Garance LeGrand is a 35-year-old Data Scientist, originally from Paris, who now lives in Råsunda. We usually find her at Little Peace around 7 AM, practicing morning Vinyasa with Michelle or morning Hatha with Lisa.
Where and when did your yoga journey begin?
A friend took me along to her yoga class in London when I was in my early 20’s, and I went back and forth to yoga for about a decade, but it was not until my early 30’s that I really started to understand the yoga systemic approach to health and well being. In Nov2012, after a tough personal time, I went travelling in South-east Asia for 6 months, and I met 2 great teachers who re-introduced to me to Yoga. It was a total re-discovery.
Suddenly I understood the importance of the breath, and that the asanas are a mean to an end, not the final destination in Yoga. I felt I had been practising yoga in apnea for 10 years, just thinking of positions and alignment. Those 2 teachers help me reshape my perceptions of Yoga and helped me develop a personal practice to thrive to develop mental peace. As I kept on travelling in those 6 months in South East Asia, I happen to walk by a 200 hours Yoga teacher training on the Gilis islands (near Bali) that had just started, and decided to join on an impulse, just motivated by the desire to learn more about yoga and deepen my practice.
Tell us little about your experiences at Little Peace.
I discovered Little Peace in autumn 2015, after I moved in to a new flat in Råsunda, just a few streets away from the studio. I love the possibility of getting into my yoga pants at home and just walking to the studio and straight to the mat. My personal practice has had its ups and downs and classes at Little Peace help me maintain a certain level of practice even when my motivation and discipline at home is a bit failing. The teachers are great. I love to discover new styles of yoga.
What is it like doing yoga in Swedish?
I do most of the classes that are taught in English. In Swedish, I get a bit confused when I don’t understand certain body parts being mentionned
In what way has yoga changed your life off the mat?
For me, Yoga and Meditation is a tool I can turn to whenever I need it. I cherish the fact that it is available to me, in good times and in less good times. While my personal practice has varied with the months, I cant help notice that its when life throws a lemon at me that I instinctively found my way back to the mat. Its in those moments that I need it the most. It happens on a non-rational way. I don’t make a constant decision to do more yoga. I just find myself on the mat more.
What would you say to people who are yoga-sceptic, or curious but a little hesitant to beginning?
People misunderstand yoga easily. There are all kinds of misconceptions: that you have to be flexible to practice yoga, that you don’t sweat during yoga, that is just stretching, that you need to be of the calm or hippie type. In all cases, these misconceptions focus on the physical aspects and the exterior only. I tell people that Yoga is more about centering on oneself, and becoming comfortable with one’s own breath and heartbeat. About the physical journey of understanding own’s body, It is important to remind people that Yoga adapts to every body shape and ailments, that you always do what feels good to your body. Yoga is very inclusive. It is not for one body type. There are as many practices of Yoga as there are individuals practising it.