If you're really hankering for a studio yoga class this summer, I've compiled a handy list of some of my favorite studios and their summer schedules. Even if you find a class through this list, it's probably best to call to make sure your chosen class is happening that day. After all, it is still August in Paris people! If you don't know what I mean by that, here's one of many articles chronicling the phenomenon.
Rasa Yoga (rive gauche) Open all summer with a reduced schedule of 4 classes a day which can be found here.
21 rue Saint Jacques
+33 (0)1 43 54 14 59
Metro: St Michel (Ligne 4) or Cluny La Sorbonne (Ligne 10)
BeYoga Open all of August with a reduced schedule of 3 classes a day can be found here.
17 rue Campagne Première
+33 (0)9 65 31 60 11
Metro: Raspail (Ligne 4, 6)
Centre de Yoga du Marais Open all summer with a reduced schedule of one class per evening can be found here.
72 rue du Vertbois
+33 (0)1 42 74 24 92
Metro: Réamur-Sébastopol (Ligne 3, 4) or Strasbourg Saint Denis (Ligne 4, 8, 9) or Arts et Métiers (Ligne 3) or Arts et Métiers (Ligne 11)
Trini Yoga Closed August 15-August 22, reduced schedule for the remainder of August here.
24 rue d'Enghien
Enter at 24, 2e cour à gauche
+33 (0)6 03 53 08 42
Metro: Bonne-Nouvelle (Ligne 8, 9) or Strasbourg St. Denis (Ligne 4, 8, 9)
Big Apple Yoga Closed August 1-August 20. Their online schedule is normally up to date.
20 Rue Dussoubs
+33 (0)1 42 36 76 11
Metro: Réamur-Sébastopol (Ligne 3, 4) or Etienne Marcel (Ligne 4) or Sentier (Ligne 3)
Yoga Village Closed August 8-September 1
39 Boulevard des Capucines
escalier B, 1 er étage
+33 (0)1 72 34 58 47
Metro: Madeleine (Ligne 8, 12, 14) or Opera (Ligne 3, 7, 8)
My first summer in Paris, I was awed and flabbergasted with the number of restaurants, bakeries, butchers, cheese shops and liquor shops closed the entire month of August. I even wrote a blog post about it back when I was blogging about food and traveling and back when my wrist was still broken and I couldn't do yoga. I've since realized that in addition to having to walk a few extra blocks for a good baguette, you really have to search for yoga classes in the summertime in Paris. If you eventually find a class, you might show up to find it has been cancelled last minute. It has happened to me, in July! Since many of my friends are out of town during vacation time, I often find myself idle, and need of some human interaction and what better way to get that than a great yoga class. Unfortunately, I often find myself S.O.L. (look it up) because like everyone else in Paris, my favorite teachers are also on vacation or having retreats in some sunny beautiful lush local. I have the option to teach myself a yoga class, but many of you aren't quite familiar enough to do so for yourselves, and I often get requests around this time from students for online classes they can take. Usually, it's to get them through a week or two, so I've compiled a couple of recommended links for all you Paris yogis who will be around in dire need of yoga this summer, or just anytime you're looking to do some yoga at home. If you have a favorite online home for yoga classes, free or not, let me know. I'll check it out and perhaps add it to the list!
Updated: I had a couple of websites for free yoga, but they are no longer useable.
Subscription services (monthly) that are low cost compared to Paris yoga classes and have free trial periods (as of last check):
Has an almost overwhelming selection of well curated well filmed classes in all genres and styles. I've taken classes with a few of these teachers in real life, and they're quite good. Jason Crandell is one of my favorites.
Also has a good selection of well filmed classes. I've taken many a classes with Pete Guinosso in San Francisco in real life, and he has a few here that are very good. I also saw a press release that they were now offering prenatal/postnatal classes too. And it looks like Yoga Journal has snatched them up recently. They do have a few very short free classes (5 minutes).
I've never taken a full class with Aiofe, but she's a fantastic spark of a woman, and a kick ass yogi. And I recognize quite a few of the names of the teachers, so let me know if you enjoy it.
This website is pretty geeky, but they have a good selection of all different kinds of yoga for all different kinds of people.
