Who’s On The Mat? Meet Floriane

Flo.jpg

Who are you, lovely lady? 

My name is Floriane (Flo), I’m 43 and I come from Paris.

What do you do when you’re not on the mat?

I’m a strategic growth consultant, Africa.

Do you have a favourite asana?

If only I could be in Savasana for my ultimate breath on this planet.. feeling like I don’t fear anything when I’m in savasana, not even death.

Any asana that you particularly dislike? 

I can’t think of any off the top of my head – there is always a positive side, sometimes just the relief to be out of it.. or the balances for instance, I often struggle but I like the “power on my body” feeling they sometimes give. I used to be very uncomfortable in pigeon but I’ve caught myself hoping for it in a recent session.

We’d love to hear a bit more about your yoga journey – how you got into it, how it has evolved and the benefits of having it in your life. 

I discovered yoga shortly after I moved to ZA, particularly when the doctor said I had blood pressure issues and needed to start taking care of myself.

Less than 2 months after I started yoga, I was badly injured in a terrible dog attack. The surgeon said I might never walk normally again. Yoga was the first activity I was allowed to resume after I was out of hospital (when still healing after a muscle and skin graft).

I went back to yoga before I went back to work and started a minimum twice a week routine, and when I was ready for physio, I chose to instead continue with yoga.

What role did your practice play in your recovery? 

It did help me a lot mentally and physically: I remember thinking  “at least I will always have yoga now..”. I felt blessed that I had started practising yoga before the accident.

A few months later I could do everything I used to do before the ordeal, including getting up on a surf board (whereas the surgeon had said I should forget about sports like skiing or surfing). I walked the whale trail with a group of friends. I went back to my life, or the life I was intending to live. I had never ever been as active as I was in this period of my life. I practise less nowadays but will never forget the benefits yoga can bring.

What does your practice mean to you now?

A breath in my busy life, in my busy mind; a feel good exercise; a way to stay fit, supple and comfortable in my body, with my body.

Do you notice any changes when you’ve not been on the mat for a while?

My body misses it when I don’t practise (and my mind as well I’m sure but it is less obvious – to me at least 😉

When I don’t exercise for a while, my leg reminds me that a muscle is missing and needs constant stimulation, so I’m in for a while I think 😉

I have developed this habit of stretching for a minute in my bed before getting up now that I don’t go to yoga as often as I used to.

Are there any things in particular that you like about practicing at our studio?

The sound of the birds; the ease to connect with the weather and the outside world. I also love the explanations given by the teachers and the importance given to slow / meditative aspects of the practice.

Anything you’ve learned about yourself?

I’m a day dreamer, which I now see as an ability to pause.

Namaste, Flo. It was an incredible thing to see how you tackled your recovery and your reintegration into your body and your sense of safety in the world after your ordeal. Your commitment to the practice and the incredible quiet determination that you displayed in taking responsibility for your healing was, and continues to be, truly inspirational. I salute you, warrior princess that you are. Namaste.

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