We’ve been following Janny Charbonneau for a while already and her journey always fascinated us: from traveling to the West Coast of Canada to surf, spending weekends in the forest by herself, founding her own yoga company, Niyama Yoga, and her down-to-earth attitude. She’s always been a person that instantly soothes your soul whenever she’s around and this is one of the reasons she is so awesome.
Finding the missing key to our puzzle, the peacefulness of our hectic lifestyle, we are thrilled to welcome Janny on the Nouvelle Vague’s team. We've asked her a few questions during a coffee date at “Tous les Jours Dimanche” so you can get to know her better while learning more about yoga.
When did you decide that you wanted to teach yoga?
When I was still a beginner, the place I used to go closed for the summer and I was running quite a bit at the time, so I proposed my friends to do yoga in the park or anywhere after our workout session. I told them that I would prepare some stuff. I realized that I really liked preparing yoga training plans, even though I wasn’t sure if it was good or not! Afterwards, I heard of a training course so I decided to try it. I didn’t have a big yoga historic, but it was calling me, I always liked to share my passions with other people. After my training, it made me meet a lot of people and bring me to do other courses so I could understand what I liked.
With so many yoga teachers around, how would you describe yourself?
I’ve really been inspired by the yoga school NAI’A, which is a community that is inspired by the nature and it was fitting me. I encountered so many beautiful people and what could define me is that I really want to give back to people their own power. It’s a practice, but also a moment for ourselves to see all the positives that surrounds us and to focus on it. The breathing tells a lot, so to calm the breathing and to deepen in it to find our true spirit.
You have recently launched a yoga class in Shawinigan, QUEBEC, how did people react? There is not much yoga class in small cities around here…
People are really interested! It’s also different with what I bring, like the SUP Yoga, the Trance Dance Yoga - I could talk to you about it during hours! It’s completely another world, a spiritual travel through our energy leaded by the breathing and our spontaneous movements, like the dance.
Woah, I didn’t know something like that existed.
Yea, it’s really cool, it’s like a rave without alcohol nor drugs, haha. You are high on life! It’s all connected with the Earth’s elements and the music, it’s like I am a DJ. Haha, it seems so intense said that way, but it’s the way I see myself as a teacher. I want people to reconnect themselves with the beauty of life and what we have, what we are.
Can you tell me more about the positive aspects of doing yoga?
Yoga is something really good to take time for us, which we often forget. We can take the time to observe our movements and the way we feel. If we do a lot of sport, it’s really good for stretching, learning to know the limits of our body, understanding our breathing. People sometimes think it’s just something to do when you want to relax, but there are a lot of yoga styles in the world.
We often say that the original yoga culture is from India. Is it a place that you would love to go see?
Well, the last trip I did recently was in Indonesia, where the yoga is really strong as well. The spirituality, prayers and stuff. This is a nation really connected to what surround them, so it really inspired me. Of course India is one of the next trip I want to go experience, but we have the chance these days that yoga became more popular and we all know India is the base. I want to go there, but I’ve been lucky to have been inspired by other teachers that left from there and lived different experiences: Indonesia, Hawaii Spirituality, Inka…
At the moment you are here, but you are planning to explore eventually other places. What are your goals?
My goal is to make my project Niyama nomad. Yes, I love my hometown and I am passionate to share it with the people that lives there, but I want to travel and be next to the ocean. I want to make a choice for me, to know the feeling of waking up close to the sea. Maybe leaving a long time, maybe just retreats, this is still a project at the moment.
I really hope you will, travelling would be a blast! What can you bring to Nouvelle Vague?
It would be to share tips on how to associate the yoga practice with our love for the sea, how to take care of the ocean, and what it brings us to have that passion for surfing even though we are beginners. I think about the practice of surfing and other sports that are in the water and we need to take care of the nature. By the yoga, we take care of ourselves and everything that surrounds us. I think it’s a good platform for that.