Oh sweet paradise. Amorgos. How you treated did me well.
Just a couple of short weeks ago I spent one full week on the Greek island of Amorgos. This prolonged moment of solitude and grounding nailed my two feet to the ground. Amorgos came to me by virtue of Aria and Gus, my yoga coaches, for a retreat that I will never forget. I discovered the mystical Warrior Yoga at my Parisian yoga studio, when I stumbled upon this rather intense, very cardio style of a vinyasa flow. It was love at first flow. The combination of abs, vinyasa and inversions was my happy place. Such a happy place that I was quickly swept away to Puglia in Italy for my first yoga retreat. Amongst laughter, fun and sweat I came back to Paris with a new vision on my life, one that I would fully discover a couple of months later when I decided to leave the fashion industry. I came back mentally lighter, and lacking my passport and cellphone which were consequentially stolen at the airport …yeah. I must haven feeling pretty zen if I was able to singlehandedly have my beloved iPhone stolen for the first time along with my passport. Praise B for my carte de séjour, which saved the day – it let me cross the French border.
So really strangely enough when I came back, surely based on my new outlook and good vibes, things started to turn around and change in my life. Things started to really come together. I found love, my true passion in life (hey Savoir Vivre by JJ) and genuine happiness. A yoga practice of 4 (ish) days a week turned into 7 days a week. I was becoming a really really devoted yogi. Aria and Gus remained a constant part of my life (when they were in Paris that is), so it was pretty much a no brainer for me to take off with them to Amorgos when they announced the upcoming retreat.
Taking back off with a group of 35 strangers (with the exception of only a few that I knew from Italy) was again a oh so unforgettable experience. By virtue of my first experience, I could see how much I had grown and evolved since. I found my attitude softer, my brain calmer and all around freer. I happily shared a room with a friend (I don’t think I had ever shared a room before, except as a freshman in college, it wasn’t my brightest moment), I actually enjoyed staying out and getting a minimal amount of sleep, and felt truly bienveillant. While yoga has an impact on my everyday life, these retreats have made an impact on the real big picture.
I know it may sound strange to think of a yoga retreat as “me” (“The Parisian Well-being Guru”) stepping out of my comfort zone, but you know what, it actually really was. It forced me to let go, it put me in a situation where I was not in control and I was emotionally vulnerable. But guess what? It made me better. It made me grow. It made me learn. It made me cry. It made me GOOD and truly thankful. Thankful for who I am today, all that I have and every waking moment on this absolutely beautiful earth.
Just steps away from Opera, you will find Yoga Village. This studio provides a wide range of different yoga styles from vinyasa, to strala, to kundalini and hatha (plus even more). Known as the Parisian epicenter with the best teachers and the best instruction, I decided to give it a try.
I started the day with a Vinyasa class guided by Benoit. It brought me to a higher level of happiness in an environment filled with light and love. His practice is absolutely magical (and you will hear more about him soon). The yoga space overlooks the Boulevard Capucines, visually providing the truest beauty of Paris throughout the duration of your practice. As owner Laurent Commergnat states, Yoga Village looks to share the quality of the teachers, in a bright and vibrant space – and they surely do. Their schedule proves the studio’s value based on it’s class variety and well-known gurus. I highly suggest practicing with Benoit, Tatiana and Dasha if you plan on stopping by, and I can’t wait to test all of the other talent at Yoga Village. For more information check out their website. Yoga Village – 39 Boulevard des Capucines, 75002.
The most important address to find while traveling (for me) – is the best yoga studio in the city. I must admit for Milano this was not an easy task. I spent a decent amount of time browsing the web to find the studio that correctly corresponded to my flow based practice. I must say the research was well worth it. Happiness was found at boutique studio Pura Vida Power Yoga. Located in the center of the city, this studio is calm, discrete and sweet. I spent the morning practicing with Claudia Allegreti, who led a harmonious and challenging power flow that started my day on a high note. Pura Vida executes a traditional vinyasa practice focused on inner dialogue to your outward expression. A practice that aims to reduce stress and focus the mind, while challenging your muscles. Let me say they did the job!
I likewise had the pleasure of speaking with founder and owner Gabriela Estrada, a fellow American expat who has been practicing yoga for nearly two decades. She has lived all around the world and has other new and exciting projects in store, so please keep your eye on the @puravidapoweryoga Instagram for the inside scoop – and most certainly pay a visit to Pura Vida when you are in Milan. It can only add bliss to your visit.
On a sunny Saturday morning last May I decided to change my routine. I decided to try a new teacher and a newly opened studio. This moment turned into a weekly (at the very least) practice with a beautiful and all around wonderful teacher inside and out. Let me introduce you to Caroline Perrineau.
Born in Grenoble and bred in Paris, Caroline studied and worked in the field of sustainability for 10 years. Her work brought her to many different cities around the world and even ended up living in Shanghai for nearly 6 years. Caroline discovered yoga 2012 and her life was forever changed. The yoga practice gave her a sense of strength and peace that she needed to align what she loved with what she wanted. After teacher training in Indonesia, Caroline became a full-time yoga teacher in 2015.
