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!

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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

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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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

L:A Bruket Organic Facials

I’m really excited to announce that I have just launched an exclusive organic facial treatment at Down To Earth in North London. Using only L:A Bruket products, plus a few raw, natural organic ingredients, I have created what I believe to be a simple yet luxurious facial that balances the skin, replenishes moisture levels and will revitalise the face to leave you with naturally glowing skin.

L:A Bruket productsOriginating from Sweden, L:A Bruket specialises in organic, botanical skincare that contains high-quality, natural ingredients. The Down To Earth facial is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. The facial begins with a gentle double cleanse using organic coconut oil and a chamomile and bergamot L:A Bruket cleanser to remove any impurities from the skin and soften the face before being refreshed with a stimulating natural facial water and toner. Once the face is cleansed the skin will be gently exfoliated using the L:A Bruket Petitgrain facial scrub to remove impurities and smooth the surface of the skin. This is followed with a relaxing neck and facial massage using one of the L:A Bruket facial oils selected to suit your skin type. The face contains many pressure points which relate to every part of the body and this facial massage is designed to stimulate many of these points in order to rejuvenate not just the skin but also the muscles and lymphatic system of the body. To complete your facial treatment the signature L:A Bruket facial cream will be applied to heal and protect the skin before, using Indian Head Massage techniques, one final massage is given to the scalp to truly send you into the depths of relaxation and renewal.

Should you choose a ‘luxury facial’ you will also receive a luxurious homemade and organic turmeric face treatment after your exfoliation and before your facial massage. This will be customised to suit your individual skin type and while your treatment gets to work you will enjoy a stress relieving arm and hand massage.

Whether you’re a lover of natural products or are simply looking to relax and have your skin looked after, this is an opportunity to get some well-deserved pampering.

Prices are £75 for the organic facial, and £100 for the organic luxury facial. To book in simply contact Down To Earth and they will find a suitable time for you to come in and see me for a treatment.

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The meaning of life…

This video is entitled, ‘Words Of Wisdom Brought To You By An Insane Person’.

Well I watched it and I don’t think he’s insane. I think he’s genius! According to the dictionary, to be ‘crazy’ is to be mentally deranged; demented; insane. Therefore I can conclude that this man is NOT crazy. He speaks the truth.

Eccentric? Sure.
Mad? As in intense excitement or enthusiasm. Absolutely.

But regardless of all that, he still speaks the truth. I think we could all do with a little more eccentricity and madness in our lives judging by this awesomeness, and while we’re at it, there’s definitely space for a few more beards of this magnificence too.

Click the following title to see the video! Words of Wisdom Brought To You By An Insane Person!

Change your world!
Cx

With more awareness…

It’s 4pm as I write this and I am in bed. I’ve been in bed all day, and I spent all day yesterday in bed too, and the day before that. I know what you’re thinking… ‘lazy bitch!’, and usually with the facts above I’d agree with you, only this week I’ve had no other choice. You see, this week I went into hospital for, what was originally, exploratory surgery to my lower abdomen and it ended up being rather more complicated than anticipated. Thankfully, despite the unexpected complexities, it all went really well, but what it’s made me realise is how much we take our bodies for granted. Even me, a person who uses their body consciously and energetically every single day and who didn’t consider myself to be somebody that took it for granted, not for a second. But I did.

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On Wednesday morning, the day after my surgery, I went to sit up, only I couldn’t. It suddenly occurred to me that we are using our muscles every single second of every single day, even when we’re not aware of it. This might sound an obvious fact, and it absolutely is. But when is the last time you actually ‘thought’ about sitting up? For the lucky majority of us, we don’t think about it, we just do it! Yet here I was having to figure out a new way of attempting to sit up, without engaging my core muscles in the natural way I normally would. As it happens, for the first day, I couldn’t sit up at all without help but since then I’ve been working out ways of getting myself upright that don’t put too much pressure on the front of my body and it’s been a fascinating learning curve to realise just how much of my daily movement is normally autopilot; unthought and natural. Continue reading

Your pushing me to braking point…

Dear people of the world,

I know some of you don’t think it’s fare that I judge so many of you buy you’re ability to spell correctly or use grammar properly. That said, I think their is definately a good reason behind my knead to want to sea the english language being used properly. You see half the time what your saying don’t even make any sense and i cant figure out what it is your going on about because you speak so much crap and rant on and on and it really hurts my head to the point that I cant even figure out what the start of the sentence said never mind the end. I know you think your be fine but your wrong and its pushing me to braking point. So next time you have to right something down please remember that if grammar doesn’t come automatically to you its ok. Just take a little longer to write things so that it doesn’t have such a terrible affect on the rest of us and you don’t end up looking so stupid.

