NO. 3 MARCH/APRIL 2013 CHF 7.50
· Dario Cologna · Tanja Bachmann · Kjus · Stephan Siegrist · · Mary Katrantzou · Swiss waterfalls · Lugano · Julian Zigerli ·
World Champion 2013 CONGRATULATIONS
© Andy Seddon
“The year 2013 is about new beginnings. A year to change,” wrote Huffingtonpost columnist Amy Chan last December. Her prediction has come true here at Swiss News. After a wonderful and inspiring 15 issues, it is time for the editorial team, Emily and I, to say our good-byes to you, our friends and readers with our last full issue. We have thoroughly enjoyed scouting the length and breadth of Switzerland to bring you exciting stories of people and places and wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to you for your thoughts and opinions along the way. As Emily and I are embarking on new adventures, so is Swiss News in its 31st year of publication. Starting from May, the magazine will undergo a transformation led by Erika Frey-Hasegawa.
Emily and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our columnists – Brien Donnellon (‘finance column’), Tsitaliya Mircheva (‘changing room’), Hiltl (‘healthy indulgence’), Orell Füssli (‘books’) and Girlfriend Guide (‘healthy living’) – as well as our regular contributors (Marion Widmer, Christos & Christos, Sue Style and Mary Krienke amongst others) for their outstanding work and dedication. It has been a pleasure to work with you and we really appreciate all your time and effort. Last but not least, we would also like to extend a big thank you to our interviewees, Switzerland’s tourism boards and our partners, without whom none of this would have been possible. We are aiming to leave in style with our last issue – our fashion issue – and have prepared a variety of in-depth articles and interviews for you, from a Q&A with Swiss of the Year Dario Cologna (page 20) to profiles of fashion designers Julian Zigerli (14) and Mary Katrantzou (40). We learn from sports premium brand Kjus about quality without compromise and find an adventurer and climber with a similar conviction in Stephan Siegrist (page 22). In our celebrity interview (page 18), we discover that nomen est omen, as we meet Tanja Bachmann from TinkaBelle who grew up in Vogelsang (translates roughly as ‘birdsong’). Our travel section (pages 28-37) takes us from horse riding in the Freiberg mountains to a cultural getaway in Lugano and a guide to six of Switzerland’s finest waterfalls. We hope you will enjoy our combined March/April issue and say good-bye to you.
Carina Scheuringer Editor-in-Chief
PUBLISHER Remo Kuhn • MANAGING DIRECTOR Jonas Hugentobler • EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Carina Scheuringer • ASSISTANT EDITOR Emily Mawson • LAYOUT María Ahuáctzin Lepel • MARKETING & ADVERTISING MANAGER Erika Frey-Hasegawa, Tel: +41 44 306 47 00 • CONTRIBUTORS Angelica Cipullo, Brien Donnellon, Tsitaliya Mircheva, Deja Rose • PRINTING MATERIALS firstname.lastname@example.org • SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE SWISS NEWS, Zürcherstrasse 39, 8952 Schlieren, Tel: +41 44 306 47 00, Fax: +41 44 306 47 11, email@example.com, www.swissnews.ch • SUBSCRIPTION RATE One year, CHF 66 inside Switzerland; CHF 96 abroad; Single copy CHF 7.50 • DISTRIBUTION & SALES Available at major kiosks, Orell Füssli, Off The Shelf, and in business class on SWISS International Air Lines flights • PRINTED BY Stämpfli Publikationen AG, Wölflistrasse 1, Postfach 8326, 3001 Berne • SWISS NEWS 31st year of publication • COPYRIGHT Under the International Copyright Convention, All rights reserved ISSN 1420-1151 • PUBLISHED BY SWISS BUSINESSPRESS SA, Zürcherstrasse 39, 8952 Schlieren, www.swissbusinesspress.ch
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The latest news from Switzerland
10 questions with...
