Yoga Class In Chamonix

Samantha was lighting up some floating candles and I can smell the eucalyptus scent in the room as I opened the door. Doug dropped me off at PlaneteYoga located about a quarter mile from our chalet. The yoga studio is right beside a Bio Super Marche, or Organic Supermarket. I asked Doug to get my favorite Yogi tea or Yogi Classic brand tea before the store closed. He told me he was coming back to pick me up at 8:30pm. It was really nice of him to do that.

The yoga class is Vinyasa or flow. I’ve done a few Vinyasa yoga classes before but never in French. I emailed Samanth earlier to confirm if there is a class because it’s off-season and the schedules of retail store in Chamonix is really weird. It’s safer to call or email ahead. Samantha responded to my early apology that I am not very good in French. She responded in English which is a good sign. I’ve emailed a few places before in English and get French responses so you never know. Oh, how I wish I am literate in French. Sigh.

I entered a room full of people and the room was warm considering the pre-winter temperatures outside was pretty cold. I greeted Samantha and everyone else with the word I always use when we meet people on the streets, at the store and everywhere else. “Bonjour!”

Samantha welcomed me with a smile and pointed me to a room behind the yoga studio where I hung my jacket and got a mat. I took a warm blanket and a foam block for support. I wasn’t nervous to be in class because I’ve done a few yoga classes before.

Samantha apologized and told me that the class will be in French. I told her not to worry because I know the poses and can follow by looking. It’s really weird, maybe I have taken enough yoga classes to be comfortable in a class. That is a good thing. I laid my mat down in a corner of the room and got situated. A couple came in and I greeted the young lady who sat beside me with “Bonjour.” She started to speak French with me and I politely said, “no French.” She nicely whispered, “English?” I said yes and then she smiled. She started to speak English to me, which was great.

It’s amazing to learn that my body is still flexible in some of the poses and how much stability I still have being away from the gym for so long. It felt really good on the poses and some poses made me sweat a bit. Some poses are held for over a minute and I can feel the stretch on my big muscles. I didn’t have a problem following the movements at all. We all are focused on Samantha, the relaxing candles, the smell of eucalyptus and the warm room felt really good.

Some of the poses reminded me of my 8 hours bus ride from Pokhara to Kathmandu. We had the smallest seat ever, shared between me and Doug. We had no choice but to take those seats crammed in the front of the bus with people and luggages around us. I was stuck in one position in the corner with no room for any movement, for 8 hours. My leg was falling asleep, it was cramping, I could not move at all. On top of that, the seat pad was loose from the seat so it moved forward anytime the bus stopped abruptly. I had to stabilize and use my core to really hang on to keep still so as not to fall off. I wasn’t the only soul in the bus with the same predicament. Everyone was because local buses are always jammed packed traveling from Kathmandu to destinations as long as 8 hours. Most buses only run once a day so, that’s the ride!

If I can sit still in one position in excruciating pain for 8 hours with one stop in between to stretch and go to the toilet along with extremely loud speakers playing Bollywood music, I can sit in a pose of excruciating feel good stretch for a few minutes in a calm and relaxed room. I laughed so hard inside.

Samantha is a young lady, about mid-20’s and extremely fit. She actually spoke some English (which I thought was pretty good) so we were able to chat a little. She is also super tan. In chatting with her after the class, she just came from Indonesia last month. I asked her how she liked Indonesia because I’ve never been there and she said, she had an overwhelming positive experience. She also mentioned that people tell her how touristy Indonesia can be but she went there on an off season so there were not a lot of tourists. She had an amazing time.

I really enjoyed the class and as always, the breathing part is my favorite. Yoga breathing really made my blood flow in my body. It felt like these tingling feeling under my skin, it feels good. It was a really good 1.5 hours with Samantha. I also enjoyed listening to the soothing French language spoken by Samantha throughout the evening. She also had some good choice in music, with some “om-mani-pad-meh-yun” in it.
I paid 10 Euros for a class, that is for first timers in PlaneteYoga then it’s 15 Euros each class after that. There is also an option to buy season passes of 10 or 5 classes. There is another yoga studio called Viva Yoga Chamonix but it’s located in La Praz which is a bus ride. Viva Yoga Chamonix have more classes and they do the hike plus yoga on the mountains.

Doug was already there outside waiting for me. He said he was there at 8pm, just walking outside in the cold! I guess he just felt like it and really missed me. We walked back to the chalet and it started to snow. I can see the light snow flakes coming down and it was very cold. Snow in Chamonix, pretty cool!

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