Paola Deprez


I still remember very freshly what I think must have been my first existential crisis. I was maybe 12 and I had just finished to knit the most difficult sweater from a magazine, and I felt I owned the whole world! If I could knit the most difficult thing, I could knit anything! Immediately I started to plan and design my next projects, and suddenly it hit me: why do I need all these sweaters if I am anyways going to die... Ooh, how much I cried. Innocence lost!

Maybe it was that feeling of despair, of the illogical inevitability of death, that led me to ask myself "the" questions... Why do we live if there is death? What for? How is it possible that everything we learn and experience during life is going to get lost (I could never swallow the paradise story)? What is life at all? Is it really necessary if we will end up dying anyways? I mean, why bother? Is there a reason, or a purpose for all this? I watched "Blade Runner" many times, I read Sartre and Camus and many dark poets, sharing the uneasiness but not finding any answers.

All this in some way led me to study Biology and become a researcher. During my studies I was fascinated by everything I learned, and I had a hard time deciding in which direction to go... so I tried everything: from marine ecology to molecular neurobiology... And each approach offered different rich perspectives. But after I finished my degree the uneasiness was still there... I considered studying Psychology... but in the end decided to do my PhD just because it was the next step, the easy one, the obvious one, after having invested so much, and being so good at it, with prizes and praise from all sides.

And again I was fascinated, this time not only with what I discovered myself about the molecular world, but with the capacity of the mind to notice, wonder, question, dissect, infer, conclude, predict... and create models and worlds. Alas! Once again, after finishing my PhD with more prizes and success, I led myself go with the obvious next step despite the undefinable existential itch, always present every time I was not busy with clear goals to achieve. And this is how I ended up in Zurich for my post-doctorate. Except that this time something was different...

The pressure cooker started slowly to whistle... For 3 years I made experiments that gave no clear results... This set up in motion the desperate struggle of the Ego to reaffirm itself, to assure myself and others that I really was this successful and smart scientist. I thought I was stupid, and turned into a little brittle bird scared to death to meet the boss. My body started to call for help with sickness and weird symptoms that made me believe at first that I had an incurable disease and that my end was close, and that I later simply ignored when I finally understood that it was "just stress". And I simply kept going, with less and less motivation, less and less strength, shrinking and getting sicker, until the limits of despair. Life and our overrated minds were just a bad joke, emerged out of the play of a bunch of organized molecules.

Burnout. This is not something that happen from one day to another... It's a long and painful process in which you loose connection to everything... to yourself, to your body, to the people around you, to what is in front of you... But at the same time it is an opportunity, and for me it was what finally cracked the hard shell of the Ego, of this solid idea we have of ourselves, that gives us a false sense of security that we hold on to, but at the same time limits us to this very narrow representation of who we are and what we could be.

Despite 3 years of antidepressants and therapy, that kept me without freaking out, the real healing process started when I went to a lab management course in which contrary to all my expectations we were shown some Tai Chi movements, we followed our breath, we felt the connection with the earth... and the first thing I did when I came back was to look for a Tai Chi teacher in Zurich.

Nothing happens from one day to another, but after such a long struggle it felt like in a second the direction of my life changed. I started healing by reconnecting with my body that was lost in space decomposing without my attention. This is how I met Adrian, telling us to observe our reaction patterns during the Yoga class. And later with the help of teacher plants I could see my mind face to face, and realize that my thoughts were not me.

Since I committed with faith to the Yoga path without really understanding why, the universe has provided me with one gift after the other. Adrian, our son Manu, and many precious teachers and teachings that show up in the most unexpected forms and always when the time is ripe. Now, every time I stop doing or thinking for a second, instead of uneasiness I feel overflowed by joy and gratitude to have had this precious opportunity to live, and by a deep motivation to give my hand in whatever form this might be to whomever is ready for healing and transformation.



                                                     The winds of grace blow all the time.

                                                     All we need to do is to set our sails.

                                                                      Sri Ramakrishna


Born in Santiago, Chile


Lycée de l'Alliance Française, Santiago, Chile


Master in Biological Sciences, P. Catholic University, Chile


Worked in research giving myself time to decide between PhD or studying Psychology


PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology, Chile, Belgium, USA, France.


Researcher at the ETH Zurich


First obvious symptoms of Burnout


Absolute collapse, antidepressants and psychotherapy for 3 years


Tai Chi, Yoga and the beginning of becoming whole


Great teachers in my life: Adrian, holy plants, our little Manu, and an expanding community of friends


I quit research! And I survived... ;-) Started working at the reception of Airyoga, my service to the community and a big humbling teaching.


Yoga Teacher Training with Stephen Thomas in Bali & Zurich. Tibetan-Buddhist meditation with Dan Brown. This has become my every day whole day practice.


Back to research at Collegium Helveticum... only a little, on transdisciplinary aspects of art performance, psychology, mathematics...


Started La Luna Lädeli, a small shop at home with things I love.


Learned by doing how to make an online shop! Visit  :-) Going more and more toward products that are produced in ways that support the artisans and our planet.



March 7th, 2021 at Airyoga Zurich: Yoga Nidra with Adrian Wirth.

>> Postponed to June 5th, 2021


This workshops opens the door for you into the wonderful Yoga Nidra practice: Deep relaxation, regeneration and meditation. A veritable treasure of a practice for our fast, stressy and confused times! A concise introduction and deepening background information at the same time.

Course is in English!

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April 24 & 25,2021 at Airyoga ZH. Healing Breathwork & Yoga with Adrian Wirth and Guido Lenz.

Postponed to July 3th/4th

Every half a year, a classic since 8 years. This spring a bit earlier than usual... Experience the simple and powerful connection to the mysteries of life through your breath! Dive deep into altered states of consciousness where healing and transformation is possible! Expect the unexpected. (in German!)
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