10 years ago by

I just signed up for yoga again. Yep!

This has to be the 36th time I’ve stopped and started again.

It’s always the same thing. I get super motivated…

The teachers get on my nerves with their questionable life philosophies and the students get to me to with their devoted auras and their “I’m so much more zen than you” attitudes but I just decide to roll with it.
Each time, I feel terribly out of shape, non-flexible (I’m the girl in the back with like 7 blocks), non-focused and non-resistant.

I get so bored so fast that I end up awkwardly careening my neck around to stare at the clock every three minutes. I can’t do wheel or dog or pigeon or other bird-name positions.

I get better. Then I get worse. I stop for a while and then get totally into it again. And then one day, I get fed up enough to say “I’ve had it!” to all the spiritual woo woo and get back to simple exercise.

Which works for a few months until… I suddenly get the urge to go back to yoga.

It’s been going on like this for years. It’s so funny, this vicious cycle… I always come back to it. I’ve never found a form of exercise that soothing and that beautiful, and that has taught me as much as yoga has.

Thanks to yoga, I learned focus. I also learned how to let go, the pleasure of feeling my mind and body become one (for a few seconds at least…), I learned to stop being so caught up in outside forces. I learned to breathe, and through that, release whatever fears and insecurities I have, and so many other things that have nothing to do with exercise.

So I’ve come to accept that I’ll be the eternal beginner.

I mean, little by little, this discipline has found its way into my heart and without realizing it, yoga has become part of my personality. It’s given me a strength and mental flexibility of which I never would have thought myself capable.

You don’t need to be a bona fide yogi for any of this (although I can’t tell you how proud I was the first time I held a crow pose). You don’t need to be good. Relaxing isn’t it?

You don’t need anything actually.

Just go to class, turn off your cell phone, try to quiet some of the constant mental jabber, and do your best.

Just be present, like all the yoga teachers say.

Soooooooo annoying, dammit, I know.

But sometimes, when I actually am able to leave my cynicism at the door (with my cell phone), it’s so so so so so incredibly rewarding.


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  • Good luck this time, it really help to stick to one exercise routine. Keep us updated.


  • You’re so right to go back to yoga! It feels so good! Even though You have to be a little motivated to follow through, but it’s really worth it.

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  • i have never tried yoga but i get why you’re quitting :P

  • I think we all have been on your situation: we love it, we get bored, we quit, we get back, and i’m not talking just about yoga ;) We are all beginners, every day! It’s just the way our brain works, wandering about everything every second. Yoga seems so easy, but is so hard to do it on our times, with full schedules and too many things in our wishlists. But even if you do it for a few minutes a couple of days at the week, you can feel how your body and mind changes. Yoga is a commitment, so you have to commit yourself to do it, once a week or twice a day, however it works for you. I highly recommend the 5 tibetan rites, it just take 10 or 15 minutes and helps the body to self-healing, i’ve doing yoga for 10 years and discovered the tibetan rites recently (through your blog), and they totally changed my exercise system, i think it will work for everybody!

  • Christelle July, 30 2013, 9:13 / Reply

    ah bah je pensais que tu y étais à fond, suite au poste carrière de ta prof (que tu avais suivie à un moment donné, non, quand elle avait changé de salle ?) et celui sur Bali ?

  • sunshine July, 30 2013, 9:15 / Reply

    trop drôle… c’est exactement ce que je faisais pour la 20ième fois !!

  • Garance, I recommend dance classes, especially bellydance (TRIBAL FUSION!!! just so beautiful :))),and, if you have chance, try 5 rythms practice. :)

  • And Garance with that you have shown that you totally get yoga. For me, it is not about how flexible you are or how perfect your down dog is or how raw your diet or organic your leggings, it is all about embracing the mindset of the eternal beginner regardless how ‘good’ you are. Even BKS Ivengar, the great master himself, says that he is just a beginner and that is after practising for 80 odd years. The irony is that anyone who claims to have mastered yoga hasn’t by that simple admission. Haha, Guru Garance!

  • Kate is exactly right! I’ve been doing Iyengar yoga for over 15 years and I too feel like a beginner most of the time. Sometimes I go back to a level 1 class and am amazed at how much I get from it. I have dabbled in other types of yoga but always go back to Iyengar because I get annoyed at how young and perfectly dressed and questionable it all is. With Iyengar it seems the older the teacher gets, the more revered they are … the best teacher at my studio is in her 80s! And all the teachers go through years of rigorous training – no 3-week certification programs in Iyengar. I think there is an amazing Iyengar studio in New York – please give it a try sometime. They do chant a thank you to the father of yoga at the beginning, but if you can get past that, that’s as New Agey as it gets. After that it is decidedly athletic and body-focussed.

  • That is it exactly. I have been doing yoga (with varying amounts of commitment and intensity) for 15 years. And about a year ago I realised that I enjoy it most when I approach every class as if it was my first, and my ears and eyes are open to what is going on with me right then and there. And that it’s OK if my whatever pose isn’t quite as ‘good’ as it was last week. Being a total beginner – always learning and being happy to learn – is, for me, the whole point of yoga.

  • Je crois que le problème vient parfois également des nos emplois du temps hyper chargés… Depuis que j’ai des enfants, je me suis remise à la danse… 1 mois, et puis j’ai arrêté, c’était juste pas possible. Mais je ne suis pas frustrée, cela reviendra quand j’aurai plus de temps pour moi, pour l’instant j’ai d’autres priorités, ce n’est pas grave!

    Mafalda ?

  • I couldn’t live without yoga. Once I discovered it, it became part of my everyday life.

  • AMEN. I can’t agree with you more….. I too am the eternal beginner.

  • eternal beginner here too!!…but even if you stop and start…you continue to take valuable pieces of yoga in your everyday life… of luck…xoxoxox

  • Moi le yoga j’ai essayé 3 fois et j’y suis jamais retournée – la première je me suis endormie lors d’un exercice de respiration (je me suis dis que le prof était nul) – la 2ème j’arrêtais pas de rire car à chaque figure je tombais : je déconcentrais tout le monde – et la 3ème j’étais plus focalisée sur les mines circonstanciées des élèves que sur mes exercices et e plus on me demandait de rester zen plus je m’agitais nerveusement – à la fin à la prof très bien d’ailleurs m’a dit que ce n’était pas pour moi qu’il fallait que je change de sport ! Du coup je me suis mise au Pilates

  • moi je crois que j’ai définitivement besoin d’un truc qui déménage plus (genre, le jogging, ou la natation) et qui, de fait, me crève plus et donc me calme… plus.

