Farewell Clare Dobson Yoga… hello Journey with Clara!

As many of you know, in the last 12 months I have made some pretty epic changes to my life… moving overseas and getting back into marketing and consultancy to name just a couple of the changes.

And now, another change is on the horizon! Many of you know already that I changed all my social media links already, but I am now excited to announce that a rebrand is on the way for me. Clare Dobson Yoga will be phasing out, and Journey with Clara will be taking over very soon! My new website is currently under construction, and once complete this site will link into it and claredobson.com as we know will become no more. Journey with Clara will continue all the same great things as Clare Dobson Yoga did, but with the added edition of hearing about my consultancy and travel work plus exploring culture and style – both yoga and otherwise!

I’m so looking forward to sharing the next stage of the journey with you all! Follow the journey on Instagram with me @journeywithclara and see it unfold!

Farewell Clare Dobson Yoga.jpg

Raw Rocky Road

After countless requests I have finally got around to putting this recipe online… there are still hundreds more to come and I promise that one day they will all get here. I wish I had more time to update my website but alas, I find myself grabbing at random moments and ending up doing ‘maintenance’ instead of the good fun stuff, like this! Now I’m not sure that this recipe is technically a Rocky Road, but regardless it’s what I refer to it as! I also refer to it as my Paleo Rocky Road, however my favourite version of it does have sprouted buckwheat in it so technically it could be argued that it isn’t paleo. For me sprouted buckwheat works nicely in my diet once in a while, but if it doesn’t suit you it can easily be left out or substituted with something else.

IMG_1032

The Rocky Road process…

One of the nicest things about this recipe is that it genuinely tastes delicious, I find myself going back for more (and more) every time! It’s also extremely easy to make and can be adapted to suit whatever you might find in your cupboard. My kitchen cupboards are never without a bag of raw cacao powder, coconut oil, chia seeds, linseeds and cacao nibs so these tend to be my staple ingredients each time, but the rest changes almost every single time I make it. The only things you absolutely cannot substitute are the cacao powder and coconut oil as rocky road without chocolate is never worth considering, and you need the coconut oil to help it set in the fridge. Other than that, feel free to play around and create your own version! Here’s the one I made today, along with some helpful substitutes… Continue reading

Yoga Pose Clinic *4 – Trikonasana

April is nearly here and with it, the fourth of my yoga pose clinics! This time around it’s Trikonasana that takes centre stage…

Trikonasana

Our good old friend triangle pose might well be one of the first poses you were ever acquainted with, but whatever tradition of yoga you practice the chances are that you’ve been taught it in a few different ways. I know I have been, and it’s led me to explore this particular pose in great detail over the years. The fourth yoga pose clinic will take a good hard look at the pose in a functional way; how can we practice the pose in a way that supports our bodies today and avoids injury both now and in the future? How can we make it strong, safe and accessible for all?

We will build the pose from the ground up before exploring some variations, including Revolved Trikonasana and binds, before moving into a flow that will allow us to explore coming into, and out of, the pose fluidly and with ease.

The clinic takes place at Down To Earth London in Tufnell Park on Sunday 17th April, from 3.30pm – 6pm.

Hope to see you there!
Cx

Spring 2016 Yoga Retreat in Italy

It’s almost time for the second of mine and Clive Fogelman‘s Spring Yoga Retreat in Italy! Last year we had an absolutely amazing time with the most fantastic group of yogis and we can’t wait to return this year. From the 7th – 14th May 2016 we’ll be staying once again in the stunning Masseria della Zingara, a place that offers the perfect escape from a busy life and the ideal opportunity to re-energise and reconnect. It’s a charming 18th century farmhouse with a private pool, set in 20 tranquil acres of olive, cherry and almond groves only 7km from the unspoilt Puglian coastline.

