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).
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.
I must admit, I am not a huge product user. I am pretty basic when it comes to skin care, but these oils have made me WANT to take those extra 5 minutes. Not only because these oils are excellent for the skin and 100% organic, but because these potions actually make you feel something. Being that Yogandha oils are 100% natural, they are absorbed directly into the body for the maximum effect. After having discovered the muscle sooth oil at my yoga studio, I was immediately addicted. Not yet convinced? Well this particular oil was formulated through 3 years of meditation by yoga teacher, Sinead Duffy, to soothe soothe and care for your body. AKA I can assure you (and basically prove to you) that it brings you to a state of equilibrium mentally and physically post use. That being said, I knew it was time to get my hands on the detox and relax oils.
These two babies are sheer magic. First, I tried the relax oil, intended to be used as part of your daily wind down routine. The mixture of lavender, providing a mild sedative quality, and blue chamomile, encouraging stillness and reflection, allowed me to chill with ease and comfort. I sincerely felt more relaxed and all around lighter before quietly ending a chaotic day. Detox provided for a likewise (very positive) experience. According to Yoghanda, this Gandha ritual is a moment of self connection before you start your day, and boy were they were right. The cleansing juniper berry wholeheartedly yielded a purifying and detoxifying sensation all throughout my body. Not to mention the mixture of ingredients are incredibly beneficial to the body – juniper berry is an antioxidant, lemongrass stimulates the kidneys (also is thought to help lower cholesterol) and sweet fennel is a great for the digestive system. Yogandha – I heart you. For more info on the concept, the owner and how to purchase these beauties please check out their website.
So we all know it’s super difficult to find time for ourselves. Yoga classes and meditation sessions alway seem to come at the wrong times, unless we have truly blocked these moments into our schedule. Carving out this personal time for well-being is just simply not as evident as we may like it to be. But we can fix this. I have a solution for you. It’s called Yoga Connect.
Yoga Connect is a internet platform that allows you to practice anytime and anywhere. Best of all, you get your first 15 days for free. So no excuses for not giving it a shot. But this platform is not solely for devoted yogis, but also has meditation options, specialized workshop (right now they have an awesome creativity and flexibility workshop with two of my favorite yoga teachers, Tatiana and Alexander, um yes?) and retreat options! Honestly, what could be better. OH, just one thing. They also have an app, available for download on the AppStore. Safe to say, I highly recommend this super tool to cultivate self awareness and practice self care with ease. For more information check out their website.
So if you follow my Instagram even a little bit, you’re probably more than aware that I am a huge (if not one of the biggest) fans of Yuj Yoga Studio. I started practicing at Yuj nearly 8 months ago and haven’t looked back. What was once a 4 day a week practice has turned into a daily yoga practice. I assure you it is all because of this magical place.
But enough about me, let’s talk about Yuj. So what is it all about? This flow yoga center is dark, lit by only candles allowing you to truly let go in your practice. It’s not that no one is watching, but no one can watch you, it’s just too dark and peaceful. Even better, it not not hot yoga, but it kind of is. This is because the studio is heated entirely by infrared lamps, which detoxes the body and has fantastic benefits for the skin. One of the best parts of YUJ is it’s ambiance of good vibes and real community. When I first started practicing at YUJ, I didn’t know a single soul. Now I have yoga friends that I hold near and dear to my heart.
Now for the new big news – drum roll please. They have opened a second studio! In the dead center of Paris – 68 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1er arrondissement). The centrality isn’t the only thing that makes this space awesome, but you still get all those good vibes AND it’s easy for pretty much anyone to access. Not to mention, absolutely gorgeous. But hey, for those left bankers their first location is located in the 7th in between Alma-Marceau and Ecole Militaire (11 Rue Edmond Valentin). So really, everyone is happy. For more information check out their website: http://www.yujyogastudio.com/ and their Instagram @yujyoga_studio.