Maurice Turettini – President of the Geneva Motor Show
Entrepreneur in focus
Kjus – Sporting with innovation
Made in Switzerland
Julian Zigerli – The feel-good factor
Time to tackle tax
Tanja Bachmann – Kissed by the Irish muse
Dario Cologna – Man on a mission
Stephan Siegrist – Vertical ventures
Off the beaten track
Horse riding – In the saddle in the Freiberg mountains
48 hours in... Lugano
Waterfalls in Switzerland – Nature’s force
Mary Katrantzou – Print magic
Changing room – Buying a new season
Yoga – The truth about yoga
English books at Orell Füssli
Goods and services in Switzerland
Images from top: Stephan Siegrist, © Visualimpact.ch/Thomas Ulrich Dario Cologna, © KJUS.com/Stephan Schlumpf Waterfalls in Switzerland, © swiss-image.ch/Christof Sonderegger Mary Katrantzou, © Alex Sainsbury Front cover: Dario Cologna, © KJUS.com/Stephan Schlumpf
e n t r e p r e n e u r in focus
Sporting with innovation By Carina Scheuringer
All photos on this spread © Carina Scheuringer
Premium sportswear brand Kjus is ahead of its time and ahead of itself. Clothing, at the new Hünenberg headquarters, is not simply a matter of looks. It is about performance, comfort and style without compromise. Kjus is a labour of love, born in the mind of an exceptional entrepreneur upon the wintry slopes of the Swiss Alps.
Two of a kind Sport and fashion have been threaded throughout much of the life of Didi Serena, the company’s founding father and President. “Growing up on skis” in the Engadine, he lived and breathed sports from the word go. He turned his passion into a career in 1979 when he founded his first company and brought Norwegian brand Odlo to Switzerland. After twenty years with Odlo, an encounter with professional skier Lasse Kjus in Norway marked the beginning of a new era. “Lasse was at the top of his game when I met him. At the World Championships in Vail in 1999, he medalled in all disciplines, a feat unmatched in the history of Alpine skiing,” Didi remembers. “I simply said: ‘What if we developed a skiwear collection that was entirely without compromise?’” For a man who spent nearly 200 days a year on skis, this was an enticing proposition. The Norwegian sure knew a thing or two about clothing that did not work. Together, the duo set up ‘Kjus’ in 2000 to revolutionise the market. “Kjus stands for authenticity and credibility. Lasse is a highly respected and successful skier, who is very much liked internationally and is renowned to always aspire to being the best,” says Didi by way of explaining the company name. “It just seemed perfect.” With the foundations established, the partners directed their attention to their first collection and, true to their commitment “to create the best skiwear possible,” began scouting the market for the best materials available. They discovered that NASA was using lining materials in their spacesuits for astronauts that could balance out changing ambient temperatures. Agreeing that this was the perfect way to increase the comfort levels for active skiers, they incorporated the material into their skiwear. “This had implications on the price of course,” recalls Didi. “Normal lining cost about USD 2.50 – this type cost USD 50. Producers were sceptical initially and we had to make considerable investments to get the first prototypes developed.” A seasoned businessman, Didi was not deterred. He was well aware that success doesn’t happen overnight but requires perseverance and patience.
Humble beginnings When Lasse had to take a break from professional skiing due to bronchial problems in 2000, it was a blessing in disguise for the fledgling enterprise. Together, the business partners went door to door in various ski resorts, promoting their brand. “Our strategy was not to get as many local buyers as possible. We just wanted one buyer – the number one in each village,” explains Didi. But securing what Didi calls “the Platzhirsch” in places like St Moritz, Zermatt and St Anton was anything but a small undertaking. “I remember the early days well,” laughs Didi’s oldest son Nico. He had just arrived in Costa Rica after a season working in Skiservice Corvatsch in St Moritz, when he got a call. “My father told me that there had been an opening in sales at Kjus and that I should come home,” recalls the 33-year-old. Having inherited his father’s love for sports and entrepreneurial instincts, he was quick to say yes and cancel his holiday before it had even started. It proved a wise decision. Nico was born for the job. “When I was little, I always looked up to my father and his business – and I thought ‘it’s a good thing that my best subject at school is sports,’” he chuckles, before relating one of the first assignments his father ever gave him. “During a school holiday in primary school, my father told me I had to go out and earn money. MIGROS was delivering Ping-Pong sets to a local farm – so I spent three weeks putting on price stickers, surrounded by cows and hay.” The glue might have worn Nico’s fingerprints away, but it confirmed his suspicion that his future was in the sport industry. With his father not believing in family favours, Nico started from the very bottom at Kjus, going from door to door with the first collection. “I think it is crucial that people are in certain roles because they deserve to be,” explains Didi, whose leadership is based on teamwork and is anything but patriarchal. With the market at the time “driven by price,” it took a good two years until Nico saw the fruits of his hard labour. “When people began to appreciate the added value of our products, it made my life a lot easier!” he confirms. His success saw him climb the company ladder gradually – from national to international sales, and finally – based on his creative talents – to Head of Design in 2009.