Spring Italy Retreat 2015 000

Led by Clive & Clare, the retreat offers a truly dedicated teaching experience with a variety of yoga styles including; vinyasa, alignment-based flow, yin, restorative, candlelit meditation by the fireside and yoga nidra. A variety of massage treatments will also be available on request (given by Clare).

Example day…

IMG_6948Every morning we will meet for a morning meditation to set intentions for the day ahead. This will be followed by an uplifting
vinyasa practice held either in the stunning yoga shala, or outside surrounded by the beautiful environment of the Masseria. After the morning practice we will enjoy a delicious breakfast together on the terrace. The day will then be yours to enjoy however you wish whether it’s reading a book by the pool, treating yourself to a massage, or exploring the local countryside and towns. On a few of the days we will arrange optional excursions – last year we went to a market, visited a local town and had a beautiful day at the beach, and some afternoons we will offer yoga workshops to explore and play. In the early evening we will meet again to enjoy a more relaxing class focused around yin and restorative, before enjoying a beautiful dinner together. After dinner some nights we will offer a guided candlelight meditation session in the studio, warmed by a log fire. All the yoga and excursions are optional and you may join in with as much or as little as you like throughout the week. The retreat is yours to enjoy as you choose! Continue reading

Yoga Pose Clinic *3 – Downward Dog

The third of my yoga pose clinics is here! Good ol’ downward dog, it gets so taken for granted sometimes, so it seemed only right that my third clinic focused on it.

IMG_7591 retouch low res

Downward facing dog is a staple ingredient of any yoga class yet rarely do we give it the attention it deserves. When we are beginners on the journey we break it down but often not enough to consider modifications and injuries, and then once we are familiar with it we forget to check in with what’s actually happening in the pose. Downward dog can become a bad dog pretty quickly!

This 3rd Yoga Pose Clinic will break the pose down completely and look at what is really going on in the body within this asana and how we can continually keep it fresh. We will explore a variety of modifications and variations of the pose, some practical and some fun and even play with a little bit of partner yoga.

The workshop is happening at Down To Earth London on Sunday 21st February from 3pm – 5.30pm.

Hope to see you on the mat
Cx

Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

The best things in life are unplanned and spontaneous aren’t they? So why not do something crazy and book to come to Costa Rica in a fortnight with me and Adam Hocke for a week of yoga from the 27th February to the 5th March!

00Blue Spirit Aerial 01_New

Beautiful Blue Spirit nestled in the stunning nature of Costa Rica

I’m so excited to be joining Adam to teach this wonderful Costa Rica Yoga Retreat where we will be inspired by the natural rhythms and waves of our beautiful setting at the Blue Spirit Retreat Centre. We’ll find freedom and joy through mornings of energising vinyasa flow yoga, afternoons of tropical adventures and excursions, and evenings of guided relaxation. Supported by mine and Adam’s hands-on adjustments and individualized modifications for your body in every class, find a personal yoga practice over the course of a healing, invigorating, and fun week. Whether you need a challenge to deepen your practice or an opportunity to de-stress and let go, we’ll ride the waves together and help you find the yoga that works for you. The retreat is open to all levels.

03SMH_New

This could be you…

Blue Spirit Costa Rica yoga retreat is a  centre of the highest calibre, frequently hosting internationally prominent teachers and attracting students from around the world. Located on the Southern end of Guiones Beach in Nosara, on the Northern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, the centre is perched on a hilltop that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and a three-mile long white sand beach that is protected as a turtle refuge – Blue Spirit offers an extraordinarily beautiful and natural setting on one of Costa Rica’s renowned beaches.

There’s still some spaces left so if you fancy throwing caution to the wind let me know! And in the meantime if you’d like more info you can take a look on Adams website:

Costa Rica Yoga Retreat 2016

Go on, you know you want to!
Cx

Stepping Into Strength; A Glutes Workshop

My last glute-focused workshop was so popular that I’ve decided to run another, very similar one at the lovely Yoga On The Lane this month. Taking place on Sunday 31st January from 3-5.30pm, Stepping Into Strength is a workshop that will teach you all you’ve ever wanted and needed to know about your ‘behind’.

glutes

It’s likely that you sit on your glutes every day but never give these stabiliser muscles a second thought, and yet they play such a hugely important role in our overall core strength. When they’re under utilised it means you are left to pick up the slack elsewhere and over time this will effect you in your daily life, leaving you with poor posture and performance both on and off the yoga mat.

