I am pleased to announce the first public yoga class with Denise. This Sunday at 11 am (weather permitting), we will meet in a park not far from Metro Sèvres Babylone/Saint François Xavier at 11. The class is free (donations accepted, but NOT encouraged). Try not to eat a big meal 2 hrs before, bring your own mat, a coffee/tea/water if you like, and a friend. The more the merrier. Contact me for more details and the exact location.
CLASS CANCELLED due to rain.
I've signed up for the yoga class along the Seine a couple of times but didn't make it the first few times (it's at the shockingly early 10am Sunday slot). This past weekend I finally made it with my mug o' joe in hand. It seemed a bit disorganized, as apparently no one is accustomed to waking at such an ungodly hour on Sunday morning in Paris. If ever you're jet lagged, and get up before 9 AM (on a Sunday) to visit Paris, you (and the runners) will experience a crisp nearly silent morning in Paris in all its glory. Anywhoo, I made it, got myself signed in and put one of their half mats under my full mat to even out the wood planks in preparation for a few downdogs and warriors. The teacher Anna showed up all in white with a groovy matching headband and, low and behold, an assistant(?) in even groovier John Lennon sunglasses to teach a Kundalini class. Could it be true? My first yoga class in Paris with an assistant to do adjustments?! Quality, Les Berges, quality!
Class started with Anna and her assistant on their mats in front of the class and a 10 minute warm up, then 10 minutes more of warm up with loud music so even though I was in the 3rd row I couldn't hear the teacher. Then 10 minutes more of warm up, then there was 15 minutes of savasana (corpse pose), then some chanting to music, which Anna seemed to enjoy but the rest of us were unaware of what we should be chanting, because, well, we couldn't hear. The 'assistant' never once rose from his mat, nor did Anna. She never attempted to make her voice heard over the loud music and the passing boats, nor did she open her eyes much to check on her students, to see if they could understand or were performing the poses correctly. Wow! ...quality lacking, Les Berges, quality lacking... At least I had a common subject to discuss with my fellow classmates afterwards and there was agreement that it was a less than stellar class. I had decided somewhere in the second 10 minutes of warm-up that I was going to get my own practice in that day and invited a few of my classmates to join me. So just after class, we laid out our mats on the lush grass on the floating island at Les Berges and had an impromptu practice. Lemonade from lemons, people! One of the lovely women I met has offered to find a more secluded, just as lush grassy place to have another impromptu class with a few friends next weekend!
And there it is, my first not so great review. Being a yogi I realize I should be more positive about it all, being a human, I think I did a pretty good job. Plus, if I were all zen yogi, this would be a really bad review site.
Les Berges -YogaPort du Gros Caillou
Metro: Alma Marceau (Ligne 9)
Bus: 42, 63, 80, 92 / Arrêt Bosquet-RAPP -or- 63 / Arrêt Jean Nicot-Eglise Américaine -or- 83, 93, 63, 28 / Arrêt Pont des Invalides
Yoga Style: Kundalini
Changing Rooms: None
Secure Lockers: None
Mats: Very thin half mats provided.
Toilets: Public toilets can be found along the banks of the river.
The day after I arrived in France, I decided to skip a movie with friends, and take a juicy yoga class. Who needs to see a movie in your native tongue after being immersed in 10 different languages in 6 months. I just wanted to lay down my mat on a clean floor and breathe. I found a studio in central Paris that was English friendly, and I was on my way! It happened to be in July, the 15th, so I looked up the schedule online, chose a class and showed up, only to be told that that class was cancelled, there was no replacement teacher, and there was certainly no apology. It was the summer time. And though it took me another year to fully comprehend, I now get it (I think). It was vacation time, and during vacation time, Paris is a wasteland, schedules are reduced, restaurants are closed, flower shops are shuttered possibly all of July and probably all of August. It's a phenomenon, and I know your French isn't great, but call anyway, just to make sure. Just say "parlez-vous anglais" they speak English.
Months and months later, after a broken arm, many too many surgeries, and lots of pain, I finally took my first yoga class at Rasa. It was great, the teacher was kind and understanding, and spoke perfect English and French. The studio is in a beautiful space, and according to reviews, one of the best in the world. It's hidden behind a huge old French wooden door that opens to a secluded courtyard. Tranquility is part of the experience. But it's also 'one of the best yoga studios in the world' and it knows it. Once you get buzzed in and make your way to the studio, you're greeted by a serenely decorated space, with antique-y hindu deity statues, a rattan floor, a tastefully integrated yoga gear shop, a no shoe policy (didn't you know) and a Parisian at the front desk. The 2 yoga rooms are nicely sized, (one being larger than the other) clean, have lovely wooden floors, and lots of natural light. There are proper bathrooms, large changing rooms with lockers and keys, and even a couple of massage rooms for your after yoga 'detente'. It is not 'populaire' by any means, and I might expect to see a celebrity one day, if I didn't know they took private classes. But I'm certainly not complaining that I'm not next to 'that' guy/gal who forgot his/her deodorant (bath) today (this week).
Rasa Yoga (rive gauche)
21 rue Saint Jacques
+33 (0)1 43 54 14 59
Metro: St Michel (Ligne 4) or Cluny La Sorbonne (Ligne 10)
Price: 22€ a class (reduced 10 and 20 class passes available)
Yoga Styles: Hatha, Mysore, Ashtanga, Yin, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Alignment (formerly Anusara), Mommy and Me
Languages: English and French (check schedule for availability)
Changing Rooms: 2 (not separated by sex)
Secure Lockers: included in class fee
Mats: included in class fee
Showers: yes (towels for hire or bring your own)
Water: (bottled, room temp) - $$
Pros - Two practice rooms, clean, bright, amply sized changing rooms, showers.
Cons - A little musty after a sweaty class, changing rooms not separated by sex, website has teacher first name only with no bio's or links.
Former San Francisco DNA wrangler and current Paris yoga teacher and mom. Sharing. Caution: Possibly too much.