Xuan Lan it is flexible as the reed. Not only because she takes parts of her body to impossible places, but because she has gone from being an online finance expert to saving the confined. The online classes of this Vietnamese woman born in Paris and resident in Barcelona capitalize 1.7 million followers. The funny thing about him is that in the videos and in the books – the last one, ‘Yoga for my well-being’ (Grijalbo) – he makes it easy. Zero lecture.
My parents went to study in France at the end of the 1960s – him engineering and she languages – but they couldn’t return to Vietnam because of the war. My sister and I were the first generation as immigrants. I knew I was Vietnamese without ever having been to Vietnam.
I didn’t have it, until at the age of 6 a group of children called me “chinita”. I told it at home and my mother told me: “Look in the mirror and you will see that you are not exactly like them, you are Vietnamese in a foreign country.”
“I had a happy childhood, but very little emotional. I understood the value of discretion”
A portion of reality without sweetener.
I had a happy childhood, but very little emotional. I understood the value of discretion. I made little noise and studied what my parents wanted. Success within an organization was important to them. I did business management in the very new internet sector, at the end of the 90s, and in New York, before the appearance of smartphones, I worked in a social network for young people.
The antithesis of serenity.
I was 24 years old, I lived in Manhattan, I made a good living.
Luck doesn’t exist if you don’t open your eyes and pay attention. You have to go outside. At that first New York company, one day they called me from human resources and told me I had an hour to put my things in a box and leave.
Then yoga appeared…
Nerd. I started sending resumes and in 10 days I got a job. Yoga came about because a Parisian friend –today my husband– invited me to a class. It started out as a way to have a social life.
Until he had an enlightenment!
Not at all! I got hooked, 20 years ago, and never quit. It was a progressive thing.
What has made it better?
It made me blossom as a person, to be what I was not allowed in childhood. But that happened 10 years later, already living in Barcelona, when I decided to leave my job in online banking at an important Catalan entity, to dedicate myself to teaching yoga.
“Yoga made me blossom as a person, to be what I was not allowed in childhood”
There was a lot of pressure, I didn’t understand internal politics, I couldn’t evolve in such a hierarchical environment. I hired a ‘coach’ to map my qualities and focus the arguments to ask my bosses for a change. He pointed out to me that he talked to her about yoga all the time. After 9 years, I left the job.
From there, to a teacher in ‘Operación Triunfo’ and to the shock of confinement.
It was not from one day to another. It all started with my yoga channel in Spanish on YouTube, which has been growing organically. I already had half a million subscribers when, three days before the start of the state of alarm, I thought I had to help channel the anxiety.
“Days before the start of the state of alarm I thought I had to help channel anxiety. I did it 75 days in a row”
Now he has 1.7 million.
The first day, wow, thousands of people connected. I gave 75 classes in 75 days, which was a great effort, but I received very nice messages. A woman told me: “I was at my father’s side, and thanks to your meditations I have accepted his death.”
‘Inhale peace, exhale love’. Does it always work for you?
Nothing disturbs me deeply. I am healthy, I have a purpose in life, I am passionate about my work. We have managed to have 14 employees in two years, set up large events to raise funds for the Spanish Mental Health Confederation and for refugees from the war in Ukraine.
Putin expressed interest in yoga. Would you admit Putin as a student?
It would be an opportunity to improve the world! I invite Putin to a class for free, he needs it. If he has that attitude, he has inner suffering. would make him practice the ‘Metta bhavana’ meditation, of Benevolent Love, with which you learn to give love to yourself and to others.
Who gives it to you?
Fabian, the best husband in the world.
I have the qualities to be a guru – patience, discipline and a gift for communication – but I only pretend to be a good travel guide.