My yoga and me
I am a gay man, a gay yogi, my practice is turned towards my nature, so I decided to focus on yoga for men, naked yoga for men.
I have a holistic approach, a natural approach, a naked approach.
I am a yoga practitioner who is trying to follow the authentic path of Yoga through my practice, what I learn, what I teach, what I share.
My practice has moved more and more towards my essence. Wanting to tune into my nature, I discovered naked yoga.
I am now teaching Naked Yoga classes for men and hosting Yoga and Wellness retreats for men. Now that I have experienced naked yoga practice, I can say that its the most natural and authentic way to practice yoga, to start on this journey of self discovery through the physical body. No attachement to clothes and image, feeling the body with no added layers, complete freedom of movement, this is the essence of naked yoga.
If you look into the history of Yoga, you find out that there are many naked yogis and that they are well respected within their lineage, there are naga Sadhus, tantrics and also jaïn monks who practice yoga naked. The spiritual dimension of naked yoga practice does exist.
Practicing in a male only environment is also very coherent for me, not that I refuse to work with women, but the anatomy is very different, the expectation is different, the capacities are also different. This focus enables me to focus on these aspects and therefore offer a class and a practice that is truly adapted to my students.
Yoga for me is much more than asanas and at the same time is asana centric, because as long as we are in our physical bodies we nee to nurture this layer, strengthen it and stretch it so that the other layers can flow in peace and harmony.
My journey on the path of yoga is Indian, nearly all of my formal training has been received there. I feel deeply connected with this land and it has become a second home for me.
My practice is that of Hatha Yoga, I have always wanted to follow the traditionnal and authentic method. Hatha Yoga is the base of all physical yoga, all other named practices are only snipets of the wealth Hatha Yoga has available. Yoga should adapt itself to the practitioner, my practice is mine, yours should also be your own.
My teachers, trainers, gurus from India are men and women who have integrated Yoga into their daily life, a lifestyle. The times I have spent training in India in a number of ashrams and schools have always been immersive giving me the possibility to live Yoga as a whole, to get a taste of what could be the path of Patanjali yoga. Yoga as a lifestyle. It is in Rishikesh that I followed two teacher training courses in Hatha Yoga, the first in 2010 at Rishikesh Yogpeeth and the second in 2013 at Rishikesh Yogdham (both Yoga alliance certified institutions)
In 2014, I also took part in the International yoga festival organised by Parmath Niketan in Rishikesh, this is a week long event where yogis from all over the world meet up to practice and exchange a whole variety of styles and approaches to yoga. A unique opportunity to test new and different styles and methods, to listen to preachers and philosophers. I also found out that I am not a big fan of preachers and that I am more attracted to philosophers and grammarians. Preachers have a tendency to create dependency which is contrary to the yoga principles, philosophers and grammarians create freedom through sharing the knowledge, provoking discussion and thought.
In France, since 2013, I have been receiving training and guidance from Beatrice Millerand, the daughter of Yvonne Millerand who received direct teaching from Sri Tirumalai Krischnamacharya. She initiated me to pranayama, to sensation rather than performance.
In 2014, I followed a Kriya Yoga course at Parmath Niketan under the guidance of Mataji, Sadhvi Abha Saraswatiji. This practice consists of a series of Kriya’s (actions) that help clear the mind to gain focus, remove the senses so that a state of meditation can be accessed.
In 2014, I was introduced to Peter Goss by Benoit Legourierec and followed his training and guidance for a little more than 1 year. His method associates strict alignements from the Iyengar school and flow practice from the Vinyasa method.
In 2015, I started attending the classes at the Omkarananda Iyengar ashram in Rishikesh, I enjoy very much the beginner and the advanced practices giving me a better base to work on and pushing me further in my physical practice through the teaching of Usha Devi.
My formal interest and practice of Yoga came quite late in my life just before I reached 40. I always believed it was a practice reserved for women and dancers, that flexibility was a pre-requisite. Young, I was a bit of a dancer but not so flexible. I have never been attracted to violent physical activity and have never been very competitive. Because of back problems I started to practice Yoga as a cure and a prevention and I very quickly decided to find our more and go to India to receive formal training. From the moment the course started and I discovered what yoga really was, I understood that this was my nature, that Yoga was me.
I practice one shape or form of yoga daily, it is rarely on the mat as my work as an ayurvedic therapist is more than I need as a daily workout. My daily yoga is more in my intention, my breath, my observations, my mind, my actions, it’s a lifestyle.
As I pursue my practice, I return to the texts studied during my training. I read them again with the added experience of my practice and the progress I gave made on my path. The Patanjali yoga sutras, the bhagavad ghitta, and more recently the upanishads that I have been studying with the help and guidance of Siddhartha Krishna. My other readings and studies are with Sri Ramana Maharsi from Tiruvanamalai, who is a great inspiration as well as J.Krishnamurti who has simplified a lot of my thought pattern.
I am also more and more interested in the static practice of preparation to meditation, the Kriya yoga course hosted by Sadhvi Abha Saraswatiji at Parmath Niketan that I followed in 2015 was an eye and mind opener. It took me two years to move further and integrate this type of practice into my routine and feel the benefits in my day to day life.
Initially I had come upon a block with this type of practice as I had not completed my Vipassana course in 2014, but I am now much more at ease with it thanks to the kriya yoga practice. I am now comfortable with my own practice and was able to spend one week at the Sadhana Kendra ashram and practice a week of intensive sadhana there. In between these moments I had also seeked some guidance and advice from Swami Veetamohananda at the centre vedantique in Gretz.