• kimberlydulac

A Not So Glamorous Morning

Updated: Mar 1

Living in France has its perks and it's a beautiful place, but everything is not always glamorous. My goal is to share insights into what life in France is really like, the good and the bad. Honesty, truth, and a perspective.

It's a beautiful day! Waking up to the sun shining and cool, crisp air was delightful. I took Winston out for a walk, had coffee, watched a little news (woof, there's a lot of rough news out there) and made plans to go to yoga class. I found a newer studio here in Lyon called the Yoga Room. They actually have studios in Belgium, Portugal, France, and online. It is a well thought out space with all the amenities you could want in a yoga studio....mats, changing rooms with lockers (with keys!), showers, a place for shoes and coats, complimentary water fountains and tea, a sitting space, and the one at Les Halles even has two studios capable of being heated. They even sell some yoga clothes in the front in case you forget anything or are looking for the newest look in yoga fashion, thanks lululemon! Also, one can reserve e their spot via their app and you sign in on an iPad upon arrival. I love a studio that has got their technology and setup done well.

Photo Credit: https://www.yoga-room.fr

So far, I've taken their "Hot Yoga 60", "Warm Yin", "Hatha", and "Hot Detox Flow". Listen, France is not known for their yoga classes or studios, they are lacking in that department, but the community is growing and there is growing interest in the practice. The "Hot Yoga 60" was a condensed version of a traditional Bikram class. I have practiced the method for many years and I love it. The practice is not for everyone as it is intense and very hot, but the results are amazing. It works. *I am only talking about the 26 asanas and pranayama in the practice, Bikram himself is a piece of ----* The class and the instructor were great. I stayed for the "Warm Yin" afterwards and felt my muscles and joints release and enjoyed my time on the mat.

The"Hatha" and "Hot Detox Flow" were another story. I don't know everything there is to know about yoga, but I have been practicing for more than 17 years, am a 500 hour registered yoga teacher, and have been teaching and performing dance for more than 20 years. There are a few things one learns over that time and I've been very fortunate to have studied with a few great teachers in the U.S. and Greece. We began the "Hatha" class with some breath work and traditional sun salutations. Great. Then we moved to the wall and that's where things got a little washy. I understand we were utilizing the wall as the class was mostly comprised of beginner students, but we did backbends for 30 minutes. Like, we were facing the wall and doing king dancer and then camel and walk your hands backward down the wall. These are hard things and why were we doing it for so long one after the other. I just don't understand the point. If someone can explain it to me, I'm more than happy to listen.

The "Hot Detox Flow" was something else too. In the description on the website, it sounds like a hot power vinyasa class. Think Corepower Yoga. But no. The instructor had us sit for 10 minutes as she was talking to people, then we did a couple sun salutations slowly and then we stood in tadasana (mountain pose) for a few minutes. Then, we began the "flow". The first things we did were rolling back into plow pose and dancer!?!? How is one ready for this in the beginning of class? People are going to get hurt. The instructor gave very few, if any at all, queues about alignment and there was no instruction about how to utilize the breath with the movement as the flow moved on. I'm having a hard time understanding why it's so bad here in France. People want to learn and practice yoga and advance their practice, but the classes being offered are often terrible. Having a nice space and amenities does not make up for bad classes.

****Update: I've taken many more hot yoga classes and a hot hatha. It really comes down to the instructors. There are a couple good ones, but they're hard to come by.****

One of the things I absolutely love about life in Lyon is not needing a car to get around. I can walk, bike, or scoot to most places. It's so nice and reminds of living in downtown Chicago so many years ago. On the walk home from yoga this morning, I stopped in the pharmacy for some toothpaste for Winston. Yes, you can get your pet needs at the pharmacy! Amazing. The "Grande Pharmacie Lyonnaise" is a well known pharmacy located in the heart of the shopping center in downtown Lyon. As I was looking at the tea selection, a mouse came running out from under the shelving unit. What. The. F***. There were so many people in the store and many people working, so I went up to the associate and exclaimed la petite souris! The associate looked at me and said, "Oh yes, it lives here. It is difficult to do anything because the door is always opening and people are coming in and out." I was like whatever. But then, I was walking toward the cashier and looking at the vitamins when another mouse came out from under the shelving unit. The store is infested with mice. Aren't we already in a pandemic? Who knows what these mice are carrying around with them and who knows how many there are. I just......

Photo Credit: https://www.grandepharmacie-lyonnaise.fr/ma-pharmacie

Life in France has both the good and bad, the interesting and the disgusting, the excitement and the boredom. My friends and people I've met in the U.S. are usually enamored when I tell them I live in France, saying how amazing it must be and how they wish they could move. I've posted pictures and shared stories about many of the wonderful things I've done or been on social media, but as mentioned before, it's important for there to be honesty and the truth about living here needs to be shared, especially for those thinking about making a move. And although this morning was not so glamorous, many mornings are :)

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