We are pleased to showcase our interview with a highly trained crew member, Chelsea Nielsen, Yoga Instructor, aboard a famous 300′ yacht! Discover why a superyacht can be the epitome of luxury Yoga, with an ever-changing sea view on the top deck.
Ocean of News – How did you find yourself working as a yoga instructor aboard a superyacht?
I have been practicing yoga since 2004 and I began teaching in 2013 in Charleston, SC. I wish I could say that it was strictly a mere sense of curiosity and brute bravery that at 30 years old I decided to spontaneously change the course of my life, but with a sense of vulnerability it would be a disservice to not give credit to the darkness which led to the light. I was married young and with love, my ex-husband and I decided to go our separate ways at the beginning of 2015. Poetically, that choice for independence helped feed my strong inner desire to travel. It was clear that I needed to teach whilst traveling the world, and touch as many lives as possible. Synchronistically, a friend and fellow yoga teacher had been in yachting for 9 years and suggested I give it a try. Less than one month later I packed the few belongings that I wanted to keep into a storage space and moved to Florida to complete my STCW. Two weeks of daywork and one interview later I found myself moving onboard. It was the second best decision of my life… (becoming a yoga teacher was the first! )
Ocean of News – How does your work differ on board Megayachts to when you had your own land-based job?
For me, work onboard has been extremely different than my land-based jobs. In yachting, you work, live and socialize with your coworkers. You are with them 24/7, for better or for worse. You become a family in that sense, in many of the silly ways that families operate. It is also very challenging at times and leads to many opportunities for self-reflection. In yoga, we call this type of reflection “svadyaya” and it is a crucial aspect of a yogic way of life. In this sense, living onboard has become one big yoga class, moving meditation and a chance to witness my weaknesses, practice forgiveness, and to become the best version of myself that I can possibly be. On land, I had never been able to truly integrate my yoga practice into my life as strongly as I have here.
Ocean of News – Can you tell us more about the benefits of Yoga for the guests?
The benefits of yoga are endless, and go very deep into the subtle realms of the heart, body and soul. The great philosopher Teilhard de Chardin was quoted as saying that “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, rather we are Spiritual beings having a human experience.” In the world of yachting, it is easy to forget this fact. The glitz and glamour of a gorgeous boat can often create a sense of separation between one’s mind and heart, as well as distance from each other as humans. With relatively limited space on a yacht, yoga onboard will, of course, help to keep you physically fit, flexible and capable, yet it will also create a bridge for this spiritual gap.
Ocean of News – What makes a yacht ideal for practicing yoga in your opinion?
The only constant in our lives is change. Our temperament is thrown dramatically off as easily as a dandelion seed is blown into the air. What a better place to practice physical balance as well as mental strength than on a constantly moving platform?
Ocean of News – Can you tell us one anecdote that marked your career in the yachting industry?
There truly is not one specific moment that I can think of that I would say marked my career, AND I can say with all my heart that I wake up every single day truly in the moment and thankful for the opportunities that yachting has provided. I spend my days and nights working my tail off in order to help facilitate a successful charter and a spotless boat. My crew and I are often tired and stressed. Yet, I get to open my eyes to watch the sun rise and set out of the porthole in my cabin over the open ocean. I help people of all walks of life reconnect with their hearts (typically on top deck overlooking picturesque horizons). And I always go to bed full hearted and grateful.
You can practice with Chelsea online via www.GatherYoga.com where we #LiveGlobal and #GatherLocal