Five minutes with Beeyogi
Beeyogi, or Beatrice Pelissier, is a yoga instructor who runs classes – both private and community – across Islington. Originally from France, she first came to the borough three years ago and fell in love with the place. We find out more…
How long have you lived in Islington?
I moved to London in 2013 for one year. This is when I discovered Islington as I was renting a room at a friend’s place near Caledonian Rd. In October 2014, I left London again to go and teach yoga and meditation in Thailand. I came back to London just a year ago and came straight back to Islington. So I am still discovering this borough and I am loving it.
What do you like most about the borough?
Everything… I really feel home here, it has a soul of his own, it’s full of life. From the hectic Upper street to the BBQ’s parties in Highbury Fields, to the numerous coffees, brunches and small shops, it reminds me of France where I grew up. I particularly like Highbury street as it has some local shops still family-run. It’s so pleasant to go from one shop to another and say hi to familiar faces. I am also amazed by the number of parks. I recently moved near Clissold Park, a real little gem where I don’t feel I am in London. I enjoy the multi culture diversity and there are lots of young people in this area.
How did you get into yoga?
I took my first yoga class when I was 16 but didn’t like it. It was too slow for me and I thought I was wasting my time. It took me another 10 years before I would embrace this path. I was living in Montreal, Canada, leading a very hectic and stressful lifestyle as I was managing a small software company, competing in squash and socialising a lot. I started with breathing exercises to help coping with stress. Then I started an Asthanga class (strong physical yoga) and I’m not sure what happen in that first class, but it was something more than just going to a stretching and intense workout class.
Yoga quickly helped me respond better to stress. I got sick and the doctor told me it was because of stress that my immune system couldn’t fight. So I decided to really take a step back and yoga helped me connect with myself much more. I can say I have consistently practised yoga for 13 years now and attended many courses, retreats from different yoga schools, but also mindfulness and Buddhism trainings.
What do you love about it?
Yoga has many shapes and many doors to explore. I started yoga to learn to cope with stress, to relax and calm myself, to stay flexible and prevent injuries and slowly started to practise yoga to train my mind and be more positive, respond better to stress and negative emotions. Yoga offers so many different tools, has so many ways to be approached that I always learn new things from it. It really transformed my way of seeing the world, myself and others. It makes me a better person and yet, there is still a long way to go and a lot to learn and explore.
When did you start teaching?
I started to teach in March 2012 after I spent two months in a traditional ashram in India (Satyananda). In 2013, I decided to study a one-year diploma in Yoga Education at the Health & Sport University in Lille, France. Those studies allowed me to deepen my knowledge but also to understand how to integrate yoga into the Western world.
What is your most memorable class?
London offers the most memorable classes I have taught so far. I teach people with specific conditions (HIV, Sickle cells, cancer survivors, burn out) and it is amazing to see how good they feel right after a class and how they are transformed in just a few weeks. Witnessing happier and more relaxed faces, receiving so many smiles and shiny looks and seeing tangible physical results in terms of improving balance, strength, flexibility and coordination.
I recently started to teach elderly people across Highbury & Islington and I laugh so much with all of them. One lady who is 73 years-old, tried yoga for the first time after having a double hysterectomy due to cancer. I saw her three times a week for the first three months and in that time she slowly moved towards being able to do standing postures without the use of the chair and most notably, learnt relaxation and breathing tools to cope with her chemo and pain. She managed to cope and reduce the negative effects of chemo. She build her body stronger but her mind too. It was amazing to see her transformation week after week.
What touches me the most is to witness the different emotions that people feel when they take time to look after themselves, a break from the hectic and busy daily life. It’s a very privileged moment and that is one of the main reason why I teach yoga, meditation and breathing.
Where are your classes?
I mainly teach private classes around Islington, in offices or at people’s home. I teach yoga for specific conditions and for general wellbeing. I mix yoga with pilates to strengthen the core, I teach guided meditation and meditation using mindfulness techniques, breathing and positive psychology tools. My classes are tailored to the client’s needs and intentions.
Personally, I always encourage people to start with two to three private classes to make sure they learn the right and safe foundations before they join a group class. This will help prevent injuries and to know which style is better for them.
I recently started a yoga and meditation class at the Healthy Living Centre on St Paul’s Road, every Wednesday from 7 to 8pm. The rate is £7 for the first time then £10. You can also find me on Friday from 11am to 12 noon at the West Library for a community yoga session. It’s £5 and the money goes back to the Charity called Healthy Generations.
And finally, I also run wellbeing holidays with specific themes (women, de-stress) in Greece and France.
Find out more, visit www.beeyogi.net