“Everything we do is authentic. We stand for active sportswear without compromise.” Didi Serena
e n t r e p r e n e u r in focus
LK International AG Rothusstrasse 24 6331 Hünenberg +41 41 748 08 08 www.kjus.com http://world.kjus.com
Kjus opened their flagship store in Hünenberg in December. Kjus is pronounced ‘tschüüs’.
All photos on this spread © KJUS.com
labour. “When people began to appreciate the added value of our products, it made my life a lot easier!” he confirms. His success saw him climb the company ladder gradually – from national to international sales, and finally – based on his creative talents – to Head of Design in 2009.
Down to a science For a brand aspiring to produce the best skiwear possible, innovation was the key ingredient for success. From the onset, Kjus clothing sought to distinguish itself by optimum lightweight performance, comfort and individual style and was packed with functional details such as storm hoods and money pockets. Kjus was the first sportswear brand to develop stretch skiwear and to make use of ultrasound adhesion and glued seams to guarantee complete waterproofing. “Our motto has always been to never stand still,” says Didi, “We are never satisfied with the status quo and remain extremely critical.” Didi’s second son Sven, who joined the business in 2006 “after trying out everything else,” knows too well what this means. “Even today, when we give Lasse a new product to test, he tests it down to the last detail and comes back with many little ideas of how we could improve it.” Just as his brother, the 31-year-old had to earn his place in the company. Building on his strengths “to plan and structure,” Sven started his career at Kjus as a factory quality controller and was sent to China on his first assignment. “I was there for three weeks, checking the quality of the products before they went into the factory and after they came out. I learnt a lot dealing directly with the people working on the machines,” he remembers. The experience greatly helped his understanding of production processes and the cultural differences; two skills he drew on as he assumed more senior responsibilities in the company – and two skills that make him the number one candidate for Kjus’s upcoming project in Asia. On behalf of Kjus, Sven will be moving to Hong Kong in April. “There hasn’t been much innovation in textile production in recent years. I am relocating to help establish a Research and Development Centre right at the heart of the industry,” he explains. “We want to be able to drive innovation ourselves and produce our own prototypes.” Supported by a smaller Research and Development Centre in Hünenberg and by “some of the very best textile developers” (such as Toray in Japan and Schoeller in Switzerland), this should result in exciting products. “There are so many ideas,” adds Nico, “like ‘self-healing’ fabrics or clothes that can direct warmth from the core of the body to
the extremities – but they have to be developed first!”
Putting heads together Once a prototype is developed, it is not only put to the test by the Kjus team, but also by a number of highprofile brand ambassadors, including Didier Cuche, Bode Miller and Lara Gut. Having worked closely with ski racing legends Cuche and Miller in the past twelve months, Nico can’t stress enough the benefits of a close collaboration with some of the world’s most successful athletes. “Having the honour to work with such great people and learning from their experience and feedback is like winning the lottery,” he smiles. “They ski with passion and take the material to the limit. They are uncompromising testers.” “All these great people came to us,” says Didi proudly when asked how these partnerships came about. “I remember receiving an email to firstname.lastname@example.org from Bode Miller’s agent. We thought we could never afford him! I think these great sportspeople really appreciate that we are authentic – that we are not some schicky micky brand with models that don’t even know how to carry skies properly. Everything we do is real.” Real Kjus truly is – and thirteen years down the line, the word is spreading quickly. Today, the slopes of St Anton, St Moritz and Zermatt bear witness to the very real force in fashion that Kjus has become. Add to this the golf and active lifestyle collections the brand has recently launched and it becomes obvious why founding father Didi is yet to have a break. “I should apply for it some day!” he laughs… but there is no rest for the wicked! At this rate, retirement might be his next option… “And we will have to see about retirement,” his sons chuckle in unison.
