From California To Switzerland, A Story Of A Yoga Teacher
Jennifer Frye is a Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation teacher offering classes, workshops and retreats since 2007. 13 years ago she moved to Switzerland with her husband from California and found her real home here. She shared her personal story with SUISSEPIC.
She has completed several trainings in the U.S. and Europe. Inspired and trained in courses such as Ashtanga Yoga, Yin Yoga, Mindfulness Meditation, she has a passion for helping people develop their yoga practice and teaching techniques to bring mindfulness into everyday life. Jennifer’s classes & workshops are designed to bring strength and flexibility to the body and stillness in the mind.
Photo: Jennifer Frye
“When my husband was offered a job in Neuchatel, Switzerland, I’m ashamed to admit, I had to consult a map. Brian and I had always dreamed of raising our children in a different country, learning a new language and a new culture. Switzerland sounded amazing; beautiful nature, outdoor markets, cheese and chocolate? We were sold. Naively, and very attached to my community in Northern California, I said, “Let’s try one year.”
That was nearly 13 years ago.
We were a spectacle moving through the airport with our 2 and 6 year old daughters; strollers, car seats, and twelve pieces of luggage (I wish I were exaggerating). What if they don’t have the kind of shampoo I’m accustomed too? Toys, books, clothes for the girls? I shake my head and chuckle just thinking about my younger self.
I was born and raised in California and I had never experienced a true winter. We moved the first week of December, the darkest and coldest month of the year (and the coldest winter they had in 30 years, so we were told). My wardrobe consisted of thermal undergarments, wool sweaters and a down coat that can be best described as a sleeping bag with a faux fur-trimmed hood. I would wear the coat even while cooking dinner.
Our first night in the apartment we quickly learned that most apartments don’t come with light fixtures and nary a bulb. Well, we had one hanging lightbulb in the hallway but by 5PM, we would all wear headlamps. When Brian came home from his first day at work and saw me cooking dinner in my down sleeping bag, wearing a headlamp, we both finally found our sense of humor.
After the humor arrived so did our curiosity for this beautiful country. The girls settled into their new preschool and schools and made friends. Brian settled into his job and I was able to spend the first year getting familiar with the new language, building a community and learning where and when to take care of my recycling.
It was then that I also went to school for my first Yoga teacher training. I had always been interested in Yoga and mindfulness meditation and this seemed like a great way to combine flexible work (pun intended) with the girls’ school schedule and with something that I absolutely loved.
Photo: Jennifer Frye
Jennifer Frye’s family archive
I have been teaching yoga and mindfulness classes, workshops and retreats since 2007. One of the wonderful gifts has been the community of people that I have met. It’s a time for people to come together, quiet their thinking minds and just be at home in their bodies. Afterward, there is usually a coffee and a chat; an opportunity to share the highs and lows of life, laugh, find support and be part of a community.
I have also discovered many beautiful areas in nature for teaching my weekend Yoga and Mindfulness retreats. The alps create a wonderful environment to go inward, recharge and practice self-care.
I had no idea that one year would turn into 13 years. The locals, the international community, the nature and yes, the chocolate has broadened my view and warmed my heart. I look forward to connecting with more locals and international people of this beautiful place we call home.
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