Meet Benoit & Corinne, our yoga & wellness hosts in the French Riviera
When Benoit and Corinne started up their B&B, perched on the border of Provence and the Cote D’Azur, their main aim was to help their guests experience this area of France well away from the well-trodden tourist trail.
Little did they know that they would soon be sharing their passion for yoga and clean nutritious food too as their B&B naturally “evolved” into the calming yoga centred holiday they offer today. Benoit tells us more…
What were you doing before you set up your retreat?
When we started, our main motivation was to share the French culture of the local area with travellers from all over the world who were visiting the French Riviera, to make sure they would live a real and authentic travelling experience; not only a tourist one. The yoga philosophy came gradually into it, until it became the most important part of it. I would say we’ve naturally evolved.
When did you begin to practise yoga? Why did you decide to start?
I like to ask those questions to our guests too. It shows the diversity of motivations that bring people into yoga and can say a lot about their personal life experience. Personally, I started about 15 years ago but to explain why would take too much time here. I’d love to share it during the retreat though.
So what inspired you to start teaching yoga?
At first, I decided to join the teacher training program to go deeper into my own practice (Asana), without the intention of actually teaching but once I finished the training, some friends of mine asked me if I would be willing to give them free classes, which I realised I would be happy to.
Within the year of sharing those weekly sessions, 3 times a week, our guests asked me if they could also join those free classes, which of course thrilled me :) The following year we decided to add these sessions to the weekly activities until we decided to then only organise yoga holidays.
Now, on top of the Asana sessions, I bring more yoga philosophy to our holidays. For the past 10 years I have been working with a meditation teacher that has considerably changed my life, and I like to share this with the guests.
What is your favourite…
- Type of yoga to practice: meditative yoga
- Yoga posture or pose: the one in the moment
- Place to practice (i.e. beach, home, studio, etc.): no place in particular, but preferably where there is space and light
- Part of your yoga retreat: when people share their life experiences, and seeing how it contributes to help others clarifying their own
Why are your yoga holidays great for single travellers?
Yoga holidays are great for everyone :) But if you want to focus on “single travellers”, I guess this is about not feeling that you might alone all the time. Most of the time on our yoga holiday, you will be part of a group, and having yoga as a common point will facilitate the connection with others. It is a great way to meet others with similar goals and interests.
What is the average age of guests on your holidays?
Hard to answer but the majority of our guests range from 25 to 65 years old. We realise that age doesn’t matter, as it is all about the spirit people have when they join such a holiday, and that doesn’t rely on the age.
We welcome travellers from all over the world, so in a week we can have a guest who is from Germany, another from Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, the US and Italy…and the following week from Sweden, France, Spain, England and Switzerland. It’s a great mix!
What are the best 3 things (besides joining your holiday!) that guests should see/do in the region?
- Nature: exploring the river of the Esteron and take a swim/jump in the local waterfalls
- Culture: the Maeght Foundation of St Paul de Vence
- Spiritual: definitely the Matisse Chapel, but it will be included while you’re on our holiday. There is also a Buddhist centre just an hour’s drive from us in the mountains where you can receive darma’s teaching. For more personal experience, I would also recommend the Abbey of Lerins in the island of St Honorat.
If you would like to discover this amazing pocket of France while having daily yoga and excursions, you can find out more about this very special holiday here.