Sunday, November 13, 2011

Choclo Project teams up with activist David Sye and Yogabeats

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Photoshoot David Sye, a set on Flickr.

Choclo has recently set up base in London. Whilst exploring the yoga scene in London, one name kept crossing my path. David Sye, a man passionate about getting involved in areas of need and awakening people’s consciousness. I decided this was a person I would like to meet. I was surprised by how easy it was to make contact. A quick phone call, we arranged to meet and ended up talking for hours about our passions.
David told me of his ambition to have yoga recognised as a tool for social change. I have since gotten to know a bit more about the community work Yogabeats is doing. From recreating a community hub for the street kids of Glasgow, to helping Youth at Risk of Southend-on-Sea to re-engage youngsters in education whilst helping them address some serious behavioural problems. At a recent Yogabeats Club night I was able to see first-hand how David’s work had helped two young women get their lives back on track. These girls were happy, proud of their achievements and oozing confidence. David is passionate about empowering the younger community with support and tools to build a brighter future.
This is a common theme for Yogabeats and the Choclo project. David listened intently while I explained how Choclo was inspired by the drawings of the children from our partner orphanage in Peru and how this inspiration was incorporated into the designs of each garment. The mission being, to deliver ethical clothing for balanced living. From our first meeting in Camden, David was keen to get involved with us. He is proud to support our work with the kids of Peru and the feeling is mutual, working with David and the Yogabeats team is a privilege for us.
David’s world is not limited to the UK. His work takes him all over the world. At the London Yoga Show I heard more about David’s latest trip to Israel. He is continuing to break down barriers and change perceptions, a mission he started back in 2004. Yogabeats conflict have made some valuable connections with the people of Bethlehem and are planning some great events in this war torn area with another trip planned in early 2012.
The Choclo project is proud to have David Sye as an ambassador of our brand. His passion and energy seems never ending. He is so refreshingly genuine and great fun to be around. To celebrate David's arrival with this stunning photoshoot taken by UK photographer Danylö Böbyk.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Votes are ON for the Brand New Awards

To vote for us in the Brand New Awards go to http://www.facebook.com/ispo.brandnew.awards?sk=app_299646646729963 hit like and then find us on the list. You can go through in alphabetical order. If you like the animation give us a like (gefaellt in german) and feel free to leave a comment too. Thanks again for your support.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Vote for Choclo at the ISPO Brand New Awards

Choclo is in the running for the ISPO Brand New Awards for the second time. We're proud to be a part of such a prestigious event that's helped launch many small brands to where they are today.

We think we've got a really good chance this year, with a more complete range and a fantastic new animation video. But we can only do it with your help.

We need your vote! The more votes we get from the public, the more chance we have of launching our brand properly and reaching out to help more children around the world. You can vote once each day and the campaign runs for 2 weeks, so don't hold back! It only takes a couple of seconds. And please spread the word to your friends and family!

We'll be posting the link here as soon as it's made public.

Thanks!

The Choclo Team.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Choclo Project Animation

We have worked with French based artist Benjamin Jeanjean to create an animation designed to tell our story the way it was supposed to be told, visually. If you like it please share it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Uncommon Ideals - a north sea surf film

This is an absolutely amazing short film produced and directed by my good friend Chris McClean, that captures everything about cold water surfing. Poetic, artistic and breathtaking. It will be presented at the London Film Festival this year.

Uncommon Ideals. from Doggerland. on Vimeo.

Monday, May 23, 2011

working with the CHILDREN in the FAVELAS OF BRAZIL



International citizen, inspirational speaker, yoga teacher/guru and musician David Lurey is one of those people who leaves a positive impression on all of those he comes into contact with. After having met him at the Geneva Yoga conference, one of the many stops on his annual world tour, I was impressed by his relaxed nature, sincere interest and impressive hair. It was only later however that I discovered the work David has been doing in with the kids in Brazil. During a tour in 2008 (four years after his first visit), David was invited by friend and fellow Ashtanga teacher, Gui Nascimento, to visit Casa do Zezinho in one of Sao Paulo's largest favela's (urban slum) with the idea of introducing the children to an international traveling yoga teacher. You could say that the experience was a turning point for David.



The project was a few years old and had already been visited by Michael Franti (a well known musician / activist) and had some funding to create something special for the kids. "I remember the first time I arrived there with my guitar and friends and there was a lot of energy and emotion with a room full of 60 + children all curious about this event and yoga and music and gringos! I walked into the auditorium like room and within 15 seconds all eyes were on me and it fell mostly quiet! Gui introduced me and I shared a little about my personal life as a traveler and teacher and shared with the kids a little introduction to yoga... focusing on exercises to breathe deeply, connect to each other and make the internal inherent light in all of us a little bit brighter. I did not have much experience with teaching children, but since I behave like one a lot, I felt at ease talking about sun salutations as a story of the daily miracle of the sunrise / set... I loved making animal and plant shapes as the poses and using the poses as a way to support out interconnection" says David.

