In honour of launching a very, very exciting collaboration with a hyper cool French studio chain EPISOD, we have had the pleasure of interviewing one of their Head Trainers to find out a bit more about EPISOD and the yoga mat we have helped bring to live for their studio.
So without further ado, introducing Helen!
Tell us a little bit about EPISOD...
EPISOD is a sports studio. The idea was to develop the expertise of a boutique gym that really specialises in one particular sport, but to regroup those to create a common space. It is no secret that to keep a healthy body one must diversify its activities, and at EPISOD you can find cycling, boxing, bootcamp, rowing, pilates, yoga… so many things! What I love about EPISOD is the passion the Trainers have for their sports. As trainers, we do not teach everything, but instead trainers are often specialised in one or two sports. And the second reason I love EPISOD is the intelligent approach to sports. Forget about the « no pain no gain » mentality, at EPISOD we try our best to give you skills and techniques to improve while taking good care of your body.
What can people expect from EPISOD on demand?
Our goal behind EPISOD On Demand was to create a platform where people can access and practice all the time but without the stress of doing the movements wrong. I know a lot of people are scared to practice on their own, simply because they do not want to injure themselves, which is fair enough! That’s why EPISOD On Demand does have training, but also shorter videos of Drills and Tips which are focused on one movement or perhaps a concept, where we can explain in detail.
How many different classes are available with EPISOD on demand sessions?
When you log onto EPISOD on Demand you’ll find six different programs: Core, Strength, Conditioning, Boxing, Yoga and Restore. Some do require accessories like Kettle Bells or Elastic Bands, and some require none. You’ll find Training sessions from 30 minutes to 1 hour, which you can follow as you would with a normal class in a studio. And you’ll also find Tips and Drills that are shorter videos, between 3 minutes and 10 minutes to focus on one specific subject and break it down for a better understanding.
I’m an EPISOD first-timer, talk me through my first session…
In Paris we have 4 venues, and as a client you can access all of them. As you arrive, you’ll first meet our front desk staff which are always happy to help. Depending on the sport you have chosen to do, your first session will be very different, of course. We always recommend for first-timers to arrive a little bit in advance so they can talk to the coach and get help. Especially with material that needs to be adjusted to size, like the bike in the Cycling Studio, it’s handy to have the coach explain it to you and make sure you are in the best condition for the training. We have everything you will need there, and as a yoga teacher it’s wonderful to have every prop you can think of in our studios. We even have few feet up trainers, so people with neck or shoulder injuries can also enjoy inversions. So as a first timer you’ll need nothing but your clothes! The towels are there, the cycling shoes, the boxing gloves, the yoga mat… anything you can think of. We even have a bar so you can refresh and enjoy a healthy drink or snack after your training.
Is there a big difference between a Studio Session and a Live Session? Will I get the same results?
You can divide what we do with EPISOD into three different things: first our studio sessions, when you actually come to the Parisians Hubs. Second EPISOD Live, which are live Sessions online through Zoom. And Finally EPISOD On Demand, which is our Platform with already recorded videos that you can watch at any time.
For yoga, it doesn’t change much depending on the medium, but for the other sports the protocols are different. They keep the essence of the training you find in our physical studios, but with EPISOD Live all the sessions are without any accessories so anyone can do them. With EPISOD On Demand, some training sessions do require small accessories that you can have in your home. You can absolutely get the same results, and our live sessions are limited in numbers so the coach can actually look at each student through the camera and correct when needed.
Tell us about the exclusive EPISOD x Yogi Bare collaboration…
Two of my yoga teacher colleagues, Karine, Anna, and myself were asked to find a brand to co-create a mat with EPISOD. For us three, it was obvious that we wanted to go with Yogi Bare! We all had tried Yogi Bare yoga mats before and we were confident that it was the right fit. At EPISOD we teach everything from Power Vinyasa to Restorative Yoga, so we needed a non slippery mat for the dynamic practices that would also be comfy for our softer practices. And we really made the mat of our dreams! We also included the alignment so on top of being beautiful, it’s useful too!
How can I get a mat for myself?
Once we are open - as Sports Venues are currently closed in France - buying a mat in our Hubs will be possible. But for now, you can order them through the EPISOD Website directly.
EPISOD Studios cover some intense classes like Boxing, Cycling and Boot Camp. What brought EPISOD and Yogi Bare together?
Yes, at EPISOD you’ll find very dynamic and intense activities, but you’ll also have Yin, Restorative, and Recover (which is breathing and self massage with foam rollers and massage balls). We really believe that to stay healthy you need to balance your Yang with some Yin! And at EPISOD some classes will be super intense, while some others will be a lot of breathing and stretching. I actually am the EPISOD Yin Yoga Master Trainer, and I specialise in Yin and Meditation, and our students are so passionate about the practice. I know that there is a little bit of a stereotype that sports venues will only do fitness-y types of yoga, but that’s really not the case at EPISOD. Our whole concept is that you need a mix of practices to stay healthy, and therefore yoga has a very important place in our Hubs. I think, because we put value in intelligent training, our clients do really want to understand the different sports for what they are and appreciate the diversity of energies. So the Yogi Bare Mat will be in our Yoga Studio within the EPISOD Hubs!
What type of yoga practices does EPISOD provide to customers?
As you’ll have understood by now, diversity of practices is a key element of the identity of EPISOD, and you’ll find the same within our Yoga Studios. At EPISOD you can find Power Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Fondation of Yoga, Yin Yang Yoga, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga. And we sometimes do special events of pre/post natal yoga. Our goal is to have practices that are catered to our students' needs, so they can be best oriented towards the type of class they are looking for. But also, to have a panel of teachers representing a style they cherish and where they can be their best self. As a Yin Teacher, you will not find me teaching Power Yoga, and I believe that’s great (haha). As a student you want a passionate teacher that knows their stuff, and that’s something we deliver daily at EPISOD.