Hometown: Geneva, Switzerland
Home Studio/s: Yoga de la Fonderie, Colife, AOM
Looking for some play in your asana in Switzerland? We have JUST the teacher for you. We met Claire and fell in love with her whimsical, powerful, kind-hearted, REAL manner of being as a human. You will love her, too, we know. And equally as loveable is her amazing playlist that she so graciously shared with us!! Read on to see what we are talking about. And get some fresh tunes in your movement pattern.
GY: Why do you teach yoga?
CL: I teach yoga because I love to share! I like exploring every aspects of yoga, it really helps me connect to my creative self, and it is something I want to share. I love inspiring people to let go, to get out of their comfort zone, to start observing their body and their mind, and to explore.
GY: What first brought you to the mat? Give us a short story of your first yoga experience.
CL: I was working as a bartender in Reading, UK. My colleague had just started her class of Ashtanga, and I went there, mainly to be nice to her. It blew my mind and body: I hadn’t practiced any physical activity for several years, so I was
weak and stiff, I had no idea how to breath properly, Savasana was complete torture, so obviously, I came back!
GY: What yoga teacher(s) has most influenced your practice and teaching?
CL: I love to practice with different teachers and learn from different styles and approaches. Prana flow was a big revelation, I practiced with Shiva Rea and Simon Park and it really changed my teaching and practice.
GY: How would you describe your teaching style?
CL: Fluid, light, creative, full of movement, playful. I also love to teach crazy arm balances and have fun with them.
GY: What is your go-to yoga pose when you only have a few minutes? Why?
CL: When I am short on time, I usually just do some sun salutations. It is my moving meditation. I really love flow in my practice, it helps me connect with my breath.
GY: Where do you most tap into inspiration? Any resources you could share with us?
CL: My asana inspiration generally comes from my yoga mat. For the rest, every night, I read a little bit of “Meditations from the Mat” by Rolf Gates. It is a great book, and it gives me a lot on inspirations on and off the mat.
Photo: Fabio Filippi
GY: What would the soundtrack of your life sound like?
CL: Right now, I am obsessed with Petit Biscuit and Smooth Electro.
And my classic Vinyasa playlist:
GY: Describe your life ten years from now . Where are you living? What are you doing?
CL: I have no idea, and I don’t really want to know. I have stopped planning things too much. I set goals and work toward them, but I love to stay flexible and see how things unfold. But I am clearly doing yoga, hopefully still teaching!
GY: What is your favorite tradition or ritual?
My morning meditation, followed by breakfast (sometimes in bed, sometimes on the balcony).
GY: You have a Sunday all to yourself. How do you spend it?
Morning meditation, breakfast in bed with a great book. Yoga practice, at home or at a yoga studio, then going to the lake and swimming for a while… And a lot of hugs from my husband!
GY: What do you value most in your relationships?
CL: Honesty, tenderness, love, laughter. These are actually words that one of the most important person in my life just used to describe our relationship, and it is exactly how I feel about it!
GY: Tell us about your first love. Five words or less.
CL: Amazing, sweet, fun, I married him ;)
GY: What is the picture on your phone’s background? Why did you choose it?
CL: It is a mantra I wrote on the beach in bali this spring, saying: “All is well, you are loved”. I think I will never hear or read it enough.
GY: When you are gone, what do you hope people remember about you?
That I cared for them, that I was happy and full of love.
GY: Any particular yama, niyama or sutra that speaks to you right now? Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
CL: I have been thinking about the 5 elements a lot lately, about their qualities and how they manifest in my life. I think that for the past couple of years, I am really connected to the element water, both in my yoga practice and in my life. It was a struggle at first to let go of the sense of security that a steady job gave me, but since I changed my path to live and teach yoga, it has become easy and peaceful to go with the flow. I am not saying that I just let myself drift around aimlessly, I do work a lot towards my goals. But I let go of things that are beyond my control, I adapt well to changes, and I do my best to step out of my comfort zone as often as I can. I love this constant movement and fluidity in my life, my mind and my body.
GY: In your parallel life, what are you doing? Any other callings that have taken the backseat to yoga that we should know about?
CL: I would be a roller derby girl! I practiced roller derby for a couple of years but had to stop, mainly because it took too big a toll on my body. But I really loved the contact, and playing in a team. I don’t miss the injuries though, ha ha.
GY: If neither time nor money were a concern, what would you do?
CL: Exactly what I am doing right now, with maybe a little more travel! That is a question I ask myself often, to make sure I am still on the right path.
GY: What is your astrological sign. What do you most identify with about it?
CL: I am scorpio. I do have a strong personality. I am very passionate and a bit stubborn. I am usually efficient and resourceful.
GY: What is your spirit animal?
CL: I have just finished 4 different online tests, and I apparently am: a tiger, a bear, a crow and a lama. I can’t make a such a difficult decision, I love them all.
“Discover and Master Astavakrasana” with Claire Lalande HERE!
GY: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are.”
This completely changed my perspective, years ago. Since then, I have softened the way I look at the world.
Beautifully said, Claire. We are loving getting to know this Swiss beauty and having her voice among the Local Collective is an honor for us.
Find more about Claire at GatherYoga HERE.