Welcome to Guide Talk, an exploratory column to converse in the quest for ease for ourselves and the tingling desire we all have to share and help as many as we can. I’ve been dreaming to start a place to share the awesomeness that the Strala Guides do out in the world.

sandrine at strala

We ultimately give others the experience of how we feel about ourselves, making our number one job getting really great at getting to know ourselves, improving our wellbeing, and a heavy dose of constant self care. As we expand, do our thing, express our individuality, and live out our intentions to help and serve, we share a common message and practice of ease, whether the situation is simple or challenging.

We celebrate uniqueness in ourselves and each other. It’s a wonderful state of mind knowing we all desire to be healthy, happy, strong, and crave a life of meaning and purpose, and free to express our unique selves. Our true power rests in being comfortable in who we are as we grow and thrive in this world. I’m in awe of this community of Super Guide, ease makers. It’s been several years of watching this tribe expand and create such awesome work in the world, help people along the way, and have fun in the process.

I’m blessed to be a part of this shift from no pain no gain to natural movement, and accomplishing with ease. The Guides are my heroes and friends and everyone is invited to the party.

Continue to watch this space for inspiring interviews, raw conversations and all around good vibes.

I’m so proud and inspired by my friend, Sandrine Bridoux,@frenchyogagirl Super Guide, Yoga Teacher, Former Lawyer, Retreat Leader, and Author of her first book, Yoga Sculpt.

sandrine beach

Sandrine came to Strala a few years ago (from Paris) for Ready-to-Lead 200 hour Training and it was impossible to miss her spark and her presence. She went above and beyond and came to pretty much every open class in addition to the training and practice time. Her determination and spunk are obvious ingredients to her personality and drive to do good things in this world. Something special about Sandrine I love is her genuine care for people.

You can work hard and achieve, but without the intention to serve, success will never feel great, and it won’t be able to fully express. We’ve got our scientists friends now showing what happens with stress and ease and how we practice stråla allows us to gain capability and drop tension. (As apposed to a practice of end point poses and rigidity fanning chaos and more mental and physical tension) The next frontier we’re waiting for research in is what we know through experience, without the heart, caring, and living with intent, potential is flattened and it never feels like enough.

Sandrine, is enough, and has been enough all along the way. Her new book, Yoga Sculpt is out today and we’re excited to dive in (and brush up on our French!) Enjoy the convo.

TS: I think it surprises people to learn you used to be a lawyer. Tell us about that journey for you and how you decided to gravitate toward practicing and eventually teaching yoga?

SB: Ha yes i know the transition is surprising! As a mater of fact i never expected to turn into a yoga teacher, I kinda always knew that being a lawyer was not my calling but i had no clue what I was meant to do and be . When i arrived in Paris for work  at the age of 23, i started doing a lot of sports cause i wasn’t used to stay seated on a chair all day long. But then i realized that i was doing too much. I was pushing my body way too much with all kind of sports (running, gym class) i realized that my sleep was bad, my mood was bad and that i was exhausted.. this is why i decided to try something soft and smooth ..and this is how i ended trying a yoga class!

The experience of the first class was big, i was so bad during the class and realized that my body was super tense and stiff. in fact all the workouts i was doing without stretching put a lot of tension in my body. The first class was super hard for me but i decided to not give up and keep practicing. People who know me know that I love challenges, and being bad at something is offering me the opportunity of a new challenge and give space for progress and improvement. so i kept going and going to yoga classes, and i completely felt in love with the practice. I was practicing at home every morning for 20 minutes and I realized how this could affect my work day in a good way. I felt super calm, relaxed, more focus and centered.

I literally felt in love with the process that was happening to me.

It  also made me realized that i was not happy in my job , that we only live once and that loving what you do is the key of happiness in life. I realized that the more yoga i was doing the happier i was, so why not trying to do something about it? So this is how everything started. In july 2013 i quit my job. i heard of Tara Stiles and her Strala Yoga from my previous and first Yoga teacher. I checked the website, tried one video, and i immediately loved the practice. It felt really different from tall he different yoga classes i tried in the past and i started to become curious about it. Then my decision was made: i’m going to do Tara Stiles TT.

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TS: Tell us about your new book, Yoga Sculpt

SB: It’s a small and fun book with cool illustrations and drawings, and it’s like a guide to start yoga! There are many advices to how start yoga. It explains the concept of Strala and the big benefits of it. There are also 5 different training program such as (abs training, upper body training). There are also some healthy recipes and lifestyle advice, such as how to practice to slow living way of life and how to reconnect with yourself and your body.

TS: From your insta @frenchyogagirl it looks like you are always somewhere dreamy. Where are you favorite places in the world to do yoga?

SB: NYC, Thailand, Bali, Los Angeles.. Biarritz (south of France)

sandrine bali

TS: In a world now where everyone is “out there” on instagram do you have any tips for yoga teachers or fitness trainers that want to build a following or their clientele?

SB: Stay true to yourself and Be Authentic. Don’t try to copy or be someone else. There is room for everyone and everyone is different. P eople will come to your class for who you really are, for your vibes and energy. Energy never lies! So it’s useless to try to be someone or something else than what you really are. When people come to your class they need to feel good , they need to be with someone who is genuine, natural and who care about them.

TS: We know you love fitness as well as yoga. Tell us about your favorite activities and what is your regular fitness / yoga routine for you personally?

SB: I love boxing and hiit (high intensity interval training)

TS: What is the secret to happiness?

SB: Doing what you love

TS: What is your definition of success?

SB: Happiness

TS: What is your favorite city?

SB: Without doubt: NYC. I love the energy of this city , the posivity and the consistency of the people in everything they do. It’s really motivating and inspiring

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TS: What is your usual breakfast?

SB: It’s always different. I always follow my cravings. It can be fruit, a smoothie, a healthy bar or banana bread. My favorite is def  Acai bowl, but i also indulge myself regularly with french pastries!

TS: What advice would you give someone who wants to start yoga.

SB: Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.

A lot of people give up the practice because they think yoga is not for them, but no! don’t give up! If you can breath you can do yoga! No one is an expert at yoga at first, everyone is once a beginner, so relax, be patient, practice and enjoy the ride!

sandrine tara paris

TS: What advice would you give someone who is stressed out?

SB: Practice yoga!

(it really works!)
or any kind of other sports that can release the stress !
and BREATHE deeply
TS: What’s next for you?

SB: I’m leading a yoga retreat in Marrakech (Morocco) in  end of July, ChillYogaandSun Combining travel and yoga (aka my two passions) is very exciting!

Keep in touch with Sandrine @frenchyogagirl and make sure to pick up a copy of Yoga Sculpt!