  • Bon hé bien tu nous en reparle dans 6 mois ?

  • Moi je sais que c’est ma mère qui m’exhortai à en faire alors que je lui ressassai que j’avais besoin de sport pour me défouler…j’y suis allée à reculons, en me disant que pas envie d’entendre de théorie à la con…ben j’ai appris qu’on peut se “défouler” (somme toute nerveusement) en faisant du yoga. Là j’ai déménagé et je ne retrouve pas de cours qui me convienne…et ça me manque!!!
    Je crois qu’il faut juste trouver le bon prof… Je déteste ceux qui se la jouent gourou…mais avec le bon prof qui apprend que justement, y a pas de jugement à avoir, faut pas forcer les positions ce n’est pas le principe, ben un jour on découvre quelque part, et oui un peu à notre insu, qu’on est devenu beaucoup plus souple et fort en même temps, et oui on est capable de faire le vide (au moins le temps du cours), on a effectivement envie d’une vie plus saine (ou pas) etc.
    Et puis moi j’avoue un truc superficiel: ça me fait envie rien qu’en voyant comment sont goalés et en formes les profs même pas tout jeunes!!! ;)

  • My first real encounter with yoga was Diane Bruni’s Breathing Space Yoga – a lucky incident. No woo woo there!

  • Good luck this time. I’m just the same. Can’t even tell how many times I started to practise and stopped again.

    xx Mira

  • TrishR July, 30 2013, 9:35 / Reply

    It sounds like you are writing about me! I have had the same experiences through the years. I’ve found I need to find the ‘right’ place to practice, one where I don’t find myself getting annoyed by different philosophies that instructors feel are “The Way”. This time around, I ended up finding a friend who is a very mellow instructor, and we have a small class right in my living room. Problem solved. Zero judgement, even in my own head. Something about being in a home makes it much more the way I think yoga should be. You are always welcome – next time you’re in Jersey and looking to practice, that is!!

  • I totally hear you, but…

    How about trying one-on-one (personal trainer) yoga?

    Worth considering ;)


    Brigadeiro’s Blog

  • severine July, 30 2013, 9:38 / Reply

    J’avoue que j’avais à peu près la même opinion du yoga que toi avant et plus tu en parles et plus ca me tente. En revanche le cours avec un prof, je ne trouve pas ce que je veux. J’ai tenté My yogaonline, mais mon pc rame un peu donc ca se bloque en pleine position de je ne sais pas quoi (je ne connais pas encore les noms) et bon moi je reste bloquée comme …une grue quoi
    Est ce que quelqu’un connait un bon dvd de yoga éventuellement, je pourrais facilement m’installer un petit tapis dans un coin chez moi et faire ça qd j’ai envie ?

  • HI Garance, you might like this studio:
    It’s the least pretentious studio in NYC…:)

  • Hello Garance,
    Première fois que je me laisse aller à un petit commentaire car (une fois de plus), je ressens la même chose que toi ! J’adore le yoga, je sais tout le bien-être (et les courbatures) que cela m’apporte, mais pour autant je n’arrive pas du tout à garder une discipline d’acier alors que pour le jogging pas de problème … Ca fait donc 2 ans que je viens de m’y mettre c’est pénible, si tu trouves la clé n’hésite pas à partager ;)

  • Hmm. Pilates!

  • I totally agree. Pilates is the way to go, it’s more fun and less stuck up? is that too much to say?

  • Yeah, pilates! its pretty much the same thing but better, because its less spiritual and more exercise. and a ton of fun!

  • Curly too July, 30 2013, 3:26


  • Last night, I went back to my first (actually, 342,123 class) yoga sesh in monthsssssss!….I’m constantly riding this yoga wave, too. Been a yogi for 7 years–I’m either super committed or super not. I guess we’re on the same cycle, G!

  • Bonne chance, Garance! You’re a yogi for sure if it keeps drawing you back in…

  • Estelle July, 30 2013, 10:00 / Reply

    Après en avoir entendu dire beaucoup de bien, je me suis inscrite à un cours de pilates dans mon quartier. Mais la plupart du temps ça ne m’apportait rien de positif, avec l’impression d’être la plus nulle (pas souple, incapable de reproduire ce qu’on me demande, le prof qui me reprend tout le temps et plus que les autres…), retour au cauchemar des cours de sport au lycée en somme… N’empêche que les rares moments où je sentais que j’arrivais à quelque chose me manquent… Alors c’est peut-être ça la clé : accepter d’être éternellement débutante (ou pas la meilleure !) et se concentrer sur les bienfaits que l’on retire de la discipline…

  • Toujours aussi agréable lorsque tu nous racontes tes anecdotes, Garance!

  • I’m a true fitness buff and I have NOT been able to get into yoga. I had a serious affair with Ashtanga (an intense style of yoga) for three months a few years ago. It was summer and I would go in the late afternoon after a day at the beach. My body was all warm and bendy and it was good. Then summer turned to fall, then winter and the room became stifling with coughs and sneezes and fire breath. I couldn’t zen out if all I could think about was the germs flying through the air.
    I do dig on all of the fab yoga people on Instagram (@fitqueenirene @yogasarah).
    Why not try Pilates??? It is awesome and difficult enough that you must not think of anything except your body. I love it!

  • Comme je te comprends…
    Accroches toi, il parait que ça vaut la peine ;-)

  • Salut,

    J’aime beaucoup.
    À bientôt !


  • I truly love reading your blog! I am exactly the same way!! I have stopped and started many times, always filled with devotion at each new beginning. It is truly refreshing and so comfortable to read your honest words that show your lovely humility! Merci!! xox

  • You should try Ashtanga yoga at AYNY on Crosby Street.
    None of the annoying parts and all of the good ones.

  • ce que tu racontes me rappelle tellement ma propre expérience et mon liaison d’amour/déteste avec yoga

  • I can’t ever get into the moment with yoga. I think I thrive off of a million things going on around me that I can’t just be zen, it’s just not working for me. Props to you for trying and trying and trying again.


