Friday, February 5, 2010

Je Vais Toujours Au Yoga À Paris

One of the things I knew I was going to miss about home the most is going to yoga three times a week.

Really, without it I would be insane. I'm serious.

So even before we left the states I started doing internet research on yoga studios in Paris and was happy to find Yogā Yogā Paris (that's it in the photo, down an alley), that offered Ashtanga classes right around the corner from our apartment. It was pretty pricey, and I wasn't sure of our schedule, so I held off from going in right away.

And, I'll admit it, I was intimidated.

I have never done yoga in French before and didn't really even know how to ask to join the studio, so for the first few days I stalked it. I walked past it nonchalantly, once I stopped and looked at the rates in the window, sneakily looking in to see what I had to fear. But it looked okay.

But I wasn't convinced.

So, one day, once my neck muscles had seized up enough to get me over myself, I walked over to talk to someone. The guy at the front desk looked nice enough, so I took a deep breath and walked in and gave him my best "Bon Jour." As I tried to ask him about the memberships and classes in French he just smiled, and said, "Don't worry, I'm American."


So I went on to sign up and all, but then I had to go to my first class, and the owner told me that they were all in French. So I got there early, was sitting on my mat waiting for people to come in and as others came into the studio I heard the owner saying (in English) "Hi Bob, how are you doing?" "Nancy, how was your vacation to Nice?" "Jessica, I'm so glad you're back for your third class!"

Wait a minute. I thought I was in France.

So, the class started, and it was all in French, but since the class was taught by the American owner, and I can follow French much better when it's spoken by English speakers. It was no problem. The second class I went to was taught all in French, but was a much less involved Ashtanga class that I'm used to, so I could follow along. And the last class I took was taught by a British teacher and was all in English. And most of the people in the classes are English speakers. Seriously, I think there have only been one or two native French speakers in all the classes I've gone to combined.

The studio itself is amazing; very modern, very clean, and has two studios that combined wouldn't be quite the size of the studio I go to at home. And the best part? The biggest class I've been in only had seven people, and the smallest class I've been in had two. Which is awesome because the teachers adjust you to get you into the right positions all the time. That doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but when I was doing pyramid pose the other day and the teacher moved my hips just a few centimeters into the right direction, believe me, I felt it.

So, it's fantastic to have a French Free Zone (sorry, Marie-Laure), but I am a little bit sad I won't be learning all that yoga terminology in French.

Not too sad though.


M-L said...

I am so glad you have your 'petite brise américaine' when you go to Yoga. I think that it is very healthy!