Bordeaux Expats caught up with Audrey from Om Yoga Bordeaux to find out about her inspirational holistic yoga approach. Read on to learn more!
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I was born in Brittany (France) and lived there until my teenage years, where I studied hospitality.
After obtaining my A-levels, I realized that studying wasn’t for me and I had this urge for travelling. I went to England for 3 years, then Singapore for 5 years, where I met my French husband and finally followed him to Melbourne (Australia), where we stayed for 9 years. We decided to return to France shortly after our son was born in 2017.
Even though, I had the best time travelling and definitely learnt a lot, not just about my career, but about life in general, becoming a parent made me realize how much I actually missed my family. I left France when I was 18 years old and after so many years away, I felt like I needed to reconnect with them and re-discover my home country.
I moved to Bordeaux In October 2017, I chose this city because it reminded me a lot of all the other big cities I’ve lived in – I thought it wouldn’t be too much of a shock coming back. Bordeaux is also a place where I would have more opportunities with my teaching (also because my in-laws live here too and having their first grandchild too far wasn’t an option 😉 ).
I wouldn’t say it was easy starting everything over again in France after being away for so long, but I do not have any regrets about being back here. This may sound very cliché but I never realized how lucky I was to be French until I left the country and I can say that I appreciate it even more now; it almost feels like I am discovering a new country again!
How did you get into yoga?
I first started practicing yoga over 12 years ago in Singapore while working as a restaurant manager.
“Yoga helped me manage the stress involved with the job, find a good mental balance and rest my body from standing and running around all day.”
I continued this same career in Melbourne. However, it came to my attention that working so many hours under so much pressure wasn’t what life should be about (not mine anyway 😉 ).
In 2012, I decided to study with the Australian Yoga Academy and share with people the beauty of ‘letting go’ and stress management through yoga.
What is your teaching style like? What types of yoga do you teach?
I first studied yoga, not with the goal of teaching it, but understanding it better and more profoundly, as I thought that a lot of teachers I had come across in my personal practice would go through the postures without telling us, students, why we were doing them and what we were supposed to experience through them.
“Nowadays, a lot of people are in tune with their body and are interested in knowing more about it and its full potential.”
I think it is important for us, teachers, to guide our students to find a better version of themselves, mentally and physically and to explain to them ‘how’, but also, ‘why’ they are doing it, so that they can use it both on and off their mat.
I have a background in competitive gymnastics and am grateful to have gained strength and flexibility through the years I competed. However, I have had many injuries and keeping my students practicing in a safe manner is my priority.
“I adapt my classes to each of my students depending on their injuries, goals, levels and ages. I teach private, group and corporate classes, in English and French.”
The styles of yoga I teach are Hatha, Vinyasa and Yin as well as Pre & Post-Natal Yoga (I am a new mum and have appreciated practicing yoga through my pregnancy until the final week before my due date and returned pretty soon after my son’s birth).
After obtaining my yoga teaching diploma, I carried on with my studies and got my certificate in alternative medicine and very often add wellness tips as part of my classes along with a combination of massage techniques, posture adjustments and the use of essential oils.
“My teaching style is very realistic; in my classes, there won’t be any fluff or pretty words that most people don’t understand; I use everyday’s life examples to make my students feel more comfortable and so that they do not feel intimidated with the practice.”
However, expect lots of positive energy and smiles through my classes. I am also a student, like most yogis and not here to judge anyone.
Tell us about your Ethics
Yoga is not a competition to be the best in class, but to be the best you can be for yourself. It isn’t simply a practice of beautiful postures just for the sake of it, but an entire lifestyle.
Why do you love your job?
There is nothing more rewarding than to watch people enter a yoga class, completely stressed and disconnected with themselves, and once the class finishes, see them go back to their daily activities with a smile on their face and a real sensation of feeling lighter, both mentally and physically.
Any other interests?
I love anything that is related to fitness and health as well as travelling and meeting new people.