  • Great!!!^^


  • Yoga is an excellent form of stretching for me, a way to build strength and balance, calm myself down and take some time out. It’s good for maintaining good posture and keeping the spine healthy and flexible. The questionable life philosophies and chakra blah, blah, blah I just tune out. I have a teacher who thinks that walking barefoot in the grass lubricates the limbic system and the back of the eyeballs. Whatever. Another teacher has been intoning the same six line prayer for the last ten years. I still can’t remember it after the first two syllables. No matter. Yoga remains the foundation of my weekly workout routine.

  • I started practicing yoga about 18 months ago, and I really love it. I have stayed with the Level I classes because I find that the upper-level classes have a more “competitive” atmosphere, which is not at all why I practice yoga.

  • Madeleine July, 30 2013, 11:03 / Reply

    I was the same way with yoga. I think it’s so hard to be a beginner because your flexibility isn’t there and it’s almost impossible not to want more instant results.

    And then I found barre. I really think you should try it! There’s the body awareness, beautiful movement set to music, and the added bonus that it’s so hard that there’s no way your mind can possibly wander. It increased my flexibility without stretching–so I was able to restart my yoga with a new vigor. You’re in nyc so finding some good options shouldn’t be hard.

  • Tatiana Motta July, 30 2013, 11:04 / Reply

    I had the good luck to be introduced to yoga by an excellent teacher. I’m still a begginer, maybe will always be, but I think I’ve learned the most important, yoga is not about exercises, positions, physical strength, it’s a way of living, of looking at life, once you’ve started, you’re always practicing yoga.
    Good luck in your journey!

  • lavinia July, 30 2013, 11:04 / Reply

    no no no. The right philosophy for yoga is DO WHAT YOU CAN, let your body does what can naturally reach without effort, there is no right way,. THIS IS EGO and not let go like this should be, So dear friend feel free to be what you are and live this wonderful YOGA as you feel it, as your body asks. Do not look around, just enjoy your time, your lesson, which is YOURS. This is what I do during my lesson and I’m zero interested in the whole philosophy all that merry-go-round…just forget it. :) Lavinia

  • i love yoga but i feel the same way about the teachers and the classes, especially in new york. that coupled with the fact that i travel often is why i developed a home practice using podcasts and yogaglo. it lets me go at my own pace without anyone else’s scrutiny of my flexibility level or the fact that i still haven’t mastered a headstand.


  • YESSSS!!! The eternal yoga tug-of-war, I hear ya sista!!! I go through the exact same thing. I get super-motivated, practice 3-4 times a week, to the point of calling myself a “yoga-junkie” then stop. I question why? Why do I stop when I enjoy going so much and I feel better afterward (I feel so good knowing I’m doing something so positive for my body AND mind). I hate other forms of exercise, the gym, cardio, zumba, blah blah. I’m so annoyed, because I’d like to finally reach that level where my muscles aren’t so sore I want to bathe in epsom salts for 3 days straight after a class (a beginner’s class at that), that my body finally gets used to me forcing it to exercise (and regularly). Yet, when I’m having a bad day or week, I lose motivation to go. Which really, come on, that should be all the more reason to go. Keep at it. Do what can. From one eternal beginner to another and as the yoga practice goes….no judgement. Namaste!

  • Variety is not only the spice of life, it’s also the best thing for your body. Keep up the alternating methods and enjoy! My $.02–I think you might really love Pilates–yoga minus the woo woo and attitude. You have to focus so it becomes a meditation.

  • Good luck with it…….. however if you fall off the wagon, try Pilates!……. I hated Yoga and so tried Reformer Pilates (its Pilates on the machine ) ………. I love it!xx

  • I think that’s how my relationship with yoga and pilates has been for years now. My mom always tells me about how it makes her feel centered and in control and how her body simply “asks for it”. But always the lazy one, I would get into it for about two weeks before I stopped. But like you, I’m getting myself back into that horse and trying to stay on for as long as possible!

  • J’avais une super prof qui n’était pas du tout dans la performance, qui n’encourageait personne en ce sens. J’ai eu de la chance du premier coup. La seule raison pour laquelle j’ai arrêté est que le local où elle donnait cours a été mis en travaux puis réaffecté et qu’ellle donnait cours à l’autre bout de la ville et je ne pouvais pas suivre. Je fais le truc toute seule maintenant avec des DVD.

  • Le yoga ! Oui, c’est une pratique très exigeante & si enrichissante car beaucoup plus que des postures ici & là ! Bisou !
    Yoga! Yep, it is a challenging & demanding practise but so rewarding.
    Love & gratitude

  • Je n’aime pas trop l’ambiance salle de gym, j’ai donc trouve des profs sur youtube et “travaille” a mon propre rythme.

  • En tant que débutante du Yoga, je me reconnais tout à fait dans tes propos!

  • Garance – I admire your dedication. Like you, I have been having a love/not so love relationship with yoga forever! I struggle – I am not flexible and really, really, struggle.

    However, a few years back I started Pilates. Pilates gave me the same inner peace and spiritual connection that I had found with yoga. It is all about finding an amazing instructor and also sucking-up the high cost of a session. Pilates is pricey and I have found that private sessions are usually best. The up side is the mind/body connection that comes with the practice and also the incredible core strength that you develop along the way.

    If you haven’t tried it – just give it a go! You might find what you are looking for!

    L xox

  • Bonne nouvelle, Garance! Je reprends le yoga en septembre pour la 4ème année… probablement comme chaque année en dent de scie… mais je sais un truc c’est que ne me suis jamais sentie aussi bien que quand je pratiquais 2 fois par semaine… bon j’ai tenu que quelques mois (3!) mais ça vaut le coup! Alors je repars pour une année pleine de bonnes résolutions… Après, le principal est de rester à l’écoute de soi… pour le reste… ben, on verra! En tout cas, moi, je t’encourage à persévérer! Tiens nous au courant! Bises!

  • I have a lot of guilt around not being consistent with yoga like I’m choosing to not be a better person. And then I think, if I have this resistance why fight it because I’m honestly still in the stage of exercising to lose weight so the main benefits of yoga become secondary to me (although I know you can lose weight with yoga). The only exercise that really centers me is Zumba at a high intensity with a lot of choreography, which I guess says something about my internal state right? I need to have something so high impact thrown at me that it actually calms me.

    Nothing wrong with being an eternal beginner though, you’ll always be learning!

