Bea: Thank you so much for speaking to me this afternoon and for opening our Guest Lecture Series. I am very excited to hear your lecture on “The Ultimate Cure: Remembering who we are”. I am guessing this is a reference to avidyā as set out in YS 2.5. Am I right?
Marc: Not specifically. Neither the title nor the topic is specifically on any yoga sūtra. My talk is based on many threads from the sūtra-s. The idea being that we should come from clear perception, from our intuitive understanding, to see life from our soul and not from our memory, imagination and emotions. To see life in a pure way which will touch us at a deep level.
Very often we colour our world from our own perception, but we should have the humility to allow the colour of the world to touch us. This gives us a new capacity to move on with our life, to make decisions on what we really feel and understand and to have courage and love. This is freedom of the soul. A human should have enough trust in the soul to act accordingly: that is freedom, kaivalyam.
My title is covered in all the YS text but particularly in YS Chapter 4. This chapter is about freedom and when we talk about āsana, prāṇāyāma etc, these are simply tools towards the ultimate freedom which gives us the ultimate cure: the title of my talk.
Bea: How did you come to yoga?
Marc: I don’t really know the starting point. I come from a simple family in a small town in France. Yoga was not a big thing where I lived. I was interested in yoga but without knowing what it was. At 17 or 18 I went to a group class and was deeply touched by a profound feeling of being centred. I did not understand what was going on – but now I know it was centredness. I am still in touch with the teacher.
In my second class, I overheard the teacher talking about a teacher training course run by another teacher called Claude Marechal, a very well-known teacher in the tradition of Desikachar. I had only ever been to two classes but asked to unofficially join the training, which I was allowed to do. At our first day, Claude Marechal spoke about an identity crisis but although I felt fine, I understood what he was talking about. He spoke of what yoga was, and explained that the reason for this identity crisis was because we have lost touch with our deeper self. I really got this, so much so that I could not speak for two days. I had found and been touched by something very deep. When I understood Claude Marechal’s words, I knew that this is what I had to do.
Over the next decade I went to India many, many times to study and work with TKV Desikachar’s family. I had a deep connection with them. I went on to start my own courses and have set up a centre in Guadeloupe and in Belgium, as well as teaching in the UK. I now teach online as well.
Bea:We have chosen the title of this series to reflect on how tricky these Covid times have been for many: how did you cope with lockdown?
Marc: I was very surprised with the depth of reaction that the pandemic engendered in people. We closed both centres. I taught online and so have been very busy!
Bea: What has been yoga’s greatest gift to you?
Marc: To wake me up to who I am … to help me to realise who I am. I can see that I existed before yoga and yoga simply helps me to channel what I know deep inside and say what I need to say.
Bea: Thank you for taking this time to speak with me today. I cannot wait to hear the full talk as you open our first ever Guest Lecture Series. Thank you Marc.
Marc can be found at: