Weekly Class Theme: Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand)



The key to getting into these more advanced postures is mind – body – unity.

“The mind is the king of the senses, but the breath is the king of the mind” — Pradipika

Using the breath, we can calm the mind and not let fear overcome us. Slow exhales are crucial!

Overcoming fear in this posture is great for building confidence, strength and balance. Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand) also requires great concentration and body alignment, which are essential in advanced postures.

In Sanskrit, Salamba means supported and Sirsa means head, and asana means pose/posture. This asana is often called the king of all asanas. You can think of it as Tadasana (Mountain Pose), but upside-down.

The Crown Charka (Sahasrara) is activated in this posture through its direct connection to the earth. It is not often that we get this opportunity in Yoga, so let go of fear and enjoy it together and safely 😉.



Weekly Class Theme: Discover




This weeks theme is about the Yogis ability to stay open to learning, even if they think they already know how to do a pose.  Testing our ability to be a “beginner” is a part of showing how “beginner’s mind” is critical to being present and open.

Im hoping this theme will help you be easier on yourself and use it as a way to discover new things even in asanas that you thought you may have mastered.

Ask yourself, how can I deepen my practice?

See you on the tapis!!

It’s A Brand New Day !


Everyday is a new day to be a better you, so don’t worry, take it one day at a time making a little better version of you every day.

We put so much pressure on ourselves to make all the changes we want in our lives in one year.  January 1st comes around and we are supposed to jump into a new year as a completely new person. If this actually worked we would not have to do it every year…. just saying 😉


Try to make your goals more realistic.  For example; tomorrow I will get up 5 mins earlier and practice 15 mins of Yoga. Try doing this for one week, after you succeed you can add something else. Example; I have now succeeded at getting up a bit earlier and having a daily practice, I will try to add 5 mins of morning meditation, after that you can maybe add hot lemon water to your morning routine and so on. Taking baby steps, to slowly adding new healthy activities that fit your life style.



This week, in the studio, I will teach you a basic Yoga routine.  A short 15 min routine that we will repeat, like this you can see how much Yoga you can do in 15 mins and begin to add it to your home routine, helping you on your way to a healthy new year.

Treat everyday as a new opportunity.


Sleep more, laugh more, move more, love more, listen more, share more, and above all enjoy life!

Happy New Year!! Love light and good health to you all.

X Om Shanti

Weekly Class Theme: Sanskrit



I am constantly bragging about how wonderful my students are.  This weeks class theme, Sanskrit, was chosen by them and proves just why I am so lucky to have them as students!  They are always eager to better themselves and their practice.

What is Sanskrit you may ask.

“Sanskrit is the classical language of India and Hinduism. The language was systematically developed in regards to the natural progressions of sounds created by the human mouth.

Designed to be an unchanging and perfected mode of communication, it is believed Sanskrit belongs to no one and, thus, belongs to all.

Many words and mantras used within the practice of yoga are of Sanskrit origin.

The use of Sanskrit in India for literary and religious purposes is comparable to that of Latin throughout Europe, as both have been studied for more than two thousand years. Authoritative yogic texts, such as the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, were initially compiled in Sanskrit.

Also known as “the language of yoga,” Sanskrit terminology and concepts are pondered by practitioners of yoga to help better understand the power of one’s actions. Chanting Sanskrit mantras in this ancient language is particularly powerful because it focuses and calms one’s mind as well as promotes overall well-being.”



Also in the Indian traditions of knowledge the sounds of the Sanskrit language are believed to have a profound healing effect. The healing effect of the sequential flow of sounds in the Sanskrit language is said to not only ballance the mind and the body, but even extend further to create harmony in the collective consciousness of society as a whole.

An interesting point is that in order to experience the beneficial effect of the Sanskrit sounds, understanding the meaning is not necessary. This is because in Sanskrit there is a special connection between the sound and the meaning, between the name and the form it represents. In Sanskrit the sound and the meaning are not considered  as two different entities but as one and the same.

In other words, the sounds of Sanskrit carry the qualities of the meaning on the very level of their vibrational frequency. This means that even without understanding the meaning, chanting or listening to Sanskrit verses (or repeating short mantras in meditative procedures, or even reciting the flow of the Sanskrit alphabet) could generate a very beautiful effect on the mind and on the body.

