Sunday, August 21, 2011

August, Paris, and Ganesha

Ganesha God
Originally uploaded by Kahoota
August is my very favorite month in Paris.

In general, since I'm not a tourist anymore, I'm not an enormous fan of Paris and tend to prefer the French countryside all year 'round. However, in August she manages to endear herself to me and I'm momentarily seduced by her mythical beauty and romance. I fall in love all over again.

Traditionally, August is vacation month for the majority of Parisians. This means many shops, cafes, restaurants, markets, etc are closed. We all know how it us ~ while completely inconvenient for tourists, we residents who prefer to take our vacations earlier or later, profitons from the quieter, softer, slower pace of aout. We become that unique brand of tourists in our own town. Even if we're working (which we are) there's a spaciousness; a permission given to take care of business and then get out and enjoy the end of summer. We spend as much time outdoors as possible.

We take advantage of the free stuff and the special stuff: cinema plein air, jazz in the park, Canal Plage, etc. We visit museums on the off-hours. We know what's closed and what's open and happily adapt, so we don't spend our time being disappointed. We take the time to explore those remote corners and hidden passages all over the city; virtually unknown to your typical tourist, and places we have no time to visit during the rest of the year.

One of those little-known-to-tourists gems is the annual Ganesha Festival that is held in our neck of the woods in the 18eme. I describe the Ganesha Festival in more detail here (with photos): Ganesha Festival Paris.

To kick off the celebration this year, I am offering a free outdoor yoga class at 11 am on Sunday, 28 August, in the fun, funky, magical jardin partage EcoBox. (EcoBox is located just a few blocks from the metro Marx Dormoy, down rue de la Chappelle.) We'll gently and playfully explore the obstacles in our bodies and minds, preventing us from being acquainted with our best selves.

After the hour-long class we'll catch up with the Ganesha procession, surrounded by chaos and coconuts, and end up at the renowned Ganesha Temple where the temple community opens its doors to the public, offering vegetarian food and blessings to all!
The sights and sounds and smells and flavors are overwhelming. Think Nag Champa, jasmine flowers, coconut milk, mangoes, masala, Tamil Semmozhi drums, chants...penetrating all your senses!

So, if you'd like to have a few obstacles moved on your path and your life to flow more gracefully, join us next Sunday! I cannot think of a better way to usher out August and compassionately prepare for rentree.

Bring: yoga mat, water, and a big smile ;-)
RSVP to me: amanda(at)

Om Ganapati OM!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rentree Yoga en Plein Air!

Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars
Originally uploaded by njj4
This year, let the soft spaciousness of vacance carry you into rentree without stress or dread.

Begin by joining me and Lole Women Paris for a yoga meet-up on 15 September, 19h - 20h, in the stunning Champs de Mars in the 17eme.

Between la Tour Eiffel and the Mur Pour la Paix, we will gather on a gorgeous late summer night to flow ever so gracefully.

Look for the yellow Lole flags. The class is gratuit and mats will be provided.

Let the ripple effects of our peaceful intentions reach others near and far.

Monday, August 1, 2011

GBS: Yoga & Terroir Russian River Valley, CA

Is there a more beautiful place on earth than NorCal in autumn? The answer is definitively "NO" and that is why for the third year in a row, I have returned from France for some GBS playtime.

This year we'll venture a little further north, leaving the noise of San Francisco behind. We'll weave through the redwoods into lovely Sonoma County for Going Back to the Source: Yoga & Terroir Russian River Valley!

I can already smell the Gravenstein apples in all their delicious ripeness and the grape skins being pulverized in the crush. I can taste the briny air wafting up from Bodega Bay and the limey sediment from the oyster shells. I can hear the cries of a red-tailed hawk at sunset as she hunts, focused and low, and the soothing flow of the Russian River cutting through the Valley...

Beautiful. Remote. Wild. Mystical.

Due to inspiration from the beautiful Vanessa Wilcox, just above Guernville sits a very special house that is welcoming us with open arms. (And a hot tub!)
Everyday we'll do yoga on a terrace on a steep hill, overlooking the valley. We'll visit one of California's oldest wine regions during the harvest and crush. We'll eat local, seasonal, rustic, Cali cuisine prepared by a local chef.

Come to where there are mountains and ocean; redwoods and rivers, vineyards and valleys, and a whole lot of NorCal spirit and character!

Space is very limited this year. There are just a few private and shared rooms (first come, first serve!) and the rest will be camping in the redwoods on the property.
(I'm camping and cannot wait!)

Dates: 30 Sept - 2 Oct
Place: Russian River Valley
Cost: Dependent on how rustic or non-rustic/private or non-private you require your sleeping arrangements

Contact me ASAP if you're in and with any questions (the amanda(at) address is currently not working, so until further notice, use adates(at)