Born in France in 1977, Ibiza yoga instructor Sebastien Carincotte was introduced to the island by his parents, who took him to Ibiza every August for holidays for as long as he can remember. At the same time, he was also taking the first steps on his yoga journey, as his theatre-school teacher introduced him to small asanas and breathing exercises as part of his studies.
Little did he know that one day the two paths would cross, and form the basis of his own very successful yoga school – widely regarded as the most beautiful yoga studio in all of Europe – Hot Yoga Ibiza, where today he teaches Hot Yoga, CORE 40 and Ashtanga classes all year round.
“I really started practicing yoga in Ibiza in 2006,” he says. “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.” With this in mind, he embarked upon a journey of learning and evolution, eventually traveling to Hawaii (“Another wonderful place with amazing energy”) in 2007 to undergo an extensive nine-week training course with Bikram Choudhury. “It was TOUGH!” he explains. “The longest nine weeks of my life, but it also changed my life.”
An Ashtanga training course in Costa Rica and an advanced Bikram course in Barcelona followed (“The advanced course has 84 postures, while most classes only feature 26 – when you get to this level it’s really challenging!”), after which Sebastien – who had been filling in teaching for a friend in another yoga school – opened his very own yoga school in Ibiza, Hot Yoga Ibiza.
After a few years building up his client base, earning fabulous reviews and developing his own practice, in 2013 Sebastien felt it was time to continue on his path of yogic learning. “It’s really important to evolve,” he says. “Practicing is the basis for teaching – you can’t explain to students that you’re going to feel a certain way, or explain how to hold a pose or how to change things if you haven’t experienced it yourself.”
It was this desire to continue learning that led Sebastien to discover his new guru Tony Sanchez, with whom he studied for a month in 2014. “You need to go back to the source, to keep learning. It nurtures your soul, and Tony Sanchez for me, was absolutely amazing!” This time, his studies took him to the beautiful shores off California Baja in Mexico, where he underwent a new form of yoga training called CORE 40.
His yogic journey may have taken him around the world, but the one thing that has always remained consistent is his desire to bring back his learnings to Ibiza. “I went to this training because I wanted to teach something different to my students. I see some of them have been practicing for five years, but there’s no evolution, they are just stuck in the same thing again and again and again.”
“CORE 40 is not as difficult as Bikram – but it’s challenging. I had to learn a totally different way of working, slowing down and taking the time to really breathe. I learnt if you have time to look for the breath, you can breathe better; if you can breathe better, you get a lot more resistance and can do the poses better. It’s not so rigid either – we can mix up the sequence. There are a lot more benefits to practicing in this way.”
So just where does Sebastien think his journey will go to next? “I want to go back and study some more with Tony,” he says. “With him, I found a real teacher, a yoga master. It felt like all the pieces of the puzzle were coming together and I was touching places in my own practice I have never reached before. It made me happy… and I want people to experience that happiness here.”