My Thesaurus of Honest Thoughts

Sometimes I wonder how things work in life; especially the people we chose to be around and where we end up. To be honest, by this time in my life, I thought I’d be married with kids. Instead I have my Yoga Atelier and an adorable puppy. I thought I’d have my PhD and at least one postdoc in Neurolinguistics. Instead I have a continuous love affair with my body and know all its quirks and moves and started deepening my knowledge about Pilates. I thought I’d live in Brooklyn forever and have a summer house in Connecticut and a winter home in Iceland. Instead I’ve traveled far, I’m renting a studio in Thalwil and dreaming about moving to Davos. I thought I’ll keep my heart friends until the end. Instead, I’ve kept a few old classic ones, lost many in between and made new superb ones along the way. I always thought I’d be very happy after arriving at the end — after all the hard work, because that is what I was taught. I think most of us were. What is happiness (in the moment) anyway? 

Then I thought my broken heart will never heal after losing its life lover. Instead, I’ve made myself fall in love with I + Me. A courting and romancing act that took me out of my comfort zone for sure! To be truly at peace by myself and by being alone took a while. Even though I take strength from being alone. Sometimes it wasn’t comfortable at all. Like a new yoga move, it takes a while to work with it and not against it. To make peace with what is and honor where you are right now. Something I teach at yoga. 

Today, after almost five years of craving community in Switzerland, after having worked hours and hours for other people and barely making enough money to pay for life and ergo not having enough time to make friends, I can finally say that I have people that I call friends here, I have created a family branch on my life tree and I am very happy! Even when I’m sad sometimes, longing for my friends far away, I know that my heart is ok. I know that my soul is at home. I know that the beauty around me and on the time on my mat is showing and giving me peace. I know that the lone path of having become a full time teacher of yoga has been giving me all these valuable options in life and I am ecstatic to be able to have created a Yoga Atelier for you to find your own path and for us to be together — a community. 🙏🙃

Life is funny and mostly doesn’t turn out the way you think it will, less than what you plan it to be. But being honest, what would be the fun in always knowing what comes next? ♥️😘 

Much Love +✌️

Chantal 

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What does Yoga do for You?

Earlier this week I went to my local coffeeshop and the barista asked me: „You are a Yoga Teacher, right?“ It took me a second to say; yes! I was puzzled of how she could possibly know this? I mean, it’s not like wearing leggings and a tank-top scream Yoga Teacher anymore, or maybe it still does? For all she knew I could have just taken a yoga class. Then again, she only ever sees me in leggings and a tank-top. My hair mostly looks like it’s just coming down from a handstand and if I don’t wear flip-flops, I wear sneakers. My uniform doesn’t look like the perfect suit but it sure as hell suits me in the department of comfort.

She took my usual order and there was a slight pause, we looked at each other. There was a line forming behind me. I tilted my head slightly to the right and smiled at her.

„So, what does yoga do for you? Why do people do yoga?“ she asked. I took a deep inhale and a deep exhale, I didn’t see that coming. What is the purpose of yoga? I asked myself? I caught myself thinking; what an excellent question! Hm, how do I answer that without opening up a can of worms? I looked at her thoughtfully, the line still getting longer behind me, my thoughts scrambling for a short and truthful, yet adequate answer. I said; „It makes you more OK. Yoga makes you more OK with this world and yourself.“ She nodded. My answer seemed like it made sense to her.

What does yoga do for you?

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This happened in late June 2018 – I truly believe YOGA with all its limbs has the power to make you more OK. Keep practicing! 

The Vulnerability of the Heart

It is precious. Like the careful holding of a fresh, hand-blown, very thin glass bubble. Warm and soothing. You hold it tight yet, very gentle at the same time. It is perfect because it is yours. Touching the glass, you can feel your blood pulsate through your fingertips. The grip is steady. Holding it up to your eyes, it seems almost like you are able to look through a blurry, transparent slide of life.

You know if you’d push more, if you cling to it, the glass bubble will break into hundreds of little pieces. There is only so much and so long you can hold on to (it).

And then when the heart breaks, all you’re left with is the utter gutted beauty of the rawness. The sharp edges of the broken glass bubble. The bubble that is no more. The roundness has become edgy. Splintered. The glass shattered. What once held warmth and light has disappeared. The bubble vanished into air & space. Leaving tiny pieces behind, in your hands. If you look closely you will see that the lines of your palms are trying to hold onto some of the sparkle. The shimmering beauty of it all.

Oh the vulnerability!
The suffering and the pain.
Apparent in shambles. Right in front of you.

Buddha once said; “All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.”

So the work begins; you find yourself at the start. Breathing in and out. Not sure where to begin, as you are mesmerized by feeling the sheer pain inside, yet looking at pieces of life on the outside. You hear your breath within, like when your immersed under water trying to numb out the noise. The patching back together of the heart after the break and the letting go is as precious as the vulnerability of it. The glass pieces don’t fit together anymore. No matter how hard you try. There are too many. Lines. Pieces. Years.

As it so happens, you’ll find the same vulnerability right after coming back to your mat; with an injury. You can feel the shadow of your pain. It is lingering in very deep corners of your tissues. The injury has left a mark, it’s imprinted deep within, or perhaps even visible on your body. You know it is there. The heart knows. Even the breath knows. You are more gentle. It’s the beginning. A new path line.

With an extra layer of caution, of kindness. You have Love.

There is nothing else left to do than to carefully re-educate and re-evaluate your movement. Practice.
One step at a time. Patience.
Peace.

And so it is.
The Heart.

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Something between a poem and a short story. 

My Photography Project

A couple of weeks ago a private client I’ve been working with for the past year asked me what else I like to do, apart from yoga? I smiled and thought about it.

Let’s see; yoga is what supports my life. It’s my work. It’s how I support myself and pay for my living. It’s hard work. It’s beautiful work. It’s the only work I can truly identify with.

Do I have a hobby? I asked myself. Is my work my life? Or is it my life’s work? I was thinking, then I replied; yes I do. I like to take photographs.

I went home and pondered on over this question. I talked about it with my soulmate well into the morning light and we ended up at svādhyāya. The inquiry to the self. It has taught me that everything is connected. The limbs of yoga, of union.

So when I teach yoga in a group and prepare a sequence; I create forms in movement. The forms transition into shapes. When I wake up in the morning I invite my breath to dance with my spirit. The prana flows with me on the mat. My practice. Pranayama. When I sit in stillness I become more aware. I am. When I write my feelings onto pages I practice letting go and yet at the same time I give birth to thoughts. Inspiration.

And so it is… that through my photography my eyes see. They meditate on one focus, one moment in time. It is not a mere expression, nor a projection. Perhaps it is an illusion? There is no reaction other than feeling. A feeling in the present moment — to see. Dristhti. Pratyahara. Dharana.

It goes without saying that to produce art one has to create art.
Make Love. Always.

 

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I’ve been working with an experienced art critic and a gallerist  to sell limited prints. This one is the first of 5 | Title: “Ísland Loft” | 60x60cm | 490.- chf.
I am moving out of my comfort zone. One step at a time — more news soon

To support my photography project email: yoga@hanumanshala.ch