Thus why I am a firm believer in using their names in our asana practice and most of you are already familiar with the use of this language in our chanting, but it excites me hear that you are not only listening but feeling the effects of it and wanting to learn more.

That is why this week I have created a sequence with most of our basic postures/asanas that we will repeat in a sequence a few times in the class to help the names stick into our minds along with a new chant.

Happy to share this experience with you all this week!

X om



Abhyasa /Practice: Weekly Class Theme


Abhyasa means having an attitude of persistent effort to attain and maintain a state of stable tranquility.

Sutra 1.13

Practice is the effort to secure steadiness.

Sutra 1.14

This practice becomes well-grounded when continued without interruption over a long period of time.

What does Patañjali mean by practice. Near the beginning of the Yoga Sutras, he gives us some solid, practical advice.

Initially, the goal of yoga is to steady the mind, to clear it of chatter and random impulses. He defines practice (abhyasa) as the effort of will required to achieve stability in that calm and clear state, though not without significant effort:

You may start to feel the benefits of your practice immediately, but you are only going to become well-grounded in the practice—able to summon up a calm and clear state with minimum effort, or even find yourself living permanently in a state of mental ease—after much dedicated effort. Patañjali has something to say about just this point:

Sutra 1.21

The goal is near for those who practice with extreme intensity.

Sutra 1.22

Thus, there will be a difference if the effort put into practice is mild, moderate or great.

8 hours a day, 2 hours a day, three times a week is a lot of asana and out of reach for most. But, of course, the physical practice is only a small part of the equation. The simple techniques we learn and refine in the context of the physical practice we can take out into our daily life, commuting to work, waiting in line at the store, interacting with our coworkers, our family and loved ones. The entirety of your life can become a yoga practice, the hours of training the mind to achieve expertise and mastery of the state of living, moment by moment. And it is the quality of your practice that is important not the quantity.

Come and get some good quality practice in this week with me and your fellow yogis, and achieve the true feeling of Abhyasa (attitude of persistent effort to attain and maintain a state of stable tranquility).

X om shanti

Weekly Class Theme: Strength


“Build up your strength to the point where you are not influenced by your surroundings; in fact, you can influence the surroundings instead.” Swami Satchidananda

This week we will work on a core strengthening sequence, so that we can float right up into our more difficult asanas/postures/life with grace, ease, and strength.

Purvottanasana, also know as reverse plank, is an invigorating chest opener and arm balance.  Stretching the shoulders, wrists and ankles, whilst strengthening the arms, legs, back and the entire core.  Wow, right?  So much impact from this asana!

We will work on this asana along with other arm balancing postures this week learning how to correctly engage the right muscle groups.

Come and join the fun 🙂



Weekly Class Theme: Anahata Chakra Vinyasa Flow


Supta Virasana; Photo by Heather Bonker


I have received a lot of great feedback from all of you after our Silent Themed classes last week. Many loved the opportunity to build a better mind body connection, as well as the meditative rhythm and flow.  With that in mind, I have decided to make this week’s class theme Anahata Chakra Vinyasa Flow.  Where you can connect with your heart engery and still enjoy the beautiful meditative sensation of our asana practice.

The word “Vinyasa” in Sanskrit can be translated as “to place something in a special way”. When you break down the root words “Vi” means “in a special way” and “Nyasa” means “to place”. In a Vinyasa Flow class, we coordinate our movement with our breath to flow from one pose to the next in a fluid sequence, like in Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations).

To put the words to test, I have created a nice flow routine, opening the chest to access our Anahata Chakra (Heart Chakra). In Sanskrit, Anahata means “unhurt, unstuck, and unbeaten” and Chakra means wheel, a spinning wheel of energy or centers of spiritual power in the human body.

Within the body exist several minor chakras (energy centers) and 7 major chakras. The Heart Chakra is perfectly situated in the middle of your body, balancing the world of matter (our lower three chakras) with the world of spirit (our upper three chakras). We will continue to learn more about charkras in the weeks to come.

See you on the tapis 😉

X om

Weekly Class Theme: Body Harmony


Photo by: Lya Cattel

This week we will go through our standing asanas/poses to help bring harmony to the body.

