Yoga Solidaire - 10€ Yoga in Paris
I've just gotten back from another class at Rasa Yoga where it seems they too have raised the price for a single class to 22€. And even though my mind is now fine with Euros, I sometimes shock and awe myself with the price in USD (29.81). So if you're looking for reasonably priced classes in Paris, and you have a flexible schedule, might I suggest you check out Yoga Solidaire. Well trained and experienced teachers in Paris have gotten together to offer you lovely Parisian students cheap yoga! They've organized studio spaces at odd hours or random locations, created a website, and show up at least 4 times a week all so that you can do more yoga for cheap. I attended a class at Yoga Village last week, and loved it. It was expertly taught by a perfectly bilingual teacher, the studio is fantastic, and the students were super happy to be bending for cheap. Top notch all around.
Yoga Solidaire Schedule Here
Ashtanga Yoga Paris Studio
Like you, I'm discovering the world of yoga in Paris. Perhaps unlike you, I can teach myself a decent yoga class. Yes, it's great for me to get to a studio class with a really good professor, who gives me a different perspective on alignment in a certain pose, or who does a great sequence that I can 'borrow' for my classes, but I'm loathe to pay 20€ for a class that isn't as good as the one I can teach myself, and it really is hit or miss here. My solution to this problem is to check out different studios and teachers in Paris with introductory rates. At some point, I will have used up all my trial classes or 'cours d'essai' and will have to pay (but will probably have figured out the yoga scene, and with whom I'm willing to pay to take classes with) but for now, I'm still milking it.
This weekend was no exception. Ashtanga Yoga Paris had an open house on Sunday, and I took the opportunity to check out their studio. The vinyasa 'class' I took was a little less than half an hour, and although it wasn't bad, I won't attempt to review the teacher, it just wouldn't be fair.
The studio itself is very cute. They have 2 useable rooms with nice wood floors well equipped with all the necessary accoutrements, blocks, straps, wedges, blankets, one of which has a glass ceiling to let the sunshine in. It was clean and not at all smelly after non stop all day use -a good sign. Like many of the studios, it's key code accessible, and has its own ground floor courtyard entrance. It's not super luxurious, but that just makes it all the more attractive for us normal yogis. It's created and run by an extensively trained husband wife couple who, in addition to teaching classes to the public, offer teacher trainings. I had seen their studio mentioned somewhere before, but never made it to a class, mostly because their pricing scheme seems complicated. A 20€ yearly subscription to buy multiple class passes or a monthly/weekly/yearly unlimited pass, mats are available for an additional weekly/monthly/yearly fee. Beginner classes are priced differently than Restorative, which are priced differently than 1.5hr classes, and they even offer 1hr classes, but the prices for those aren't found on their 'tariffs' page. Sounds complicated!? I think so too.
If you've been practicing mysore every morning, and just moved (are moving) to Paris, this is likely a great place to practice. Make sure to find an apartment near the Bastille. If you're visiting Paris (or just moved here) and want to take a class or two (a week), it's probably not the most flexible place to take a class, though, if you're in the same building, and it's convenient, they do have 'visitor' pricing. They also apparently have classes in English, but I couldn't find them on the schedule.
Ashtanga Yoga Paris
40 Ave de la Republique
+33 1 45 80 19 96 or +33 6 20 38 25 72 or +33 6 22 32 52 16
Metro: Parmentier (Ligne 3)
Price: 22€ for a 1.5h visitor class (otherwise complicated)
Yoga Styles: Ashtanga, Mysore, Yin/Restorative, Vinyasa
Languages: English? and French
Changing Rooms: yes
Secure Lockers: no
Mats: 2€ supplemental
Water: (and tea) 2€ a bottle (cup)
Pros - Two practice rooms, very well educated teacher co-founders still teaching at their studio, seemingly not stuffy or elitist with a neighborhood-y feeling.
Cons - Complicated pricing that requires yearly 'dues' and encourages unlimited class pass purchases and classification levels.
I purchased a 10 class pass at Rasa Yoga when I first started doing yoga in Paris, and since they don't expire, I've been using it ever since. I feel a bit bad that I've had it so long and haven't used it up, so I'm making an effort to get out and do some non-home practices now that it's 'la rentrée' and the regularly scheduled teachers are back. I decided to take an Iyengar class at Rasa. BKS Iyengar is responsible for bringing modern yoga to the western world. His 'Light on Yoga' book is the bible of asana (pose) yoga and Iyengar classes are great for making sure your alignment is in proper order. So I found an Iyengar 2 class at Rasa with Alex and was on my merry way. According to the bio I found on Alex, he has a humble and precise style and an absolute respect for his master BKS Iyengar (translation). After having taken his class, I would say that's an accurate description.
We started with some seated breathing and Iyengar centric spinal alignment and diaphragm work, then, first pose -tadasana (mountain pose), second pose 'hop' -sirsanana (headstand). Nice! I've been doing headstand since I was a kid and my crazy Uncle Dado taught me how to do a tripod headstand, so I did mine in the middle of the floor. 'Descends' he said to me, "top of the head on the floor." My vinyasa headstand on the front of the crown of the head was not appropriate for Iyengar class, and my wrist was bent in the wrong direction, so he manually straightened my (broken) arm, and 'hop', I was back up. The remainder of the class was similarly strict (from the stories I've heard, this is typical French instruction) with magnificent direction focusing on alignment of the pose via the center axis of the body. I admit, I didn't understand all the directions he gave, as they were in French, and they were an Iyengar vocabulary that I'm not accustomed to, but he was excellent at getting students into the correct alignment with only his words and a few pokes and prods. Iyengar is all alignment, with no flow in between. We did maybe seven poses in the entire class, one being downdog. There were no vinyasas or chaturangas, so this class is probably not so interesting for those lovers of Vinyasa, but if you're looking to sweat, get your alignment more precise, and grit your teeth a bit, this was a good class, especially if your french is better than mine.
Teacher: Alex Onfroy
Studio: Rasa Yoga rive gauche
Class: Iyengar 2
Feel Good Vibe: ★
Spiritual Lesson: N/A
Would I pay 20€ to take a class with him again?
Nope. It was a little too much like what I imagine military school to be like and didn't have enough flow for my taste.
Former San Francisco DNA wrangler and current Paris yoga teacher and mom. Sharing. Caution: Possibly too much.
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