© Carina Scheuringer
By Carina Scheuringer
“For me, the friendships you strike are just as important as reaching the mountain top. The summit is super nice, but it doesn’t change your life in the way friendships do. And this is one of the things that make climbing so special for me.” Stephan Siegrist
On a sleepy Monday morning, the scene is moody and mysterious. Thick fog shrouds the Loucherhorn and spills into the valley below. Here, whipped on by the breeze, it dances across Lake Brienz, before silently creeping back up towards Habkern. As I watch nature’s performance through large panoramic windows, Stephan Siegrist hits the on-switch button of his coffee machine. The content smile on his face says it all – why a man who seeks out the world’s last frontiers is still always happy to come back home. “We are very lucky here in Switzerland,” he muses. “It’s beautiful.” And beautiful Ringgenberg is, framed by the windows of his self-build family home. Every single vantage point is maximised to its full potential.
“My dad ran a carpentry business and was always convinced that I – the only son in three children – would definitely follow in his footsteps,” Siegrist says thoughtfully. The oversized canvases on his walls reveal that life had other plans in store for him. Siegrist would give his heart to the mountains rather than woodwork. After initially training as a carpenter, the Bernese had to break the news to his dad “in small pieces, one at a time.” It was a difficult task – made even harder by the fact that really he “had no idea whether or not it would be possible to live from what was essentially a passion.” But aged 26, Siegrist took the plunge and became a professional climber and expedition leader. 14 years down the line, the adventurer’s photographs speak volumes about his remarkable feats. Above the leather couch in his living room, one frame shows a spider-esque figure clinging on to a sheer vertical rock face. In the hallway, another canvas pictures Mount Holtanna surrounded by the vast expanse of the Antarctic plain. The landscape looks surreal – a silent world, hostile yet beautiful. It is a place not many will ever have the privilege to see, never mind exploring it in the fashion of a pioneer like Siegrist.
Fascination mountain “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, awake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it reality,” once remarked British Army Officer T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. 40-year-old Siegrist is a prime example of the latter. He lives to make his dreams reality. “I see a picture of an aestheticallypleasing mountain or a difficult face in an area that is unknown, and I want to climb it. These are my dreams,” he confirms, before adding soberly: “It would pay more if I was into mainstream stuff – the 8,000 metre peaks that sell – but that is not the kind of adventure I am looking for. For me, expeditions are about the whole experience – the journey and the people I share it with – and most importantly, of course, the end goal.”
© Visualimpact.ch/Thomas Senf
And in Siegrist’s case, the ‘end goal’ is never an easy thing to reach. The mountaineer dreams so big, in fact, that sometimes it may take years to realise his vision and “convince sponsors that his dream is a worthwhile project.” “Holtanna is a good example,” he smiles, “I first saw a photograph of it in 1994 and was immediately fascinated. For years, I couldn’t let it go; I kept on thinking about this mountain, but it just seemed an impossible undertaking.” And the ‘impossible’ started with the question of how to
For years, I couldn’t let it go; I kept on thinking about this mountain, but it just seemed an impossible undertaking.” And the ‘impossible’ started with the question of how to even get there. “During my research, I discovered that there was a Russian base on Queen Maudland that could be reached by cargo plane. From there, a smaller plane was serving a research station nearer the mountain,” Siegrist remembers. “I contacted the base to see whether it was possible to get a seat. And they quoted me an incredibly steep EUR 22,000 per person.” It was a price tag that put his dream out of reach until some 14 years later, Siegrist and his partners eventually secured the necessary sponsorship to finance their undertaking. “Where there is a will, there is a way,” he chuckles. It is a motto that has served him well.