Standing asanas are the key to all other poses. They are essential for increased flexibility, strength, self confidence, balance within and without.

In these postures we need to keep our focus on bringing together the past and the future to be able to fully indulge in the present moment. Becoming fully aware of our the asana by invigorating the entire body as well as finding inner and outer stillness.

Iyengar often uses the image of flamingos sleeping on one leg with their heads tucked under their wings, and says “that there is what we are looking for, in our postures.”
Standing poses also provide the entire body with knowledge on the principles of alignment, which are essential in performing all poses before moving to more difficult yoga asanas, like Salamba Sirsasana (supported headstand).  Leaving the body wanting more oxygen, activating the heart, allowing for an increasing boost of circulation throughout the body to places that may often be neglected, such as the joints, connective tissues and internal organs.  Making the standing asanas both energising and calming, allowing the body to find its natural harmony with a firm and supportive base.
If you would like to read more about standing asanas here is a good article to read from Yoga International and why its important to incorporate them into your home practice.
Hope to see you all this week to work on your body harmony.



Weekly Class Theme: Duality and Peace


This week we will be celebrating both the International Day of Peace and the Autumn Equinox.

“Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.” Read more about the International day of peace. @ http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/

Le Centre de Yoga du Marais will be observing the International Day of Peace on Sunday the 24th, with free classes all day.  I will be teaching a small 45mn class at 15h.  I would love to see some of you there to share our practice together in the meaning of Peace.

Here is a link to learn more about the open house.  http://www.yogamarais.com/yoga-workshopsateliers/

To celebrate these two beautiful days, the Autumn Equinox and the International Day of Peace, we will use a heart opening sequence. Allowing us to be more receptive of giving and receiving of compassion, as well as understanding during this time of year that we observe duality in ourselves and the world.

Yogis believe that the change of the seasons is a powerful time for our bodies energetically.  With the Autumn Equinox on Friday the 22nd this is a perfect time to bring balance to the mind, body and spirit.  Its is a time when there is duality between light and dark. The same duality that exists in each of us.  It is a time to prepare the body to rest after all the growth that the spring and summer months brought.  A time to reflect and transform.

Take this time to set intentions, and realign the body mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically so that we can be open for greater growth, understanding, and peace.

I hope this weeks practice will help prepare our mind, body and spirit move into to this beautiful transitional time of year with ease. Balancing the energies of the mind and body to align our bodies to the natural rhythms of the earth and the suns’ cycles so we can enjoy rest, contemplation and renewal during this dormant phase of the year, like trees shedding their leaves, to feel lighter we too can enjoy the sensation of letting go. 

X Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti


Yoga Retreat Chateau De Layer

This year we will have a private domain, with a 2 houses, a small lake and of course the castle. All to ourselves!

Yoga will be done in the castel and you will have your own private house to share. Private rooms with double bed and shared bathrooms.

It will be from 18h30 the 9 of July- 10h the 14 of July.

It will included:

7h-9h morning practice, with 30 mins meditation (daily)

9h30 Breakfast (daily)

10h-13h Free time (trekking, walking meditation, swimming, reading, or relaxing)

13h30 Lunch (daily)

14h-17h Free time (trekking, walking meditation, swimming, reading, or relaxing)

17h30-19h Yin Yoga practice (4 classes)

19h30 Dinner

+ 1 cooking class ( a night where I will teach you some recipes and we will all cook together)

Yoga and food will be dome by me. All food will be bio, vegan and gluten free.  During the free time I will offer outings that you can go on and lunch will be offered in a sac, so you can take it with you if you decide to go to the village, trek/walking meditation, or go the the lake for the afternoon.

Please bring your own yoga mat.

I would like this time to be a time for you to go deeper into your practice.  Therefor it will be a smoke free and alcohol free space.  Cleansing of the body and the mind.

Cost will be 600€ and does not include transportation. The train stations are Chalon sur Saone or Lons le Saunier. I will drive there, so will be able to pick you up from the station.

If you are interested in coming contact me directly so I can give you more information. Your reservations will be confirmed upon payment.

Looking forward to sharing this wonderful experience with you.