The Nesting Stage - Yoga at Home
Turns out that friend who was asking about prenatal yoga classes in the first trimester of pregnancy had good reason, she too is pregnant, I hear it's contagious. That's how my other friend who we visited in Cambridge back in February announced it to us. She had been trying on and off for 3 years and got the bug shortly after we visited her. It's really fun to have discussions with these other mammas to be, much of which includes what I have been doing in the last couple of months besides teaching and doing yoga. *clears throat* Not writing blog posts.
I have been making lots and lots of lists, rearranging things, going to garage sales and doing lots of research on what I might need. Last time my yoga friend and I met, I was describing all the things I've acquired to welcome the little Mr. as she was making fun of me for all the unnecessary things I've been collecting. The beginning of my pregnancy was much like hers. I don't know how many times I said to my husband that all we needed was some onesies, a mattress for the floor, a stroller, and some diapers. That is, until the wonderful oxytocin hormone kicked in. For most pregnant ladies, it really starts increasing in the 5th month (it continues to ramp up throughout the pregnancy) and causes a phenomenon called nesting. It happens in all mammals, a mamma rat literally makes a nest for her pups, a cat gathers soft warm things and piles them in quiet secluded place. Fortunately we humans don't collect and pile shredded paper or rags, but we do start to focus on all things domicile.
In the midst of list making, rearranging and preparing, I really have been doing lots of yoga, it's just that most of it has been at home. Which means I haven't many Paris prenatal classes to review for you readers. I've been to exactly 2 prenatal classes in 8 months of pregnancy. I blame it all on the hormones! Those lovely happy hormones. But I will continue to tell you about how my pregnancy has progressed, and what I have and haven't been able to do during these last months.
I've found a bit of comic relief for anyone who doesn't understanding the 'nesting phenomenon,' or just another story to make you mammas not feel so all alone. Unsponsored and unsolicited link here!
Just after I wrote the last blog post I went to lunch with a friend, and the third thing she said to me was, "You can't do yoga when you're pregnant in your first trimester?!" That was the moment I realized that a little bit (more) of France had snuck into me. What do I mean by that? Well, despite all the grèves (protests) the French participate in, there is a general attitude of --'that's just the way things are and there is nothing to be done about it' which translates to a shrug of the shoulders and the statement of "il n'y a rien à faire". In fact, most of the protests have to do with keeping things the way they are. That attitude does wonders for your blood pressure, but is bad for the evolution to a more modern society.
My friend who asked this poignant question has done yoga from time to time but wouldn't be considered expert enough to attend a normal class in her first trimester, and considers yoga the best preparation for childbirth, which is no surprise. Here in France, we have 7 hours of free birthing classes taken with midwives, and included in every syllabus I've come across, is at least one hour of yoga.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized how strange it is for teachers to not accept students in their first trimester, the more I was determined to find classes for said students. It made me wonder about the liability laws in France, and how they differ from those in the US. I remember pregnant ladies in their first and second trimesters in heated studios doing Vinyasa yoga, they were treated like healthy adults, put next to an open window so they wouldn't get as hot as the rest of the students, and told not to twist. I'm not sure heated Vinyasa is the most responsible or safe thing for pregnant ladies, but prenatal yoga classes in your first trimester are. Why are ladies here in France treated like sick people who can't do a few supported squats and some breathing exercises in a prenatal class? Don't get me wrong, I love it when people in the Metro consider me an invalid and give me their seats, especially when I'm having a particularly rough day (that Mexican I stupidly ate is trying to come back up... but it was sooo good!), and the metro is packed like a can of sardines. It's really nice, but there must be a balance. So, here are a list of yoga studios in Paris who accept students in their first trimester (according to their websites). If you find others, or have tried one of these classes, let me know, I'd love to know how it goes. I will eventually try one or two and let you know what I think.
The Gasquet Institute (Institut de Gasquet)
98 bd du Montparnasse
75 014 Paris
01 43 20 21 20
Métro : Vavin (ligne 4), Edgar Quinet (ligne 6), Notre Dame des Champs (ligne 12) ou Montparnasse (lignes 4, 6, 12, 13)
Check here for schedule updates
Mondays at 5:30pm and 6:45pm
Wednesdays at 5:30pm
This is probably your best option for an evening class. Additionally, Sharon, teaches the Monday at 6:45pm class, and she's perfectly bilingual, though likely teaches in French.