Dream tickets In November, the Bernese set off towards Antarctica, accompanied by fellow mountaineers Thomas and Alexander Huber and German cameraman Max Reichel. “When I finally set foot on Queen Maudland, it was one of the best moments of my career. The Antarctic landscape is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” A beaming smile lights up Siegrist’s face. And looking at him, you could be excused for forgetting that getting there – in the grand scheme of things – was probably the ‘easiest’ part of this momentous expedition. The team had yet to battle ambient temperatures of up to -52°C in their feat to become the first humans to scale the 750 metre tall vertical west face of the Holtanna – and their second feat to climb the most difficult of all the Antarctic mountains, the Ulvetanna. It was a big task – and none of them knew for sure whether it was within their reach. “We focused on the goal – this is what gives you the motivation to trek for hours and put yourself through incredible hardship. The main thing is to remain flexible and to adapt to any given situation, because when you are venturing into unknown territories, you are never quite sure what you are going to find. This makes things twice as hard, but also twice as exciting,” reveals Siegrist. “You can contact locals ahead of the journey and learn from them but, in the end, you have to find a way to live in the environment you are in and be resourceful. In Queen Maudland, for example, we put one sleeping bag inside another to double up the insulation – and we used the eye sleeping masks we had been given on the plane to keep our eye lashes from freezing together during the night.” However, in the end, all these things are but mere details. “When you reach the summit, all the difficulties pale away into insignificance. The reward is immense,” confirms Siegrist. And he sure is speaking from experience. In the past two decades, the pioneer has completed first ascents on all seven continents. In addition to that, he has scaled the great north walls of the Alps and undertaken expeditions to far-away corners of Patagonia, North India and Nepal amongst others. He has become one of the most outstanding Swiss mountaineers of his time.
© Visualimpact.ch/Thomas Senf
Lofty aspirations But what is it that makes people like Siegrist want to push the last frontiers and scale the most challenging peaks? Maybe it is just like when British mountaineer George Herbert Leigh Mallory was asked why he had wanted to climb Everest, he answered: “because it is there.” Or maybe this remarkable spirit of adventure is simply engrained in some of us. Siegrist takes a moment to ponder the question. “Certainly growing up in Meikirch shaped who I am today,” he concludes, “I am very lucky to have grown up where I did.
The village had maybe 100 inhabitants, not more, and we were truly surrounded by nature. As kids, a group of us would always go out on our little adventures and I guess that greatly influenced me.” Aged 14, friends of the family took young Siegrist up his first mountain – on skis. “I didn’t like ski touring very much,” he laughs, “I just didn’t think the effort was really worth what you got out in the end.” The same family would later introduce him to a pastime that was much better suited to him: climbing. The youngster was immediately fascinated by the physical challenges the sport presented to him.
A stint at the local youth climbing club and later at a mountain guide school helped Siegrist advance his skills quickly and introduced him to likeminded mountaineering enthusiasts. Together, they started putting theory into practice. Little did Siegrist know that some of the bonds he forged then would be bonds for life. “For me, the friendships you strike are just as important as reaching the mountain top. The summit is super nice, but it doesn’t change your life in the way friendships do. And this is one of the things that make climbing so special for me,” he explains.
Friends in high places Siegrist typically climbs with the same group of people – like Ralph Weber who he first met in his mountain guide course twenty years ago. “These friendships stay forever,” he smiles. “Look at Ueli Steck for instance – we have been through so many good times together and both live off the same thing. I make sure to not step in his tracks – in my opinion, it wouldn’t be fair, if I just trained to outdo his time on the Eiger north face – that would simply be competition and I am not interested in that at all. For me, it is about the friendship.” However, living life at the edge of an abyss means that sometimes the greatest friends can be gone from one moment to the next. “It is really tough to deal with losing a friend,” Siegrist says referring to the deaths of his mentors Xavier Bongard and Ueli Gegenschatz. “My two-year-old son is named after Xavier. He was one of the best Swiss alpinists of his time and he was the one who brought basejumping to Switzerland. I learnt so much from him and was really shaken up when he died.” Following Bongard’s death in 1994 during a basejump in the Lauterbrunnen valley, Siegrist promised himself to never basejump. He held on to this promise until 15 years later, when a chat with one of Bongard’s close friends re-ignited his interest in the sport. “The technology had advanced remarkably since Xavier’s days – it was much safer and I was really intrigued because it was so different from climbing. Climbing is slow and your focus is on being as close to the face as you can be; basejumping is fast and you need to leap as far away from the wall as you can.” Finally breaking his “selfimposed ban” in June 2009, Siegrist scaled and jumped the Eiger Mushroom. After that, he was hooked.
© Visualimpact.ch/Thomas Senf
He found a new basejumping mentor in Ueli Gegenschatz, a man known to take safety very seriously and renowned to be meticulous about the preparation of his every jump. “When Ueli died in a freak accident jumping from the Zurich Sunrise Towers for a sponsorship event in 2009, it really hit me hard,” says Siegrist, “We spoke on the phone just before he jumped and he mentioned that the wind was really bad. He took a long time up there, waiting and waiting. But eventually, he jumped.”