Caroline’s classes are vinyasa based, combining strength and flexibility with a dynamic sequence. Her radiating and contagious good energy lifts my spirits after every single class – for real. Caroline teaches private classes, at corporate institutions and at YUJ Yoga. She has also recently created her own class at Elephant Paname every Saturday from 4:30-5:30 pm and will be hosting a workshop in London on 8th of March combining yoga and self development coaching. (Trip to London anyone?) Please check out her website for more information and do trust me on this radiating and inspiring human being (Vogue trusts her too if that helps). (She also has a really awesome Instagram page @theyoginist).
I must admit it was not been an easy task to find good yoga in London (sorry, just being honest). After countless visits, I nearly gave up – but then I found Triyoga. This multi-functional studio is calm and offers many different styles of yoga as well as pilates and treatments. They have several locations all around the city. Even from my short weekend experience, I can assure you that each and every one of their studios is a truly peaceful environment made for well-being.
While at Triyoga, I did three different classes at three different locations. Upon arrival on Friday night, I went to a Hot Yoga class at their Soho location. The location was in Kingsly Court, a happening indoor food market with fun lights and atmosphere. The class was not vinyasa, nor bikram but an more “hatha” based practice in a (very) heated room. The class was an open level class, but I appreciated the advanced options also available and instructed by teacher Giorgos Aleandris. On Saturday morning I ventured to Chelsea for a Vinyasa Level 2-3 with well known yogi Adam Hustler. The class was exactly as described and focused on correct alignment in more difficult postures. I left with my heart feeling open and a more fluid flow. For the grand finale – on my last day in London, I took a Warm Vinyasa class with Imi Wiseman at their Camden location. First – big nods to this Triyoga studio. It is like a mini yoga village and smells (literally and physically) zen. This included the class was next level (in every way) . The emphasis on breath combined with the flow sequence was absolutely fantastic and Charli’s energy was spot on. Please do not miss this Triyoga location, nor this class next time you’re in town (or if you happen to be a London Towner yourself).
All in all I must say this has been far and away my best yoga experience in London. I recommend their studio whole heartedly. And hey – if you’re not a yogi, I do truly believe their treatments and pilates classes must be wonderful (seeing their success in the yoga world). Not to mention, they always have a juice bar and healthy snacks available for purchase at all of their studios. For more information check out their website.
Even if you listen softly, word on the street in Paris in the yoga world is that Warrior Yoga is the new best thing. If you haven’t tried it, you’re maybe asking yourself why? What is this famous “Warrior Yoga”? Who are Aria and Gus (the founders)? And why should I try it? Well here’s the inside scoop on why I highly recommend, without any reservation to give this magical practice a shot.
For starters, Warrior Yoga is built on foundational strength, that allows you to boost your confidence. This practice teaches you how to progress quickly into postures you thought were physically impossible. Aria and Gus combine a series of flexibility-focused asanas that allow you to move into inversions and arm balances with care and ease. Their mantra: “I can”. While this practice is not “easy”, the answer is never no. Aria and Gus push their students to try even the most difficult postures (with their assistance), in order to go above and beyond. Personally, Warrior Yoga has given me the confidence to go far beyond my perceived physical abilities and impress myself with an advanced practice that has evolved very quickly. But let’s not forget about Aria and Gus themselves – the incredibly fascinating and inspiring duo, and founders of this practice.
A musician, Aria (@aria.official) started yoga over 15 years ago when while living in LA working in the entertainment industry. It allowed her to find balance and sanity in this chaotic world. She knew immediately she needed to share this sense of revelation she found through yoga with the world, and soon found herself completing several teacher trainings. For more information on Aria’s spiritual and historical past, please get your hands on a copy of her book, “Aria, the Healthy Book.” Here you will learn about her past as a dancer in Crazy Horse, her time spent in LA working in the music industry and most importantly the impact yoga has made on her life. Cool side note – you will also learn yoga postures and her favorite superfoods and vitamins. This book gives us a true inside look on this beautiful person inside and out. And for the absolutely wonderful Gus (@yogawithguys). A former martial arts, jujitsu and gymnastics master, Gus traveled the world from a very young age to train. This very physical background gave him him the facility to take on a new discipline – yoga. Gus discovered yoga when he met Aria, a discovery that was followed by a transformation changing his life forever. His body became stronger and more flexible, and his mind became even more balanced.
Together this incredible duo is taking the yoga world by storm. Warrior Yoga has taken off in Paris, and Aria and Gus are now taking their concept global. They were recently in Australia, traveling the entire country and introducing Warrior Yoga to a new audience. The duo teach classes all over Paris and have many upcoming retreats all over the world. Practicing with them will surely change your mindset and internal confidence, and a retreat with them will most certainly change your life. It changed mine. For more information please check out their site, and follow them on Instagram. Click below to purchase Aria’s book.