Category Archives: Reflections

Self-reflecting work


If you know me, you know that summer is my favorite season. I feel myself during the summer more than any other time during the year. And because I feel in a good place, it’s easier for me to reflect and do some introspective work. Even though I teach as many classes during the summer as I do the rest of the year, I tend to feel easily rushed and busy when I’m full time in NYC leaving little time to deeply reflect despite my daily meditation practice.

But on Shelter island and especially near the ocean, it’s different…
Growing up in a city near the mountains I always wonder why I love the ocean and the beach so much. The environment deeply resonates with me and I believe it’s because all the elements are within reach. They feed my body and soul. I also love the infinity, the immensity of the horizon; that sense of freedom, that everything is possible. It’s my happy place!

I’ve been doing some introspective work for a while now. Having chosen to follow the path of yoga, it is only natural to want to evolve and get closer to the essence of my being. Doing handstand might be fun and I believe I’ll keep loving it but it’s not going to help me nor the world evolve.
This summer, I deepened my self-reflective work. Observing more closely, listening more deeply, feeling with all my senses, sensing with attention, asking myself tough questions, refusing to shy away from whatever is coming up. The latter might be the most challenging one for me.
How easy it is to close our eyes when a situation doesn’t feel right to us and avoid confronting ourselves to it rather than really facing it?

Fears are usually linked to our lack of making the right decisions. For instance, fear of losing something so we prefer staying in a more familiar situation rather than taking a leap. I, myself, have a lot of fears I’m working on. It is not an easy process but one I decided to undertake to keep growing and going in the direction that feels right to me. And during that process, nature is always a big help for me to get more clarity.
Nature has all the answers.
When surrounded by Nature and being able to be there for a while, I feel like my cells are in harmony with the environment. All my senses feel more attentive and acute but in a very gentle, soft way. I feel much more receptive and I’m able to listen to and to observe whatever is happening in my life at that moment. I feel much clearer, less susceptible to listen to my fears.


I was lucky to spend a few days at the Yoga center Kripalu in Massachusetts this summer. It was another beautiful invitation to keep going a bit deeper with myself in a cooler and woodsy setting.

Another tool that has been very helpful to me is putting things on paper. This sounds so obvious as perhaps spending some time in Nature is, but let me tell you, the simpler the techniques, the better it works. Introspective work is all about listening, being present and this can only be done in a quiet environment, using tools such as writing, meditating or contemplating. It’s only when we find ourselves calm and receptive that the work bears its fruits.
Writing is extremely helpful for it helps letting go of any barrier we may built. We feel free to express ourselves and sometimes we may even surprise ourselves by what is coming out. I know I did, and in a very positive way.

The Dalai Lama was recently in Strasbourg, France and I was listening to one of his talks thanks to Facebook live. Many things he said resonated with me but on the subject I’m writing on today he said one thing that especially attracted my attention. He said that when we have negative emotions or feelings in our mind, it’s usually because we look at the problem from a very narrow angle and we forget to look at the bigger picture. The narrower the angle, the more anxiety or negative emotions it will add to the problem. This stuck with me for it’s true that sometimes we get too focused on a specific issue and we may forget that everything else is actually pretty good. This was a great reminder.
May we keep doing our introspective work but may we not lose sight of the bigger picture.

The paradox of knowledge




I came back a few weeks ago from teaching a Yogaworks 200H teacher training and a couple of workshops in Strasbourg, France and that thought came to mind: the more I know about yoga, the less I know!

Since 2003, I took many trainings and workshops. Every year that passes I keep learning and deepening my knowledge. That is what keeps me in my practice, what inspires me and grounds me in my teaching, what keeps me interested. I have gathered thousands of hours of training and thousands of hours of teaching over the years and yet, this feeling of knowing less (I guess, little would be more appropriate) is present.
Don’t be alarmed, I’m not writing this with sadness or worries, I think this is actually a very healthy thought to have for it pushes me to keep learning, to get better, to experience more.

I’ve noticed that there are several steps in knowledge. At the beginning, we absolutely want to know the correct and only answer: it should be this way and no other way. I often see it with the students who take the trainings, it has to be black or white. And this is completely normal. Our brain needs to receive tangible, clear, precise information to retain them. We are already learning new information when taking a training so if in addition nothing is precise, it becomes destabilizing. If the feet are together in Tadasana, Mountain pose, then this has to be the rule, the truth for every body. But, is it that simple?
I’m giving you the answer right away: not at all and that is what I care to teach to my students.

