I’ve tried the new TEEKI yoga mat

If you practice yoga in the west, you have probably heard of Teeki or seen one of their yoga pants.  Teeki is a company who makes cool (and unfortunately pricey) yoga pants made of recycled plastic bottle, with amazing design.When I’m in LA (where the company is from) i can’t walk in a yoga class without seing at least one person wearing a Teeki pant, and it sometimes includes me.

I mean for a yogini who likes wearing cool stuff (I know that we are supposed to be not attached to material things, and I really made a lot of progress on that point, but I’m still a work in progress in the yoga sutras world 😀), the idea of having nice pants made of recycled plastic bottles, it kind of makes you feel good. 

I heard 6 months ago that they were working on a yoga mat. I have to say that i was not impressed by the idea, there are more and more yoga mats with cool designs, and I thought they were gonna be just one of them. 

As a daily yoga practicionner and yoga teacher I’m a Manduka devotee. I know they are super heavy and it’s a bummer to walk around with them, but on the other hand they are the best.

When I saw the design of the Teeki’s (the one with the buffalo skull) it was love at first sight! When I saw the price I held back!  More expensive than a regular Maduka eeew (110$). But after having a bad day I decided to indulge myself and order it. My alibi was (i always need an alibi lol) that I was traveling to LA for another teacher training with Shiva Rea, and that if i had it delivered there i wouldn’t have to travel with my heavy Manduka!

When I opened the package the first good surprise was that it comes with a little strap to tie it after you roll it and I really appreciate that. It’s a simple thing but it’s so useful!!! When I enrolled it I was in love again. It’s so pretty. The design is amazing. The material made me think of a tyre or something like that. But Teeki is a green brand so their mats are 100% green, made of tree rubber and  shell powder (as a vegetarian I just pray that no animals were killed in that process, I need to investigate that).

I’m using it for 10 days now, every single day, many hours a day (I was doing a training with Shiva Rea and we were practicing sometimes 5/6 hours daily), and I have to say that I can’t wait to be back home and compare with my Manduka because I think it’s almost as good! Or may be better because the Eko Manduka is not as comfy. I use the Pro at home. The only thing is that the Manduka might be a little bit harder (but I need to try them both at the same time to be sure) which helps me for arm balances and inversions.

The + :

Very comfortable, the recycled material, the design, not slippery even the first days you use it except when you step on the design who’s in the middle, the little strap, hard and soft at the same time, not as heavy as a Manduka pro (but not super light either), it’s a wide mat.

The – :

The price, the smell the first days. 

I seriously think that Teeki did an awesome job with their mats and I’m sure they will have many more designs to come! Good job!

Soon I will share with you my experience with my favorite brands of yoga pants! Stay tuned. Namaste

  

The (not so) wonderful yoga world.

When I’ve started yoga, and even before that, I used to think that yoga practicioners were super open minded, generous, honest and happy people who were smiling 24/7 because they were probably enlightened or something like that.

Very quickly I found the smile of one of my teacher a little bit suspicious, too wide, to “teethy” (does that word even exist?), too… fake? Was that even possible? I mean yoginis are supposedly close to nirvana, they must be happy all the time! Well at least that’s what I thought.

And then I took my teacher training after 4/5 years of regular practice, and I started to hear some stuff about yoga teachers (male mostly but probably female as well) who were kind of using their yoga teacher position to take advantage of cute students, and date them (and that’s a nice version of what some of them are probably doing…), and we had this class about the “does and dont”  for a teacher… I was surprised because, naive as I was I used to think that yoga would make you an ethical person. Well it’s not.

Just make your research and you will be amazed by the stories you’ll hear. Let’s take Bikram example: he was a world known teacher who came up with the idea (a good one) of doing yoga in a room heated at 40°c. There are numerous yoga studios in the world who teaches his method. Well the guy has no less than 6 lawsuits for sexual harassment and even rape! It’s safe to say that we are far from Nirvana here….

There is the Osho case as well. A lot of yoga teacher are still quoting him, but he was very controversial, some people used to call him the sex guru, and some members of his community tried to poison at least 750 people in Oregon. The guy was arrested in the USA for violation of immigration laws, he was carrying some jewelry and some weapons.. A very yogic attitude!

