CLARE'S STORY TO YOGA TEACHER
So what bought me to yoga? My very first yoga class was about 9 years ago, on a beach in Byron Bay which is such a cringe-worth cliche. English girl goes to Byron, stops wearing shoes, find herself. *yawn!*
My friend dragged me along. I wasn’t keen but she promised beers afterwards and back then I could be persuaded to do almost anything that involved getting drunk or high. Little did I know yoga was the biggest trip of all.
That first class was a tremendous struggle. I puffed and panted my way through the sequence with the grace of a baby elephant. I was (still am) extremely un-coordinated, could not work out where my right foot was, let alone how to hell to step it between my hands without falling over. Whilst the other students floated effortlessly into handstand I lay panting on the floor, wondering how I’d neglected my body for so long. Then it was ‘savasana’. For the first time I experienced the energy of my body. For a fleeting moment I was totally aware of my skin, my bones, muscles, every cell vibrating with the call, you are here.
That was it. I was hooked. Yoga was the glue that kept me together over the next couple of years of travel; including running out of money in January in Toronto, minus 30 with holes in my shoes, sleeping on the hard concrete floor of a friends basement. That winter saved me. I found a hot yoga studio and basically moved in. I cleaned the studio to practice for free and honestly did about 3 classes a day for that 6 months. One day a beautiful teacher Jamie asked me if I’d considered teaching. She sparked a fire within me that wouldn’t stop until I got brave enough to sign up for teacher training (thank you Jamie!!!).
I completed my 200 hour teacher training under the guidance of master teacher Mathew Bergan at Dancing Warrior Yoga in Sydney in 2014. I fell in love with teaching immediately and even though the training was extremely challenging, I knew I had finally found my calling.
My passion for yoga grew as I started to understand that yoga isn’t something that we ‘do’ with our bodies, it is our natural state that we ‘are’. Yoga is simply a coming home, a journey back to ourselves. Through the practices of asana, philosophy and meditation I have realised the true nature of impermanence and understand that we do not ‘own’ anything. I know that my thoughts are not necessarily true. I have experienced the magic that happens when I think, act and speak from a place of love and trust. I believe in the power of the Earth. I believe that by living with respect, love and humility we can create a peaceful world and begin to heal the trauma of this Earth.
On returning from India in February 2018 I decided to give up my home, give away most of my possessions, move into a van and travel around Australia so I could spend as much time as possible in nature and dedicate myself to nature, teaching and my personal practice. My intention is to share my love for yoga, people and the Earth as far and wide as possible whilst living in the most sustainable way possible. My travels got me as far as Batemans Bay (so 4 hours down the coast), a perfect example of what happens when you allow the plans of the universe to guide you!