Natascha Zeller shares her journey into yoga, becoming a yoga teacher and how yoga helped to heal osteoarthritis in her hips.
Taking a moment to stop and breathe in the mountain air is something you automatically feel the desire to do as soon as you step off the train in Zweisimmen.
This beautiful alpine town up in the heart of the Bernese Oberland is where my grandfather was born and I was christened, so it has always held a very special place in my heart. At 1100 metres up, not only is the air so clean but the water that comes through the tap was once tested and shown to have as many, if not more minerals than the bottled stuff!
When I was very kindly given the opportunity to teach yoga, alongside pilates teacher Arlette Burkhardt at the beautiful Hamilton Lodge set high up on the majestic Rinderberg mountain that takes pride of place in Zweisimmen, it was a real dream come true!
Yoga is my passion! Its potential benefits are endless, and my desire to start teaching came from a life changing discovery of how it helped to stop in its tracks, or perhaps even cure, what had been initially diagnosed as early onset osteoarthritis in my hips. I had one to one regular sessions with my wonderful teacher at the time, who tailored a practice for me and within a year I was almost pain free. Feeling delighted and inspired, I enrolled in a British Wheel of Yoga Foundation course and not long after that embarked on an amazing two year teacher training with the Yoga Academy from which I graduated last year.
It is a privilege to now be teaching regular classes and an inspiration to help others find the huge benefits of what a regular yoga practice can bring. I now have no symptoms of osteoarthritis and the last X-ray taken showed no signs of it.
If your looking for a place to really relax, rejuvenate and inspire this month, why not come and join us up in the Swiss Alps. Zweisimmen can be reached very easily by road or rail from any of the Swiss airports, but if you want to start your alpine break with a magnificent train journey, then look no further than the ‘Golden pass panoramic line’ that starts in Montreux at the far end of lake Geneva. From Geneva airport you can catch a train that travels all the way along the lakeside to Montreux, then change with a hop skip and a jump (literally as you are given a very efficient Swiss 6 minutes to be precise to make the transfer from one platform to another to catch the Golden Pass. Believe me, as I’ve done it on many occasions, it can easily be done!).
There are two options depending on the time of day for which train to catch; the ‘Panoramic’ has an almost completely glass top half to maximise your viewing pleasure, then if you catch the ‘Golden Pass Classic’ you could easily think you’ve caught the Orient Express with its elegant wooden cabins and soft furnishings.
As you start to wind your way up and up and up, first through the vineyards of canton Valais then by the time you pull away from the station in Chateux d’Oex, you leave behind French speaking Switzerland and enter the majestic Bernese Oberland where the language is ‘Schweizerdeutsch’ a very sing songy version of German! Glamorous Gstaad then comes along, winter playground to many of the worlds celebrities and also home of the world renowned Yehudi Menhuin classical music festival. Then finally eight miles down the track is beautiful Zweisimmen where you can jump off, and head to the cable car to fly up the Rinderberg mountain!
Grab your last minute spot on Natascha’s Yoga and Pilates Swiss Alpine Retreat from the 31st October – 2nd November.