Paris Yoga Shala
9 rue Magellan
01 40 70 14 44
Métro: George V (ligne 1), Alma-Marceau (ligne 9)
Check here for schedule updates
Mondays at 1:30pm --by reservation in English
Wednesdays at 6:30pm --by reservation in English
Trini Yoga Paris
*Medical authorization required*
26 rue d'Enghien (Enter at 24, 2nd court left)
06 03 53 08 42
Code : 4B12
Métro: Château d'Eau (ligne 4), Bonne Nouvelle (ligne 8, 9)
Check here for schedule updates
Tuesdays at 11am
Whoa. I haven't written in over a month. But now that all my friends and family are ‘au courant’ I can share with you! I've been busy incubating a mini-human and haven't been to many regular yoga classes. But I have been trying a few prenatal classes here in Paris, so for all you Vinyasa yogis that have been following the blog, I'll have some more reviews for you come October. If you're looking for prenatal classes in Paris stay tuned!
Before the conception of the mini-mister, I had a couple of conversations with prenatal yoga teachers here, and many of them don't take students who are in their first trimester. I, however, continued to go to the 'normal' classes of the teachers I knew, and I didn't tell them I was pregnant; I just modified any pose I needed to. I am not recommending this to you, my dear readers. I've been doing yoga for 11 years and have training in prenatal yoga. If you've been doing yoga for a long time, and want to continue your practice during your first trimester, there are a few teachers (mostly Anglophones) that won’t have a huge problem having you in their regular classes, contact me and I'll give you some suggestions. If you've never done yoga before and you want to start during your pregnancy, I initially suggested you wait until 12 weeks, realized how absurd that was, and wrote a blog post about prenatal yoga in Paris in your first trimester. I have found only 3 studios and a handful of classes.
Despite my doctor(s) telling me to do as much yoga as often as I wanted to (I have a feeling they hear yoga and think meditation and stretching, not chaturangas and headstands), there are a couple of things I absolutely didn't do during my first trimester, no matter what. I did not take classes in a warm room, no hot yoga, no Bikram yoga. You need to stay fully hydrated, plus I had a problem with mild dizziness (vertigo) when I stood up from a forward fold, so I surely would have passed out in hot yoga! I did not take any classes where I couldn't keep my breathing deep and calm, which means, I didn't take any classes that were super-duper dynamic and/or twisty. Your baby needs lots of oxygen. And I did not attempt to do any new poses that I hadn't done before.
Twisting in the first trimester is a big no-no because it can dislodge the egg from the uterus, but since I do it every single day, and I continued teaching, I kept twisting, but made them very gentle and infrequent. I did not go to a class with a teacher who does lots of adjustments and who would twist me into a knot, and I did not twist myself into a knot. If I went to a regular class and chose not to tell my teacher, I twisted like I was trying to check out who was playing the sax in the metro. And towards the end of the first trimester, when I could tell my bump was getting a bit bigger, I didn't do any poses that put weight on my lower belly.
I'm now halfway through my second trimester, and my practice has completely changed, but I'll save that for another post. Perhaps when I'm fully through with it so you can get the entire story.
I must have really good luck, because when I (finally) took my first yoga class in Paris at Rasa yoga, I took it with the best teacher in Paris. Wisely chosen? Or just luck? I guess we'll never know. I got a 10 class pass that day, it was an investment, but it had no expiration date, so I thought why not, and it was a smart move. The pass lasted me almost 2 years, and I took 8 of the 10 classes with the same person, Sharon Jacobs.
I've been wanting to share this information with you, my loyal readers, since the very beginning, but despite my best efforts, I couldn't get any other information on Sharon. Rasa's website has only her first name, and even when I found out her last name, I still couldn't find any information about her online. It sort of reminds me of my favorite teacher in SF. No one but her loyal students knew her. Her website was basic, she didn't market herself, but despite all that, her classes were full. What conclusion can you draw from that ladies and gentlemen? Awesomeness!