I remember my first serious yoga experience. It was in India, in Rishikesh, with my Iyengar teacher: Karyn O’Bannon. She had one of the highest levels of teaching in the Iyengar tradition. She, unfortunately, passed away in 2013. Like many Iyengar teachers, her teaching style was strict and disciplined but at the same time she had a touching and moving humility. She’s the one who gave me the desire to keep practicing yoga in 2003 and to keep learning. I was in awe of her knowledge of the body and I thought at the time; if one can have such an understanding and connection with the body; even knowing what our pinky toe should be doing, it must open incredible gateways to our mind, to its control and allow harmony between the body and the mind. I’m so thankful to her for she had such a huge impact on my path.
I needed this guidance, these precise instructions, this rigor, to give me the wings I needed. And beyond her precision she was such a spiritual person.

So often, at the beginning, we are too rigid in our instructions to eventually realize that it’s not as black or as white as we thought but that there is a world between the two where most of us actually live. Paradoxically, this awareness can only come if we keep on learning, on continuing our education and on practicing. The more we learn, the more we discover the subtleties of yoga. The physical subtleties, the subtleties of energy, the mental subtleties…Yoga is such a vast subject and that is what I love so much about it. It’s like the Russian dolls except that in yoga, there is no end. We unveil new layers thanks to the maturity of practice and teaching we develop. And the more we learn, the more we realize that we are barely understanding all the depth of some concepts. Why? Because in yoga, it is all about feeling, everything is experience, everything is a practice to connect to oneself. And this take time and patience. Each person will have a different path, different levels of awareness, different approaches, different sensibilities in their learning.

In his book: “Outlier: the story of success”, Malcolm Gladwell explains the 10 000 hour rule to master a subject, a skill. Others replied that it’s not necessarily true, some people need more hours and other need less. It all depends on the quality of attention during the learning. If you are interested on the subject, here is the link.
I couldn’t agree more with this concept of quality of practice. The philosophy of yoga actually talks about this. I love when modern situations or discussions are being confirmed by an ancient text. In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (compiled about 200BCE- 400CE), there is that concept of Abhyasa which means practice or effort. Patanjali says that our practice should be done with faith or with all our heart to have greater progress. They are saying the same thing!

So I’ll keep learning, I’ll keep practicing for the rest of my life with the same passion and curiosity I’ve been feeling all these years.  And perhaps as long as I’ll feel that I don’t know much, I’ll be on the right path because the day I’ll feel I know a lot, my ego will have taken too much space.

The little voice in our head



A few weeks ago, I posted this picture of Virabhadrasana III: warrior III, taken during my vacation in the Caribbean, on Facebook and Instagram with the following caption:
“Me: I like this picture!
The little voice in my head: BUT!! Have you seen the cellulite??!!
Me: yes, I know…
The little voice in my head: you CAN’T post that picture!!
Me: I’ll post it and I accept myself the way I am and this, with my cellulite!!”

I wasn’t expecting such a reaction from the people who are following me on social medias. What a joy to read your comments and positives thoughts!! I was so touched and deeply moved that I decided to write a bit more on that subject.

We all have this little voice in our head which sometimes tells us: you are not enough, you are not perfect, you need this to be better, and that to be loved, you are lacking this to succeed and also that to… (fill in the blank). The list can be extremely long!
This is a subject that is close to my heart for like many others, I’ve been a victim of the little voice in my head when I was younger: too tall, too skinny, too introvert… Today, I know much better how to detach myself from it. Although I’m sure if you ask my husband, he will tell you my insecurities without hesitating! Is it really true or is it again the little voice in my head trying to judge me? Isn’t it interesting to observe how our mind works!

But this subject is especially close to my heart for I see it, I feel it that little voice in my student’s head: I don’t have enough muscles, I need to lose weight, the others have perfect postures except for me, I’m too anxious to meditate, too busy to sit quietly, not flexible enough to do some yoga… Here as well, the list goes on. We place obstacles on our path, we bring ourself down, we judge ourself in a negative way, even before trying!