Without talking about those extrem cases, when I look around I see war between yoga studios, some would call that competition, but how can you tell your students that there is no such thing as competition in yoga and having a “wall street attitude” towards the other studios, or teachers? It sounds wrong. I see people  who wake up one morning deciding they are going to teach yoga without taking some trainings of any kind, thinking that their “infinite” knowledge is enough. I’ve heard teachers trashing each other…
  And I could go on and on and on….

No the yoga world is definitely not as peaceful as you think it would be. It’s the reflection of our society, and let’s face it our society is far from being a pretty one. But what matters is YOU. You can make a difference in that jungle, when you step off the mat you can carry with you all those beautiful sentences your teacher told you and try to apply them to your life, even though your teacher might not. You could be an ethical yogini, it takes one person to change the world.

Om Shanti

  

Yoga and Art. Yoga is Art.

I know there is a controversy about people taking  yoga pictures everywhere, and I’m happy to say I’m one of those.

First of all I’m glad that other amazing yoga teachers started that trend a few years ago because it inspired me a lot. Suddenly I wanted to go deeper in my practice and experiement the same thing as they were.

then, it might not be obvious since I’m trying to hide this, but I’m super shy, so practicing yoga in the street for example, or on the beach,  in front of other people who are wondering what I’m doing, is somehow a way to overcome my fear of people focusing on me.

Some people migh think I’m bragging, well I’m not. First, on  most of the pictures I take, and sometimes post on social media, my poses are not “perfect”, which is awesome because there is no such thing as perfection in yoga. And,  I even surprise myself sometimes, so I want to share the good surprise with the entire world, just like a little girl. And yes, I have this little girl leaving inside of me and I’m happy to please her.

The other thing is: I love art, and I love even more street art. So when I’m in LA (or any other city that have a lot of amazing street art), I can’t help it, i have to contribute to this. My contribution is small,  I will more likely do a pose and share the pic with the name of the artist if I can find It. But I really think that yoga and art are made for each other, Isn’t yoga an art too in a way?

So please, you, who are posting beautiful artistic yoga photos, plsease go on, i will. The best reward is when sometimes people send me messages saying that I’m inspiring. Isn’t that the nicest thing to say? Let’s try to inspire the world, it needs it.

Stay tuned for more yoga thoughts and stories! Namaste y’all. 


(art by @findac : the Nade Shiko)

   
(artist unknown)

Elemental Vinyasa: an intense teacher training immersion with Shiva Rea

A wise yogini once told me that to be a good teacher you need to be a good student, and I can’t agree more, that’s one of the reason why i’ve  decided to take more teacher trainings than my 200h. So here I am back to Venice beach, California, ready to train with Shiva Rea.

I’ve applied to do my 300h with Shiva Rea and learn her Prana flow method because every time i took her class i felt amazing afterwards, and I really want to be able to share that with my students. 

Shiva is a world famous and respected yoga teacher, and it’s an honor to be able to train with her. Her method is based on the fact that the breath is your guru, and you should flow on its rythm. You don’t really stay static in a posture you can pulse or take a body vinyasa, which is great because I feel like you’re able to create more space in your body by doing so.

Elemental vinyasa is based on the different elements that are: earth, water, fire, air and ether. According to each element you have an appropriate namaskar, some asanas and a more or less flowy practice. 

It would be too long to explain Elemental vinyasa in details and if you’re interested you should definitely read Shiva’s book: tending the sacred fire. (Or feel free to email me with questions) 

Anyway, Shiva’s training are always very intense. You do practice a lot!! And I’ve learned so many things on hands on assist. I was really fascinated. I was tired and could feel every part of my body, but it worth it.

The other thing that is great with Shiva is the community. You meet amazing people that shares the same interests and I’m grateful for that. I know that i will see some of them in other trainings. 

Now I’m half way of my 300 hours, and i can’t wait to come back in November for some Rasa vinyasa.

Stay tuned for more yogini adventures

Namaste

  

My first experience as a brand new yoga teacher.

