My Yoga Story

paschimottanasanaI was born by the waters of Les Sables d’Olonne, a beautiful city on the west coast of France. My parents named me Benoît, not realizing at the time that this name would be extremely difficult to pronounce in California, the place we’d be moving to 5 years later.

Every summer we returned to Les Sables d’Olonne to visit my family and spend my days in the water, literally until my fingers turned to prunes.

My mother first brought me to see Le Ballet de l’Opera de Paris thinking it would lull me to sleep, but nope, big blue eyed me knew immediately that this is what I wanted to do. After patiently waiting and dancing endlessly around our house – for 2 years, Christine Morgan, the ballet teacher that would train me for years to come, finally thought I was old enough to join her school. I was 7 years old.

The long hours of hard ballet training at the San Francisco Academy of Ballet taught me the importance discipline and consistency in my work. Those long hours in the studio are also what brought me to yoga. At first, yoga helped me recover and prevent my body from being injured by matching my flexibility with strength and teaching me how to breath. While exploring contemporary dance in San Francisco, I had the chance to delve into Gyrotonic and Gyrokenisis which taught me to find endless length and space within my movement.

In 2010, I moved to Colorado to work with a contemporary ballet company. Through the people I met in the Denver area, I dove deeper into yoga and the healing arts. QiGong, which I practiced on a daily basis, helping me keep my energy in balance while working extensive hours on the stage. It is also the practice that sparked my spiritual path. I found myself becoming especially in tune with the chi circulating though my body. This absolutely spilled over into my yoga practice and into my dancing – so much so that the very act of placing my hands on the mat became a meditation in and of itself.

While stopping by a Tibetan store in Boulder, I learned about sound healing and how profoundly affected we are to the frequencies of a single musical note. Needless to say, sound healing quickly became a part of my practice. I purchased my first singing bowls and bells, which I often bring with me to class.

A few years later, I flew to Budapest to begin a 6 month journey throughout Europe where my only material property was a light suitcase, ballet shoes, and a yoga mat. Running from city to city, and attending many ballet auditions, the need to deepen my roots grew, as did my passion for Yoga. A year later, I attended Global Yoga Shala’s intensive certification program in the Dordogne region of France. While enriching my practice and meeting dedicated yogis from Africa to Alaska, Global Yoga Shala planted the seeds of Ayurvedic medicine, yogic philosophy, and Pranayama into my being.

ShortIy after my certification, I moved to Bern, Switzerland and started teaching yoga in Zurich and dancing in Lausanne.

In march 2012, after moving to Paris, I met a wonderful ballet teacher who introduced me to Alexandre Technique. Working on this technique taught me to release a movement in a more profound way, and to become deeply conscious of my skeletal body, notably the relationship between my skull and spinal column.

These experiences and different teachings have allowed me to build a well rounded practice, simultaneously  integrating new elements into my teachings and keeping a “beginners mind” throughout the process of learning.