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Expat profiles: the French girl who wanted to teach yoga downunder

Marianne Kopf - The French girl who wanted to teach yoga downunder - My French Life - Ma Vie Francaise - www.myfrenchlife.org.jpg

We always love meeting fascinating French expats based all around the world. For our series profiling interesting and savvy français ou françaises across the globe, MaVieFrançaise™ journalist Marianne speaks with Véronique: a yoga teacher living the dream downunder.

I still remember the day Véronique told me « Je veux être prof de yoga en Australie ». It was more than ten years ago, while she was living the perfect expat life in Tokyo. And here she is, in 2013 in Melbourne, offering a blend of Yoga and Ayurveda wellbeing coaching with a zest of French touch at Zen Attitude.

Why did you choose to teach yoga in Australia, and why Melbourne?

I was looking for a change in my busy Japanese life and went to Byron Bay to attend yoga teacher training. Almost instantly I fell in love with Australia, its beautiful landscapes and stunning beaches. In Melbourne, my city of choice, I like the mix of cultures, the good food (I am French after all…) and the friendly and open-minded people.

There is a real qualité de vie here, with a flair of Europe somehow embedded in the different communities forming the city.

What makes ZEN ATTITUDE different from other yoga studios in town?

Zen Attitude is a concept that goes beyond standard yoga classes. It is a truly holistic approach to wellbeing, including lifestyle coaching based on Ayurveda. It is a transformative journey to the core of Your Self.

I enjoy guiding one-to-one yoga private sessions and teaching small groups. It enables full customisation and regular adjustments of the practice. Benefits are visible in just a few weeks.

Corporate clients also appreciate my tailored approach. Many companies have understood that the wellbeing of their employees adds real value to the workplace. The classes take place in their own facilities, often during their lunch break.

What kind of yoga do you teach?

For the past 10 years I have been teaching dynamic and therapeutic yoga.Today I am very excited to introduce two new techniques:  Antigravity Yoga in which students practice in silk hammocks and Calligraphy Yoga, a fusion of qi gong and yoga.

Antigravity Yoga adds fun and beauty to the postures, leaving you with a sense of lightness. Anyone with back issues should try it as it allows your spine to lengthen, increasing your strength and flexibility at the same time. Calligraphy Yoga is both gentle and energising.

Do you teach in French or in English? 

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Essentially in English, but I cannot help myself dropping a few French words during the class. For instance, when we hold a posture, we all count in French and my students say that my French accent during the relaxation is very soothing! Anyway, laughter is also beneficial to wellbeing and there is plenty of it at Zen Attitude.

What are your projects for 2013?

I will further develop lifestyle coaching through Ayurveda consultations and treatments. Considered as one of the oldest healing sciences, Ayurveda builds on your body intelligence while healing imbalances.

I am also working on a two week Culture & Wellbeing Retreat in France. Planned for August/September 2013 it will take place in Alsace, the region I come from. It will combine yoga practice with cultural events and art de vivre à la française… I will keep you posted when the program is ready. Pre-registrations are open now.

Véronique’s four Paris favourites

What is you favourite place to eat?? At the Japanese Inagiku rue de Pontoise or breakfast in the garden at the Bristol Hotel, Faubourg Saint Honoré.

What is you favourite place to drink?? Mariage Frères. My favourite is the Marais Tea Salon.

What is you favourite place to muse? The Musée d’Orsay and the Drouot Auction House.

What is you favourite day trip? Escaping to Deauville and staying overnight in Honfleur.

For more, visit Zen Attitude, or find Veronique on Facebook and Linked In.

Merci Veronique for speaking with MaVieFrançaise™.

Credits images: ZEN ATTITUDE 2012 


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