know, the glorious hormone that is produced when it’s dark to enable us to sleep properly? Yes, that guy. 

A good melatonin release helps us to sleep well and subsequently prevents insomnia, headaches and other sleep disorders.

Sleeping is always good! Especially during the last months of winter. We all love smooching under cozy blankets or sleeping in on cold mornings and now we can do this guilt-free knowing it’s good for us! 

Why not try to go to bed 30 minutes earlier each night. Or, even more delicious, why not schedule a nap during the day? It’s not always easy but it is always worth taking the time to sleep. When you get some beloved shut-eye, your cells are renewed, your energy is restored, you can dream dreamy dreams, your brain detoxifies, your memory is enabled and your indigo chakra can heal and rest right there along with you. 

If you were to take part in a yoga session focused on stimulating the Ajna chakra, you’d work on positions that strengthen the neck and head. You would do inversions and try to visualize the indigo color. Imagine indigo flowers floating around in your forehead like a pretty fantasy movie! 

All in all, if you’d like to keep a clear mind and make more intuitive decisions, look after your third eye chakra. Sleep tight and dream big! 

HOW TO SURVIVE WINTER?

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Hello pumpkins! How are you dealing with the cold weather so far?

Around me, I can see (and hear) a lot of people getting sick. And as I don’t want to catch a cold, I work on strengthening my immune system to keep the mean viruses at bay!

Below are my tricks to transform my immune system into Super(healthy)woman… Try them and let me know if you feel rejuvenated.

1- First and foremost, I do my best to stay hydrated (drink baby drink!). To keep things interesting, I mix between herbal teas, cold-pressed juices (eg: green or pink) or thai soups.

2- Then, I’ll get my fill of vitamin C munching on tangerines, grapefruits, kiwis or red bell peppers! My body will stay alert. No virus will be able to weaken it then!

3- I often overindulge in leafy greens in winter as they are rich in fibers, minerals and vitamins… to keep everything going.  I love them in cold-pressed juices (I also love the Nubio brand in Paris), in smoothies and in salads!

4- When I really feel under the weather, I will take some good-quality zinc supplements (with my doctor’s approval of course! :p ). Otherwise, let’s enjoy some pumpkin seeds: yes dear! they are naturally rich in zinc. I enjoy them as my salad  or soup toppings. Yummy yum!

5- Ok… now.. something less glamorous: I will fill my plates with antibacterial garlic (not on a romantic dinner of course.. otherwise you take the risk of watching your date running away as soon as you open your mouth!) and anti-inflammatory turmeric.

6- To purify and clean my mouth and throat, I love the Ballot Flurin Propolis spray. In winter, it’s my best friend!

7- I also often do a cure of Echinacea drink to help my poor immune system fight against all the evil germs!

8- And, of course, I strive to keep practising yoga so that my body remain fit and my mind stay sound and happy! To me, Yoga is necessary to get health on track!

MY VIEW ON ASHTANGA YOGA

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Hello pumpkins!
At the end of my yoga teacher training, my teacher asked me to write about what Ashtanga is from my personal experience and how the practice (and the teacher training) have helped me grow.
I shared more personal stuff on their blog (Here) but you can find below my thoughts about Ashtanga Yoga…
I hope it can inspire some of you to start practising Ashtanga yoga… or at least yoga!
NAMASTE
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a practice that can help one link one’s body and one’s mind, bound oneself and the other people, oneself and the surrounding world.
It is most of all a practice that could do wonders to heal the body and the mind: Through moving the body and learning how to breathe, you can gain strength, flexibility and balance – which will help you be fitter and stronger in your everyday life. After some time of practice, it also can help with healing
some pains, some “emotional issues” you have. To me, Ashtanga yoga helps one to live a kinder life and to be more aware of one’s body, one’s soul and the surrounding world.
It is also an open-eyed meditation and a philosophy of life (i.e. a way of living). Indeed, through the theory, we learn more about the meaning of Ashtanga: the 8 limbs of yoga. These 8 limbs are also some ethical rules to live in a more moral manner. The principles of non-harming (ahimsa), integrity (satya), non-stealing (asteya), control of the sexual instinct (brahmacharya) and avoiding greed (aparigraha) are disciplines we have to work towards to tend to be morally better people.
Learning Ashtanga yoga is a process to try and heal your body and your mind through practice and patience (Abhyasa and Vairagya) and a way to connect with your breath and with your inner self.  While learning this, one should be eager to practice to get better in what one is doing, without being attached to a specific destination or goal. This is the greatest thing ever.
To me this discipline taught me how to be consistent, to develop endurance and willpower as well as to practice without expecting anything. I understood thanks to the concept of Vairagya that I should not be waiting for extraordinary end-results. I should not be waiting for anything. I should only enjoy the process of practicing with my body and spirit. The practice of Ashtanga is then also a way to let go of the ego and to fully be present.
The Ashtanga practice is not only a sequence of several poses that you have to master to heal your body and your mind, but it is also a step by step process that teaches one patience and determination. Why? Because before going further in the practice you have to master the first poses, i.e. the core basis. It is also similar for the more advanced levels: before being able to practice the
second series, you have to master the first one. This step-by-step process teaches humility, patience and gives you the drive to learn.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is also a way to connect with your surroundings while trusting your inner feelings, your guts, your intuition. As it is a way to connect with your inner self, it may help one learn how to acknowledge one’s deepest feelings, observe one’s fears and overcome them to see the world differently from what society wants us to see. And, by the way, thanks to Ashtanga yoga a shift of perspective did occur to me: I strive to listen more to my inner feelings rather than to society.