Sunrise Towers for a sponsorship event in 2009, it really hit me hard,” says Siegrist, “We spoke on the phone just before he jumped and he mentioned that the wind was really bad. He took a long time up there, waiting and waiting. But eventually, he jumped.”
Staying safe Siegrist abstained from basejumping for years and to this very day, vows to never seek sponsorship for his jumps. “I would never want to feel under pressure to jump. Heroes die,” he says soberly, before adding, “I am glad I didn’t get into basejumping when I was 20, it would have been so dangerous!” Siegrist is convinced that experience has reduced the risk involved in his line of work. “When I was young, I didn’t think a lot – a few times, I realised only after the event that I had been in a very dangerous situation and was lucky to still be alive,” he says. “But somehow your brain seems to store these memories – I find they come back to me in similar situations. Only now, I know to make a better decision – it helps when you know yourself well and you have gone through the same experience before.”
Dream on With a new expedition on the horizon, Siegrist is busy preparing both mentally and physically for a new adventure. “I always try and eat healthily and I split my working day between training and office duties.” His focus at the moment – after seeing “the super nice” west ridge of the Makalu (the fifth highest mountain in the world) is on endurance training – including cross-country skating, ice climbing, dry tooling and a little bit of bouldering for added strength. On 8 April, Siegrist will be setting off with a team of Germans to attempt an alpine style ascent (without fixed ropes) of the 8,463-metre summit. As his eyes sparkle with excitement when he tells me the details, I smile – the spirit of adventure sure is alive and well in this corner of Ringgenberg. I hope he will return safe and sound with many more stories to tell. I am looking forward to his presentation about the trip already!
© Visualimpact.ch/Thomas Ulrich
Stephan Siegrist’s main achievements since 2006
- Patagonia 2012: first ascent of Cerro Standhardt; first winter ascent of the three best-known peaks of the Torres - India 2011: first ascent of Cerro Kishtwar - Patagonia 2010: first winter ascent of Torre Egger - Kirgizstan, 2009: Asan, Pik Slesova - Switzerland 2009: Eiger north face, route ‘Magic Mushroom’; first free ascent combined with a basejump - Antarctica 2008: Queen Maudland: Holtanna, Ulvetanna - Switzerland 2008: new route Eiger north face ‘La Paciencia’ - Patagonia 2008: ascent of all four Torres peaks - Himalaya/India 2007: first ascent of the Arwa Tower north wall - India 2006: first ascent of the northwest ridge of the Thalay Sagar - Spain 2006: first ascent of Muchachito Bombo Inferno on El Chorro Books: new coffee table booked entitled ‘Beyond the Element’ available from March Presentations: Where earth meets sky, Antarctica, Himalaya, Eiger; Faszination Berg For information, please see: www.stephan-siegrist.ch
healthy living by girlfriend guide shelby © Viola Zimmermann
The truth about Yoga
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” B.K.S. Iyengar, founder of Iyengar yoga Yoga, a Hindu philosophy that originated 5,000 years ago in India, has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity. (Around 30 million people now regularly practise yoga worldwide, according to a report on www.bbc.co.uk). However, from Iyengar (concentrating on postural alignment) to Ashtanga (alignment of movement and breath), just trying to understand the different variations of yoga can be overwhelming for a beginner, let alone practising them. It helps to see the discipline in much simpler terms – as unity. The word ‘yoga’ means ‘union’ in Sanskrit. It is on this principle that the practice of yoga is based, with the aim of fostering a holistic approach to body, mind and spirit. It incorporates yoga postures (asanas) and controlled breathing (pranayamas) to liberate the mind and give us the ‘tools’ to cope better with everyday life. To find out more, Girlfriend Guide meet Shelby McDermott, a yoga teacher based in Zurich.
What – or who – helped you decide to spend your life dedicated to yoga? Shelby McDermott: My life has been the greatest inspiration to my dedication to yoga. I have made a wide variety of life experiences that ultimately brought me closer to myself. Along the way, yoga supported me through the journey with a compassionate, warm hand. I felt more sincere and authentic when I practised and I wanted more of that in my life. So I practised more and more.
