10 days already...!
It has been 10 days already since we hit the ground running in Marseille…time flies!
In a nutshell?
We have been non-stop out pounding the pavement of this charming city and meeting with incredible organisations & endearing students who have welcomed us with such great hospitality... unlike some poor fall weather ;)
Our very first yoga outreach in Marseille…
We held our first class at L’Amicale du Nid - a national NGO providing social and professional support to victims of human trafficking & sexual exploitation. How did it go? This class was challenging - to say the least - as we taught to a diverse group of 2 french, 4 nigerian speaking english-based pidgin only, and 3 pregnant women! Despite the challenge, we hopefully managed to lit up a place within themselves where they can return to love and connection.
Nicolas - who is coordinating their day-care center in Marseille - has been the champion of this yoga initiative and we can’t thank him enough for his trust. Icing on the cake: Julie Larini, local yoga teacher and osteopath, who happily joined us in action and will be ensuring the continuity of the work when we leave.
That same week, we met with an amazing group of young refugees warmly welcomed in Marseille by NGO JRS Jeunes. We spent such a cool and unusual Friday evening laughing, drinking (apricot juice only!) and talking traditional Guinean, Syrian, and Afghan dishes… we still ended up sharing a brief yoga practice :) How did it feel? These youth got our heart with their courage and curiosity and we can’t wait to see them every week on the mat. Shoutout to Maëlle and Mahé, JRS volunteers in Marseille, for their unrelenting energy and for making the youth feel at home.
Last but not least, we led a gentle yet powerful first yoga class for the residents and staff of Jane Pannier - a network of shelters providing housing and social support to homeless, isolated, and mentally ill women. Most of the 15 participants who came to class were physically impaired. What did we do? We stayed seated and guided them through a mix of chair yoga movements, visualization, and breath work. We also engaged into inspirational drawing and held space for a very touching sharing circle about self-worth and empowerment. Words are not enough to express how the team - Patricia, Laurent, Ruth, Christine, and Claire - is inspiring us with their endless generosity.
Are you in Marseille this Sunday?
Simultaneously to our yoga-service work, we were so excited to connect with the existing yoga community spreading throughout Marseille. So many methods being taught there already (Ashtanga, Kundalini, Iyengar, Cloud yoga…) but not Jivamukti Yoga! Without a moment of hesitation and pumped up by the warm welcome and genuine interest of Sergió & Bénédicte, we decided to offer 2 fundraising Jivamukti Yoga workshops at their cozy and intimate wellness center - IÓ. Spread the word and join us on Sunday if you are around!
Okay, great. But what’s next?
Although the practice of yoga teaches us to be in the NOW… we can’t help but start preparing for our next destination - aka Cape Town. Conversations with yogis in service on the ground, nonprofits, and public studios are flourishing! We already confirmed a few Kundalini classes for disadvantaged black community through Revolutionary Yoga and a 8-week yoga program for black youth at risk within Indoni Dance, Arts & Leadership Academy.
Well… Kudos to all of the readers who reached the end of this long newsletter :)
We love you and can’t wait to hear from you!
Charlotte & Ludovic