Hello, I'm Claire - an unlikely yet passionate yoga teacher based in the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
Why unlikely? Well, ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell I've never been sporty, and at school I was always the 'last picked girl' for netball and basketball, any kind of ball actually. Combine that with being fairly inflexible, not very strong and certainly less than graceful - and you can see why it took me a while to figure out that yoga is my true path in life.
And that's why I'm so passionate about it - because if I can do yoga, love yoga, live yoga - then anyone can. My goal is to open up the world of yoga to people who think they can't do it, to share with them that yoga is so much more than flexibility and strength.
My journey into yoga began slowly, over seven years ago, when I was working in the city and suffering from the aches and pains that come with sitting all day at a desk.
I started with Iyengar yoga and, despite my lack of flexibility and strength, I immediately noticed a physical improvement in my symptoms. Gradually, I started to explore other types of yoga including Hatha and Yin, and over time, started to notice other benefits, both on and off the mat, particularly in my energy and stress levels and in my ability to manage stressful situations. So I expanded my learning into Ayurveda and yogic studies.
It was at this point that I discovered something remarkable: that the 'yoga' that most of us are familiar with (the poses or asana, the flexibility and movement, followed by some nice lying down and relaxing) is actually just a teeny-tiny part of what it's all about, and that being inflexible doesn't matter a jot.
Instead, I learned that yoga is an incredible body of ancient wisdom (backed up by contemporary science) that encompasses all areas of human life - anatomy and physiology, food and health, ethical questions, lifestyle choices, philosophy and more.
This discovery led me to make some small yet transformational life changes, and eventually I found myself at Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga & Health Collective in Mona Vale, studying under Fabio Fabbri, Yolande Hyde and Natalia Perera. I had no real intention of teaching; I was still fairly inflexible, and I just wanted to learn more.
But before long, I couldn't wait to start sharing this great knowledge with the world. I knew that if I could do yoga, love yoga, live yoga - me, with my tight hamstrings and tendency to be 'last picked girl' - then anyone could. I wanted to tell all those people who felt too stiff, too tired, too old, too embarrassed or too injured to do yoga that "you can do it too!"
But more than that, more than just getting people 'on the mat', I wanted to share the wisdom of the ancient yogis and the transformational life changes that had so impacted me.
And so now, it's my absolute pleasure to be doing just that. I especially love helping my students learn how to reduce their levels of stress, restore balance to the body, and bring calm and quiet to the mind.
I am currently teaching group classes and workshops at the beautiful Guringai Yoga Shala in Mona Vale, as well as private yoga sessions, tailored just for you, and one-day yoga retreats, designed to allow you a rejuvenating escape from this crazy world we live in. I am also designing a yoga lifestyle course, so I can really share all of those transformational benefits.
Later this year, we'll be moving to Avalon (we're in Palm Beach for the moment) where I am hoping to set up a little studio in the back garden, overlooking Paradise Beach, surrounded by gum trees, our permaculture garden, beehives and chickens - watch this