Over the past years, i had the pleasure to connect with beautiful yoga practitioners all around the world, most of them on Instagram.
It is amazing and inspiring to learn how they integrate yoga and mindfulness into their life so I decided to create a serie of posts “Living La Vida Yoga” to share their stories with you.
I have the inmense pleasure to present you the 1st episode featuring the wonderful Gwen Tricoit. She is a yoga teacher and a wonderful person. Even if we dont know each other in the real life, we connected very well and made some collaboration together last year.
I’m very glad to give her this 1st interview. It is a wonderful way to show you her work and share her experience of teaching yoga and how she finally opened her own yoga studio 4 months ago only at
Yøgamåtik in Orleans , France.
1. How did you get into Yoga ?
I discovered Yoga as I was going through a very tough period in my personal life. I had a million things to handle every day, most of them I was absolutely not ready to deal with ; my weekly Yoga class was the only moment I was able to clear my mind, reconnect to myself, and breathe. Yoga helped me to keep my balance and move forward despite all the lemons Life was sending me…
Back then I was a Communication Manager for a French concert promoter. I had a great job, with very cool colleagues but the thing is I didn’t feel useful. I couldn’t figure out the impact of my job on people, and it was not working out for me anymore.
I put my whole life in a shaker, quit my job, moved back to my hometown, and decided to take a little time to figure out what to do with myself. Yoga had been so good to me that I looked for Yoga studios and classes in my city to keep practicing but I didn’t find anything that suited me. I liked dynamic classes with strong focus on the breath and I was struggling to find the perfect match.
Eventually, I met a teacher who was giving Vinyasa classes, as well as Pranayama and Meditation and I signed up for her classes. A few weeks later I found out she was doing Teacher Trainings, one of them starting a few months later. I felt like it was too big of a coincidence and maybe I should start to listen what Life was trying to tell me. Yoga had helped me so much, I wanted to share the benefits of this practice with others. I started my training in January 2016 and completed my 200 hours program in September. My teacher offered me to give classes at her own studio so I started to teach right after that.
9 months later, I completed a 60 hours training in Yin Yoga with Sandrine Martin, who was herself trained by Bernie Clark, Sarah Powers and Paul & Suzee Grilley.
2. How do you integrate Yoga in your daily life ?
I give 2 to 3 classes everyday during the week, a lot of Vinyasa Flow so I practice Asanas every day with my students. I consider this more like a workout because I can’t focus on the connection between breath and poses or listen to my body while I teach. It is purely physical but it keeps my body healthy, helping me getting strength and flexibility.
As a result, my personal practice tends to be softer and I more spiritual. I try to stick with a daily Meditation Practice and I like to explore the poses in a more gentle way when I get on my mat. I need to connect to my body, trying to understand how it works and feels and Yin Yoga is really helpful.
I also like to challenge myself with more advanced poses like handstands, depending on my mood and my level of energy.
Finally, I do my best to follow the principles of Yoga mentioned by Patanjali in the « Yoga Sutras » [Yamas and Niyamas] in my daily life. Yamas refer to the attitude you have with other people (such as Nonharming or Truthfulness), Niyamas to the one you have with yourself (such as Contentment or Right Effort). I think that these precepts and values are the key if you want to embrace a yogic way of life, way before the Asanas. They are the first steps of the journey that lead to wisdom, peace of mind and happiness.
3. What or what inspires you everyday ?
My biggest source of inpiration would probably be my students !
I see them everyday and I notice their evolution and progress. As I teach to small groups of people (10-11 max), I get to know them personally and I do my best to adapt the practice to every one of them, considering their specific issues, both physical and emotional. It keeps me creative, trying to understand them and find ways to adapt poses or build Yoga sequences and flows accordingly.
I also like to watch Yoga videos on YouTube (I especially love the Aloyoga channel) and follow some Yoga teachers on Instagram. My favorites are Briohny Smyth, Tara Stiles, Caley Alyssa and Rachel Brathen (Yoga Girl). I am pretty into American teachers because I appreciate their way of leading classes, in the fun way ! I am deeply convinced that we can accomplish more when we are in a happy and relaxed state of mind ; it lowers stress in the body and things come way easier !
I also like « The Two Martinas » (Italians Martina Rando & Martina Sergi) and their pragmatic and encouraging approach, with great « do’s and don’ts » and progress pics, proving that all is coming with consistent practice.
And of course I dig inspiration in trainings and retreats. I am always in need of learning new things, deepen my knowlegde and enlarge my vision of Yoga. It is essential to keep studying and being a student again is so rewarding ! I try to follow at least 1 training and/or retreat every year.
Finally, I like reading spiritual and Personal Development books, and I am a real Anatomy nerd !
4. What has been your biggest Yoga experience up to date?
My biggest Yoga experience up to date is definitely the opening of my own Yoga Studio 4 months ago !
As I became a Yoga teacher, the idea of having my own space has been in my head from the very beginning. I started teaching in different places and obviously, most of these venues didn’t match my true expectations.
I wanted something spacious, bright, quiet and most of all, somewhere that would feel like home for me as well as my students.
I found the perfect spot in February 2017, an apartment located in the center of my hometown in France. As soon as I walked in, I felt good energy flowing and the place was really « breathing ».
After loads of hesitations and questionings about the project, months of administrative procedures and works to make the place look exactly like I pictured it in my mind, Yøgamåtik opened in October 2017. It took 9 months to set everything up, so it is pretty much like my baby !
Only a few months after the opening, most of my Yoga classes are full and I have amazing feedback from my students, which is my greatest reward. I have been very lucky because there are very few Yoga studios in my city for now so it was the perfect time to launch.
Yøgamåtik is also a Wellness Center where different professionals can offer their services (massages, naturopathy, Ayurveda, Pilates, etc.) in order to develop an alternative and holistic approach of healthcare.
5. What is your favorite Yoga Pose and what do you love about it ?
I really like inversions so I would say Sirsasana (headstand). Getting upside down gives me a lot of energy so I love practicing this kind of pose after my classes.
Inversions are also a great way to work on balance, core and strength at the same time, and when you overcome the fear of falling they can be really playful.
I am currently practicing other inversions such as forearms stands and handstands, but I am just at the beginning of the journey there !
6. Tell me about your latest projects…
I am about to start a 200 hours Teacher Training in Strala Yoga with Tara Stiles in London from Feb. 3rdto 17th.
I am also planning on attending the 2nd level of my Yin Yoga training with Sandrine Martin in August.
In the meantime, I am working in and on my Yoga studio, leading classes and trying to develop partnerships and collaborations with companies and professionals who share the same vision. Our goal is to take care of people, raise kindness and spread good vibes around us !
I also do my best to work with local entrepreneurs in order to support their businesses, create synergies between them and build a reliable and helpful network.
In the near future I would like to organize Yoga retreats in places I love, such as Joshua Tree NP in California but one thing at a time…
Links of interest:
– Yøgamåtik http://yogamatik.fr
– Sandrine Martin Here
– Alo Yoga channel Here
– Briohny Smyth Here
– Caley Alyssa Here
– Tara Stiles Here
– Rachel Brathen Here
– The Two Martinas Here
– Martina Sergi Here
– Martina Rando Here
– Stråla Yoga Here