November 2021

Yoga is for everyone

When I saw our yoga teachers, Claudia, and Maria, for the first time, I thought this sport was only for those who are flexible and top-fit. However, I was wrong: yoga is for everyone! Due to my own spiritual existence, I already consider myself to be an agile being. I can assure you though that it is primarily about maintaining your health, both mentally and physically. Yoga allows you to switch off, train mindfulness and bring your body and spirit into harmony. Stress and pressure are reduced enabling you to escape from everyday stress or to concentrate on the important things in life. And as a bonus, the range of motion and mobility are enhanced. Body awareness and posture are improved, and deep muscles are strengthened.

Claudia, you believe that everyone should practice yoga. Why?

"It gives you the opportunity to discover about your body in a new way. There is often much more to a short yoga session than you think. However, to experience this, you first must try it, as I found out. Yoga allows you to create an inner peace that also reflects externally, promoting a sense of balance, serenity, and well-being! Yoga has a strong effect on us as well as on our fellow human beings - and ultimately also on our work, on our conflict resolution and of course on our self-healing."

You describe yourself as not being a morning person, Claudia. How does yoga help you?

"For me, yoga is like the first meal of the day. When I sit down on the mat, take deep breathes and turn my focus inwards, everything immediately feels lighter and while I repeat the sun salutation, I gather my thoughts for the day. By straightening and stretching, I activate my body for the day ahead. Yoga allows me to warm up before work or to prepare for activities such as mountain tours, snowboarding or climbing on my days off. After practising yoga, I feel more awake and happier, and my body feels full of energy. So much so that from time to time, I even forego my morning coffee!"

I am still a yoga beginner. What do you recommend?

"It's best to join a class in the beginning during which the change between the asanas, i.e., between the different positions, goes slowly and the yogi at the front continually explains and corrects, engaging with the group, The second thing is to have confidence in yourself! Don't be afraid of new exercises or challenges. He who dares wins! And finally, it is important not to compare yourself to others. It doesn't matter if the person on the mat next to you, can easily rest their head on their knees. Or the yoga outfit of the person in the front row looks like something out of a catalogue! It doesn't matter because yoga is all about you. Yoga helps you discover your own limits, accept them and, with a little patience and practice, grow beyond them."

And what advice do you have for advanced yogis?

"Firstly, you shouldn't do the same exercises every day simply out of sheer comfort, because not every day is the same. The question should be, what do I need today? What is good for me? In addition, you should always try something new to challenge yourself. Of course, this can also mean shifting down a gear occasionally. And finally, persistence. A little change every day is good for you. It keeps the body and mind alert."

I'm already hooked and try to attend all the yoga classes run by our yoga partners at our hotel. Claudia and Maria offer a variety of drop-in classes to which both beginners and experienced yogis are welcome. Our Morning Yoga Flow session, for example, invites you for an energetic start to the day. 

For a fresh start to the day, Claudia recommends rolling out the yoga mat in the morning. She calls this "Good Morning Flow". What do you mean by this, Claudia?

"Our Morning Flow mobilizes your spine and joints, activates the muscles and gets the metabolism going for the upcoming challenges on the mountain. Your body and mind are gently awakened with a slow yet dynamic sequence of movements. This works particularly well in harmony with your breathing rhythm. Fueled with positive energy, you can hit the ground running.

And how do I unwind?

"In the afternoon, the Restorative Cool Down Session allows you to unwind and let your body recover from the challenges of the day, for example, a mountain tour. The focus here is on "letting go" and enjoy peace in the present moment. The body regenerates itself quicker through specific stretching of active muscles, balancing exercises, Yin Yoga elements and meditation. Calm, relaxed and balanced, you are now ready for the next day in the snow." 

What is particularly important for all yogis and should be taken into consideration?

"When practising yoga, your breathing is very important. Deep breathes into the abdomen not only sharpen awareness but also encourages mobility. Focusing on your breathing, allows you to forget everyday life and instead concentrate on your inner self. Holistic yoga not only strengthens the body but also the mind."


For a spirit, of course, it's a bit more complicated, because a spirit is not physical, but spiritual. Nevertheless, a spirit can join a yoga group and roll out its mat in the same way in our hotel.

By the way, here are Claudia's three favourite exercises: 

Three-legged dog

Yoga hotel Switzerland

A variation of the downward dog, the "three-legged dog" stretches your back thigh and calf muscles, opens the hips and...

best yoga hotel Switzerland

...strengthens the abdominal and back muscles as you bring your knee alternately to the right and left elbow. 

Tip: Tighten your abdominals so that you don't fall backwards.

Reverse Warrior

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The 'reverse warrior' opens your flanks, strengthens your core muscles, and works particularly well in combination with your breathing rhythm.

When inhaling, bring your body weight onto your back leg, position your hand loosely on your back thigh and bring your top arm in a wide arc over your head. 

When exhaling, shift the weight to the front leg and bring the opposite arm over the head to come into the "peaceful warrior".


Open lunge

Yoga Retreats Zermatt

The "open lunge" stretches your hip flexors and glutes and mobilises your lower back. How to get "Hips like Honey" 😊
Hold this position for about five breaths. This starting position stretches the chest and back muscles and strengthens the legs.

Tip: Always make sure that your front knee is positioned at a right angle (foot below your knee joint) so that you avoid strong pressure on the kneecap.

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For this variation, bring your hand and shoulder in line. Shoulders and neck remain completely relaxed.
By the way, a nice side effect: yoga also boosts fat burning. That's why I now eat two sweets from the breakfast buffet every day instead of just one. But fortunately, with me as a mind, the line is a little easier anyway. Either way, yoga is great!


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