And there is also this little voice which sometimes, in lieu of making us give up before we even start, pushes us too far.
If others can take these postures then I must too, no matter what, even risking to injure myself more. I remember one of my private students telling me she suffers from arthritis in all her joints. Despite the intense pain, she was brave enough to tell me that she was pushing herself when she was taking group classes. If the other students could take these poses, then she must too. But at what cost? And why?
Let us not forget that one of the core principles upon which yoga is based is “Ahimsa” which means absence of violence. Absence of violence towards others but also towards oneself. And yet, and perhaps even more in NYC where society is very competitive, many students keep themselves in a competitive mode.
I also believe that not being able to accept that our body can’t perform the same things it used to do in the past is another fertile ground for the little voice in our head.

And that’s not all! There is also the little voice in our head which judges others. How present it is as well! By the way, I appreciated a lot that comment that someone made about my photo:

“The little voice in my head reacted exactly like yours! Oh she has some cellulite and I went: ah thank you for showing the Truth, concept so important in Yoga! Namaste and THANK YOU again!”

I love this comment full of honesty for it shows exactly how our mind works. This little voice, eagerly awaiting to jump and start its nattering. For it’s only nattering. Nattering without any depth, one that is, most of the time, influenced by society.

So my advice to stop this little voice in our head, is to first observe it, be aware of it. Then, gently, without frustration and with patience, tame it so it doesn’t control us anymore. To understand that it is simply a thought, that it doesn’t define us, that we are much more than this. And the more we observe it and tame it, and the more it becomes ludicrous and futile. The more we detach ourself from it, the more we give ourself the permission to be authentic, vulnerable and sincere.

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and your incredible reactions!!!
Since we all need one another to feel supported, may we be as understanding and inspiring with our words and actions in the real world.

“Life doesn’t need to be justified or judged”  Don Miguel Ruiz

A new page is turned…



…but is it that new? I’ve always been fascinated by the enthusiasm given to the transition to the New Year. I love the tradition of celebrating and gathering to welcome the new year. What makes me think are the resolutions. How would, the passage from December 31st to January 1st, have the power to transform people and their daily life?
Of course, I understand that changing year is a big enough event to decide to start something new and fresh. In fact, I have a lot of respect for people who decide to change and make resolutions. This decision is much more difficult than it seems. It requires a lot of awareness and demands to pay attention to one’s body and mind to be able to detect what prevents us from becoming a better version of ourselves. But why take this initiative only on January 1st?
According to me, the problem with the resolutions is the same as the one with the diets. Most of us are making too drastic changes and most of the time too many of them. Hence, it becomes extremely challenging to keep up with these for we feel forced and somewhat punished.

Rather, what is close to my heart is a process of reflection and intention. Taking the time to reflect in an objective way on the year that has passed. The joyful moments as much as the challenging ones; observe them the same way. In our frenzy lives, most of us let things go without really digesting or analyzing them. And yet, this introspective process is fundamental if we want to move on.
My meditation practice is helping me a lot with this work. I also find putting things into perspective, by taking a trip for instance, another efficient tool.
Once the step of reflection is done, then set an intention for this new year thanks to visualization. This could be mental, or written or by creating a vision board with pictures and words we find inspiring. What are the things, people, feelings…we’d like to attract in our life?
My advice is to stay very simple in our intention and very clear. The clearer our intention, the greater the potential to manifest itself.

2015 brought me many joys and successes but also a good amount of sad and challenging situations. But before everything, it kept showing me what I aspire to do in my life. And for that, I say thank you to this past year.

The feeling of gratitude is another very powerful tool to stay concentrated on our intention. I realize it more and more everyday. Our mind has this unfortunate tendency to focus on the negative or at least, to highlight the negative much more than the positive. It is fascinating to observe that during a day in which a dozen of things go very smoothly and nicely, we’ll only remember the thing or the situation that made us upset. I’m guilty of being a victim of this tendency and I become more and more aware that it is up to me to change my perspective. It’s in my hands. I have this power. I’ve been knowing this on an intellectual level for years but applying it in my daily life has been a gradual process. It’s been now a few years that I put this into practice (some days are easier than others). By noticing, by taking note of the positive things in our life and by feeling some gratitude for them, we become more at peace and more content. In other words, happier.

In December, I participated to an Instagram challenge: “25 days of gratitude” organized by the yoga school where I teach at: Yogaworks. I usually don’t take part of those Instagram yoga challenges for most of them are about physical postures. And I believe that the yoga image is already too oriented towards the physical aspect of the practice. But this challenge caught my attention for more gratitude in our world can only be beneficial and it could, I hope, inspire some to try it.
I’m sharing with you a few pictures I took during this challenge: my husband, a concert at Carnegie Hall, my meditation practice, my favorite bird spotted in Central Park: The Cardinal.
You can find my 25 pictures and comments on Instagram IG: celineantoineyoga

I wish you a wonderful and amazing New Year 2016!!!!
May your intention be clear and may we adopt an attitude of gratitude everyday.

