Hello mes ami-e-s! Happy Saturday!
It’s the first weekend of April (!!!) and Spring is in the air, even here in still-chilly-and-dreary Paris. Spring means change and rejuvenation. It’s a time to look back on the New Year’s resolutions we forgot about, to clean out the drawers in our desks, to hang up the winter coats and pull out the windbreakers. It’s also a time to make new goals, to try new things and to seek new inspiration.
This first week of April, for me, has been exactly that. Here’s what the week has brought me:
The Malian singer Rokia Traoré. My ears are happy.
That’s right—that’s Marilyn Monroe doing yoga. According to yoga scholar Eric Shaw, Marilyn was quite a yogini. Shaw has collected 21 photos of the movie star doing various asanas in the 1950s, long before yoga was a popular practice in the United States. Marilyn’s postures exude elegance and warmth, but they also display strength and discipline. Seeing her makes me want to bring the same grace and beauty to my own practice.
Youth, childhood and the vast differences between the lives of children all around the world. Over an 18-month period, Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti photographed children from various parts of the world posing with their most prized possessions. Each image tells a different story and portrays a different way of growing up. The two photos above show a little girl from Botswana (top) and another from Italy (bottom). Quite a contrast.
I found this photography particularly thought-provoking because (1), I am the oldest out of two girls, and my sister and I have experienced vastly different childhoods, even though we were raised by the same set of parents, in the same town, with the same traditions and expectations; and (2) I’m currently a nounou, a nanny, for a 5-year-old girl. Spending time with her has made me reflect on what it means to be a kid, how kids see the world and how we lose our youthful spirit as we grow older.
Elaine Sciolino’s funny, flirty and fascinating book, La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life. A dear friend of mine (a seductive Française herself!) bought me this book, knowing I am intrigued by French culture and how the French live, act and react to and within their society. Did you know the French can take classes to learn how to talk in that low, husky tone they all seem to be born with? Did you know the word “seduction” isn’t just sexual, but can be used in political and commercial settings, too? As in, Jacques Chirac seduced the voters? Pick this book up. You’ll fall in love.
Yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda. This philosophy, which translates as “knowledge of life,” is a system of healing that uses various diet and exercise practices to help balance individuals’ energies and dispositions to make them the best version of themselves. According to Ayurveda, there are three basic natures, or doshas, that manifest in different ways in different people. The three doshas are vada, pitta, kapha.
Discovering how I fit into this philosophy (I am without a doubt a kapha) has been absolutely enlightening and liberating. Understanding my body, my disposition and how I can bring out the best in myself through Ayurvedic practices brings me a huge feeling of empowerment. I’m looking forward to learning more about Ayurveda and incorporating it into my life!
What new discoveries have you made so far this spring?
Love and light,