There are moments when one needs to fold. For some it can mean a pulling back, a disconnection from the outside, it can even mean to quit. To break. To fall apart. And yes, sometimes that’s why we fold.

But this time around, I bow to intertwine, to place together, like the pieces of a puzzle. I fold into my body and let myself feel the connected, yet open spaces. Similar to the impressions left behind by an Origami and its compact freedom it can portray in space.

The weather has been so hot and dry lately, that the magnitude of water has not just had a cooling effect on my body but also affected my mind in a grounding manner. Interestingly enough, the heat quenched my thirst for air and relinquished my burning desire to prepare and instead, has instilled nothing other than trust. Something I think all of us work with constantly; to trust the process, trust thyself and the overall trust that it will be ok.

Let’s take a regular fold of the body (like an Uttanasana or a Pashimottanasana), where the head moves towards your legs and the posture makes you face (literally) your choice of direction. Having your legs and feet so close to your head, to see them in front of you with your own eyes, to feel them, will indubitably connect you to the next step(s) you’ll take.

Now, when you retreat, pull back and take some time off, have you noticed that this vacating strengthens your awareness? So these days, I vow to let my heart take charge and my head come after. In the last couple of weeks, as I’ve been dedicating my self-practice to the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga — the Yoga Chikitsa also known as Yoga Therapy again — and that in congruence with going through a tumultuous continuance of loss privately — I have opened up space to revisit some of my old patched up corners of fear and pain, dusted some of them off, and I have even been able to replace them with — hope.

I have always liked the Primary sequence and if you know it, you know that it is all about the folding! Traditionally, the purpose of Yoga Therapy is to cleanse your body, to prepare it for healing, to open up. Just as the Kundalini recoils at the bottom to re-gain strength to penetrate the Chakras and to move to a higher level and eventually perhaps even reach enlightenment, your folding has the ability to eliminate the superficial layer of nonsense. You are able to step away from the cluster-fuck. So by making everything more compact, to turn within, you have the chance to give yourself space and that is exactly my intention for the last weeks of this hot summer; I bow to fold — forward.

I honor the teachers that have come to cross my path. I honor the trails I have left behind. I bow to show respect to what is — the moment in peace. I bow to myself to take some time off and not to worry about what will happen next. I fold into the unknown. I respect the loss of control. I bow to the effort that I’ve put into creating my yoga company hanuman shala and to the love I hold for teaching yoga. I bow to surrender to my breath, not because of weakness but because of giving it all — a moment. I bow to the time I can inhale and know that the exhale will follow. I bow to the creation of trust.

In service, I also bow to you.

What makes you fold?

Chantal is a professional Yoga + Movement Teacher in Switzerland. Find her at She writes about yoga and life.

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