Champery, Switzerland

I'm in Champery!

A very old and charming village located in a huge skiing area of Switzerland. Despite the modern-age it has still maintained its old world charm of wooden chalets, flower window boxes and the rugged mountains as the backdrop. The contrast between the lush, green mountains of the late summer turning to autumn mixed with the coming of winter and the snow-capped mountain tops is stunning. Being here made me wonder how it would feel to open my door each morning to such a spectacular view. Another life, another time and certainly another idea on what's it all about.

Why does it take, however, looking at nature to remind 'me' or anyone of the continuous beauty around us and move away from materialistic thoughts. My mind races to think of what I am doing later and what I didn't get done before we left. Mountains have this wonderful way of getting you to stay present in their majestic beauty. They sort of seem to say very astutely, "I am here." Yogananda Paramahansa used to say that when most people see a mountain they see a mountain. But when he sees a mountain he sees God.

Did some negative conditioning toward 'enjoying' yourself get wedged under our skin and we hardly noticed it? One should be working, producing and doing something good for the world instead of staring at mountains! However, the over glorification of being busy has ruined the simple appreciation of watching a bird fly, a sun set and a mountain top glimmer in the sun.

These great mountains are the perfect reminder and the gift of the universe. It is not outside of us, but inside of us. And for me, when I see this is as God, I feel pretty good. What is also lovely is that this little are is actually called "Les Portes des Soleil" (the gates of the Sun).

A main highlight of the town is the old stone church (1702), which is located right on the street corner. When I saw it I thought of my mom who loves stone churches. It's not often you see a real stone church.

This area of Switzerland is also French speaking so I wore my beret! Hats are lots of fun and with 
a closet full of them why not wear one!?  A personal but universal lesson is to enjoy what 
we have, where we are and whom you are with. Dipa Ma (a Buddhist meditation teacher) said, "it is not what the world is but what we bring to the world." Everything in life she felt was useful, usable and we should make the most of it while we are here, while we have time and energy. Dipa Ma went on to say 
that not doing so was a waste of our human birth and missing the true purpose of our lives.    

The Journey So Far

Life is an adventure and yoga is the greatest one of all. Here I share my love of Yoga, travel, practice and becoming a part-time cook. My life adventures have taken me from growing up in Toronto to living and working in South Korea to studying in India, marriage and finally closing my Yoga school of 15 years.

What I can say so far is that I truly believe that it is necessary in life to let go of one dream in order for another to be born. This might be painful to do so but it is the only way to move forward. We often believe that if our original plan does not succeed it is the recipe for failure. But what if it is the door to something new and great? The horizon is wide and life is not a straight line. This is the way I see it and my journey so far. Having also recently given birth to my first child and at 43, it is another new beginning.


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Heather Morton
is a perennial teacher and devoted student of yoga. Having made 18 extended trips to India she studies with her teachers annually. In 1997 she founded and directed The Yoga Way (TYW), Toronto's only school for 6-week yoga programs and not drop-in classes. For 15 years, TYW was a part of the growing Toronto yoga community and supported many charities by offering karma classes. As a teacher she holds many academic degrees including a BFA (Fine Arts in Theatre) and a Masters of Education. With a published thesis on Yoga for Children in School, her post-graduate work was a 2-year ethnographic project in the Indian school system. Heather has produced 2 dvds, meditation cds, a backbending manual and podcasts. Freedom of the Body DVD is the first of its kind as an instructional practice to the backbends of yoga. Heather has been featured in the Toronto Life magazine, The Globe & Mail, Yoga4Everybody and other on-line sources. She contributes to MindBodyGreen, Hello Yoga in Japan and Elephant Journal. She writes to inspire and share her experiences with others on yoga as a life's practice.
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