With respect,

Ease and softness

Summer 2015 was a great millésime!!

So many wonderful moments: my group classes and private sessions every weekend since mid-June on the majestic Shelter island, a trip to the mountains of Sun Valley, Idaho to teach, some long walks on the beach, a nature simple but magical at the same time…
I share with you these few pictures I took over the summer.

What I love the most about summer is that everyone seems to be more laid back, more at ease with their daily life. People are still working and myself included, but there is an ease, a fluidity that is so enjoyable.

Which makes me wonder if our environment is crucial for our personal development or is our mind stronger and can adapt whatever the circumstances?

From my experience and my studies of Yoga and meditation, the power of the mind is undeniable. Many people are able to overcome negative circumstances, even tragic situations thanks to their mind. Nevertheless, I come more and more to the conclusion that our physical and emotional environments are essential. They make a huge difference in our ability to blossom, to thrive.
I’m not talking about just feeling good but to be able to fulfill ourselves to the extend of our potential.
It seems obvious, you could reply!
But how many of us find ourselves in situations that don’t satisfy us totally? And because of our habits or fear of change we end up sticking to our immobility.

As Albert Einstein said: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.

And how many of us are not even aware of this situation and live on autopilot?

Some soul searching, some introspective work will be necessary to become aware and acknowledge anything that needs to be addressed.
The philosophy of yoga is helping us shining the light on the barriers we have built, the layers we have accumulated in front of our eyes due for instance to our education, our past experiences…

According to the “Yoga Sutras” of Patanjali, this introspective work allows us to connect to our true nature, our true self: “Purusha” which is one of the keys to our happiness.
As Autumn approaches, before going back to a busy and intense rhythm, let us take a moment to ask ourselves the right questions. Let us turn inwardly and listen closely to the signs, the messages our body, mind and gut are sending to us. Let us make the appropriate choices to help us keep the summer ease and lightness but also to get a bit closer every day to our inner self.
And please, let us make sure that we don’t set the bar too high or that we don’t put so much pressure on ourselves that it’s preventing us from taking the first step.
It doesn’t have to be a radical life change, it could be renovating a room in our apartment, seeing our friends more, a healthier communication with the person we share our life with, starting an activity that will nourish our soul…
For me, it will start by not letting my schedule invade too much my social life.
May the transition to Fall be fluid and soft.

A feeling of gratitude




A feeling of gratitude

I’m back in New York after having spent 7 weeks in Strasbourg, France, to teach a Yogaworks 300-hour teacher training.

It was a wonderful experience to be able to rediscover the French pace of life and ambiance after 15 years living in NYC.
I wanted to share with you a list, non exhaustive, of some of the differences I’ve noticed between the two cultures during my stay:

. the calm of the streets; even the fire engines and police cars sirens seemed to be a soft music to my ears in comparison to the ones in NYC!

. French people don’t look at their phone when walking on the streets or at the restaurant. They actually look at one another in the eyes and the French being the French, they compliment the girls passing by.
What a change from New York where everyone has his/her head glued to their phone and people bump into you or worst in a car while crossing the sidewalks.

. not having to take the local transportation once to go anywhere: what a luxury! The apartment I rented was a 5-minute walk to the yoga studio I was teaching at: Yogamoves.
Being a yoga teacher in New York, taking the subway several times is part of my daily routine to go and teach my group classes and private sessions. Even though I’m grateful to be able to go around so easily in the city, I regret how loud the subway is and the constant delays.

. French people don’t answer their e-mails within a hour or within a day. They can take several days or weeks to reply to you.
Being used to the American efficiency, I found myself destabilized by this habit. But I realized that most French people make the distinction between their professional and private lives. And I value this a lot!
Here, in NYC, the line between professional and private lives has become totally blurry. People replied to their e-mails anytime, anywhere, making themselves more and more available to their work and increasing their stress level in their private life. So stay as you are my people and I’ll wait patiently for your response.

. the French yogis are much less tight in their hip flexors than the Americans! What a difference! One of the reasons is that American people sit for long hours in front of their computer at work which contracts these muscles. There are also lots of runners in NYC who need to engage them while running.