How can yoga help people overcome problems such as stress or back pain? Shelby McDermott: People need to make the choice to be healthy and ‘whole’. Once that choice is made, you come to the difficult bit, because you need the discipline to practise yoga regularly. It is only possible to overcome stress and bodily pains that were gained through an unbalanced lifestyle once you are willing to be proactive about your health and wellbeing. Including four to ten cycles of sun salutations into your daily routine will do wonders for your life. Also sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing for five to ten minutes can release tension from the mind and body.
Is yoga also popular with men? Shelby McDermott: I think that men are starting to realise that yoga feels good and can be beneficial for the body, mind and spirit. Yoga also complements sports such as running, biking, swimming and skiing. Men tend to have tighter muscles than most women so they should take care not to push themselves too hard in a yoga class, but instead invite the body into the posture. Yoga practice is not about achieving, but instead about ‘being’ where you are in each moment. By approaching a yoga class with this mentality, men and women are more likely to practise safely.
How often you need to do it to reap the benefits? Shelby McDermott: For beginners, practising as much as possible is best. I suggest attending group classes two to three times per week if you can. This way the body has a chance to memorise and become accustomed to the movements and rhythms of a yoga practice. When practising this often, a student will see changes in their body and mind within three to six weeks. Experienced students should practise yoga asanas and pranayama daily by integrating a home practice into their lifestyle, as well as attending group classes once or twice a week.
Why do you think there has been a surge in the popularity of yoga recently? Shelby McDermott: Yoga has been gaining in popularity over the last 40 years in the west and is currently booming in Switzerland’s big cities. I think humans in general are becoming more conscious about their health and quality of life, and yoga supports this, whether through the physical asana practice or the subtle aspects of the mind. Happiness and health are born from the inside out and, as this philosophy becomes more widespread, people are realising that yoga is here and ready to assist them in their daily lives to be wholesome,joyous and peaceful beings.
Co-founders Angelica Cipullo and Deja Rose launched Girlfriend Guide to help women explore local events, establishments and lifestyle offerings. www.myGirlfriendGuide.com
Shelby McDermott Yoga Winterthurerstrasse 47 8006 Zurich www.shelbymcdermott.ch
art & culture
ENGLISH BOOKS and more – pay us a visit
Orell Füssli The Bookshop, Bahnhofstrasse 70, 8001 Zürich english.books.ch
Together. The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation. Richard Sennett Living with people who differ – whether racially, ethnically, religiously or economically – is one of the biggest challenges facing society today. Together argues that co-operation, in a society where traditional bonds are weakening, is a craft that requires skill. To become better at living with others, we must develop new forms of secular, civic ritual. ISBN 9780141022109 CHF 21.90
Teeny Tiny Gardening
The Beauty of Murder
Just because you have a tiny space, does not mean you cannot be creative. Whether you have an indoor or outdoor garden, a balcony or even just a windowsill, Emma Hardy presents 35 ideas including edible gardens and a vertical garden of herbs grown on a wooden stepladder. There are projects using recycled and salvaged containers, too, and tips for children to learn basic gardening skills.
When Stephen Killigan came to Cambridge as a junior lecturer, he didn’t know what was in store for him. One day, he stumbles across the body of a missing beauty queen and enters a sinister world. As he traces the path connecting the modern day and seventeenth century Cambridge, he must work out how a corpse can be found before someone goes missing. Perhaps he is simply on the verge of madness.
ISBN 9781908862808 CHF 36.90
ISBN 9781409144526 GREAT PRICE in March CHF 25.90 (CHF 31.90)
Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love
In Praise of Hatred
Khaled Khalifa’s tale, set against a backdrop of the events that occurred during the Syrian regime’s suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s, is powerfully reminiscent of the tragedy that is now taking place in the Middle East. Our young narrator, who lives a secluded life behind a veil, is filled with hatred towards her oppressors and – becoming increasingly fundamentalist – decides to take on the dictatorship.
After months of travelling, Alice returns to London to find she is late to hear the news that her father is dying. When she arrives at the family home, she is only just in time to say goodbye. Meanwhile, Daniel hasn’t had a roof over his head for years. For him, the city of London feels like home in a way that no bricks and mortar ever could. He spends every day searching for his daughter; the daughter he has never met. ISBN 9781447229711 CHF 29.90
ISBN 9780552776134 CHF 18.90
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