I've been doing a lot of yoga at home lately. It's hot out there, the studios usually don't have air conditioning ( and I'm not that into Bikram -hot- Yoga), and, oh, right, it's the summertime so lots of studios have reduced hours and substitute teachers. Plus, I can wear a wifebeater and boxer shorts and no one in my house cares. But I had heard great things about a particular teacher in Paris, so I decided to check out one of her classes, and low and behold, she was still teaching, at Yoga Village (in July). The studio is in the central and chic Madeleine / Opera area, and it is a beauty. Wood floors, white walls, an entire window facing lovely trees, super clean, sparsely but tastefully decorated. Seriously top notch.
It's hidden behind the entrance to an apparent shopping area and is on one of the larger boulevards in Paris. I passed it up the first time, as the photo above is the only signage at ground level and the numbering on the street is a bit wacky. Once I found the right stairs (B) and made it up to the first floor, the guy at the front desk was so smiley and kind and helpful and not at all Parisian that I had already blissfully forgotten that feeling of not belonging that comes with having to be buzzed in (or remembering the door code). The studio is well set up, with immediately recognizable seating to remove and store shoes, and clean bright dressing rooms separated by sex. I took a beginner Vinyasa class, and I felt right at home. Despite the heat, it was pleasant in the classroom with the windows open and a few fans going. The only complaint I have is that the room is not well made for sound absorption. Though it looks as if they purposefully built a dropped ceiling, being on a larger boulevard with the fans and a bit of background music, I still found it hard to understand from time to time. -Disclaimer, it was in French.- I'll try another class, maybe a more advanced one and let you know if my impressions change, but for now I can certainly say, if you can stomach the 23€ (30USD) individual class price (first 'intro' class is 10€) and have good hearing, it's a really lovely place to practice.
39 Boulevard des Capucines
escalier B, 1 er étage
T. +33 (0)1 72 34 58 47
Metro: Madeleine (Ligne 8, 12, 14) or Opera (Ligne 3, 7, 8)
Price: 23€ a class (reduced 5 and 10 class passes available with time restraints)
Yoga Styles: Hatha, Ashtanga, Yin, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Prana Flow, Jivamukti
Languages: English and French (check schedule for availability)
Changing Rooms: 2 (separated by sex)
Secure Lockers: included in class fee, locks available at the front desk or bring your own
Mats: included in class fee
Pros - Bright beautiful everything, central location, teacher bio's on website, excellent reception and welcome.
Cons - Background noise makes it hard to hear, 23€ a single class (wow!).
Living in San Francisco, I had a wealth of options when looking for yoga classes. Not just in teacher choice, but in time slots too. I was super spoiled by my favorites, Pete Guinosso, Darcy Lyon (horrible website, great teacher), Jody Hahn and the woman who had me fall in love with yoga, Kate Schox, not one of the 'bigger names' in the yoga world in SF, and one of the reasons I loved her teaching. In fact, I'm not even sure she's still teaching. Yoga was just something you did in San Francisco, it wasn't for the elite and I preferred the teachers I frequented not because they had the best sequences, or were the strongest ones, but because I felt like I belonged, no matter how strong my arms were, or how flexible my legs were. There was no ego, and that's how I liked it.
After we moved to Paris, I was in search of yoga classes and the closest thing I found to a summary was from David Lebovitz, it was short and vague and originally written in 2006. He has updated it this year (2013), and done quite a lovely comprehensive job of it.
Paris, unlike San Francisco, doesn't have a yoga studio on every (other) corner, single classes start at a whopping 20€(around 26 USD), and could range from traditional Hatha (SF speak for 'Restorative') to a Vinyasa. Note, though, that I have tried a 'power yoga' class in Paris and it wasn't as tough as I remember a vigorous Vinyasa being back in SF. And, this being Paris, there are very few studios which have multiple rooms and/or locations to choose from. Now that my French is a little better, I've started to uncover the world of Yoga in Paris, so, stay tuned, while I demystify Paris yoga with reviews of the studios, the teachers, and up to date events here in the city of lights.
Former San Francisco DNA wrangler and current Paris yoga teacher and mom. Sharing. Caution: Possibly too much.
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