This workshop is designed to teach you how to properly activate the glutes and re-pattern bad habits so that you can start to use them effectively and with more awareness. Physically this workshop will be strong but mindful, giving you tools to cultivate power from within. Energetically, the physical practice will also reflect the ability to step forward through obstacles in our life, perfect for keeping your motivation up and your fears and anxiety down as you take these wonderful and initial steps into 2016!

Hope to see you there!
Cx

Yoga Pose Clinic #2 – Warriors

I’m really looking forward to this weekend and the second instalment of my Yoga Pose Clinic workshops! This time around it’s the Warrior group of poses that will be getting a good looking at.

Warrior 3 Pose

1, 2, 3, humble, flying, reverse… is there any end to all the possibilities that come from the warrior group of poses? The warriors frequently make up a good portion of any vinyasa flow class and there are so many options within each one that it can be hard to know all the breakdowns and options, never mind know whether you’re doing the basics correctly. This workshop will explore the poses in detail and look at the some of the benefits and modifications that are available within each one. We will also look at how best to flow in and out of each pose with strength and ease, giving you the opportunity to concentrate on being able to enjoy the breath and move more confidently through your practice.

This is going to be a fun one! Plenty of learning, exploring and moving! Taking place on Sunday 13th December from 3.30 – 6pm at Down To Earth.

Hope to see you there!
Cx

Winter Warrior Workshop

IMG_0157On Saturday 28th November I did my first workshop at Yoga On The Lane in Dalston. Winter Warrior explored a little of the link between chinese medicine and our yoga practice and looked at ways to improve immunity and energy levels over the winter period.

Throughout pretty much my whole life I have personally struggled with my immune system. It was this struggle that led me to my own yoga practice years ago so it was a wonderful privilege to be able to share some of the knowledge that I’ve gained over the years that has helped me.

We melted into the body with a yin practice designed to stimulate the bladder and kidney meridians, before moving into an intelligently sequenced vinyasa flow designed to build fire from within and help empower the mind. Finally we explored some pranayama and kriya practices to help combat winter blues, bring balance to the energy channels of the body and hopefully, awaken our inner glow!

A massive thank you to all who came! I really hope to be able to share this workshop with more of you soon!

Happy winter warming to you all!
Cx

Yoga Pose Clinic #1 – Chaturanga

It’s been a long time coming but finally my new series of workshops – Yoga Pose Clinic – are starting with the first one taking place on Sunday 25th October at Down To Earth London.

Our yoga practice is not solely about the body, in fact our physical yoga (asana) practice is only talked about in 1 of the 8 limbs of yoga, and yet for most of us it plays a very big role. Because of this it is important that we understand our options and how to build strength efficiently. The ‘Yoga Pose Clinic’ will break down key poses and elements commonly found in a vinyasa flow practice to help us learn how to progress and practice safely. Each ‘clinic’ will last 2.5 hours and will be focused around a different yoga pose or technique. It will be an opportunity to delve into the detail, ask questions, learn variations, and even discuss injury modifications if you have anything that you are particularly working with. The groups will be kept quite small so I can give you more dedicated time and we can really get to grips with as much knowledge as we can.

Yoga Pose Clinic number 1 is…Chaturanga!Chaturanga Continue reading

Goody Who!?

I am a big lover of massage balms and regularly use balms and soothers in a variety of my yoga classes as I find they can really encourage deep breathing and a sense of relaxation in the body. Recently I’ve had quite a few people ask me what my favourite one is, so I thought I’d write a little review on one of my absolute favourites, Gwdihw Muscle Soother.

