Martine Bounet is a certified yoga teacher. Born and raised in Bordeaux, France, she also lived a long time in London, UK. Here she was able to combine the two big passions in her life, yoga and wine, and to attain great command of both. She greatly enjoys sharing her passions and combines them in her daily life – practicing and teaching yoga and meditation as well as acting in diverse roles in the wine business. Her philosophy in life is that one moment not lived is a moment lost.
Martine’s style of yoga does not refer to anyone specific school of yoga but rather expresses a range of varied teachings. She taps into the expertise she has gained in over 15 years of practicing, paying homage to the great yoga and meditation teachers she has been working with.
Martine has been leading retreats at Oneworld Retreats since 2007. As a retreat leader, her guests are beautifully taken care of; which then helps her focus on the content and the delivering of the retreat.
This year, she will be leading three retreats:
That is a good question, why yoga? But then why breathing, why thinking, why loving, why do we want to connect with others as well to our inner self, why trying to find answers to existentialist questions, why trying to stay healthy physically, mentally and spiritually? So why Yoga? Because yoga is to my mind the absolute platform to probably find answers to all of those questions. Besides, in a world of crazy chaos needless to say that yoga is I believe a perfect way to try and stay sane as well as providing some useful reminders on how to stop, breathe and appreciate the beautiful sides of life.
How do you come back to inner peace?
Hmmmm, I would say I have two favourite ways of coming back to inner peace. One is going to the ocean and just sitting and watching the ocean. Just love it as it feels so peaceful as well as purifying. But since I cannot get to the ocean as often as I would love to (despite not living that far away from it) one other way to come back to inner peace is setting aside a time where I can sit alone and get into a meditative state; I try to do it in the early morning as it helps with my day. I must confess it is not always easy but even a few minutes aside can go a long way with getting me into a right state of mind.
Top wellness tip?
I would mention a few personal favourites. First, drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning and stretch as soon as you get out of bed to detoxify and increase physical well-being. Feel grateful for all that you have as to help support emotional well being. And finally, inhale loving kindness (metta) and exhale loving & kindness to help promote universal well-being! And… last but not least sipping a glass of wine with good company is also great to support well-being… that said and for obvious reasons best to enjoy in moderation and at different time of your yoga practice 😉
Please introduce yourself
Hello, My name is Martine and I am a French native
What brought you to yoga?
I think I started to develop an interest with anything to do with spirituality from an early age. I am not coming from a religious or spiritual background but I remember always having lots of questions on both subjects. My interest probably also arose from witnessing my elder brothers’ strong interest in meditating and which led him to initially follow a spiritual path. In my early twenties, back in 1997, I lived in the States for a year and this is where I came across a Yoga class. I did not think much of it at the time other than I enjoyed the physical aspect of the practice. I moved to London in 1998 where I lived for 15 years and this is where I felt Yoga was my definitely thing! A discipline that helps you look inwards for answer and helps you look after yourself and others.
I remember attending a Sivananda chanting session followed by Meditation and that resonated to me. I enrolled into some self-development courses and followed for a number of classes over the years and workshops from an Indian based organisation promoting spiritual awareness. At the same time, I started to follow some Iyengar yoga classes with great assiduity. Those classes were in North London and I was living South. I used to go several evenings after work by bike and I was so into it that a 45 minutes bike ride each way was not to deter me! I was so intense (and probably still is).
The more I practised and the more I wanted to learn. I spent my weekends going to classes and workshops. I studied the Iyengar style for a few years, which helped me understand the basis of proper alignment. But after that I started to branch out as I was looking to explore different practices, learn from different school of thoughts and met different teachers. I studied different styles then from Asthanga, Kundalini, Vinyasa, Accro Yoga etc. I was not one to be good to follow a specific lineage.
I like my freedom of expression and to have the opportunity to create. Some find freedom in painting, singing, dancing…I find my freedom of expression in creating and exploring flows that are experienced from sensations arising from proper breathing and body movement. And it does not mean doing extravagant poses. Anyone is able to tap into that freedom of expression and inner balance that the practices of yoga provides.