  • Love your perspective, Garance!

    and that you call yourself out about not wanting go and needing different atmosphere and wanting to do the “time check” and judging yourself for not being all bendy.

    It’s so refreshing to be perfectly imperfect. Thank you for giving the rest of us license.

    P.S. if you ever want to do small yoga class on a rooftop on Bond st, you let me know- I’ll send you the invite. it would be fun to topple over and groan as well as breathe and find stillness!

  • My advice is this: Do it by yourself. Get a few DVDs, a copy or two of yoga journal, and find some space on your own floor. If you don’t like the class environment, don’t go! You don’t have to! And guess what, it’s a lot easier to release all of that ego and self-consciousness when there is no one there to judge you. You can just listen to your body. Find some instructors you don’t find annoying (my personal favorite is Rodney Yee, there is just enough yoga mumbo jumbo and it doesn’t get pretentious.), maybe look up samples on youtube, then buy their DVDs, which are generally not very pricey (and certain to be less than a class). I’ve been doing yoga for years and years, and I rarely go to classes. It’s nice once in a while, but the best is when you can just lay out your mat first thing in the morning and greet the day on your own with a few gentle asanas. Yoga does not require anyone but you, and your practice is exactly what it needs to be, even if it’s in fits and starts. After all, life is a cycle, yoga can be too.

  • I completely agree with this! At your house, you can truly relax. quite a bit more affordable, as well.

  • …”D’être présent, comme disent les profs de yoga.” …Non ça n’a rien d’énérvant, en tout cas pas pour moi, heureusement que ce type d’activités existent pour nous aider à nous recentrer sur ce qui est essentiel. Je te souhaite de t’enrichir encore plus encore :)

  • Dear Garance,

    I practise yoga since 15 years and I am still a beginner like every other honest yogi(ni).
    The first years I was a devoted Kundalini practitioner but expirienced similar things as you describe, I found especially the yoga language repelling at times.
    And then! I opened my mind – yogi-like, ne!? – and started taking classes of all different types of yoga, everywhere I was, with the most different teachers and bam! I finally understood that yoga is just a vehicle to find, accept and nourish the real You (or in my case Me), physically, mentally, emotionally and erm,… spiritually and was never ment to be anything else. (and I always try to get a place in the first row, because that makes it easier to focus). So – may it be happy yoga-journey for you!

  • Belinda July, 30 2013, 12:53 / Reply

    Dear Garance. I loved this post and Lauren’s response. I’m starting yet another Intro to Yoga class this Sunday and I think I’ve been stopping and starting since 1972!!!! Seriously:) There are so many types of yoga and so many different teachers it’s hard to find that happy balance between the mumbo jumbo yoga and the yoga nazis. Doing it by yourself is lovely but sometimes you just need the kick in the butt a class can offer. And we’re always eternal beginners.

  • Tant mieux si tu aimes et trouves une partie de ton bien-être là-dedans. Je n’accroche pas du tout, je n’aime pas, je ne me trouve pas stressée déjà et la promiscuité de ce genre de cours ne me plaît pas. Mais je fais tout pour me simplifier la vie, hein… :)) Mais je veux bien essayer si on peut m’aider à ne plus fumer des Davidoff gold (avec des fume-cigarettes sinon ça ne passe plus maintenant) et ne plus boire du bon vin. Le sucre je m’en suis débarrassée sans problèmes. La faute à Gwyneth P. qui commet des livres pile-poil comme je les aime. Bon, je sais, faut cuisiner, mais j’aime mieux ça que le yoga. :)) Mais je continue à boire du vin en cuisinant, faut pas déconner… Et je fais du jogging, c’est bien et gonflant quand même. Après, je cuisine… je fume… je bois…etc. :))

  • I totally get you! I found the best, funnest, most motivating class in Boston (none of this competition to see who is more flexible, who has the coolest gear, who knows all the mantras) …and then I moved to Spain. I have tried different classes (even yoga for pregnant women…while pregnant) but I have not yet found the right fit. Plus, I find it extremely difficult to meditate/ relax at the end of class. I start off ok, but then my mind wanders off to my to-do list. I’m thinking about trying aerial yoga next … hey, whatever works.
    Good luck with your endeavor!
    P.S. I am also an eternal beginner and, even worse (for my purse, at least) a new year’s resolutionist. I once signed up to a snazzy gym, went a few times in January, February, stopped going altogether by May but was too lazy to go back to unsubscribe and ended up paying a whole year!

  • Mariateresa July, 30 2013, 1:07 / Reply

    Le yoga c’est un bluff!!!!

  • Ha ha, that made me laugh. I am not much of a yoga person myself but I keep trying it time to time :) I am quite flexible so the positions are not a big deal to me, but staying in them what seems ages to me, is something I cannot do. Yoga is just too slow for me and this “just relax and concentrate on yourself” that is the worst for me. As I am told not to think my brain starts running and the time seems to stop. The relax and breathing at the end of the class is simply the hardest for me. I get bored and even forget how to breath as I am concentrating so much on trying not to think :) But I know I will also go to yoga class again and will give it a try eventually :) Good luck, Garance!

  • Ashtanga, mysore style. Je te promets, tu ne t’ennuieras pas et tu n’entendras pas le prof raconter des trucs bizarres.

    Have a look!

    Bises, Alex

  • Just re-beginning yoga today. The best for your limbs, spirit and brains. Good luck !

  • princessglee July, 30 2013, 2:21 / Reply

    I have found that yoga works best for me when I get involved in the exercise and not the conversations people want to have about yoga. It’s almost like talking about how to ride a bike. It only matters while you’re doing it and then it doesn’t require conversation–only practical application. I’m on and off with yoga too. I always find reasons to go back and hopefully always will.

  • C’est tellement vrai! Je suis pareil, j’arrête et je reprends le yoga en permanence mais depuis quelques mois j’arrive enfin a avoir un rythme de yoga. Et enfin même si je ne suis pas souple je commence a apprécier!

  • Cilette July, 30 2013, 2:51 / Reply

    Don’t lose a minute of your time in boring yoga. Go straight to STRALA in NYC and you will forget all your doubts and complaints about yoga. Tara Stiles is the best yoga teacher EVER her yoga is cool, no spirtual psichobabble, only GREAT yoga, body changing yoga, rock’n roll and laugh and sweat.

    Try a class with Tara and you will never go back to boring, zenish and judgemental yoga.

