Paris to Provence in the name of Acroyoga - Late September 2014

My first few days in Paris had been absolutely divine. I stayed at a hostel in Montmartre (now my favorite part of the city) called Le Village Hostel where I made instant friends, mastered the Paris Subway system and had made my way all over Paris, and on this day, was planning to meet up with Yohann Guichard, a well known Parisian Yogaslacker and Acroyoga instructor. We had an acroyoga jam in the Jardin de Tuilleries, a beautifully sculpted garden full of fountains and statues along the Seine, right outside of the Louvre museum. The jam went so well that he last minute invited me to accompany him down to Southern France to assist his acroyoga clinic that weekend. By that afternoon I had a train ticket for the next day to St Remy de Provence. The acroyoga clinic was incredibly fun, if sometimes frustrating as everyone spoke French and I had to communicate rather complex concepts of movement with my mediocre French. As a result I ended up learning a lot of body specific French words. Yohann is an excellent teacher. He opens and closes his class in a circle, thus cultivating the necessary environment of trust and openness needed for an acroyoga class. Even if I didn't necessarily understand everything that was said. The energy and spirit present between the people in that group transcended all languages. I met some people that I will undoubtedly keep in contact with for the rest of my life, including an incredible couple named Emmanuelle and her husband David.

They live their life nomad style as well, living half the year with their three young children in Goa, India, and half the year in France. The second night I attended this festival proved to be just a tad stressful for me. I wasn't sure where I was going to stay, and multiple plans had fallen through due to communication failures (and NOT because of the language barrier). I put it out of my mind for the evening as I wandered around the town with Emmanuelle, Davide, Yohann, and his girlfriend Isabella. That weekend we had the good fortune of being in St Remy de Provence for a massive festival. There were concerts, arcade games, fun houses, good food, and even (the next morning) fences put up along the road and bulls released to stampede through the streets of the city. As the night came to a close, I wandered through the town to each final resting place of the group, planning to make my way to the town's small campground and sleep on the ground with my sleeping bag and sleeping pad. Upon hearing of this, Emmanuelle and Davide wouldn't hear of it (I guess the humidity at night makes the somewhat cold temperatures nearly unbearable) and folded back the seat of their car to make a perfect sleeping space. I've done this so much in the States that sleeping in the back of the warm car almost felt like being home.