Take your home to the next level with The Comfy House
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class at home, your teacher might well have been Xuan Lan (@xuanlanyoga), a leading light in the yoga world with more than 2 million followers on YouTube and Instagram. She draws on multiple cultural influences: born in France, with Vietnamese heritage, Xuan Lan has been living in Barcelona for more than 20 years. In addition to teaching online and face-to-face classes, she has written two books, organises yoga events and runs a successful online platform and two social media profiles devoted to the yoga lifestyle.
Kave Home has decorated the terrace of Xuan Lan’s offices (@xlystudio) where she records most of her videos. We talked to her to learn more about her project and her new space.
1. When did you start practicing yoga?
I started practicing yoga 20 years ago in New York. A friend invited me to a class and I haven’t stopped ever since.
2. You left a career in banking and marketing to devote yourself fully to yoga. What prompted you to make this change?
After almost 10 years in banking, I decided to leave my stable corporate job because I found yoga more fulfilling than being in an office all day in front of a computer. And the truth is that I feel that my mission is to teach yoga.
3. And now you've written two books.
I've written two yoga books. The first is a four-week plan and the second is about wellness through yoga and meditation.
4. When and how did you decide to take the step to open your own studio?
I launched my online yoga and meditation platform and we realised that the whole team was in a recording set and that it was important to have a place where we could have a bit more life. So we made the decision to look for our offices and have space for us all to be together, for a mixture of hotdesking but also working together in person.
5. You have a whole mix of cultural influences: Vietnamese, Parisian, American, Barcelona... How do you think that has influenced your lifestyle?
I am lucky to have that mix of cultures, thanks not only to my travels but also to my heritage. I was born in France, my parents are Vietnamese. I have that European-Asian mix. In addition, I now live in Barcelona and have also lived in the United States. All this is a big plus. On a mental and cultural level, it allows me to be open to everything, and be a citizen of the world.
6. Tell us a little more about the location you chose for your offices.
We were working for almost a year in a shared coworking space and realised that we needed our own space, for Xuan Lan Yoga to call its own as an online studio, and place to spend time and work. I live in the centre of Barcelona and I really like to walk and be able to get to the office on foot. We found this place very quickly, through an online platform, but it needed a little refurbishment. We’re in the centre of Barcelona, near Arc de Triomf. It’s an old factory, which has many advantages because it has different levels and this beautiful terrace. We really fell in love with the place as soon as we saw it.
7. And how would you define the style of the offices?
Our style is Mediterranean minimalist. The Mediterranean part is clear to see on this terrace with the plants, olive trees and the type of furniture we have chosen. It’s very welcoming but also minimalist because it’s our yoga recording space, so we can't clutter the decor if we want to keep our content focussed on yoga.
8. The terrace is the key feature and the main setting for your online yoga classes. What do you want that space to transmit?
For me, having a terrace as a recording space was very important. I've been doing yoga indoors for years, in various rented studios. Now we have an indoor recording set that is very minimalist and we have this spectacular terrace, thanks to its space, the setting it provides.. We have also chosen a platform that’s a little elevated so that we can also do face-to-face classes with some students and decorate it so that people feel at home. After a yoga class, I want us to be able to have a juice together here on this terrace.
9. When practicing yoga, how important is the space around you?
In yoga, the surroundings are very important because we are not talking about gymnastics just to move the body. The energy of a place is a factor you notice as you walk through the door. Cleanliness and decoration are important, as is the energy inside. We’ve thought about every element of these new offices, from the entrance to the terrace. The choice of materials, the choice of furniture, not only for their aesthetics but also how they are manufactured, and how they’re conceived and designed. It all works together. If we sell yoga content, we also offer the energy that goes with this discipline.
10. What are the essentials that every yoga studio should have?
For practicing yoga, a space must be clean and free of dust. It must be a place where people feel at ease, and this is important because we’re at floor level, so you see everything that is on the floor. If there’s too much furniture or too many objects that can also be annoying. For me, the environment should relax your mind. You can practice without anything to distract you, and this is very important to me. Finding this harmony that we have here between green, natural elements and colours, but without it being all beige. For example, I love the vivid colours of the cushions, which don't distract you when you are in this harmonious, balanced and peaceful environment.
11. One of the intrinsic values of yoga is to promote a healthy lifestyle. How did you capture it through your office decoration?
We need to prioritise the values of yoga when we offer such classes. It not just about thinking about the video of the class but also about the environment, the values of each person, the teacher, the team behind it... We have chosen many natural materials. With Kave Home we talked about the type of material, particular types of wood, fibres, recycled PET for cushions and fabrics... For me it is part of our values and what we need to promote. The shirt I wear is made of organic cotton, we try to make everything consistent.
12. How important is food in your life?
In general, food is something that we’re paying more and more attention to. But when you practice yoga, you're more aware of what feels good and what doesn't. You realise that 30 seconds of pleasure on the palate will give you two hours of tummy pain, and it’s not worth it. If your body rejects it or if you don't digest it well for any reason, it is important to listen to your body. The body is much wiser than we think, we always think of the mind, but the body gives us signs of stress, of food we should not eat, of overload of work... If we are attentive to these signs, we can change our way of living, of feeding ourselves, of relating and consuming in general.
13. Where can you be always be found in your offices?
In my offices there are many spaces. There's a meeting room where you'll find me regularly but it's not where I really want to be. There are several recording sets, there is an open space where the whole team works and of course there is this terrace facing the south, so when the sun comes out this is where I spend the most time.
14. What do you like most about Kave Home?
I discovered Kave Home a long time ago, when I was looking on the internet to decorate my house. When we did the renovation and interior design project for what we call the factory, which are our offices, I looked for a brand that was Mediterranean and that understood these Mediterranean environments and the outdoors... It has a Scandinavian touch that is very fashionable because it's simple, with lots of wood. We can also find vivid colours as well as calm, lighter colours. They have a variety and a catalogue so wide that it has been quite easy to make this selection and, with very few things, to create in an oasis in the middle of the city.
15. What is your favourite piece of Kave Home furniture?
The Cira hanging armchair is like an egg and a swing at the same time. It has cushions so thick that you get inside and it feels like you're in your own shelter. It is very cosy despite being outside. Since there are many people working here in the offices who go in and out onto the terrace, because as you have already seen it is the best part of the offices, isolating yourself in this egg to make an Instagram post, read a book, even working on your computer, is the best place to work and to rest.
Want a terrace like Xuan Lan's studio? Discover the selection of products here. Namaste!