  • Dear Garance, your honesty is so refreshing, I love this post and I can relate to so many things! I have been lucky a couple of month ago, I found my perfect Yoga studio and I’m hooked like never before, for me it’s finally the right mix of everything! xxx

  • @ Garance (+ tout le monde) => Il y a plein de styles de yoga différent :) Essaye aussi le Yin Yoga & le Restorative Yoga => Très doux. Mon inspiration en yoga c’est Elena Brower. Elle est à NY, petit veinarde ! J’en rêve.
    There is so many yoga styles. Try the Yin Yoga & Restorative Yoga : so sweet.
    My inspiration is Elena Brower => Check it. She is in NY. Lucky Youuuuuuuuu!

  • Le yoga, c’est un nouveau départ à chaque coup, et c’est juste ça qui est génial ! “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” —Shunryu Suzuki

  • Allison Hicks July, 30 2013, 3:12 / Reply

    I know- yoga can be frustrating and freeing at the same time. I pracitce Bikram Yoga and I love it. Have you ever tried Bikram? Not so much zen talk, more physical work.

  • Since I bought yoga DVDs, I never looked back. Class is awful compared to my private zen space, just my virtual teacher, her music and me. Bliss. I also do “5 animals qigong” every day, it’s a form of tai chi, takes only 15 minutes a day but it’s heavenly. I like it because it’s all standing and very fluent, almost like a dance. You can find a video on youtube, give it a go :)

  • Yoga is very boring. I can’t stand it!

  • Leticia July, 30 2013, 4:49 / Reply

    Yoga can be terribly annoying with the wrong teacher. When you find the rare place where they can guide you through the movements without the *ahem* bull, it’s wonderful. Maybe a personal trainer, or DVDs. If I hear “mindful” or “zen” I know I wont bear it.

  • Mariana July, 30 2013, 5:02 / Reply

    Garance, I totally get where you are coming from. I have been seriously practicing for over 25 years and still feel like an insecure, ignorant and inflexible beginner even though you might not see if from seeing my practice. Great teachers that I think are amazing express the same feeling.
    There are some things I have learned though:
    1. If you look at it as a way to get or stay in physical shape, there are easier, faster ways.
    2. The place in a pose you want to reach, just keeps on expanding, which is what keeps one hooked on it. Kind of like traveling, when you go on a trip away from home, the first place seems so far and then when you travel some more you see it was not so far after all compared to the new place you are now and so on. Hence why we are all beginners.
    3. Yoga is not for everybody but there is a yoga for everybody. Meaning, you can get to the same mindset doing other things, like pilates, surfing, swimming, tennis, whatever makes you laugh and grow. It is all good. And yeah, there are so many types of yoga to try and have fun with.
    4. Going through periods of not doing yoga is part of your practice. You might not do it for a year but it does not mean that you quit. You just did something else which can help you when you go back to the mat. The practice does not end when you get off the mat you know!
    5. If you are motivated, you can experiment with classes online. I use but there are many other great ones out there.
    6. Have you ever met anyone who is totally zen at all times in real life?!? Me neither. I doubt anyone has. So there, we are all off the hook on that.
    7. As long as you are smiling and learning, you are on the right path. Whatever you do. Enjoy!

  • Joanna July, 30 2013, 7:19

    1. Listen to Mariana. She knows what’s she’s talking about.
    2. You shouldn’t worry about using blocks in your yoga practice, as they really do help with alignment and getting you further into a pose. I’ve been doing yoga on and off for a decade and I still use blocks to get deeper into a pose, to help me feel really great in a pose (and isn’t feeling great what yoga is all about? It certainly shouldn’t be about listening to your ego or caring what other people think).

    Yoga is all about the journey, not the destination. Enjoy it!

  • C’est vrai que l’ on apprend beaucoup avec le yoga.

  • Teresa July, 30 2013, 5:14 / Reply

    I love this article and identify so much with it. Sometimes the people who do yoga could sound very egocentric and some teachers might say things we don’t understand or find really fake. But in the end, Yoga is like a good drug and it is for you, you make it great. Of course, having good teachers help. love what Mariana wrote. She sounds like a real yogi to me.

  • Moi j’ai trouvé une bonne alternative…un cours qui mélange Taï chi, yoga, streching et pilate, et je me retrouve à 100% dans ce que tu racontes…:-)

  • well, this is good to read because I totally felt like a quitter when I stopped going to yoga classes two years ago. but I plan on starting again after the summer and as always you have the perfect words to make me feel totally ok with all that! Eventually, I truly hope to learn some of the things you mention.

  • Garance! Maybe it’s because you are not a yoga person! I feel the same way about yoga, which is why I tried Pilates and fell in LOVE. My stomach has never been tighter, nor has my tush. There is no psycho-babble or anyone preaching to you — it’s just exercise. I think it would suit you much more!

    Just a thought.

  • Te-uta July, 30 2013, 6:11 / Reply

    There shouldn’t be any competition in taking yoga classes , you do as much as you can , breath and focus on yourself , it takes commitment and determination and that’s all there is to it , any teacher can be annoying even with other forms of exercises , I don’t see yoga peeps as stuckups , in contrary I think they are earthy people.

  • Try running! It frees your mind! It takes a little effort when you first start out but soon you will build your stamina and you will feel like a bird must feel flying high in the sky. I am able to keep my weight right where I want it by running 4 times a week. I highly recommend it.

  • I would like to recommend Iyengar yoga too… Where you encouraged to begin each class with a beginners mind. No philosophical mambo jambo, just the wisdom of practice. You will find amazing teachers at the iyengar yoga institute of New York.

  • “The teachers get on my nerves with their questionable life philosophies and the students get to me to with their devoted auras and their “I’m so much more zen than you” attitudes” — Oh my god, YES!! THANK YOU, Garance!

  • Carole July, 30 2013, 8:27 / Reply

    do u go to the same yoga class….lol

  • I discovered the Five Tibetans Rites from one of your interviews on here. I have been doing them since last July and I LOVE THEM. I had been stopping and starting with yoga before I discovered The Five Rites. You can do them anywhere and they are quick and super effective for such a short period of time. I add some Pilates and yoga hip opening exercises at the end of the sequence. It totals about 30 mins and I look and feel amazing. I also get mistaken for being 10-15 years younger than my 38 years! Here is the link for them:

  • Janet Teacher July, 30 2013, 9:12 / Reply

    Just do pilates instead! Go to a classical True Pilates studio in NYC. So much better than yoga for flexibility and strength (at least for me) and it’s never boring. Moves fast. No bullshit from instructors, no pain, just beautiful stretching and great results.

