Clotilde Chaumet was scrolling through Instagram when she came across an account that changed her life. Inspired by the feed of Rachel Brathen, aka @yoga_girl, Chaumet decided she’d had enough of her life in Paris and flew to L.A. to attend the instructor’s class. One session was all it took to convince Chaumet to make a major move, and over the course of six months, she packed up her belongings and left her hometown. She’s been in motion ever since.
But it was Chaumet’s mom, a dancer, who first introduced her to the practice of yoga. Born into a sporty family (both parents were runners), Chaumet was destined to be athletic. The style with which she’s adopted this way of life, however, is entirely her own.
"I’ve always been into sports, my parents were active. And then because I was really into that, I decided to work in this domain. Then, yoga kind of took over everything."
Chaumet started yoga about two-and-a-half years ago, just before moving to L.A. She said the spiritual element of the practice is just as important as its physical demands and benefits. “Just to practice and understand stuff that you learn on the mat that you can reflect in your everyday life, it really helps.“ And, while Chaumet was trained to become an instructor in India, she feels yoga has been adapted to become more accessible in places like L.A. and Paris, and that's a good thing.
"For many people, it’s not easy to start yoga because they think it’s really deep and intense and you're just going to have to levitate at your first class and sing mantras, but it doesn’t have to be like that," she said.
And one reason it doesn't have to be so daunting is because of pros like Chaumet, who open up the downward-facing dog world to a wider audience. Instagram — the same platform that got her started — has been an innovative way for Chaumet to connect with her growing network of fans. This makes her a representative voice, not only in the athletic community, but for strong women. That’s why Nike chose her to represent France for the Beautiful x Power campaign, which celebrates fierce female athletes making waves in athletics. And it's not just her ability to bend upside down and backwards that's caught international attention. Chaumet was one of the first instructors at Dynamo, the addictive indoor cycling studio that hooked Parisians faster than the Stan Smith trend. And there she reigns as one of the most in-demand coaches with a hardcore class and the Spotify playlist to match.
It's that playlist, packed with the best hip hop beats (from Drake to Frank Ocean to Kid Ink), that gets Chaumet in the zone. No bad morning or hangover could compete with the incredible adrenaline of getting on the bike in front of her class of 40 dedicated cyclers. "They give you the energy," she said. Well-hydrated and often dressed in all black, Chaumet has somewhat of a Jekyll-and-Hyde moment when the beat drops. While she describes herself as shy outside of the studio, Chaumet is a different person when she's at work. "When I enter the class, it's like I hit a button and I'm Clo, the Dynamo coach. It’s like my class, I do what I want, people will do what I say. I gain a thousand times more confidence," she said.
One thing that remains constant on the street and on the bike, however, is Chaumet's dynamite style. There is sense of comfort and casual chic that translates naturally from her workwear to her everyday wardrobe. While she's happy to get out of her leggings — practically a uniform for the job, but a bohemian look she says is better fit for her former city of L.A. — Chaumet loves a classic pair of jeans paired with a basic shirt or a crop top. Her look is effortless, and she's mastered the Parisian-girl style in that way where a bold red lip does all the work for her. When asked why Yves Saint Laurent was her brand of choice for lipstick, the answer was simple. Her dad's name is Laurent. Among Chaumet's favorite places to shop are Reformation, All Saints, Free People and Levi's, but don't be surprised to find her in a vintage store either.
And for someone who so often breaks a sweat (glamorously, might we add), it's no doubt the lifestyle has its beauty consequences. A diligent hair and skincare routine is crucial. Chaumet washes her face after every class as well as in the morning and at night using products by NUXE and Aesop. And it doesn't stop there — biweekly face masks and rosewater sprays are integral parts of the process. And while so many admired the charismatic coach's seriously blonde tresses, she's in the processes of going back to her natural color after her hair became dried out. She uses oils and hair masks regularly to remedy the damage.
And when this Dynamo diva is not cycling feverishly in front of her committed crew or striking an impressive yoga pose for her Instagram feed, you'll find her at home relaxing. “I could stay at home for a week without doing anything,” she said. Chaumet spent so much time living out of a suitcase and renting rooms from friends, that she was thrilled to get settled again at her current apartment in Paris. Her first purchase was a candle, one thing she believes can truly change an ambiance. She even uses them during Dynamo classes, bringing a piece of the reserved, shy Clotilde to the place where the powerhouse coach comes to life. For one of the most active people in Paris, and gracing our Instagram feeds, she sure knows how to kick back. Plus, she has the cool-girl style to boot. Sign us up for a class (as if there's any space).
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All photos by Jakob Zuyten.