Monday, April 16, 2012

Vidyaa oh là là: Yoga on a boat

I did the most in-Seine yoga class this weekend. It was on a boat along the Seine with a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower, and the instructor was American. (well, she still is, as far as I know, though growing more Parisian by the day). How cliché! Americans in Paris doing yoga on the Seine while looking at the Eiffel Tower. We ate peanut butter and sang Auld Lang Syne and waved our American flags. No, we didn’t – I drank a green smoothie, listened to an awesome musical playlist and waved my yoga mat flat on the floor. The class was led by Cassandra Kish who practices Vidyaa yoga, that uses basic movement techniques to overcome physical and emotional limitations. It’s a vigorous physical practice that combines Pilates and Yoga. Cassandra’s yoga classes are not like any others I’ve done, but all I can say is VidYAY!

Cassandra has, so far, scared me into doing a backbend and a headstand tripod after years of failed attempts. Yes, I said “scared me” in a phrase about yoga. The typical yoga philosophy is “do what you can,” but for Cassandra, it’s “do what you can’t” or at least THINK you can’t. She’ll challenge you, and force you to exceed your own expectations, while at the same time, staying realistic and not putting students in –literally – uncomfortable positions. Vidyaa yoga is both a fast-paced workout and a relaxing de-stress exercise.

Cassandra’s musical playlists are fabulous – everything from Lenny Kravitz to hip hop to quotes from Martin Luther King. The boat class was extra special. The combination of being far removed from my neighborhood, and even from the pavements of Paris, with the sun shining down from above and the Eiffel Tower in the background was almost surreal.

Before teaching yoga star extraordinaire Rebecca Leffler (hey, I’m getting there – I can now touch my toes, which, for those of you who have seen my legs, know has not been an easy task), Cassandra has worked with other superstars like Shakira, Elli Medieros and even Sting and Trudie Styler. She’s worked in Thailand, Mexico, the US and France and has now – thank Buddha!- made her home in Paris where she has been kicking our fesses into shape ever since. The Saturday classes are from 11 am – 12:30 on the boat Le Paris near Alma Marceau. The classes are perfect for Saturday morning – either to cure your weekend hangovers or to get you pumped for staying out until Midnight in Paris (sorry, I am liking the cheesy Americans in Paris theme today, forgive me).
Cassandra also gives private classes (when my income reaches that of Sting and Trudie, she’ll be over every day), but the energy in the room for a group class is electric. Who’s with me next weekend, mes amis?

Bisous and Namaste!


kristen said...

I already responded to this on twitter. but i think is so cool. when it finally gets a bit warmer (?), i'm so coming, american flag and all!

paris croisiere said...

I loved reading this article. Every bit of it. keep it up with more good work.