Every now and then I write about a friend who runs a business on the Côte d’Azur worthy of everyone knowing about, and today I’m going to tell you about yoga instructor Faye Villalba. Faye lives in the gorgeous back country behind Cannes and works across the Côte d’Azur.  I recently had the pleasure of chatting to her about yoga on the Côte d’Azur. 

Faye Villalba Yoga Côte d'Azur | Lou Messugo

To a lay person like me you’re a yoga teacher but I realise there are plenty of different types of yoga. Tell us a bit about your style. 

The style of yoga that I practice and teach is inspired by my original training in the Iyengar school, coupled with the teachings of Vanda Scaravelli and her innovative and intuitive approach to yoga, which focuses on the proper alignment and “awakening” of the spine.

     Faye Villalba Yoga Côte d'Azur

How long have you been on the Côte d’Azur?  What brought you to this area and why yoga?

Having worked in the film business for nearly 25 years I came to film in Monaco in 1996 and fell in love with the area, but more importantly with my future husband! We both started practicing yoga some 4 years later whilst going through a painful period in our lives, battling with the frustration of infertility and numerous highly stressful cycles of IVF. My yoga practice had such a profound effect on me – both physically and psychologically – that I felt a passionate desire to share its extraordinary benefits with others and this is what drew me to teaching 8 years ago.

     Faye Villalba Yoga class

What do you like best about what you do?  

Teaching brings me great joy; I humbly watch as women whose arms ached from just hanging out the washing regain strength and flexibility. As stressed-out men clear their minds and find enough calm to balance on one leg. As those lacking in confidence find it within themselves to lift their legs into a headstand. My students are a constant source of inspiration and positive energy as I watch them becoming stronger, more supple, calmer and more mindful.

     Yoga class with Faye Villalba

Where do you practice?  

As well as private lessons in people’s homes and at a large company in Sophia Antipolis, I teach several group classes at different studios based in Antibes, Roquefort les Pins, Valbonne and Magagnosc. Because there are so many different styles of yoga and teaching practices, it’s extremely important to find the right teacher for you (I compare it to finding the right psychotherapist!) and with this in mind I always offer one trial group class free of charge. For any new students who mention this blog when they first contact me I’d love to offer an additional incentive of 10% off all group classes for their first month of practice.

                         Faye Villalba Yoga pose on lake

Thanks for answering my questions Faye, and for the generous discount for my readers!  How can people get in touch?

If you’d like to contact Faye you can find her through Facebook or her website.  Whether you’re resident in the area or just visiting and want to keep up your yoga, get in touch with Faye and organise a session. Group classes are in English though she can do personalised sessions in French and Spanish too.  Don’t you think this would be a great thing to do while on holiday at Lou Messugo?

                         Faye Villalba Yoga 04

Do you do yoga?  Would you like to spend an active holiday or retreat in the South of France practicing yoga? (I know just the place to stay!)  What do you think?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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