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Beauty Inc issue 08/10/2007

With a new luxury retreat opening in the Provence region this summer, Bikram yogis-in-training can take a holiday in the South of France without missing their daily workout.

“I wanted to create a balanced seminar experience,” says Benjamin Sears, instructor at Bikram Yoga Chelsea and SoHo in New York. “I want to show students that Bikram yoga and real life can coexist on a daily basis.”

This story first appeared in the August 10, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

With six years of experience in teaching Bikram, 26 yoga poses performed in temperatures over 90 degrees, Sears decided to offer “Bikram on the Côte d’Azur” in the village of Tourettes Sur Loup. He plans to have at least three instructors on site, including Craig Villani, director of education for Birkram Yoga Worldwide, and up to two classes a day.

Guests can take part in one-week sessions starting Aug. 24 and Sept. 4 or short-term two- to three-day packages without lodging. Weekly packages start at $3,000 for singles and $5,500 for couples including meals, lodging, private yoga lessons and transportation to nearby villages.

When not practicing yoga or bathing in the villa’s pool, guests can enjoy excursions to the nearby Matisse and Picasso museums or even neighboring Nice and Cannes.

“I’m not shoving tofu and sprouts down anyone’s throat,” says Sears. “Yoga is about balance and union, and learning how to combine a regular Bikram yoga practice with the cultural pursuits you enjoy.


For more information, contact Benjamin Sears at 917-696-3043 or

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