French-born Sebastien Carincotte has been living in Ibiza for seven years and teaching Bikram Yoga for the last three years. Today he runs Hot Yoga Ibiza, a drop-in yoga centre on the outskirts of Ibiza Town (and the only Bikram studio in Ibiza), open all-year round and attracting locals and holidaymakers alike.
What made you first come to Ibiza?
When I was young I came here with my parents on holiday every August, so I knew the island well. Then later on I was working in Paris and just thought, stop! That’s enough! I wanted the sun and the sea and a friend suggested Ibiza so I left everything, came here and never went back!
When did you first start practicing yoga?
I began when I was really young with my theatre teacher at school, but just small asanas and breathing exercises. I really started practicing in Ibiza in 2006. I felt amazing after my first Bikram class and something in me changed. You change little by little but the more you practice, the more you feel. I just knew there was something in it for me.
So how did you get into teaching?
My own teacher suggested it to me because he needed someone to teach for him! I was working in a shop, so I thought why not? I went to Hawaii in the autumn of 2007, for nine weeks of intensive training with Bikram and it was really difficult, but also a really good experience – it changed my life. You learn about yourself, people, yoga, life. I’ve also done training in Ashtanga in Costa Rica and an advanced Bikram course in Barcelona with 84 poses – when you get to this level it’s really complicated!
What is it about the island that attracts so many people in the wellness community, for yoga and retreats?
It’s the energy of the island and the mix of people. Most people think it’s about parties and clubs, but that’s not right at all. It’s a lot of other things – you can do yoga, go to the beach, eat great food… there’s a balance, you get two sides to Ibiza. It’s a really special place on all levels. You speak Spanish, French, English Italian – it makes me grow, spiritually and it’s like my house! You instantly feel when it’s your home.
Tell us about your practice in Ibiza…
We do 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Every class follows the same sequence because when you know the sequence and the poses, you don’t have to be as attentive to the teacher and you experience a really deep meditation. Because of the 40-degree heat and the humidity, you can’t be doing a posture with a leg over your head and also think about what you’re going to do later, no way! You just forget about everything for an hour and a half. Try not to think during the practice at all – just breathe, that’s the most important thing. I teach between two and three classes a day for all levels – you work with your own body.
What are the benefits?
Of course there’s the physical, you work with every muscle, every tendon, everything in your body’s working in this class. You receive a lot of energy because of the breath work, fresh blood supply, cleanse your organs and for the mind, you feel more centered, if you feel a little bit down or depressed, yoga is the best thing you can do – always. The class is also created to help with back problems. The best thing is to try it, touch it and feel it with your own body to understand, and you need to practice three times a week to see the benefits.
What’s your self-practice like?
I practice here in the studio because with Bikram, you need to practice with the heat. I try to practice every day – but it’s not always possible. Your practice is a base when you’re teaching, if you’re not practicing, how can you teach? You’ve got to feel it to be able to explain to people how to move something slightly or what they should feel – self-practice is really important.
Hot Yoga Ibiza
T: +34 971 194 241