. the 2 or 3 kilos I gained! So so many temptations everywhere…

. it’s challenging to eat at a restaurant in France if you don’t eat dairy. In the country where food is a culture, butter and cream are kings. I stopped eating dairy 18 months ago.
In NYC, I easily find vegan restaurants or regular ones ready to cater to my diet. But in Strasbourg, it’s complicated! Butter is such a key ingredient that the waiters often don’t know that it’s in the dishes. One of them suggested I have the dessert with salted butter caramel as a substitute!

. the lack of juice stores. In NYC, it is hard to walk a few blocks without finding one. That trend has a difficult time to pick up in France.

. the incoherences of the French services such as Air France and the SNCF (the French railroad) just to name a few. I’ll spare you the details but I found myself in the middle of a comical situation due to the lack of professionalism of these two services. I was amazed to see how in France, one tend to make you responsible and feel guilty for a situation their lack of organization and communication created. There is always that underlying assumption that the customer is guilty. What a contrast from America where the client is king and the notion of service is part of the culture. American people will do everything they can to solve the situation in your favor especially if they are responsible of the problem.

. the French style and natural “classe”. What a delight to see people well dressed and paying attention to small details in their outfits.
The yoga pants have not yet invaded the French sidewalks!

There would be so many more things to add but at the end of the day, I like and feel good in both cultures and I’m so grateful to be able to navigate from one to the other with ease.
I’d like to thank all the students who welcomed me with such warmth in France. You were truly incredible. You allowed me to feel at home and this is priceless. Thank you so so much!!!
Both transitions, arriving in France and coming back to NYC, were extremely smooth and fluid and for that I’m also very grateful. Grateful to have yoga in my life that gives me the tools to stay present, centered, anchored where ever I am.
“Hatha Yoga Anushasanma”: the practice of yoga is here and now.







This summer will be busy for me for I’m honored to be part of twoYogaworks 300-hour teacher trainings. So if you want to take your practice and teaching to the next level, you have two options:
. one in Hazlet, New Jersey
. one in New York City
For more information and to apply, contact Lynn Lisella.





This is one of the majestic sunset sets I got to see last summer on the ferry on my way to Shelter Island. I’ve been lucky to teach on this Island for the past 9 years. I’ll be going this summer again to teach group classes and private sessions. So if you need a break from the city, come and practice with me every Saturday and Sunday at 9am at Shelter Island Yoga starting on June 20th.

Please check my website in the weeks to come for my updated schedule in the city.



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My new French “Arrêt sur Asana” video is ready. I take a look at crow pose: Bakasana.
Watch it on Vimeo
or on the Esprit Yoga magazine website.

Don’t forget to ‘like” my Facebook page for updates and inspiration!!







A year full of harmony and understanding

I finally find the time to sit down and write my newsletter…
The holiday season is always such a hectic period and the year started strong. I’ve never really liked this season of the year for as a kid, my brother and I would spend Christmas away from my parents. They used to own a “pâtisserie” in France and my father was making everything from cakes, croissants, chocolates, to ice creams to savory dishes. I can sense what some of you are thinking: what a dream!! And yes, I loved it!! But as much as I was so happy to grow up surrounded by sugar, my brother and I never spent a Christmas with my parents for it was their busiest day of the year along with new year’s day.

But somehow the last few years, I started to get more into the Christmas spirit and I enjoy it a lot. I think what I like the most is the lights and the sense of warmth and coziness that holiday offers. We are so busy all the time that it feels so good to slow down and spend time with people we love.
For New Year’s eve, my husband and I also kept things quiet as we wanted to start the new year with clarity and intention. We went to the New York Insight meditationcenter from 9pm to 12.30am to welcome 2015 with meaning. I believe in the power of thoughts, how they affect our reality. And being able to spend this holiday meditating with like minded people was a blessing.

