1. Tell me about your personal journey with yoga. Why is it important to you?
I dipped my toe into yoga as a teen, but I truly stepped into the space with all my heart 6 years ago, after I shifted from a path of self-destruction and addiction to a path of healing and recovery. I found solace in the yoga room and found that the more I moved my body and tapped into my breath, the quieter my thoughts became, and the more I was able to sink into the present moment. This practice led me down a path of healing and self-discovery that I believe truly saved my life. The physical body is a vehicle through which we can transcend the trappings of the ego-mind and elevate to our highest self. Yoga practice, in all its forms, is VITAL to my well being and happiness.
2. When did you first begin teaching yoga? What made you transition into a leadership position?
I felt the calling to dive deeper into the practice in 2015 when I found myself at a place in my life where I was seeking more purpose. I enrolled in Teacher Training at Corepower Yoga in Encinitas, CA, and was TERRIFIED. My ego was trying to trick me into thinking that everyone else in the program would be better, more flexible, stronger, more spiritual… I could go on. What a gift it was to meet everyone on the first evening and realize that we were all feeling the exact same way. This is how a community is built. Yoga is a connection, yoga is love, and yoga is freedom from the illusion that we are all alone. This is why I choose to teach, and to lead others through their own path to becoming yoga teachers. The connections made, the trust built, and the feeling of community and family are what life is all about.
3. What makes your classes unique?
What I hope to offer to my students is a safe space to truly let the armor go. So often, we walk around all day long feeling like we need to shield ourselves from judgment, to put up a wall and protect our truest selves. We often push down emotions in order to function in our society, which is why I believe it is so important to provide a space where my students can release the tension, the emotion, and the stored up energy that we collect throughout our lives. Through music and movement, along with words of encouragement, inspiration, and sharing my own story, I hope to allow my students to fully be themselves in the studio, free from judgment. I teach challenging physical postures in layers to allow every level of student to feel successful and leave uplifted rather than depleted.
4. How does music benefit your guidance in a yoga class?
Music is my partner in this teaching journey. The power of sound to create an experience is incredible. I look for music that will let my students drop into the present moment, feeling the rhythm in their bodies through the pairing of sequence and sound.
5. Tell me about your next event and where we can follow you online.
I just moved to Oahu, Hawai’i, and am currently teaching at all three Corepower Yoga studios on the island! Come to take the class!
You can follow me on Instagram at @clairebearsd. Follow me and stay tuned for upcoming events on Oahu!
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