I believe that if you’ve been following me for quite a while, you’ve noticed that I am not only fond of healthy food, nice details, expressive pictures (aka. perfectionism) and declaring my love for life, but also of the yoga world. It would not be easy to say how much it has brought me since the beginning; and to be honest, I would never have pictured me like so a few years from now. Before giving you crispy but only a few details on my yoga journey, as well as telling you about the events I threw and the big adventure I am about to start, let me just introduce it all to you with this. It took me days, months, and even years to come up with all these ideas and to have the courage to bring them to life. There’s no magic behind it, just a strong will, determination, passion and a hint of quirkiness. What I am about to tell you today might not appear to be that impressive (this is how I feel about it though), but I am trying to persuade myself that it’s already quite a step. The purpose of it is neither to show off nor to meaninglessly describe my life. What I want to achieve with this is showing you how life can change unexpectedly, how yoga truly is beautiful, how it is a vehicle for change, and to give you guidelines for bringing a little more awareness, health and self-love into your daily life…
(Click here to directly see THE big autumn news!)
This sweaty adventure started three years ago, when I was still in college. After a childhood full of desperate attempts and numerous failures, I thought that sport would never be for me. As a child, I was not that preoccupied with my look; but when growing up, seeing myself eating without eliminating, well, disappointed me at first and then horrified me…And the rest is history, as you know.
Anyway, I guess I had reached a turning point in my life, I had to take hold of my health and start something new, even though I was quite sure of dropping out of it quite soon. And this is exactly when I started yoga…Yes, that’s a surprise! And while writing these lines to you, I actually realise the whole point of me starting warm yoga was to lose weight. This was the first step.
As soon as I started, I felt like it would be impossible for me to keep on going – I was lacking strength, it was too hot, I was alone, etc. But the more I pushed myself, telling me that it would do me good, that I was building myself the body of my dreams, the more I actually appreciated attending the class. Two things really pushed me forward, which I’ll never be thankful enough for. First my teacher, Heidi, who has been supporting me from the very beginning – she maybe saw something in me she wanted to see bloom throughout a yoga practice or she might just have been nice and gentle (as she usually is) – but the thing is, I would never have done that training and that massive progression without her. Secondly, my parents, who actually thought yoga lessons were too expensive for me to enjoy them anymore; thus, I started paying for my own classes, mat and towel. That was the best way to render my yoga practice my very own, a life-size project I could be proud of. That was the second step: truly owning my yoga practice and actually enjoying it (once a week only though).
Even through my illness, things did not really changed. Everything was actually perfect when being ill, at least it seemed to be. But when the realisation of it arrived, it simply blew everything away: my certainties, my beliefs, my world and shelter. I was left bare, empty and afraid, afraid of the things I could find outside my haven, afraid of life’s toughness, afraid of being nothing without my obsessions. Yogawise, the only thing I could think about at first was food: what I would eat afterwards, how much calories I was losing while in Warrior II, what could be the damage of me eating too much the night before etc. And this was the third step – actually trying to forget about these thoughts. It was not about avoiding them, which would only have made them worse, but just isolating them and then putting these evil thoughts aside, letting them go into the long and winding flow of my mind. And this took a whole lot of time, more than a year to see the first glimpse of change; but it made wonders.
Not only did yoga help me getting over my illness, through a very strong and efficient concentration and focus’ development, but it really assisted me in redefining myself in ways I could never have pictured – a healthy, flexible, strong, confident, open-hearted, energetic & active young men. I owe a lot to yoga. Today, I am grateful for that experience, grateful for that body, grateful for this practice, grateful for that life and grateful for all the amazing people that surround me. Yet, the story is not over…
As soon as I started university, I was drawn into a world of new responsibilities, work and goals, that I would gladly explain another time. Yoga still seemed to be essential to me, as a few of my peers could tell you, but not one of my top priorities. I was still going there once a week, mainly because of the price, and was out of that peaceful after-yoga state every single day, except from the day I would join a class. After spending cosy family Christmas holidays, and my 20th birthday, the most flamboyant day of my entire life, I entered my second semester of International relations…and the choc was tough! Not only did I have many lectures and plenty of homework, but I actually had to take the lead in organising a week-long fair, full of lectures, activities, meals and conferences (created by a student society). I had the smallest team ever, two months to create everything and no experience at hand…In a nutshell, on the bright side, I did learn a lot and am glad of having been able to organise this whole thing. On the not-so-bright side, my anxiety levels were up high and my sleep was hampered. And even though my nights were short and my eyes shadowy, it was impossible for me to stay quiet, the energy was flowing through my whole body non-stop; I may relate this to the time I was ill and so full of energy that I could do a two hours hike without breaking a sweat!