Gwdihw Muscle SootherGwdiwho!? I hear you cry! Yes, precisely. Gwdihw is pronounced Goody Hoo (it means ‘owl’ in Welsh, hence the branding!) and they very helpfully put this on their products to try and save confusion. They’re from North Wales, so they are throughly entitled to have a brand name that nobody can pronounce. I personally adore the fact that they stay true to their roots and use a Welsh name for their products. I’m a little biased since I’ve some Welsh blood running through my veins and therefore I do tend to have soft spot for all things from the land of rain, sheep and words without vowels.

I discovered their products after using China Gel for quite sometime and then realising that it had an awful lot of things in it that I didn’t want to put on my body, or anyone else’s for that matter. And so the search begun. Continue reading

Smoothie No.2 – Spinach & Blackberry

Recently I’ve been trying to make my smoothies more vegetable-heavy as I’m well aware of the sugar content of too much fruit in a smoothie. If I’m honest I haven’t found this a very easy process as I eat so many vegetables with other meals that it really messed with my mind to throw them into a blender instead of a steamer! Equally I managed to make some pretty awful tasting things initially which didn’t Purple Smoothie No.1result in very much enthusiasm towards a veggie blend. With practice now however I’m slowly starting to make up recipes that I find just as easy and tasty as the more fruit-heavy varieties. I’ve recently found some nice british blackberries at the green grocers too however and I’m a total sucker for berries! They’re so delicious and high in vitamins so they are a welcome addition to my diet, and when you can buy local and british it’s even better! When you use berries it really adds a sweet kick to an otherwise vegetable-heavy blend so throughout the summer I think they’re going to become a staple in my diet.

This morning I needed something to keep me going for a good few hours and made up this little number which went down a treat! As always I have a lot of my ingredients split into portions and thrown in the freezer so my smoothie is nice and cold and I get maximum nutrients, but you don’t have to use frozen if you don’t have it prepared already.

Ingredients…

  • Frozen Spinach – large handful
  • Frozen Banana – half
  • Frozen Blackberries – generous handful, probably around 10 blackberries or thereabouts
  • Avocado – half
  • Celery – whole stick cut in pieces
  • Cucumber – 2 inch lump
  • Flaxseeds – sprinkle (also known as linseed!)
  • Green Powder – 1tsp (I use, without fail, Supergreens by Nua Naturals)
  • Bee Pollen – sprinkle, probably around half a teaspoon
  • Almond Milk – a decent glug, you can always add more or less dependant on how thick you want it

Blend it up, drink it down and away you go! Enjoy!
Cx

Smoothie No.1 – Kale, Strawberry, Avocado & Almond

So for ages I’ve been planning on putting recipes, playlists and all sorts on here. Let’s be honest… frankly I’m pretty crap at updating my website but the reason is that I’ve been in the midst of redesigning for so long that I feel I don’t want to update it all that much till it’s done! But new moons have been and gone and I’m still not done so I’m just going to crack on with uploading all manner of new things anyway! So here’s my first recipe… I had this today for breakfast. Smoothies play a massive role in my diet as being a teacher and massage therapist, and moving around from place to place a lot, I often find it quite difficult to make time to eat ‘proper’ lunches and breakfasts. If I eat too much then I’m uncomfortable to practice, teach or do massage, and if I don’t eat enough then I don’t have the energy! I also have quite a particular diet – no sugar, no wheat, no gluten, no dairy, no grains, no legumes (for those in the know, yes I’m paleo, but I won’t go into all the reasons why in this post…it’s health-related and connected to a condition that I have, the long and short of it is that being paleo just works for me). Being paleo means that grabbing snacks on the go is not always easy, so I need to be organised. That means I make homemade healthy snacks and smoothies to drink between classes and clients, things that are healthy, full of nutrients, fuel me well and provide nutrients. Food is fuel people! So all that said, here’s what I made this morning for my breakfast.

Continue reading