I teach SmartFLOW yoga! What is it?

Methodology and Philosophy behind SmartFlow yoga and why I’ve choosen to teach this yoga.

Somebody once asked my teacher what is SmartFLOW yoga, she answered: If Iyengar yoga and Vinyasa yoga had a baby, it would be SmartFLOW (Yes we do use props!! and we love it) . I always smile when I think about it.

The philosophy of SmartFlow is based on the fact that every living being is unique and because of this, every aspect of yoga practice is presented as an inquiry, so the practice allows each of us to ask questions to self without any excpectations for outcome.

Every practitioners is in a state of observation of itself.

We, as yoga teachers, always ask our students not to look at what their neighbors are doing since every body is different, and they should only care about their own practice. SmartFlow yoga really emphasizes that, and encourages every students to experience her full potential, and to be connected to her practice.

The philosophy of SmartFlow is to allow any practitioner to understand the language of the body and to recognize the meaning of any sensation it creates.

It allows them to communicate with their body and to accept it as it is. It also helps bringing their mind to stillness by focusing on their practice.

Most of the time this will lead the students to a deeper practice of yoga, meaning they will start to apply (or at least have an interest in) the other limbs of yoga.

Understanding the language of our own body allows us to avoid injuries. It’s important to know its boundaries, know when we have to soften and rest or, may be know when we need to be more present. In SmartFlow classes acceptance is always encouraged, acceptance toward what is and what is not today. The student is always aware that every day is different and that what is happening or not happening today might be different tomorrow.

This state of mind allows us to honor the present moment.

By this practice of inquiry SmartFlow embraces all type of yogis.

What makes it easy to celebrate the fact that every human being is individual is the (shall I say it ?) smart methodology of SmartFlow. Instead of giving rigid one size fits all cues, the sequences are created through the lens of Movement Principles, which allows to understand asanas through lines of motion.

Instructing asanas this way avoids the implication that they should look a specific way, it’s quite the opposite, it allows to create an atmosphere of exploration and inquiry.

The student is given a clear and specific movement that has a direction toward an asana and a clear route that leads her back to center.

There is a full expression of effort and a return to center.

Everybody has, because of this mechanism, a safe practice that creates spaciousness and stability in the joints. It allow the breath and prana to flow clearly.

The movement principle mechanism is the exploration of the direction that each asana moves us away from the center aka Tadasana, mountain pose.

By understanding the movement, the effort, that takes us away from center and how to return to center, we can create balanced transitions into and out of each pose, and everybody can create its own full expressionof the pose.

This mechanism allows the student to know herself, and that’s one of the goal of yoga to my humble opinion.

I have chosen to teach this style of yoga because of this. I want to teach my students how to be aware of their body, to get to know their body and accept it as it is.

In our civilization we are obsessed with our apparence and therefore we are obsessed with how our body looks like, but we are incapable of communicating with it.

We are incapable of travelling into the Self.

The practice of SmartFlow allowed me to feel parts of my body very clearly and therefore helped me to move more precisely into the asanas, without the risk of injuries, and that’s exactly what I wish for my students.

I’ve met SmartFlow yoga at a hard time of my life and It has also drove me to do some Introspection and to be more opened to meditation, it helped me to control my breathing during practice which was very hard for me.

All that benefits I got, I want to share them with my students, that’s the reasons why I want to teach this specific practice. I have experienced it, I know it works and it’s worth sharing !

It took me a little bit more than 2 years to get my certification, I could have just participated to the training, but being able to call my class SmartFLOW is a plus. Yoga practitioners know the seriousness of Annie’s teaching, and I benefit from that.

(Although beware SmartFLOW classes are given by yoga teachers certified by Annie Carpenter, and implies that this teacher has at least 500h of teacher training with at least 300h in SmartFLOW yoga, the title is SmartFLOW, do not mistake that with Smart yoga, smart vinyasa or other similar designations.)

Bye Bye 2018

It is with no regret that I let you go. You were tough. I’m a different person than 365 days ago that’s for sure. The good thing is I’m more focus on my yoga practice. Not that I wasn’t before, but I’ve realised that it is the main thing that makes me happy.

Good things happened though!

I’ve been to India! And I loved it. (you can read my previous posts about it.)

I’ve trained a lot and with fantastic teachers and I feel very lucky! Annie Carpenter, Maty Ezraty, Dona Holleman and Krista Cahill. I’ve studied yoga philosophy with Dr John Casey and Richard Rosen.

The french Yoga Journal likes my articles and publish them on their blog. 5 of them so far!

I had the best burning man ever. It was my 10th burn and it was epic. I went there depressed and fill with dark thoughts, I left with a light heart. I’ve volunteered more than the years before and it filled me with joy.

And… I am now a certified SmartFLOW yoga instructor which makes me very happy. I’ve started to study SmartFLOW with Annie two years ago and it has deeply changed my practice and my way of teaching. I was already certified in power vinyasa and Prana flow, but I felt incomplete, it was not the yoga I was looking for. Annie’s method resonates with me, and with what I expect from a yoga practice.

All this good things helped me to step away from what brings me anxiety, pain and darkness, even when those things or persons were part of my life. I had to rethink my expectations for the future. Truth is, everything can stop in 1 second, so I will not expecting anything from anyone anymore, I’m stepping away from toxic, selfish and narcissistic people, and I will just walk my path and see how it goes.

I have many projects, but I do not expect anything from that either, I will take things one hour at a time.

I wish you all a great new year to come.

Namaste

I’ve trained with Maty Ezraty and it was amazing

If you know me as a yoga teacher, you know how it’s important to me to go and train every year so I can learn new things to share with my students. A wise yogi once told me that to be a good teacher you have to be a good student.

So last July I took a training with the great Maty Ezraty about hands on assist and it was brilliant. Maty is a super legit senior teacher, but not an instagram celebrity lol (If you dont know who she is, click here Maty Ezraty .)

Hands on assist have always been my weakness,. I’m not a physiotherapist of any kind and I don’t want to hurt my students. But her knowledge put a new light on that part of my teaching. Cherry on the cake, my friend and amazing teacher Krista Cahill was taking the training too, and as we partnered a few times, it was so amazing to benefit from her knowledge too! (is you don’t know Krista, she’s a fantastic american teacher in Paris and you can learn more about her here: Krista Cahill.

I’m not gonna lie, it was a tough training. I was emotionally in a dark place as my dog was super sick at home, and Maty is hard core. We were practicing for 3h30 to 4 hours before even starting the hands on assist part of the course, with only 15 minutes in between.

The room was filled mostly with ashtangi, as she was Pattabhi Jois’ student. But Maty’s practice and teaching evolved toward an Iyengar style after many trips to Puna in India. We used many props, lifted many heavy blocks. My shoulders were so soar., and the ashtangi so surprised ahahah.

I kept listening her slapping people buttocks when they were contracting the gluts, or telling them not to look up because “there is nothing up there”. She’s so tiny but at the same time has such authority and presence, it’s fascinating.

I’m now more confident in my hands on assist and I’m looking forward to taking more training with her in the future. In the meantime, I will go train in a few weeks with Maty’s teacher Dona Holleman and I’m very excited about it.

I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to train with great yogis, so I can share their knowledge with my students. If you’re a yoga teacher, you should definitely try to take at least a class with Maty, it will change your teaching for the best.

Namaste.