  • I find it hard to keep up with any activity, I tell myself it’s because I’m still young and don’t know what I like, but I’m going to be 30 in 3 years so I guess I don’t really have that excuse anymore…Good luck to you!

  • Claire July, 30 2013, 9:45 / Reply

    Moi j’ai essayé le yoga, un peu… mais je pense que je suis plus une kick-boxing girl!

    Ceci dit, j’ai rencontré quelqu’un qui m’a dit : ” si j’avais su, j’aurais commencé le yoga plus tôt”…ça fait réfléchir!
    Ca me fait penser à ce proverbe : “Il y a deux moment idéaux pour planter un arbre: il y a 20 ans, et aujourd’hui…”
    Alors on verra…d’autant plus que j’ai lu Eat,Pray,Love récemment, alors promis, dès que j’ai fini mon assiette de carbonara, je m’y mets!

    Je souhaite à tous ceux qui liront mon message une belle journée.

  • Cohiba July, 30 2013, 9:47 / Reply

    Je n’ai jamais essayé le yoga, mais je suis extrêmement tentée par le tai chi chouan. Je suis même fermement résolue à m’inscrire à un cours en septembre. C’est un art martial intérieur, destiné à développer le fameux “chi”.
    J’ai déjà expérimenté quelques exercices. Cela doit rejoindre le yoga sur certains plans. Ne serait-ce que dans la pratique méditative. Je suis devenue carrément accro à la méditation depuis plus d’un an. C’est génial ! Je ne connais rien de mieux pour trouver la sérénité et le bien-être. C’est même la meilleure crème de beauté qui existe ! Depuis que je médite, c’est fou ce que ma peau est devenue beaucoup plus lumineuse et mon regard s’est éclairci aussi, les muscles de mon visages sont complètement détendus.
    Ce que j’aime le plus, c’est méditer dans la nature, dans mon jardin au milieu des arbres, quand j’entends le vent dans les bambous et que le feuillage des eucalyptus bruisse. Ou bien sur la plage, en fin de matinée, quand il n’y a pas encore trop de monde. Il n’y a rien de plus apaisant et de plus régénérant. Ca booste pour tout le reste de la journée.

    Mon idéal, ce serait vraiment un cours de tai chi chouan en pleine nature. Comme le font les Chinois qui dans les parcs exécutent leurs mouvements de Qi Gong.
    Ah, tiens, il y a un truc génial dans le Qi Gong, c’est l’exercice du sourire intérieur. Ca lifte le moral et le visage. Et les gens vous rendent un sourire à leur tour. C’est hyper puissant.

  • I really really agree with you on this one. Specially the part about loathing the whole “pose” of people who practice yoga, dont you just hate that they seem to live in Yoga pants eternally parading their yoga mats on their backs wherever they go? But damn isnt Yoga the best!? you get to understand their passion, without having to agree with the “poshness” of it all.

    One thing that worked for me, Garance, that might help you is that I decided to try the online websites. You pay fairly cheap money for 1 hour classes; the hard thing about this is finding the right kind of teacher, of technique and website to stick to. But what I did way before this was download free yoga classes from Youtube and try and try and try them out. It was heaven. I took from 1hour classes to the basic 30 min classes, for the days I wasnt really focused and needed just a quick fix.

    This could be a nice follow up to the article, what can people advice you on doing “Yoga Online”. I think its a beauty, you get to go at your own pase, stop when you want to, without having to get all ready to leave the house. The ones I love are: Sadie Nardini, Yoga Today and Myyogaonline.

  • maryline July, 30 2013, 10:30 / Reply

    Je ne saurais que te recommander Ishta Yoga Studio at New York sur la 11eme rue entre Broadway et 5th Avenue. J’ai redecouvert ce qu’est le yoga Les instructeurs sont tous excellents.

  • Try starting a home practice. The simplicity clears away so many external distractions and helps really get you focused. Going to a teacher periodically then becomes precious time when you can get extra help. It’s elegant, inexpensive and liberating. No more looking for permission or approval from others – all comes from within.

  • Arline July, 31 2013, 1:17 / Reply

    I just love yoga!!!

    I wish you could come to my class, I promise you would not get bored!!!! I teach in Memphis though.

  • This is just what I needed to read! Today, I found out about Emmy Cleaves – this wonderful woman who has been practicing for 60 years. She is incredible. If you have time, look her up on YouTube. She is so inspiring!

  • princessglee July, 31 2013, 5:17

    Not too long ago, near home I saw a huge banner that read BIKRAM. While watching the youtube vid, saw it was the same sign near home. Turns out this is where Emmy Cleaves teaches. So yeah, I’m heading over there today to check it out.

  • Lovechoclate July, 31 2013, 2:38 / Reply


    Since my dad begin I’ve stopped… It’s not a sport for my osteopath (?). So I practice in my mind. It’s just about breathing, open minded and exactly what you say over. I’m in love… I hate… I begin. I practice and hope it help for my friends, my family…

    Keep going…

    See ya’

  • Dragana July, 31 2013, 3:28 / Reply

    Hey, two years ago I met a women, in that time she had 70 and body a women of 40 years old. She is doing yoga 30 years. Is amazing. That is my motivation. I¨m doing regularly 2 years and my body look batter then ever :)

  • cerise July, 31 2013, 3:39 / Reply

    Superbe photo. Tu es bientôt prête pour aller surfer, miss !

  • Try Strala Yoga (Broadway and Bleecker) – they are great and no (at least not so much) esoteric hoo-ha! :-)

  • Garance,

    Il faut que tu persistes. Tu as le parfait esprit yoga. J’ai l’impression que c’est plutôt ton cours qui n’est pas bon.
    Le yoga est le contraire du sport, on ne pratique pas pour être le meilleur ou le plus performant, se dépasser, aller au delà de ses limites mais juste pour se faire du bien !!! atteindre la joie, la sérénité.
    Peut importe que tu tiennes 3 secondes une posture, l’important c’est ce que tu as ressenti.
    J’adore mon cours de yoga, on est hyper nombreux dans la salle, en général ça me rend hystérique mais là ça n’a aucune importance.
    Il y a tous les niveaux, du plus débutant au super pro qui fait la posture sur la tête (ma référence).
    Personne ne se regarde de haut, tout le monde s’entraide, personne ne fait le malin avec une super tenue ou le plus beau tapis ;)) les profs sont bienveillants.
    Maintenant quand je ne peux pas aller à mon cours pour une raison ou une autre, je suis vraiment vraiemtn triste.
    Ca ne m’est jamais arrivé de ma vie alors que j’ai tenté tous types de sport ou hobby
    Je ne pratique que le yoga et je n’aime que ça.
    Par contre, je pense que ça tient énormément au prof et à l’athosphère du cours, c’est pour ça que c’est si difficile de pratiquer chez soi.