The week following the New Year, I asked my students to choose a word that would define 2015, that would be their theme for the year. Such a simple exercise but truly powerful. The word I chose is HARMONY. I will make 2015 a harmonious year at every level of my life and for the people who surround me.
Coming back to the power of our thoughts, I believe in setting an intention, in holding it clearly in your heart and mind so it can become a reality. Since January first, every time I felt an argument could arise, or I could be thrown off by a situation, I would remember that word: harmony. Right away I would stop the vicious cycle of my thoughts and my behavior would change.
In the yogic philosophy of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, that is referred to as the technique of “pratipaksha bhavanam” (sutras 2.33 and 2.34). It tells us to invite positive thoughts when negative thinking arises. This helps to eliminate the thoughts in our minds that we do not want and are not healthy for us.
Another way to control unwanted thoughts is to consider the principle of cause and effect. If thoughts are cause and experience is the effect, then we are asked to consider what the effects might be of our actions, thoughts and words. Will they be positive or negative?

Of course, as I chose the word harmony, little did I know that my country would be under attack and that over 2000 innocent people would be killed in Nigeria by Boko Haram. So where do we go from there?
I still believe more than ever that harmony, understanding and love are the answers. We need to understand that we are all the same and it’s only by coming together that we will create harmony. Love is always the answer. Let’s spread it every day even in the tiniest way, for it does make a difference.

“I strongly believe that love is the answer and that it can mend even the deepest unseen wounds. Love can heal, love can console, love can strengthen, and yes, love can make change.” Somaly Mam

I want to wish you a magical and peaceful year. May you be free from sufferings.
With Love,

Season and inspiration



Autumn has arrived and along with it, wind and colder temperatures. Even though I can only be moved by how romantic and incredibly beautiful the turning colors of the leaves is; it is, by far, not my favorite season.
From my experience and my knowledge in Ayurveda (Indian medicine), Autumn has the power to weaken my being both physically and emotionally: dry skin, cracked lips, fatigue, stress and anxiety more pronounced…
Along the years, I learnt to notice these symptoms and to protect myself. One of the many benefits of practicing Yoga regularly is to be able to listen to ourself better, to be aware of our body and its needs.
Here are a few very simple gestures I do every day to take care of myself, keep me grounded and help me live better this season of transition:

. wearing warm clothes especially around the waist and the neck.

. eating/drinking warm foods and drinks. Hydrating and warming up from the inside is important to boost our metabolism. For example, if you have cereals with milk for breakfast, heat it up. Since I heat up my almond milk, I don’t have a feeling of dryness in my throat anymore when I teach my first class in the morning.

. not drinking any caffeinated drinks; they increase stress and anxiety. Two years ago, I stopped drinking coffee and tea for they were dehydrating me too much.

. drinking plenty of water but never iced or cold, always room temperature.

. keeping my skin hydrated with organic creams.

. going to bed early and sleeping long hours.

. no screen time for about an hour after waking up.

. practicing a lot of standing poses which center and ground oneself. They address the first chakra where our roots are located.

Have an easeful and healthy Autumn. Take good care of yourselves!!!





I couldn’t agree more with that quote and the urgency seems even more immediate with every day passing by.
Sometimes, I’m scared by how we got our priorities totally wrong. How we value money over kindness and compassion, how we worship some reality TV stars over understanding and supporting our community, how we destroy Mother Earth for the sake of making more money, how the food and pharmaceutical industries decide what we should eat and then feed us medicine instead of promoting a healthy lifestyle where food and movement are the medicine, how people who work everyday with passion and loyalty can barely make a living when others make in one day their yearly income, how we kill for the sake of religion or owning a piece of territory…
What has happened to us?
I think the answer lies in education.
Learning awareness, compassion, kindness, meditation, movement, nutrition, gardening, caring for our family is as important if not more important than any other subject studied in school.
And eventhough a lot has to be changed, I have FAITH for I see these topics being a concern for more and more people. I see parents educating theses values in their children, I see more interest in eastern philosophies and a will to change coming from people. And this gives me hope in a better future, not one where success is based on how much you make but how harmoniously can you live with one another while respecting the Earth.
We need to understand that we are all in this together and even the smallest action can benefit the other; for we are without a doubt, on a larger scale, ONE.