And here was the four step. Yoga became an urge, an activity I needed for my energy to slow down and my mind to stop bouncing all over. At that time, Heidi (my yoga teacher) came to me and introduced me to the Hot Yoga Teacher Training they were hosting at the studio. Something directly lit inside me; but this light of envy would actually be endangered by many people’s doubts about the training’s credibility, or by my very own doubts (economically speaking). I’ve never been bold truly, but that was the first time for me to take such an important decision overnight. And that was the best decision I’ve ever taken in my entire life.
The next-to-last step, or fifth step, had arrived. After finishing my first year’s exams, knowing that I could join how many yoga classes I wanted so that I would prepare my body for the training, I started attending five, six and even seven classes a week. My body started changing, in the most amazing way; it was almost like I could feel new areas in my body, I was more aware of how it was moving, reacting and working. And my practice changed a lot as well (but this is a topic I am going to explore in another article).
The teacher training was indeed this summer’s biggest event, and it really shaped my life in new unexpected ways. I am now a Hot Yoga Teacher, aiming to spread my love for yoga to other, to guide people through a precise, beautiful and yet merry practice, to give the chance I’ve been given to others, and to discover more about my very own practice. When finishing the training, we all faced an ineluctable question: What’s next ? We all had to build our own projects and start teaching so that we could get better at it and one day be able to teach in a real studio. We’ve all been supporting one another, inciting everyone to come up with our own ideas or projects, something that would have a meaning, something that would be true to our personality. And I guess I found mine.
Everyone brought a Unique Energy to those Events…
I’ve been dreamingly talking about organizing that kind of events for a very long time, but everything started coming into place after the training, when all my yogi friends were supporting me and giving me the confidence I needed to be proud of myself and step out of my comfort zone. Only three weeks after the end of the training, I threw my first event. There was nothing really complicated about it, I mean, preparing the food was easy and a real pleasure, preparing the “room” (aka. garden) with all the mats, lights, music and plants was not a big deal either, learning my sequence almost felt natural. But what really worked as an impediment was actually myself. I was blocking my own way with my fears, doubts, assumptions and sudden total lack of self-confidence. I was afraid of not being good enough, of people not to like my lesson, of putting my beginners off yoga, etc. But these were just assumptions, growing into what seemed to be a poisonous mindset.
Looking back, I now strongly believe I got over them as soon as the first note came out of my mouth. It seems impossible to me to be able to share that special gift and passion to people, and that they actually enjoy it, with such a burden on one’s heart. My first class was stressful I admit, and having a lot of my friends as beginners was even more of a stress. But as we were progressing through the various poses, as I was correcting people, giving modifications, and really enjoying my own class (like hell!), all this anxiety vanished. And the after-class was surprisingly great as well. I did not know what to expect from this event, from the food and from people’s take on it, but every single person just loved it. We all enjoyed delicious energy balls, plum compote, granola and juices after the lesson, all talked about yoga and various other things. People were laughing, talking to one another and simply enjoying themselves; sweating had been part of the process but they just enjoyed it as much! I had great and useful feedbacks, and apart from the heat and very warm weather of that afternoon, nothing bad happened. That was a wrap, and I had now to prepare myself for the second one.
In a nutshell, I felt even better about the second one. I had many experienced yogis during this second event, but it actually did not change a thing (I thought I would be mentally more pressured…). Every one loved it as well, I had fabulous feedbacks again; and for people who came twice, they were able to notice the change, which simply was thrilling for me! (It usually is hard for one to be aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses, and without all these lovely people’s words, I would never truly be aware of myself – cause your inner perception is always different, usually worse than what the reality is.) To come back to the second event (yes, my mind is going all over the place, excuse me for that haha!), it was a little cooler, and the sequence was new as well, but the most important thing of all, for people to enjoy their class and for the teacher to be able to emit a strong and loving energy and to enjoy himself, actually happened a second time as well – and that was my sole goal, my magical goal!
Be the change you wish to see in this world…!
As you might have understood throughout this article, I was not meant to be a yoga teacher, not at all. A conjunction of beautiful events, meetings, and a little chance and hazard brought me on this path, which I will be eternally grateful for. Yoga means a whole lot to me, it did not only taught me how to use, feel and move my body, and to build a sense of awareness I am now able to use in a day-to-day basis, but it also showed me the way to pride, self-confidence, acceptation, and gratefulness, for what we are, how we’re shaped, what our possibilities are, what are talents are and how truly beautiful every single person is. I met people that mean a lot to me today, people that might not be of my age but that share the same philosophy and love for life. I hope that, through this very long speech, I’ve been able to inspire you and motivate you to bring a little change into your life, if you need or want to only. If I’ve been able to do all these things, you probably are as well. Be grateful for what you have, and even though you’re not strong, or not flexible, well, it does not matter, because there are already a thousand ways for you to use your body. The more you will practice and the more time you will dedicate to it, the quicker you’ll see encouraging results.
