Layla Philip, yoga teacher, between the South of France and Morocco, creator of "THEYOGiINME" (yoga rooms, trainings, internships abroad ...) shares with us her singular and very real look at her "home"; how to invest a place, to live in it, to appropriate it.

Living somewhere or inhabiting space. As far back as I can remember, I have never had a single house, first my mother's in France, then my father's in Morocco. The moves of one, the townhouse and summer house of the other. The habit of being mobile and quickly adopting new places, making them my own, or finding my own space, has imposed itself on me. Creating in the child, the teenager and the adult that I am now, an ability to adapt and feel at home almost everywhere. I am as much a mover as a traveller, I have the impression that I feel the same way when I embark for a distant country as when I arrive in my new home, something of the order of discovery and adaptation.

I never come to a new house with preconceived ideas, I listen to the walls first and then let them guide me.

Layla Philip

As I'm more of a fan of the old and the stories it has to tell, I never arrive in a new house with preconceived ideas, I first listen to the walls and then let them guide me, to give the place a spirit, a decoration. I've always done it that way, Place - Spirit - Decoration. As I grew up, not to say older, I added the idea of comfort and practicality, to no longer simply live but also live, function. The privileges (or needs) of age, where for some, practicality takes precedence over the spirit of the place, I had to "work" to integrate this part. I live here, I live there. It would be like making a distinction between just passing through and impregnating the walls with who we are. Living in a place is like embodying a body, respecting its needs, respecting oneself, the walls; the perspectives must speak to us, tell us a story. The one of today, new at every moment, or the one of those who built before us. The house is no longer a pomp and circumstance, it tells our aspirations, our quietude, our dreams.

Our recent experience of confinement has certainly shifted many of us into more than just 'living somewhere'. The birth of the pleasure of finally "living in" or the frustration of finally not feeling our marks or our imprints in what used to be our home, the place of our joys, habits and turbulence, the intimate, deposited every day within these walls. There are walls that resonate with noise, others that resonate with history. They support us, inspire us, recharge us. The garden, so constraining to maintain a few years ago, becomes the place of the possibility of a life, the real life, that of the rhythms independent of us, that of the harvests, that of the scents, and especially that of a space where nature has its place, inviting us to respect ours.

Our recent experience of containment has certainly tipped many of us into more than just 'living somewhere'

Layla Philip

I am writing these lines in front of the horizon that is the ocean, an artist's loft perched above a fabulous lagoon, in a few months I will leave this shelter, this glazed place, open but not open enough, I felt like land and space, and I'm already sailing between these sunsets over the clear waters and the fertile land of our family farm, I'm going to go and live in these acres of abundance, and live in a small earthen house, renovated to give me all the comfort I need. And I know that I will haunt a few more houses, because that's how I am. Nomadic.

Layla Philip, The Wild Clinic, September 2020

Find Layla in her different adventures on Instagram : @the_wild_clinic & @theyogiinme_formations