Since that visit, David has returned to Casa do Zezinho every year and each time is has become a bit more special. The program of offering Yoga to these kids is so important to help them awaken physical and mental wellbeing, says David, who has now introduced AcroYoga in the program, allowing them to get creative.



Honest to his positive approach David is certain that each year, the kids involved feel a bit more relaxed, a bit happier and hopefully a bit more peaceful so they can be the internal revolutionaries of the violence and crime that is still present in the favelas. The project of Casa do Zezinho is always open to host guest teachers, musicians, performers and guides to support the healing of the children... so if you're ever in Sao Paulo, Brasil, please let David know as he would be more than happy to get you in touch with a place where true transformation is very possible and needed.
http://www.casadozezinho.org.br/inter.php?ca=129

For more information about David and his projects please visit www.FindBalance.net

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Celebrity KERSTIN LINNARTZ spends a month at SCHOOL FOR LIFE in Thailand




Kirstin Linnartz is one of those people that breaths enthusiasm. Even though she has been an ambassador for Choclo Project for a year already my first chance to actually meet her was at the Berlin Yoga Expo and to be honest I didn’t really know what to expect from a TV presenter/model. I definitely wasn’t expecting a warm, opened armed hug in the middle of the Choclo stand and neither was the potential customer I was talking to! After he had taken one look at her he just said “go, I understand”! I don’t know if it has anything to do with all the yoga Kerstin does but she is about as down to earth as they come. She is so down to earth in fact that she took a month out of her incredibly busy schedule (just try getting through her PR agents on the phone) to go and work with an School for Life orphanage last year. I can’t remember anymore whether Choclo found Kerstin or whether Kerstin found Choclo but either way it is a great fit and we are proud to have her representing the brand. Kerstin is also an ambassador for school for life and once they invited her to spend a month with the orphans in Thailand she jumped at the chance.



School for Life was established in 2003 and is located in the mountains of Doi Saket, which is located about 30 kilometers north of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Founded by Prof. Dr. Juergen Zimmer and Thaneen "Joy" Worrawittayakun in 2003 it provides a home and education to children in difficult circumstances. 140 such children have found a new home here and many more would like to come from around Thailand. Often coming from traumatic backgrounds the children get a new start to life in an environment that accepts them and understands where they are coming from.



With a totally unique education system that is free of any traditional techniques Prof. Dr. Juergen Zimmer concentrates on bringing confidence and laughter back to the children, focusing on the skills they have rather than making them feel inadequate or different because they do not know the derivative of 12 (something they will more than likely never need on their lives).

Subjects such as mathematics, biology and history are linked to projects specific to their needs, based on the learning and earning concept where they learn entrepreneurial skills through ecological farming, the restaurant or traditional Thai dancing. The founder believes that the only way to break out of poverty for these children is to be innovative and enterprising. School for Life urgently needs godparents for the kids (already with small amounts per month one can support a child and gets regular mails and updates from them ...). It is also possible to make money donations through the website http://www.school-for-life.org

Kerstin worked with the communal learning team helping with meals, classes and day to day activities and she regards her time there as one of the most rewarding experiences in her already inspirational life. In fact she is currently organizing a high profile fundraiser in Berlin this year to help raise money for the center. Choclo will be one of the sponsors of this wonderful event. To find out more about Kerstin go to http://www.kerstin-linnartz.de and for her upcoming yoga retreats and events visit http://www.be-better.eu

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pumping La Nord - no joke - 1st April 2011

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Every now and again, the elements come together and the swell syncs with the wind and the weather and you get one of those memorable days. Well April the 1st was one of those days - no joke. Be aware however, if you are about to book a ticket or pack your bags for France, that these days are rare and also involve shifty peaks and lots of broken boards.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Surf, sun, color and culture - a Moroccan tajine of good times

