Portrait d’un Happy Yogi – Tolis

Have you met Tolis ? He was the bright smile of every english speaking class, but life has brought him to leave Lyon and move back to the United States this summer. We hope that he will find there a peaceful yoga studio to welcome his good vibes that we miss.

We asked him what yoga brings in his life before he went. Here is his inspiring answers.

How did you discover yoga ?

Seven years ago, I started feeling stressed and anxious and experienced panic attacks. I thought yoga was only for old people but I heard it could help with my feelings of anxiety, so I decided to take a class and loved it.

The instructor taught me how to breathe and it helped me so much that I started doing yoga three times a week. While I no longer practice three times a week, I still try to attend at least one to two hatha yoga classes per week to help me center myself and keep life in perspective.

What are the three best things about yoga for you ?

First, I love how I forget everything else during a class. I leave the class with a clear mind and it helps me think better.

Second, it improves my flexibility, which will help me stay limber and in good shape as I get older.

Last, I attend classes at a studio where I can feel a sense of connection and community. It helps to remind me that I am not the only one trying to improve myself and to bring a sense of calmness to the world outside of the studio. I strongly believe that everyone could benefit from doing yoga.

What is your favorite kind of yoga ?

My favorite kind of yoga is Hatha. I also like anything slow, such as Yin Yoga or even VInyasa Flow if the pace is not too quick. I prefer to attend yoga classes that give me a chance to slow down because the rest of my life is fast-paced.

Your favorite place for practicing ?

I like praticing at La Bulle. I tried to practice at home but I don’t have the space or the quiet to really get into it. I tend to go too fast and a teacher helps me to keep the right pace and block out distractions. I also like being in a room with other people, in a beautiful place like la Bulle.

What lesson did yoga teach you in your daily life ?

Yoga reminds me to try try to be more patient with myself and others. Yoga reminds me to just breathe when things don’t happen the way I want. Yoga also reminds me to give myself permission to slow down so that I can do that right thing.

Is there something completely not “yoga approved” that you love to do ?

Once in a while, I really love having a big fat juicy cheeseburger. We call it a ‘gut bomb’,  because it feels good when you eat it but then you realize it might have been a bad decision. ‘Red Mill Burgers’ in Seattle makes the best burgers I've ever had.

If you were in charge of la Bulle one day, what crazy but brilliant thing would you do ?

I would organize a class outside on place Bellecour, right in the middle of the square !


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