Best Yoga Classes in Paris
You like doing yoga? Back home you get to class a couple of times a week. You love it. But on a city break, where do you go? It seems a shame to forgo your healthy habit. However, it’s tricky to know where to start.
Well, if you’re visiting Paris I have some bonnes adresses to help you out; just read on!
Yoga for the price of a café au lait :
If you’re on a budget but prioritise regular yoga then Affordable Yoga is the one for you. Founded by Anna Khuade in 2013, who seeing a gap in the market cleverly set up the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin business. Serving Parisians and the expat community alike the bulk of the classes are taught in English.
I find that there is a real community feel to the classes and the company prides itself on its cheerful can do attitude. There is a wide range of classes on offer every day at locations across the city. Affordable’s teachers, also brand ambassadors, are likeable, down to earth, and largely international in make up. You’ll need to download the application, register and pay online before coming to class.
Don’t forget a mat. Swing by Decathlon to pick up a bon marché mat. You didn’t hear it from me, but if your class is in Salle Bernanos (rue saint Roch location), check behind the door for a bunch of slightly tatty mats you can borrow.
Soulful Yoga, music and movement :
Optimystic yoga was created by Meghan Sullivan who shares her personalized teachings of yoga, dance and bodywork in dance studios around Paris. You’ll get a finely tuned workout with anatomical precision, with some Hip hop or street moves and new music thrown into the mix.
Collaborations happen for special events with live musicians or acupuncturists, for soulful sessions in beautiful spaces. Meghan’s forte is her infectious energy and passion; she’s the only teacher who can motivate me to do thinly disguised cardio on a Saturday morning! Optimystic movement exists as a Meet-up group here.
Photo by Bruce Mars on Unspash
Traditional Hatha yoga:
As a tourist visiting Paris, you may not plan to visit this neighborhood. Populaire, or working class, the first hip spots are just popping up along Rue du Faubourg Saint Martin.
On stepping through the double doors into the centre’s calm courtyard, you arrive in a different world. The Centre Sivananda instructs a very traditional form of Hatha. The practice includes breathing exercises and meditation.
If you are in town on a Saturday, the 2pm class will be free for those who have never come before, with extra guidance (given in French – ask for English).
Rise and Shine Mysore yoga:
As a committed Ashtanga yogi look no further than Mysore Yoga Paris. The classes are held in a beautiful Buddhist centre by the Canal Saint-Martin. Le Shala has a special feel. When you arrive teachers and assistants have already lit incense and candles.
As I go regularly I have learnt set sequence and now practise independently, receiving adjustments when needed. You will need to be an early bird to get to class (Mysore starts at 7:30am Monday to Wednesday for beginners). However you will be more than rewarded by the gorgeous walk along the canals in the still of the morning.
Coming out after practice in a yoga bubble, it can be hard to fight the temptation to fill up your camera roll with just another ten ‘morning light on canals and bridges’ photos. There is a strong community of serious yogis here, and morning people..
Photo by Eduardo Espinoza Raggi on Unsplash
Yoga in a Wellness space:
Espace Sayya is a hybrid wellness centre. Appearing just this year in 2018, this big, bright and beautifully dedicated space caters to many forms of therapeutic coaching, breath work and relaxation.
In its mission statement Sayya was set up to contribute to physical, mental and emotional wellbeing: “Pour une vie plus épanouie”, for a more fulfilled life. On Friday and Saturdays they host ‘Yoga en Anglais’ for 10€ with two experienced teachers. Non-slip mats are provided on site. There’s a calming space where I just love to chill out with a herbal tea upstairs after class.
Le Tigre is certainly the most sumptuous yoga experience on offer on the Parisian yoga scene. It feels part Yoga, part luxury boutique hotel. If you’re an aesthetic who appreciates attention to interior design and up-market retreats (plenty of massage, freshly squeezed juice, less Rishikesh Himalayas and 5:30 meditation), then Le Tigre is for you.
As the presentation would imply this is not a bon plan student cheapie. That said, if you sign up to their semaine découverte or intro week, you’ll be able to enjoy unlimited classes for €75. That might sound substantial, but a standard drop in would set you back €32, so if you plan on going three times, you’ll have already saved 20%.
Much like a spa, I’d recommend this as a nice place to hang out with a friend or your mum after a busy shopping day. There are three locations in the Marais, the 7ème arrondissement and Neuilly.
Photo by Urban Sports Club
Yoga Chez Soi
If you’ve rented an Air B n’ B and have some space. Well, ‘space’ in Paris terms. You may have just enough metres squared to roll out your yoga mat on the parquet floors. If lacking inspiration to do your #yogaeverydamnday why not call in a pro who will come to you and teach a class perfectly tailored to your mood, mindset and body on the day? You can find a variety of English speaking and well-travelled teachers here with recommendations and reviews. Some of the pricing is quite intéressant, or attractive as we would say in English. I’ll be teaching myself too here! Check out the teachers nearest to your Paris apartment here.
I’ll leave you with a few phrases that might come in handy if you want to do a little yoga in the local lingo.
Cours de yoga – yoga class
Tapis de yoga – yoga mat
Chien tête en bas – Downward facing dog
S’étirer – Stretch (oneself)
Inspirer/ Expirer – Breathe in / Breathe out
Fermer les yeux – close your eyes
Jambes en tailleur – cross legged
You are now well equipped for any type of Yoga experience in Paris. I’ll see you in class soon! Namaste.