  • Haha, I’m just like you. Start, stop, start, stop, start…..


    Once you meet a master who will truly inspire & blow your mind, you become yoga addict, no problem. You so lucky to live in NY close to one of the best/charismatic/intelligent&beaux yogi masters Eddie Stern. Check out Broom Street temple in 430 Broom str. Practicing yoga in a temple in the middle of Manhatten is a real gift. Needless to say with ashtanga yoga you get light/strong/flexible body and super concentration powers as a bonus. & then if you really interested its up to you to discover fascinating philosophy behind, during class there is very lil talk.

  • Just wanted to add that with incredible amount of yoga teachers in NY is crucial to find the One who has true connection to the lineage, has a guru himself, under who’s guidance he studied for many many years…otherwise everything is called yoga now.

  • Raphaele July, 31 2013, 7:00 / Reply

    Trouve toi un autre cours !! Le yoga ce n est pas a propos du prof ou des autres, un jour tu iras au yoga juste pour toi et tu ne verras pas les autres tellement tu seras concentree. Dis toi bien que si les autres etaient vraiment si fort(e)s en yoga, elle ne te verraient meme pas, le yoga c est pour soi. Ah comme c est genial d avoir le droit de ne penser qu a soi !
    Le prof moi j ai du mal a faire sans, parce que j aime qu on me corrige ma posture ou qu on m aide a aller un peu plus loin dans la pose. Donc les trucs online je n accroche pas.
    Je fais de l ashtanga et je suis d accord, il y a plein de types de yoga. J avais commence par le ki mais finalement ashtanga me va mieux
    Je n ai jamais utilise de blocks !! Les props comme au pilates ca ne me va pas du tout
    Et le yoga oui c est trs spirituel c est bien pour ca que c est genial

  • Have you tried getting your own personal therapeutic yoga instructor? I was taking yoga at a rec center and then my life got super busy. I asked the instructor if she ever came to the house and low and behold, that was her main gig. Three years later, I don’t know what I do without her. Not only has she customized yoga for my needs (works on straightening the spine first as it is the core to the exercises) and made my body SUPER strong, she is so intuitive about my life and gives me so much encouragement and personal focus. “You have a knot in your shoulder…it seems there is some battle at work you’re trying to work through, right?” Yep, she’s always right. She and I are located in Las Vegas but I’m sure you could find one in nyc.

  • I feel the same way you do about yoga. I have 2 suggestions that may be a good alternative to just straight forward yoga. 1. Have you tried Power Yoga? Its fast moving Yoga so you don’t get bored and look at the clock. Yoga on speed. and 2. Barre classes or a variation of Barre (I am about to start Pop Physique in Los Angeles and Daily Method is so good in San Francisco). They are pilates and ballet combined and a crazy intense workout–no chance to get bored I promise!

  • HI Garance,

    I live in Paris. I have been practicing Iyengar Yoga for 10 years now. I just turned 48 and I can tell you that I feel great. It is a pretty serious practice..and believe me, most of the yogis there get on my nerves. But I do not care. I just go and do my yoga.

    I think the most important thing is to find a yoga studio that you like and is close to your office or home. Then find a teacher that you really like…and then commit…as much as you a lot…I would hire a yoga teacher to give you a private lesson so you can get a sequence for you time abroad. I teacher once told me ” Yoga treats you how you treat yoga”

  • Mary-Claire July, 31 2013, 3:46 / Reply

    Garance, as always, you’re freaking hilarious.

    I heard the phrase practice, practice, practice a 100 times before I got it. Its about the crappy, horrible days when you want to quit life and escape to a secluded island…or is that just me?:)
    I’m not sure who said “practice and everything else will come”, but I say hold on to the good feeling you get from yoga/whatever keeps attracting you to it and just get on your mat. It doesn’t matter if its 5, 10 or 100 minutes a week. No is (or should be) judging.

    Good Luck!!

    ps. if you’re annoyed by a teacher or class, its a sign the teacher or class isn’t working for you. Find someone who makes you laugh. I’m in transition mode right now where I’m considering leaving my studio and practicing just online or elsewhere.
    pps. Check out Meghan Currie, she is bloody amazing!

    Oh and everyone’s a beginner in yoga. The number of times I fall over is pretty hilarious and I’m thinking of teacher training soon

  • Claudia Bustamante July, 31 2013, 3:58 / Reply

    Yoga or not yoga?
    that’s the question!
    yoga pour le bien être;
    Pilates pour le phisique.
    Touts les deux sur internet (youtube) cours gratuits a l’heure que tu veux,
    le jour que tu peux.Il suffit d’avoir un tapis devant ton ordi et bien choisir
    le cours à ton niveau et le bon prof.Et le meilleur:tu es toute seule devant
    ton prof. et n’a pas besoin d’être meilleur que les autres,simplement faire
    de ton mieux.Je fait ça depuis trois ans,alternant yoga et pilates conforme
    mon humeur ou ma disposition.Même en voyage je n’arrete pas.Namasté!

