This is the story of a woman who has found pieces of herself in far-flung places, recognizing that her soul is satisfied in places that are “foreign” but feel like home. Her tireless and insatiable curiousity is also what makes her an exceptional yoga teacher – she helps students find what makes their body come alive through yoga.
Anaïs grew up in the coldest spot in France, the blue spot on the map, a rural town in the centre of country in the Massif Central region. Though her family’s travels were mostly limited to Spain or the Mediterranean, Anaïs was drawn to other languages and other cultures. She would listen to English audiotapes in the car, learning songs and belting out English lyrics when her family went on trips. For university, she went to Clermont Ferrand, majoring in language studies, and studied English, Arabic and German.
During her time at uni, she had the opportunity, at age 19, to travel to Cairo. Something about the region appealed to her; when she was 20, she moved to Aleppo, Syria and lived there for six months, studying through her university and working at the French Consulate. Her first month in Aleppo was really hard – she had to learn how to live “the Syrian way”; but once she adjusted, she had a wonderful time and made many friends. Anaïs got an in-depth look into the complexities of Syrian life, both politically and personally. She was moved by their values and extreme generousity. Those values and approach to life have stayed with her ever since.
After her time at uni, she went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Literary Translations. When she finished her Master’s, she worked on pursuing her dream of moving to London. Over the course of seven years, she worked every summer at French camps teaching kids English. Following that, she became a French assistant in schools, first in Kent and then in London, for two years. She knew she needed a slightly different fit, which is how she found herself at Sega, the video game maker. For the next five years, Anaïs translated video games for Sega.
Anaïs first encountered yoga during her Master’s studies. She’d been a gymnast from the age of 8 until 12 and a dancer from 11 to18. She’d even been exposed to Yoga Nidra when she was a teenager. During her teens, she had experienced a lot of anxiety and learned breathing techniques from a therapist to relax and let go of her fears. When she stepped onto the mat, it felt like a mix of these aspects and made complete sense to her. She practiced on and off for a year and kept up her practice when she moved to London.
Through the following years, and after a small life crisis, she found some YouTube videos and created a regular yoga practice. A year later she traveled to India to study and practiced at an ashram in Rishikesh. Her experience in Rishikesh really changed her. It challenged her physically, mentally and lifted her spiritually. After her return from Rishikesh, she was more devoted than ever and a year later graduated from YogaLondon’s 200-hr YTT, auspiciously on her 30th birthday! She began teaching yoga at Sega, her old office, twice a week. She added another corporate class, covered for other yoga teachers and took on private clients. After a couple years of teaching, one of the senior teachers and the YL School Director asked her to come onboard and teach for YogaLondon. She didn’t think she was good enough to be a YL teacher, but others knew her potential. She’s now been teaching for YogaLondon for three years.
In the last year, Anaïs added the Asana, Philosophy and Anatomy module to her training. During this time, she also brought a small baby boy into the world. Anaïs is quite passionate about yoga philosophy and believes that what you learn from your asana practice informs the rest of your life and your actions.