Sharon's classes are Alignment based, but flow magnificently. Her attention to detail is exquisite, and the -one in a million- time she can't get you into the perfect pose with her words, her hands are like magic! Don't expect a vinyasa paced class, but do expect to be taught by one of the most experienced and trained teachers, to sweat, to breathe heavily, and to be sore in all the right places the next day. And don't even consider worrying about belonging. Even with a (formerly) broken wrist and a weak body after not having done yoga while recovering, her classes were always accessible.
She is perfectly bilingual and teaches at Rasa and at the Gasquet Institute. Lucky for you, she's teaching a donation based class this Saturday at 11:00 at the American Church of Paris, so you can actually take a class with her during non-office hours.
Teacher: Sharon Jacobs
Studio: Rasa Yoga
Language: Perfectly Bilingual in English and French
Feel Good Vibe: ★★★★★
Spiritual Lesson: Short, thoughtful, attainable and always uplifting.
Would I pay 20€ to take a class with her? Yes, yes, yes!
Bonus, if you'd like to take a private class, or know more about her schedule:
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : 0660147486
Big Apple is only a 20 minute metro ride from me and it's small enough that the ambiance is neighborhood-y and not stuffy. It's really nice to have a great studio so close and convenient, you know, on those days that I just don't want to practice alone at home. But since I do have a home practice, I can't bring myself to pay full price for a class and lucky for me, they have 10€ classes at 10am, two of which are in English! They are taught by beginner teachers, but I've taken classes with both Jo (English) and Julia (French) and they're both very competent, so if you're available at 10 am I highly recommend these classes, they're way better than some of the full priced classes I've taken in Paris!
**Please check their schedule for community classes** to verify the days and times!
Bhakti Flow with Amanda Dates
I would like to start this blogpost by saying, I love this class! But these reviews are not about telling you which classes I like and which I don't, they're about the teachers, so you can make your own choices. Riight!? Ok. Here we go. I didn't get the best impression the first time I met Amanda in the lobby of Big Apple Yoga in Paris. I said bonjour in my signature cheery American way, followed by the Anglo smile, and in response, I got the obligatory, no intonation, I have better things to do than say hello to you' bonjour. Amanda is not warm and fuzzy. She does not speak with a soft voice and she does not tell you to listen to your body. She tells you to start class with 12 vinyasas -in a row- and forget about those extra breaths in downdog. She keeps you in chair pose for 10 minutes (hello thighs), and I am not exaggerating. And she doesn't ask if you even know what a vinyasa is.
She is tiny but tough, and if you're just starting out your yoga practice (you're probably not reading this blog) you maybe shouldn't go to her class. If, however, you've been practicing for a while, and you want to drip sweat from all over your body, and you can manage to keep the breath deep and long in a 10 minute chair pose (with variations), or you can let go of your ego and (gracefully?) drop into childs pose because you've lost the breath, I highly recommend this class. Don't get me wrong, despite the matter of fact manner in which she teaches, she's a good instructor. I almost never have to look up because she teaches with her words while she walks around the room to make minor adjustments (hello quickie backrub, thank you) and hardly ever does the poses herself unless it's an inversion. The thing about this class, though is it's hard, but it's generally not complicated, so it could be a decent class for a relatively flexible strong beginner who knows how to listen to her/his body. Yes, that's a lot of ifs. There are no crazy arm balances or inversions, unless requested, (you heard that right, she takes requests!) and she gives a couple of 'well done's or 'nice work's in class, which is always good to hear when it's cold out and there is not one dry spot on your body.
Did I mention, it's also in English, so I can take off my glasses, find my drishti, breathe, sweat and zone out! Also, unlike Anne, I don't think she looks anything like the picture above in real life.
Teacher: Amanda Dates
Studio: Big Apple Yoga
Class: Bhakti Flow
Feel Good Vibe: ★★★
Spiritual Lesson: There's a bit about Mercury in retrograde, and dedicating your practice, but she doesn't talk for 15 minutes, and even though I don't really care about Mercury, she at least knows what she's talking about.
Would I pay 20€ to take a class with her again?
Yes, anytime I need a good ass kicking with a little dose of be where you are.
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.
Former San Francisco DNA wrangler and current Paris yoga teacher and mom. Sharing. Caution: Possibly too much.
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