Interview : Yoga, yoking mind & body through the breath (Tahiti Fit Magazine)

So… about this blog: my fiancé and I had a long conversation about it. He said I should post this interview I did a few months ago, but I said no, thinking it wouldn’t be very relevant. He said yes do it, I said no again, he gave his arguments, I gave mine, and… long story short, he won. So here it is: both the article (in French) and the short translation.

Please keep in mind that it was done for a health and fitness magazine, and that it doesn’t cover the spiritual aspect of the practice. Om shanti.

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Why do you practice Yoga? What benefits does it bring into your life?
I started practicing right after my oldest daughter’s birth to start moving my body again in a nice gentle way. Now, 9 years later, I’m physically stronger and more flexible. But I’m also more serene… It may sound cliché, but it’s true. When something stresses me out, Yoga is the only practice that allows me to center myself. By working with and on my breath, I manage to control my mind.

4 preconceived ideas about Yoga.
Yoga is for women and older people only : False. Yoga is for everybody and every body. There is not just one way to practice, and Yoga can benefit the pregnant woman as well as the elite athlete. Define your goals and work with a qualified teacher to reap the full benefits of the practice.
Yoga is for flexible people only: again, false! Flexibility is one of the results of the practice, not a prerequisite! Therefore, lack of flexibility should be a motivation to get started, not a reason not to try. It is really important to develop flexibility to make your body more resistant to external trauma. You want to bend, not break. I personally couldn’t touch my toes when I started practicing… now I can fold forward, touch me knees with my head and I can even put my leg behind my head.
Yoga doesn’t strenghten the body: False. Yoga is a great practice to get physically stronger. Some classes include the equivalent of 60 push ups (sometimes more), not the mention the important isometric work done with most of the postures. Some students often realize they had forgotten about the existence of some of their muscles. The great thing about Yoga, is that it works your muscles in a different way, thus making them stronger.
Yoga is slow and boring: Yoga is what you want it to be. It can be as slow as you want, or as intense as you want. If you want some nice gentle stretches, take a Yin Yoga class. If you want to sweat, choose Power Yoga, or try an Ashtanga class.

Vainui has chosen to give private classes only, even if this option is not the most financially interesting. She explains: « it is for me the only way to bring students what they really need. Each and every person gets into Yoga for different reasons and with different abilities. Some students just want to relax, pole dancers want to learn specific postures, free divers want to develop their focus and breath capacity. Some people can get into a full split while others can’t fully extend their arms and legs. As a private teacher, I give my full attention to that person in front of me during those 90 mn, in order to bring them what they need and make them go further in their practice, in a safe way and at their own pace.

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