Isabelle has been featured in The Whole 9 Gallery Newsletter
She is an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back.
Isabelle Interview with Santa Monica Yoga
On how she got into Yoga and why she teaches Yoga!
Describe the kind of yoga you teach:
I teach Energetic Vinyasa Flow™ Yoga, a style I created that merges the energetics of Tantra yoga with Vinyasa flow with an emphasis on mindfulness, alignment and core strength. It also integrates breath and meditation for a powerful, flowing, dynamic practice that is playful in its approach.
Who are your most influential teachers and why?
Nature has always been a source of inspiration and a great teacher. May Kazan, my first yoga teacher back in France, introduced me to Hatha Yoga, Zen meditation, Shiatsu massage, sounds and chanting. During my certification in the U.S., Maty Ezraty and Lisa Walford taught me the principles of Ashtanga and Iyengar. Rod Stryker transmitted to me the depth of Tantra yoga in the lineage of the Himalayan masters. He taught me a vast array of pranayamas, meditations and energetic practices along with intelligent sequencing and yoga philosophy. Shiva Rea taught me the art of creative vinyasa flow. My spiritual teachers are Mani Finger and Pandit Rajmani Tigunai. Both are powerful Tantra masters.
How did you get into yoga?
I met my first Yoga teacher, May Kazan, when I was 14 years old in Paris, where I was born and raised. She exuded such a strong presence. When I found out she was a yoga teacher, I asked her right away if she would teach me. Lucky me, she agreed. It was more intuitive than anything on my part. A few days later, here I was, entering this big room filled with students from all walks of life. I fell in love with yoga right there. I can still remember and feel this amazing feeling of relaxation, spaciousness and freedom I experienced after my first class. My shoulders relaxed, my face and my heart softened. I experienced a spiritual connection that I had always longed for: an anchor and a map to embrace the flux and challenges of life.
How long have you been practicing?
I have been practicing for 30 years. I have been teaching for 20 years.
Why do you teach yoga?
Because I love it. Yoga is the dance of life. It has been empowering, grounding and truly transformative in difficult times, allowing me to overcome life’s many challenges and losses. It is a map for living in our chaotic world, imparting inner peace, clarity, strength and compassion. On the physical level, it fills us with radiance, health and happiness. I want to share the gifts of yoga and to be of service in the world. I also want to share the teachings of peace and non-violence to help alleviate suffering for all beings. Peace starts within.
What do you hope to impart to students?
A sense of centeredness, balance, inner joy and peace. I wish to inspire, energize and empower. I want to share yoga’s ancient wisdom and a way of living which will allow students to realize their full potential, to thrive and to be happy for no reason.
What’s your favorite asana?
The royal dancer or natarajasana, because it is simultaneously a balancing pose and a deep backbend. Coming out of this backbend feels exhilarating and energizing. My heart is open and I feel strong and courageous.
What’s your favorite asana to teach?
Handstand. If we can do handstand, we can do anything in life! I love to help my students overcome their fears of being upside down, to open their hearts, and to find core strength throughout their body. It feels like spring in the yoga class!
What’s your favorite quote?
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” Carl Jung
What’s your guilty pleasure?
A few pieces of good milk chocolate!