“There’s a lot of rules in yoga specific to different practice and sometimes… most of the time.. I see people lose their playfulness and happiness in their flow like it’s a chore they’re forcing themselves to do. We teach to accommodate all levels.  We don’t test you on it. Everyday will be different and that’s ok. Think less, feel more is such a strong saying because we always want to feel like we’re right instead of feeling good within ourselves.”

Tell us about how your journey into yoga?
My journey into yoga. I started as a child. Being a very bending and flexible child and very shy my mother got me on board with starting yoga as her sister was a yoga teacher at the time (now Swarmi Shakti Murti of the Bihar School). I first started mindfulness with tapes she gave me.  Lying on the floor doing yoga nidra at 10 years of age.

Eventually started Hatha yoga flow with school friends and springing into Ashtanga then Iyengar.  I started getting my yoga teachers in Iyengar where I learned a lot about Restorative yoga as it was introduced my BKS Iyengar to compliment the yin or calming/ resting side of yoga. I decided Iyengar wasn’t what I wanted to teach and ventured into Hatha Vinyasa flow.

Although I’m a very energetic person I was always told my best parts were the relaxation. Being a beauty therapist I’m very body aware as I did massage and reflexology for many years.

That pretty much lead me to MoreYoga when they first opened – They gave me my first gig thhree days after qualifying and I’ve been with them ever since.

What have been your greatest challenges on this path?
My greatest challenges have been speaking in front of a crowd of 14 plus students. I started classes with my eyes closed at the beginning.  Getting to know different people and energies and respecting my own energy and space.

What was the inspiration behind this workshop?
My inspiration of this workshop is this stress energy that practically runs this world. It’s like an infection.  I’m from a small town that is all about that holiday living.  We all experience stress in different ways and from different reasons. We want to be happy. Well, most of us do. It’s not easy at all. A lot of people do jobs they hate.  I don’t experience this. But I have a selection of tools that can help others if they want to help themselves.

What are your relaxation rituals?
My relaxation ritual is so basic. Anytime, anywhere. Relaxation is occupying the mind with something while sending oxygen around the body.  I read in a Yoga Nidra book that relaxation is changing your minds routine.  I simply just start watching my breathe. A comfy spot is great too. Although, a cup of tea is relaxing enough for me.

Aside from food and water, what 3 things would you need if you were on a desert island?
Tea. Don’t take my tea away from me. Lol. I’m not super big on attachments. Maybe a little company. Same species interaction seems pretty important.

What music could you not live without?
All the music I love. A shorter list would be the music I don’t care for which is pop and most R&B… I prefer silence.

Are there any must read books that you would recommend to MoreYogis?
Where do I start? All of the books!
Myths of the Asana, (my story book)
A Pebble for My Pocket,  Thich Nahn Han
My Body My Yoga and Yin Yoga by Bernie Clarke
Restore and Rebalance by Judith Lasater
Pranayama, Asana, Mudra, Bhanda by Swarmi swatswarii satyananda

What books have inspired you? Or shifted the way you look at the world? Paolo Coelho The Alchemist, all the yoga books. Daniel Klein’s philosophy books like Every Time I find the Meaning of Life, They Change It.

What is your favourite vegetarian/vegan restaurant in London?
I love them all. Right by my house one of our MoreYogis has the best cafe ever and I’ve watched it grow. Called Cafe Fleur in Wandsworth Town. They’ve got it going. There’s even beetroot and turmeric lattes now.

What is your favourite inspirational quote or piece of advice?
Love quotes. I can give you many.  The one I always go back to a lot is “We fix our faults by attention not will”.

The Art of Relaxation
with Claire Alexander

Date: 15th April 2018
Time: 2 – 4pm
Studio: Clapham Junction