Many people will say that the best way to explore Paris is by walking the city. Why go underground to travel if there is so much beauty to take in, from hidden passageways to grand boulevards? But all that walking also means sore feet and tight hamstrings. Luckily, there is now a booming yoga scene in Paris.
While a reference to downward facing dog could have once elicited raised eyebrows, according to Yoga Concept owner, Pamela Levy, “Now there is so much happening here in yoga, it’s crazy.”
The number of yoga studios is only growing. Studios honor drop-in students, which is ideal for travelers and as in big yoga cities like New York and Los Angeles, it’s relatively easy to find a good studio in any quartier.
According to private yoga instructor Celia Anne Browne, “Every style is offered, including classical hatha, vinyasa, ashtanga, Iyengar, kundalini, bikram, hot yoga, and jivamutki,” which is the style that Browne teaches. This variety in styles and techniques ensures that “Parisians can increase physical strength and flexibility or focus on a more meditative practice with inquiry on philosophy and spirituality,” Browne adds.
Parisians are ready to dress the part too, at least during class. Along with Yoga Concept, Lululemon has a shop in the Marais. Only time will tell if the American trend of wearing yoga pants all the time will entice la parisienne. Though we could guess the answer.
Many visitors to the city may worry that taking a class in French could be confusing or overwhelming. While a lot of classes are conducted using Sanskrit, the primary sacred language of Hinduism, many studios offer classes in English and have bilingual teachers. The teachers in Paris “are very international,” Pamela Levy says.
Want to improve your practice? Here are a handful of favorite studios scattered around the city:
Yoga Village – 39 Boulevard des Capucines, 75002; Métro: Madeleine
A bright and airy space, the location near Opéra is ideal for visitors.
Centre de Yoga du Marais – 72 Rue du Vertbois, 75003; Métro: Strasbourg Saint-Denis
Since 2001, Michelle Jacobi has offered classes to hone your technique.
Studio Yoga République – 21 Rue Béranger, 75003; Métro: République
Traditional Iyengar classes for the east side of the city.
The YogaFactory – 21 Rue des Filles du Calvaire, 75003; Métro: Saint-Sébastien – Froissart
Different levels of Hot Vinyasa Flow yoga offered by experienced teachers.
Rasa Yoga – 21 Rue Saint-Jacques, 75005; Métro: Cluny – La Sorbonne
An oldie but a goodie, Rasa’s space is clean and offers a number of classes throughout the day.
Guerilla Yogi, American Church of Paris – 65 Quai d’Orsay, 75007; Métro: Invalides
A strong Anglo yoga community.
Le Tigre – 101 rue de Cherche-Midi, 75007; Métro: Falguière & 19 Rue de Chaillot, 75116; Métro: Alma – Marceau
Newer to the yoga scene, but also offers a variety of classes throughout the day for those with a less flexible schedule.
Yoga Shala Paris – 9 Rue Magellan, 75008; Métro: George V
A gem near the Champs-Élysées with classes in both English and French.
Ashtanga Yoga Paris – 40 Avenue de la République, 75011; Métro: Rue Saint Maur
Since 2004, the first Ashtanga studio in Paris to offer a full program of Mysore classes.
Centre de Yoga Iyengar de Paris – 35 Avenue Victor Hugo, 75116; Métro: Kléber
Iyengar for the west side of the city.
Sharon Bilas – Yoga Bija Paris, Various
Offers both pre- and post-natal classes for traveling moms and moms-to-be.