Krystel is a wonderful yogini and amazing Hatha and Yin yoga teacher from Geneva, Switzerland. She is also an owner of a boutique shop in which she proudly sells Zenagoy yoga mats. Krystel was the Yoga teacher who brought Zenagoy Mandala collection to Zwitzerland. Thanks to her so many of her students now practicing yoga on eco-friendly yoga mats.
Q: Krystel, would you share with us how Yoga found its way into your Life?
I like this question as I really believe that yoga found me more than the other way around.
At the time I was 20, young and just starting to work as an accountant for a famous jewelry brand in Geneva. My job was quite stressful not to mention that the kind of people working in this kind of environment have more in common with sharks than humans. I really needed to find something to help me manage my stress level.
I still remember the day when I was having a random discussion about yoga with one of my colleagues. He explained to me that yoga was an amazing practice for not only the body but also for our mind. Apparently, his yoga teacher was wonderful and out of nowhere he asked me if I ever wanted to try her yoga class. At that precise moment, I had no idea that choosing to accept his offer would change my entire life.
The next day I was trying my very first yoga class and it was love at first mat.
Q: When did you feel you are ready to become a Yoga teacher?
At 25 I was on my way to have the life that my parents always wanted for me. I became head of the accounting department of a small but international Swiss Watch brand. On top of that I was still studying to become an expert in finance and accounting. I was in the relationship with very handsome man who was working in wealth management at the No.1 bank in Switzerland.
From the outside my life seemed perfect and yet, I never felt more miserable on the inside.
You would be surprised how often people really believe that they have no choice but to live the miserable life they created for themselves. Between my super stressing job and studies, I didn’t really had time for myself or a social life. I started to have health issues, back pain, eczema, and insomnia. I would go every month to the osteopath to fix my back problems. One day, I was completely blocked from the top of my head to toes. I couldn’t move. Even my osteopath couldn’t help me.
Then he told me something I would always remember: “Krystel, your body is sending you clear messages. You need to change something in your life because if you continue down this road, you will burn out”.
This was the day I decided to build a life I really wanted for myself. A life where I would feel aligned with who I really was, a life I would be passionate about and excited to wake up every day for. After all, my parents and my friends would be happy If I was happy.
I discovered that you always have the choice to take a new direction in your life. It is really up to you to have the courage to admit you were going in the wrong direction and to take the action to go in the good one.
It took me a lot of time and reflection, but a few years later, in 2016, I had the opportunity to go to my first Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India. It definitely was a life changing experience. Also, it was the beginning of a new adventure. I went there without any expectations and came back from the travel in the Himalayas with the confidence that I want to become a yoga teacher. It took me three more years to be able to make a living from this passion. Until this day, I have no regrets and I’m eternally grateful for this opportunity life gave me.
Suggested read: How to begin yoga?
Q: COVID-19 situation covered entire World unexpectedly. How did you and other Yoga teachers experience this time in Switzerland?
It all happened very fast around 15thMarch. Switzerland was one of the most touched countries at the time. One day we were all teaching as usual, people practicing next to each other and the next day many yoga studios closed by solidarity. Including my studio. Shortly after this the state was officially closing every yoga studio or gym in Switzerland. It was the beginning of semi-quarantine and we had no idea for how long.
It was a nightmare situation, especially for yoga studio's owners and independent yoga teachers who rely on their yoga classes to make a living. But then, something beautiful happened. We all - yoga teachers - came together and in Geneva we created a pop-up website called Yogasolidiare. The concept was to provide online yoga classes to our students. They had the opportunity to purchase our videos through this website by supporting us and at the same time continue their yoga practice at home. I still sell those videos on my own website.
Q: During COVID-19 time many people discovered yoga and meditation at home. What would be your advice to those yoga beginners?
There are three advices I would give to new yoga practitioners who want to begin a healthy Lifestyle and make a habit of it:
First of all, you have to commit to your daily yoga and meditation practice.
You may have to force yourself a little at first. The beginning is always the hardest part. But once you start noticing the progress you make and begin to enjoy the benefits of your practice, everything becomes easier.
Secondly, start with a realistic goal.
Even if you only have 10-minutes per day for your yoga practice, there is no doubt that it is better to have a short yoga practice and keep it regular than having the long yoga practices every now and then.
Finally, set the mood.
In order to enjoy the yoga date with your yoga mat - hopefully Zenagoy mat - you can set a favorable atmosphere. Lit a candle, burn some incense or use essential oils and enjoy the magic of yoga.
Q: Krystel, you own a beautiful boutique shop. How did it all start?
I started the online boutique about the same time I opened my yoga studio. Many of my students are yoga beginners and they need good yoga mats. I wanted to be able to provide them with a good quality, non-toxic and eco-friendly yoga mats for their practice. I was so happy to discover Zenagoy yoga brand.The beautiful designs are just the cherry on top with your brand!
Q: What is your favourite yoga quote?:
A quote from Rikki Rogers: “
Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t”.
When you practice yoga, you are constantly facing postures or alignments that are challenging you. By keeping a regular practice, you start overcoming those challenges and with time you become stronger physically and mentally.
Q: What was the funniest situation that happened to you in your yoga class:Usually what happens in the yoga class stays in the yoga class ! ;-)
So, I won’t drop any names but once I was teaching the last class of the day, it was late and we had a quite dynamic sequence. After thirty seconds of Shavasana one of my students starts snoring and farting. At first, everybody acted like nothing happened but slowly another student started giggling. Then another one… and another one… at the end we all end up laughing really hard! Even me, I just couldn’t help myself.
In the end, our laughter woke up the one who fell asleep. It was very challenging to go back to Shavasana after that.