Your life breathes yoga, what made you get so involved?
I’m an all or nothing kind of person! It is so true that when you find something you love you never work a day in your life. I’m a full time yoga teacher and I love yoga and I love sharing yoga with people. Yoga is magic!
What's your fav style? Sweaty or snail-paced?
Definitely snail paced. I’m in love with Yin Yoga. I think my spirit animal is a sloth! There are days when I like to do a more powerful sequence, but my go to choice is always slow, long stretches.
Can you talk us through some of the mindfulness you learnt at Oxford University?
I attended the Summer School at St Hughs College at Oxford University in August 2017 and it was an amazing experience. I attended because as a yoga teacher I’m often asked about mindfulness and I needed to learn more about it.
I learnt that there are 2 types of mindfulness. The first is the popular culture of mindfulness – the mindfulness we see in the media featuring yoga, meditation, mindful eating – in fact mindful anything – mindful gardening and mindful make up application!
The second is the mindfulness based stress reduction programmes ran by mental health professionals who are dealing with people who have encountered trauma and/or are dealing with mental illness and are running 12 week programmes.
I’m always clear with people – I’m a yoga teacher and I talk about mental health and wellbeing. I’m not a mental health professional or a medic and I do not have the experience or skills or qualifications to support people with mental illness.
Why is mindfulness so important?
I think taking a moment to stop and inhale and then exhale slowly is the first step. Then whether it’s mindfulness, pranayama, yoga, tai chi, or a walk in the local park, do what works for you to allow your mind, body and spirit to relax and release from tension. We are all caught up in an epidemic of ‘busy’ and stress related illness is becoming a huge problem in our modern society. Mindfulness is just one tool in a vast toolkit that we can access to bring balance into our lives on a daily or even hourly basis.
How do you incorporate it into your everyday life?
It’s a work in progress. It’s a good habit to have, but sometimes the bad habits are easier to stick to! I try to slow down and take a breath. Simple as that. And also once I’m in the car, I don’t look at the time, I’m on my way to where I’m going and I’ll arrive when I arrive – I can’t control the traffic so I drive and enjoy the music!
What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation? How are they linked?
In short, mindfulness in zoning in and meditation is zoning out. Either way, it’s about quietening the mind, release and relaxing, easing tension and also boosting energy levels and stimulating creativity. What’s not to love?!
What made you become a Silatha ambassador?
I met the lovely Veroniek at the Om Yoga Show in London in October 2017. The Silatha stand was next to the Sport Yoga stand which I was on, helping my lovely friend Sarah Ramsden, Yoga teacher at Manchester United and Manchester City. I got chatting to Vernoniek, and I loved the jewellery, I loved the journal and then saw there was a meditation app too – I had never seen all 3 things brought together before and I thought it was so clever. I went to one of Vernoieks sessions at the show and loved her calming, melodic voice so I bought the journal and app. A few months later Veroniek approached me to ask if I’d like to become involved as an ambassador and I jumped at the chance.
Can you send us a link to your column?
Articles I have written are on my website – www.yogabyclaudia.com or check out my Facebook page – yogabyclaudiauk, or my instagram – yogabyclaudia.
Any inspiration to share with our readers?
Be kind. I think it’s a choice. Be kind to yourself and others.
What's one easy way to add more balance into your life?
Cut out the fake stress. I’m the cliché – I had the corporate career and I was dissatisfied and stressed so I decided to train to be a yoga teacher. I realised when I left the corporate career behind that the stress I had suffered wasn’t real! Nobody in the outside world really cared about the strategies and the meetings and the internal politics – it was like a big weight lifted.
Where are your retreats? If a company / individual was interested in this what would be involved?
Drop me an email on Claudia@yogabyclaudia.com or have a look at my website – www.yogabyclaudia.com I like to work with like minded companies who are in the business of wellbeing in its widest sense. I am running a week’s retreat at the magnificent Molino del Rey in Spain in June this year, and I also run monthly Yin workshops called ‘Yin Club’ and luxury yoga day retreats at a lovely hotel on the outskirts of Stafford in the West Midlands.