This article in six words my dears: It Is a Piece Of Cake!
PS: You might be telling yourself that all of this is easy to say, coming from a person that is lean and flexible, but let me tell you this. First of all, I have not been like this all the time, and if you would have told me I would end up being like this, I would have laughed at your face! Secondly, I might be gifted with flexibility, which eventually is an advantage for yoga; but it is certainly not a requirement! Equating yoga with flexibility actually is a myth, and the only things it actually requires is time and practice, no more, no less. As I was telling someone yesterday after a class, who needed some pieces of advice about her own practice, “try not to have any expectation about your body or practice, and you’ll be surprised of all the things you’ll be able to achieve” & “yoga is about you enjoying your practice, not about thinking of all the things you cannot do yet but of all the great things you do achieve”!
GG’s Yoga Afternoon Event I
GG’s Yoga Afternoon Event II
All the Events’ pictures were taken by Maelle Louvet, a beautiful soul, a superb friend & a talented photographer! All the people that appear on the pictures accepted to be featured. Thanks again to every single person who rendered these two beautiful moments possible…
Autumn Yoga News – Finally Revealed!
Many of you asked me if I would ever teach so that they could attend one of my class, and I would always be quite vague on that subject, actually knowing that I did not really know the answer at that time! But I can now announce you that I’ll be teaching my VERY OWN YOGA CLASS every single Saturday, at 4 p.m, in my hometown! I am so thrilled of having the chance to teach there and am looking forward to seeing some of you there! The information are down below, and I’ve translated them in both English and French for you to easily understand!
But THERE’S MORE! If you’re interested in experiencing what Warm Yoga is, join me on the 15th of OCTOBER at Yoga Moves Nyon, at 5 pm, for an hour and a half of Yoga! I would be delighted to have you and am looking forward very much to teaching a class at the studio – it’s going to be sweaty and a little demanding, but very funny and empowering as well! (For more details, see Yoga Moves Nyon’s website here).
Hatha Yoga Lessons
Starting on the 22nd of OCTOBER and to the 17th of DECEMBER, I’ll be teaching a one hour yoga class every SATURDAY at 4 pm! Come to strengthen as well as relax your body in a peaceful atmosphere.
No requirements – just a smile and some good mood would do the trick. Beginners are welcome!
Your teacher: Marius, yoga instructor (RYS 200), International relations student & Healthy Food Blogger.
Cost: 25.- per person/ 20.- for students – For an hour of yoga (lesson in English) and a healthy snack at the end.
Address: Route de Benex 4, 1197 Prangins – Studio at the 2nd Floor – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hazelnut, Cacao & Cinnamon Dreamy Energy Balls
If you haven’t been able to join us during these two special events but would like to “taste how they were like”, here is an exclusive energy ball recipe for you to prepare at home. The only things you’ll need are simple, natural ingredients and a strong food processor/mixer.
This energy ball recipe has actually been inspired from the first one I made at the very beginning of the blog. For I wanted to make it very chocolaty, nutty and accessible for people, I only added simple ingredients that may be found in almost every supermarket. If you’re a fan of superfoods and do have some at home, feel free to add them to the mix for a great boost (maca, acai or lucuma instead of baobab); for those who do not, well no worries, these little date babies are bursting with flavours without them just as well! What I love about these balls is that there is a very special connection between the cacao powder and hazelnuts, that gives them an interesting intensity and a great nutty taste. Along with the dates and cinnamon, which bring a very comforting sweetness to them, all the ingredients kind of melt together in a scrumptious whirlwind, to give you the best snack/dessert/breakfast bite ever. I did have many tasters that may approve…!
Portions: 20 balls. Preparation time: 20 minutes.
- 135g of hazelnut (or a mix of hazelnuts and pecans)
- 200g of Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp of un-sweetened cacao powder
- 1 tbsp of almond or hazelnut butter
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- 1 tbsp of dark vegan chocolate, chopped into nibs
- 1 – 2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tbsp of baobab powder (optional)
- Shredded coconut or cacao powder, to cover
(1) Start by adding the hazelnuts to a food processor or mixer and mix until nicely grounded (but not like a flour consistency).
(2) Add the pitted dates, cacao powder, nut butter, coconut oil, chia seeds, chocolate nibs and cinnamon (+ baobab powder if you fancy!) and mix until everything’s well mixed and that when pressing the dough, it comes together nicely.
(3) Spoon out little portions at a time and roll each of them into balls; you can vary the sizes but I personally like them not too big. Once they are all done, roll them back and forth into cacao powder or shredded coconut, to bring a nice final touch to them. Place on a tray and freeze for about 30 to 45 minutes, just so they harden.
(4) You can keep them in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 weeks (or you can keep them in the freezer and take them out whenever you’d like – up to 6 months!).