  • Glad I am not the only one. Been off and on with it for over 12 years. A few months ago someone told me, “I can tell you stopped doing Yoga”. (I still work out)

    What? How can I not be offended by that one? But I digress…


  • Elizabeth August, 1 2013, 4:56 / Reply

    1. try different styles until you find one that suits your temperament (I have been doing ashtanga for 18 years, but Iyengar drives me nuts; I have a good friend who is exactly the opposite)
    2. try different classes, the tone of the teaching & clientele vary hugely
    3. I chose to do self practice (with occasional workshops to check my technique), partly as a time thing (yoga at home before work, pilates & gyro taught in a studio after work) & partly because some of the other yoga attendees were a bit wearing (all cod spirituality, very expensive non-materialism & un-yoga competitiveness). I don’t think of it as exercise but as a self audit at the beginning of my day.
    4. Just do the practice; sometimes it will go well, sometimes less so but if you do the practice with good intent to do the best that you can & not too much negative judgement you will benefit

    The mother of a friend of my father was doing yoga into her 90s & was in amazing shape, physically & mentally… she is an inspiration. Sometimes yoga is defined as the science of stilling the chattering mind, & we could all do with some calm & clarity

  • I’ve done yoga for about 7 years with similar pattern, not because of getting bored but because of moving countries every couple of months and often living in places with no yoga classes. I felt a bit bad about the breaks before (i.e. for never having enough motivation for doing yoga at home when without classes) but then a great yoga teacher told us that everyone should aim to feel a total beginner every time they do yoga, even if you have done it for years, and that it can be tough (we become proud of ourselves). Made me think that the constant beginning may have some positive sides too – plus I feel it makes me appreciate yoga more, because I can realise the difference it makes to my posture and feelings. So I’m all up for constant yoga beginner’s life!

  • Anne So August, 1 2013, 6:38 / Reply

    Pourquoi ne pas tenter une autre forme de yoga ? J’avais du mal également avec les cours de yoga “classiques” et j’ai donc essayer le yoga bikram : une révélation ! Les conditions sont tellement intenses et on éprouve tant son corps qu’il est beaucoup plus facile de se concentrer et d’entrer en état quasi méditatif … Alors c’est parfois très dur de se motiver à y aller mais une fois le cours fini on se demande comment on a pu vivre sans ça auparavant !


  • I do pretty much the same exact thing, word for word.

  • Thanks Garance for inspiring me to start yoga again(for the umpteen time)!

  • That’s the thing I really love about yoga. You really learn yourself and your body so much more after practicing yoga.

  • Oh Garance, I know how you feel!
    I think you might like Marianne Elliot – check out her 30 days of yoga:
    I have heard amazing things about her course, and plan to take the next one!
    Yoga without all the yogini-ness :)

  • hey Garance try Svaroopa yoga. Everyone uses blocks and mats for support and after just the first class you will feel amazing. It’s not about how you look and I don’t think anyone could make it competitive or knobby. Honestly it is fab. I hope you find a class – and your readers.

  • Je pratique aussi le yoga depuis moins d’un an mais je ne suis pas une élève très assidue. Voir mon prof attraper sa jambe et faire des trucs de fou avec. Et faire partie des personnes très peu souple qui grimace de douleur seulement à l’idée d’essayer de faire pareil m’amène bien souvent à me demander pourquoi je continue à aller à ce cours. Peut être l’espoir de retrouver ma souplesse d’il y a quelques années lorsque je pratiquais la gym et que pour moi les grands écarts et les roues étaient des choses acquises et maîtrisées. Comme on dit l’espoir fait vivre…

  • Granace and everyone else who doesn’t like to go to classes etc. or doesn’t want to commit that much Try YOGAGLO.COM. It’s the BEST. the best teachers that teach the classes and you feel like you are in the studio with the rest of the students. I am sure you all who can’t committ will love it. I take yoga classes several times a week in a studio and when I’m too busy or don’t feel like it I just go to

    That said, I personally need the energy of other students and want to be physically in a class sometimes, but yogaglo is almost just as good.

  • Have you tried Laughing Lotus NYC? They’re amazing and not your traditional yogis. I highly recommend as someone who is a former yoga-hater!

  • Peut être tu devrais essayer Ashtanga Yoga. C’est un bon milieu entre yoga et ‘exercice tout court’, c’est bien plus dur que hatha yoga du coup tu n’as vraiment pas le temps de t’ennuyer. Ça marche par séries d’exercices qui s’enchainent, que tu apprends par coeur, petit à petit. Ça veut aussi dire que t’as pas un prof a te parler tout le temps dessus. Il t’apprend quelques poses, puis t’observe et corrige si besoin est. Dans la classe, c’est calme, chacun fait à son rythme. Ce genre de Ashtanga s’appelle Mysore Self Practice, et ça a été inventé par Pattabhi Jois en Inde (surprise!). J’en suis sortie se matin rouge et tellement en sueur que les gens dans la rue doivent se dire que c’est un sauna là bas. Et en effet, la pièce est légèrement chauffée, pas comme avec le Bikram, mais suffisamment pour être bien échauffée, avec les muscles super souples :) I definitely recommend it!

  • zPwkbGjncAqC Uggs rJdgrGyetIiY canada goose hIfmgMuxzKtZ belstaff españa aZymdWojwOqK Moncler lEefbDlfvKzG UGGs Outlet qUlmcHsjuKqN canada goose jacke zSgfkOdiwUpH ugg støvler fCnmlVldnBqZ nike air max 90 gLexsOpslSnO moncler jassen fAgprJoalAqR Uggs

  • moi ça me fait ça aussi mais c’est peut etre aussi une histoire de prof? ou de type de yoga? as tu trouvé celui qui te convient le mieux? par exemple j’aime pas le yoga trop dynamique mais j’aime pas non plus le trop statique donc on m’a conseille le hatha et le yoga integral et en variant les profs ça me donne envie d’en refaire sinon mon mental se fait pas la malle ;) donc je me dis qu’il faut tester encore et encore et aussi recommencer car il y a quand meme une histoire de pratique, de regularité la dedans

  • I see a lot of comments about Ashtanga yoga already, and I’ll add another. I’ve been practicing it off and on for about 3.5 years now. I don’t go for the spiritual side of it (not there yet) – I go because I get to breathe deeply for a solid hour or more, I get to focus on me – not the teacher or the other students, and I’m able to stretch and strengthen my body all at the same time. I was encouraged by a friend who practices in NY to go. I’d practiced other styles of yoga in the past, but what I most enjoy about Ashtanga is it’s a self-led practice. Now that I’ve learned the sequence of poses, I can go at my own pace. A good Ashtanga yoga teacher will allow you to do as much or as little as you want on any given day, depending on how you feel. While the poses are the same each time, the pace with which you approach the practice keeps you from being bored. I won’t lie, it’s tough and there’s definitely commitment up front in order to memorize the sequence, but it may be something you connect with. Go to Eddie Stern on Broome St.

  • thanks for the great information . perfect

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