So last month I took a week off with a couple of mates and departed for Taghazout, a place that already holds fond memories for me. But should it really be classed as holidays? I mean the Choclo project is all about generating money for needy kids through the sale of products that allows us to lead a certain lifestyle right. And, this lifestyle is built around what moves us, whether that be waves, travel, yoga, climbing or slacklining. With this in mind I set off, allowing myself to be taken away with the smells, the light, the people and the zest of this wonderful North African country. I was a little put off to arrive at Anchor point and find the ocean totally flat. After having spent three weeks there about five years ago with consistently pumping swell it actually didn't even occur to me that it could even be like this. It looked like a totally different place, wave less - yes, any less beautiful - no. The charts had told us the best day would be the next one so we tuned up the sticks and hit the hay, hoping to be awoken by the sound of waves crashing against our apartment. Yes, that is how close we were to the shore! Instead we woke to the sounds of cats and dogs but I bounced out of bed nevertheless and found excitement in one-foot side shore peelers. Confident it would improve I woke the others, did some stretches and got out there. Proving to be a bit harder to navigate than I initially thought I kept missing the section until the conditions and myself got to know each other once again. But, it wasn't until that evening that it really turned on, with 4-foot glassy perfection. Plenty of waves for everyone kept the atmosphere cool and the tension levels down. The camera crew was in position and everyone got their share of the icing. With smiles on our faces, although sometimes hard to see when some of us finally got out of the water, we fed and crashed hard, ready for more of the same in the morning. Well, unfortunately that was it as far as waves go, other than some messy rodent size wind swell. After a bit of moaning we decided to make the most of it and check out some of the Agadir souk, Paradise Valley, the breathtaking coast as well as doing some deep sea fishing and reef snorkelling. As most trips, the memories you hold on to usually depends on the people you meet. As well as being surrounding by great mates the locals were genuinely friendly, helpful and often hilarious. And none more than our first encounter at Casablanca airport who diffused a potentially frustrating situation into a fun experience. Three hours of stories of his successes (oh no, it was lack of success) with women in Bordeaux and 100 phone calls and emails to an invisible person in the same airport we were finally granted permission to enter the local hotel where we went about stuffing our faces on free food until they finally found a plane that could fit all the people that had already been issued tickets. Apparently this isn't common practise! Another amazing human experience was when our car unexplainably broke down, only to the delight of about 10 men, all with different ideas of how we could get it started. Expecting to be cleaned out afterwards they all disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. And some say the people are friendly in Australia, well try getting that type of help anywhere near civilisation By the time we set off on our fishing escapade we were starting to get used to it, only to be tested by what we thought was an open invitation (or rather obligation) to jump off the side of the boat and snorkel around in open sea. It seemed they just wanted to go fishing and we were just along for the ride. Wrong again. Once they realized we wanted to snorkel they catered to our needs despite their concerns that we wouldn't have enough fish for our evening meal, the real reason they wanted to get the lines overboard. Great people equal good times but check it out for yourself. Some of them might look a bit sinister, especially the kids (SOME of the guns were fake), but trust me they are as good as gold! If I never see Casablanca airport again however there will be no love lost! Am I inspired - YES

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Palapala - taming technology through design



Barbara Klarenbeek is a yoga teacher/designer based in Scheveningen, Holland. Although currently completing her teacher training Barbara comes from a design background and after working for brands such as Nike, Tommy Hilfiger and O'Neill has now launched her own range of beautiful and unique bags. Her products truly express her inner self, coming straight from the heart and offering therapeutic floral prints on quilted feminine styles. A fantastic accessory for anyone that would like to bring her personality into all aspects of her life. Who would have thought computer sleeves could be such beautiful and personal objects. Technology can actually be user friendly it seems. Not only is Barbara a talented designer but she also gives great dynamic classes (which I had the opportunity to experience first hand) specializing in Vinyasa flow/ Power yoga and Kids yoga. If you are ever in the area you really need to treat yourself. With a great knowledge and natural presence her classes are a wholesome experience, highlighted with a well appreciated cup of tea and friendly chat at the end of the class. You can check her schedule at www.palapalayoga.nl

http://www.palapala.nl

Monday, February 21, 2011

Photoshoot Scheveningen HOLLAND

Thanks to the amazing staff at the Harbour Club in Scheveningen and especially Bibi and Peter for being so accomodating and helpful. Considering it was snowing outside we would have been happy with any sort of shelter let alone this inspiring sanctuary. This spot is amazing, with a view of the port and some beautiful interior design. If you are ever in Scheveningen then this is the spot for fresh seafood and a wide selection of well selacted wine. Thanks to Barbara Klarenbeek too who has been incredible, setting up meetings with shops and keeping me focused with her inspiring classes. She is the best yoga teacher in Scheveningen and a great model too. Dank je wel Barbs. Last but not least thanks to Matthieu Boher, my host and talented French photographer. Respect for braving the elements and surfing here for the past three years buddy. Merci pour tout mon amie.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Holland in Sepia

After an Expo in Zurich (Switzerland) and Cologne (Germany), Choclo found itself in Holland for a few days. A beautiful morning provided the perfect opportunity to capture some images of Holland's unique culture and way of living. Shot mainly in Sepia and black and white, the beach and streets were the perfect setting for some inspiration.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Yoga Expo - Zurich and Cologne - and ISPO Munich

Choclo Project attended the Zurich and Cologne Yoga Expo for the first time. After some stress at the Swiss border we arrived in Zurich in time to set up the van stand, Diego before the exhibition center was overrun with enthusiastic visitors all looking for ways to find balance in their lives. ISPO, Munich is always an event and this year was no exception. Last stop was Cologne, a young and vibrant city in the heart of Germany. Choclo project is building solid foundations there through the help of Sabrina Muller and Daniela Kluetsch and their amazing on-line shop Definitions-Sache.