Here is one person I’ve been wanting to introduce to you. When you meet Carmela, you are bound to fall in love with he. Gorgeous, fresh, natural, a Dirty Dancing touch, with a Tom Boy chip, a feminine aura that unfolds like a flower or like a firework depending on the chemistry.
A person to confine in as long as you are ready to get stripped naked, with care and intelligence. Carmela Fleury is born French, grew up Spanish, married Finland-Swedish, living Japanese, rocking a weekly Yin Yoga class (with the best playlist in town), coaching for a better life and a healthier life, juggling two young kids, living a train ride out of Tokyo, by the ocean where weekends are made of sandy feet and salty skin.
Carmela, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a mother of two. I’m a wonderful mother for the first 8 hours of the day and then, well, I’m no longer wonderful, unless I get a self-care break.
I like to swear and be classy in equal amounts. I got a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from Tufts University and yet I will not make a decision without flipping a coin. I prefer being part of the cultural elite than the economic elite. No matter how many skateboard ramps I drop into, I will always love wearing silk dresses that twirl.
I am a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach, and a Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I am currently under the leadership of Sarah Powers to become a Certified Insight Yoga Teacher. I like to draw knowledge from these 3 pillars to help clients get healthy in their own innate way, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
I speak a mess of languages and feel at home on FaceTime. Carmela Fleury
What lead you to start yoga?
People turn to things like music, art or writing when things get sticky in life. Yoga has been my personal anchor and my therapy since I tried it for the first time in LA in 1997.
Buddhists believe that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I started because I had heard great things about the teacher (she had cured the symptoms of her rheumatoid arthritis with yoga). Seizing the opportunity to learn with an inspiring teacher is the hardest part.
Throughout the years I have tried many different styles of yoga that interestingly matched what I was going through in life. For example, I practiced the hot and intense Bikram yoga in Boston while I was pushing myself through engineering school. I then did Ashtanga in Chamonix while enjoying snowboarding and working as a journalist. I did hatha while tediously working at an office desk job for Burton Snowboards in Austria. And then I tried all sorts of different types such as Kundalini and Jivamukti while living in Japan.
Why did you choose yin yoga?
When I had my kids I felt really tired and the thought of a full yoga class made me want to lay down in fetal position (which I did, a lot.) Yin yoga felt delicious, gentle and nurturing.
I also went on a Sarah Powers (one of the founders of yin yoga) retreat and she was absolutely remarkable in that she calmed my brain down, and consequently my body. And I felt extremely energized after. I feel so honored to have met her in the flesh and in this lifetime.
You are all about well-being, through yoga, meditation, visionboarding and life coaching. You are truly living it. How do you pass this message on to your children? How do they fit into your life as a Mum?
Oh I hope I’m passing on a positive message to them. Haha! Oh, who knows what I’m doing there?
I do strongly believe that if you want your children to be happy and healthy that you have to embody it for them.
And in order to do that, I believe that parents need to continually and regularly refill their own tanks and that’s why I organize Raising Happy & Healthy Mamas retreats. The next one is in Bali March 25-30th 2018. Come!
When things get busy, how do you recharge?
Fetal position. Yes. I alternate between rest and play. Breath-work. Meditation. Yoga. Vision-boarding. Caring for the people that I love. And chatting with close friends (preferably over vino.)
How do you pamper yourself?
Alone time. I am religious about massages- they are sacred and non-negotiable. Taking a yoga class. Slowly eating really good food. Going to the onsen. Champagne.
What advice would you give to someone seeking to live a more balanced life? Where do they start?
Every year, I go to Bali Spirit Festival and I love talking to people who have aged gracefully there. They absolutely fascinate me. One thing is being young and attractive. And another is aging well. That takes merit.
So I like getting to the root of why they have clear eyes, shiny hair, and lean bodies. I have found that their habits and nutritional habits vary greatly but the one thing that they ALL have in common is a disciplined breath work routine.
So my advice would be to TRAIN TO BREATHE MORE EFFECTIVELY and deeply (though yoga, pranayama, integrative or shamanic breathwork, etc.)
Second thing I would advise to do is to work on “THOUGHTS that cause suffering.” Your body knows what it needs, if you allow your mind to get out of its way. As in your body intrinsically knows when to get rest, when and what types of food to eat, when to move, etc. But if your emotions are out of balance they will highjack all of those instincts.
Thoughts trigger emotions. Emotions are reflected in your actions. And your actions define who/what you leave in this world.
You recently moved from Tokyo to Kamakura. What lead to this shift. What do you find in Kamakura that you cannot find the city?
When we lived in Tokyo, we would drive hours to spend time on the beach. My husband and I love surfing and we realized that the beach was a wonderful place for the kids too. We would play for hours. Eat well (excluding the sand) and sleep deeply after a day at the beach. It’s our family happy place.
Do you have any recommended places in your new neighbourhood that you can recommend to your fellow urban tribe?
Also an organic juice and food place called Squeeze. Their Buddha bowl with anchovy sauce is absolutely delicious!
You are hosting wellbeing events with us: meditation, yoga and vision boarding.
I love Abi’s Journal! She has such a beautiful, gentle and relaxing energy.
What message do you wish to transmit to participants?
Hmm just to stay curious and authentic.
Visualise your dreams – vision boarding workshop with Carmela Fleury – Dec 12 2017
A vision-board is a very powerful tool to scheme some goodness into your future.