Yoga Teacher Training

YogaWorks Teacher Training Rotating Photo

I’m filled with joy and enthusiasm as I’m about to go to Strasbourg, France for the 4th year in a row to teach the second session of a Yogaworks teacher training. I’m excited to see my students who chose to follow the wonderful path of Yoga.
I’m fully aware of the huge honor and the important responsibility that come with teaching a training.
Honor yes, for it is a privilege to be able to teach future teachers, to share their joys, their questions, their doubts, their fears. To see them evolve and transform during these 200 hours.
It is also an important responsibility for it is my duty to transmit to them some quality knowledge, to give them a solid base from which they will have the freedom to grow, to refine and to deepen their practice. Hence, continuing my education by taking workshops, trainings and deepening my personal practice is a key point to be able to teach trainings and any classes.
I’ve been teaching teacher trainings for Yogaworks for 6 years. The first level of training is 200 hours. The next level is 300 hours of training for a total of 500 hours. The number of hours has been decided by Yoga Alliance, organization supervising internationally the schools of yoga allowed to train students.
I have sometimes witnessed, from French people, a skepticism regarding these trainings.
How is it possible to become a Yoga teacher in 4 weeks?
Being French and used to long years of training based on theory (I have a master in Social Law. You see, studying law gets you anywhere!), I also have felt in the past this skepticism and questioning. That being said, these disappeared quickly.
Aside the Iyengar teacher trainings which last several years, almost all other trainings offered in the world are given under the 200-hour format. One exception is in France where the “Ecole Française de Yoga” trainings are given in 4 years.
I simply came to the conclusion that there are two different methods and outlooks. In the Sates, for instance, all the trainings are rather short for society focus on the practical, pragmatic aspect and on the experience gathered along the years. It is also implied that the training is the very first step on a beginner teacher’s path and he/she has the obligation to continue his/her education by taking workshops, trainings and, of course, by practicing.
In France, the society values theory and the latter, over many years. This school of thought is deeply anchored in the French mentality. Hence, when an other method is proposed, the judgment and the questions arise.
All I can say is, after having myself being trained in the States ( I’ve been living in New York for 14 years), I’m extremely grateful for the quality and the professionalism of the trainings I received both for the 200H and 300H levels. Since, I never stopped practicing and I’m always continuing my education to refine my skills and knowledge, to better understand this fascinating path of Yoga physically, energetically and spiritually.
Let’s not forget that these trainings are meant to be taken by advanced and disciplined practitioner.
Now being a trainer, I’m lucky to witness incredible transformations. The trainings help some find their calling and a few took a leap of faith and are now making a living out of teaching or opened their own yoga studio, others gained the confidence they needed to start teaching, others wanted to deepen their own practice and don’t want to become a teacher and others took it as another life experience.
Whatever your journey and your desires are, the training will give you a solid foundation to practice safely and better understand who you are physically as well as mentally. And it will show you the way to eventually teach if it is your calling.

Food for thought: “the sacroiliac joint”

As a yoga practitioner, I’ve experienced some pain, discomfort in my sacroiliac (SI) joints at times. Having a scoliosis (uneven spine and pelvis), I’m at greater risk to feel some sensitivity around this joint.

The SI joints have some mobility, a little give, but they are mainly joints of STABILITY.
For those of you who don’t have any anatomical knowledge, please stay with me, here are some more information.
A joint is where two bones meet. We have two SI joints: one on the right where the ilium (latin name for one side of the pelvis) and the sacrum meet and one one the left.
Around every joint, there are some ligaments. We can stretch them a little during our asana practice but if we overstretch them, they don’t go back to their regular length and the joints are becoming hypermobile. Think of a gum being stretched, once lengthened it won’t return to its original length.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that stretching is bad, I’m saying: it MUST be combined with STABILIZATION.

85% of women suffered or are suffering from SI pain compare to 15% of men. How unfair!
Here are some reasons. First, a woman’s pelvis is wider than a man’s so there is more torquing action happening just by its nature, the joint is also shallower in a woman’s pelvis hence less stable and finally, (as if it wasn’t enough!) the ligaments around the joints respond to the hormones changes (periods, pregnancy, menopause…).
If you are or have been pregnant, you most likely know what I’m talking about.

For a pain free SI joints, the well known yoga instructor, Judith Hanson Lasater, who is also a physical therapist, has a strong opinion on the subject: ALWAYS MOVE YOUR PELVIS AND YOUR SACRUM TOGETHER especially in twists and forward bends.
In other words, she encourages to let the pelvis turn with the spine in a twisting asana instead of keeping it leveled.
It does makes sense to me and my body for it creates the stability my SI joints are lacking. That being said, it may not work for you. I’d be happy to read your comments and feedback.

At the end of the day, I do believe an asana practice is an extremely personal and individual one depending on our structure, musculature, gender, age… What works for me may not work for you and vice versa.
Next time we are on our mat, let’s deeply tune in and listen to the signals our body is sending.
Yoga is the art of paying attention.