To be totally honest, I never thought I would teach yoga one day. I’ve studied the law for 5 years, and practiced it for a short while, and it turned out I was not made for this kind of carrer.

I’ve started practicing yoga seriously 5 years ago but I never thought I would be “good enough” to teach it. “Good enough” is a weird concept when you think about it. What makes someone “good enough” to teach yoga?

The seed was first planted by a good friend of mine 2 years ago. She just told me: ” you should do a teacher training, you have a regular practice, why don’t you do it?” I was just practicing for 3 years at that time, and it really felt inappropriate and pretentious to even only think about teaching yoga to people who were probably more into it, for a very long time.

But the idea started to grow, and when I felt I was ready I did the training. Awesome experience, by the way! I was lucky enough to be part of an awesome 200h training where we were asked to teach to each other all the time, to be prepared, to have not only some yoga knowledge, but some teaching skills as well. I really recommend Tamal Dodge’s training at yoga salt.

And here I was after the training, a brand new yoga teacher in front or 5 students, teaching my first class. I’ve started with giving a few private classes to friends, and that was not too bad, but 5 students seemed a lot to me at that time. I had prepared the class, the music, the room everything but my heart was ready to jump out of my chest. But then I remember what Tamal said too us: “be yourself”, and so I did. I started to explain the pose (most of the students were beginners), the breath, the importance of alignment.. I started to joke, I was myself. And it was easy, well easier than I thought… I didn’t do exactly the sequences I’ve prepared, I realized that i had to adapt it to my students, but I loved it: going with the flow, try to discover their needs… I was, I am hooked!

Now 4 months and more than 50 classes later, I’m happy to share the gift of yoga with other people, and they look happy to receive it. My students are amazing people with different backgrounds, but they all agree on the fact that they feel amazing after the class. That’s the feeling I have at the end of a class when I go as a student , so I guess I’m on the right path!

Stay tuned for more yoga teacher stories! Namaste y’all!

No need to be flexible to do yoga!

I’ve heard so many times people saying: “Oh no I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible enough!”. Well believe it or not I’m  a yoga teacher and I’m not flexible!

When I first started yoga 5 years ago, i could barely touch my knees when I was bending forward. Uttanasana was a nightmare, Paschimottanasana was hell.

I never thought I was not flexible enough to do yoga, I just thought I would never do hard poses like Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana, or worth Hanumanasana.  But, when I’ve started practicing more than 3 times a week, I realize all the progress I was making.

The good thing when you’re not flexible is that you don’t have to go deep in a pose to have the benefits of it. Being  too flexible can even be a problem, you can hurt yourself, because you have to go very deep in  a pose to feel it. On the other hand, when you’re not flexible, it’s a little bit frustrating to see those people with their feet behind their heads. i know yoga is not about ego, and you’re not supposed to look at the people around you in a class, because it’s YOUR practice, but let’s be honest it took me a long time to absorb that part of yoga, and my first 2 years I kept looking at that girl who could do whatever she wants with her body, while I was struggling to reach my feet in forward fall.

When iI’ve decided to take a teacher training, a little voice inside of me was telling me I was a fraud, and that everybody in the training would somehow come from “Le cirque du soleil”, and that I will be ridiculous. so I started practicing more, and enjoyed it even more.

And hat’s how it happened, first I was not paying attention to that super flexible girl/guy anymore, or if I did it was just to appreciate how beautiful she or he was in their practice. Then I started to do things I couldn’t dream of a few years ago (mostly because I was not trying enough!).

When I was 12 years old I was going to a gymnast club for kids and teenagers, and I was trying very hard to do the splits. I never came close to it. Never thought I would do it one day. Never tried again. Last week end (a few decades later lol) after a nice practice, I was walking by the beach and i decided to give it a try. And here I was: doing a split, not a perfect one, but closer than I’ve ever been before!

So yes yoga is for the non flexible people, you will improve, get rid off that stiffness, and feel so much better in your body! And the feeling you’ll have when you’ll manage to do something you thought was impossible… Nothing can beat that, the feeling that finally you communicate properly with your body. So may be you should give it a try?

Stay tuned, Namaste

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