Inhale Peace, Exhale Love
Originally from Paris, with Vietnamese roots and settled in Barcelona, Xuan Lan is one of the most recognized yoga teachers in our country. What started as a hobby she practiced after work while residing in New York, became a true vocation, and after more than ten years in the banking and marketing sector, Xuan Lan decided to leave a stable job to dedicate herself for complete to yoga instruction.
With extensive training in different yoga modalities, performed internationally, Xuan Lan likes to define the teachings she teaches as "dynamic yoga for urban and active people who need to disconnect from their routine to reconnect with themselves."
She is one of the founders of the Free Yoga movement, a concept that emerged in Spain in 2012, which promotes massive outdoor yoga classes and encourages a healthy lifestyle. In addition, she shares her practices and knowledge through her social networks, as well as on her YouTube channel and her blog www.xuanlanyoga.com. She is the author of the books My yoga journal (Grijalbo, 2016) and Yoga for my well-being (Grijalbo, 2018).
Your career, as well as the philosophy that you transmit both in your books and in your classes, defends what we could call 'the democratization of yoga and healthy life', in a way that we could associate what KOYAC does with contemporary art . Linking both worlds, what role does art play in your daily life?
In my house I have several works acquired in 20 years, they represent moments of my life, personal journey, tastes that evolve and I like to see them on the walls and live with them. I am not a strategic collector or investor, but each of the works has been chosen by "coup de coeur" with my husband. We choose together. Being able to live with the works we choose conditions us when choosing them. They have to inspire a certain peace in us.
We know that some of the most subtle and complex emotions can be developed by having contact with art, either during its creation or its simple contemplation. What emotions does it usually arouse in you?
There are different types of emotions.
Organic works that remind us that we are part of the same world as the ephemeral works of Goldworthy or Christo's land art.
On the other hand, I am fascinated by the difficult to define forms and perspectives of Anish Kapoor, James Turrel or Sugimoto, it seems that you can enter the work.
I like that figurative works, photography in particular, convey a certain peace and harmony, although I could like a shocking photo with an aggressive theme that I could not have at home.
At KOYAC we have defended the benefits of art on physical and spiritual well-being on numerous occasions. Likewise, we know that you often choose specific pieces to accompany you on yoga practices, or special places related to art (for example, a yoga class that you did in Galería Senda surrounded by the sculptures of Jaume Plensa). What value can the works add to a yoga practice or a meditation?
It was a luxury to be able to organize this yoga and meditation class among the sculptures by Jaume Plensa. Those female faces were very delicate, peaceful with their eyes closed. They invited an inner look and introspection. During the weeks of confinement, I have done dozens of live classes at my home choosing specific works to accompany these space sessions. I think they participated in the good reception, transmitting a certain harmony and tranquility during a delicate period such as Jordi Bernadó's photo of salinas in Ethiopia, or Liu Bolin meditating sitting in the lotus.
You have agreed to share with us your selection of favorite KOYAC pieces. What has led you to choose one or the other? (You can visit it here)
In general, I have been oriented more by photographs. I like those that have architectural references. Also the tradition of Japanese photography with Sugimoto and other more cheerful works with compassions of colors that bring me "good vibes”.
With which pieces do you live? Is there a story behind them that you want to share?
There is a story behind each play in my house. The first was a wedding gift, a photograph of Olivier Metzger a young photographer who won an award in Arles. One of the first works we bought was a "coup de coeur". I saw a photo of Oleg Dou in a magazine that advertised an exhibition at the CCCB in Barcelona and I was fascinated. We went to see it and it took us a year to have it at home. In the 2000s we were very interested in Chinese contemporary art, and we had the opportunity to acquire a Chinese dinosaur sculpture by Sui Jianguo. Liu Bolin was a Chinese artist that we really liked, the choice of photography came in the second stage. We went to several contemporary art fairs and little by little we have expanded our collection. We have a photo that looks a lot like a drawing, a beach in England by Tomio Seike, a Japanese photographer. We really like Anne-Karin Furunes who works anonymous portraits with black canvas, you see the face if you go several meters away. The last work we bought was in Paris-Photo, a photograph of the Californian Gray Crawford, of architecture from the 60s.
A book: the author is spiritual, the story is a novel.
A song: I can listen to it without getting tired
A movie: free violence
An ingredient: quality
Your mantra: inhale peace exhale love, among many others in Sanskrit
A destination: an island in Greece where we go every year because there is peace, harmony and nature
A memory: a summer in Greece on this island.
And in your case ... an asana: all because it is the set of practice that brings benefits.