Yours sincerly,
The rest of the world and I.

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Who inspires you?

global-common-330x220-inspire-logoThis question could have an awful lot of answers for me as, over the years, I have been inspired by so many wonderful people. Today however, I want to focus on one particular person of inspiration who has had an absolutely profound effect on my life since I saw them speak, in (I think!) 2005. Back in 2005 I was working one day a week as a Sports Therapist, while the rest of my week I was still firmly in ‘career mode’ working in Business Development & Marketing for a large venture capital company, 3i plc, in London. I was also just about to sign up to do my yoga teacher training having been practicing yoga then for about 5 or 6 years, with my British Wheel of Yoga foundation courses already under my belt. It was a time of self-discovery and learning for me, as it has been ever since!

Every couple of years the company held a worldwide conference in a different location and this particular year it was held in London, at the Roundhouse in Camden. It was a fantastic event, filled with colleagues from around the world, and on one of the afternoons we were treated to two inspirational talks, one by the amazing Kevin Spacey, and one by a gentleman by the name of Benjamin Zander. I must confess that although my career with this company seems a long time ago, and so different to my life now, they were some of the best ‘career’ years of my life and I wouldn’t be where I am today without having gone through that experience. Now you may be thinking I’m about to write about Kevin Spacey, but in fact I’m not (sorry Kev!). Today is actually all about Ben Zander. Though don’t get me wrong, Kevin Spacey was truly mind-blowing and a real treat that, I confess, certainly succeeded in making me feel rather starstruck!

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Humanism…realism…my ism.

This may be the most short and sweet thing I’ve ever written, but it certainly won’t be the least important…

I was raised a Catholic. I attended church regularly and with enthusiasm until I was a teenager and started asking A LOT of questions. Without going into too much detail, I no longer consider myself a Catholic but it’s important to note that I am grateful of my upbringing; it instilled great morals in me and I wouldn’t change it in the slightest. I met great people, learnt valuable lessons and was lucky enough to mix with people who allowed me to question anything I needed to. People now often ask me am I religious? No. Do I have a faith? Yes. Would I describe myself as spiritual? If you like, I have been known to hug the odd tree when the mood takes me…!?

I recently got married and we chose a Humanist ceremony in an outdoor location (outdoors is my ‘church’)*. Many people have since asked me ‘what is Humanism?’ and ‘why did we choose to get married in this way?’ and I’ve struggled to give an answer that I feel appropriately showcases what Humanism is…until today! Today my friend shared a link on Facebook that answers everything so well that I simply have to share it here. So thank you to the frankly awesome Stephen Fry and the British Humanist Association for creating a video that I feel answers the question far more efficiently than I ever could. See below:

Enough said.
Cx

*We got married in New York where the Humanist wedding is recognised as a legal marriage however it’s important to note that at the moment a Humanist ceremony is not legally recognised in England so anyone choosing this route would still have to have a legally recognised service as well. This is hopefully going to change in the not too distant future!

Choose beauty!

Spring Blossom

I’m up early today and on my way to teach the morning yoga class at Glow Yoga, Covent Garden. Sometimes the early alarm is tough, I’m a little out of practice for regular early classes so sometimes it feels a rather rude awakening. As it happens, today I was ready for it before it was ready for me, but this is a novel thing…I am not a known morning person, much as I’d like to be! Though once I’m up I’m always happy to be embracing the day.

Today as I stepped out of my door I was greeted by a wonderful sunrise and this beautiful spring blossom and it dawned on me how it is a real metaphor for the beauty in all things. No matter how tough or challenging things can appear sometimes there is always a thing of beauty to be found. Whether it’s a lesson to be learnt or whether something that doesn’t seem great at the time eventually leads you onto a path you would otherwise have not trodden, the possibilities for beauty are endless. You just have to open your eyes and make the choice to see it! Today and every day choose to view all the possibilities, choose to embrace the challenges thrown at you, choose beauty!

With endless possibilities,
Cx

Look Within…

ImageEveryday that passes is one day closer to the future of your choosing, one day closer to your true self.

The journey is tough and even when you’re on a steady path there are still distractions, choices to make, offers to tempt. There are lessons to learn, bad days and sad days to be had. But the truth lies in understanding the simplicity and not over complicating it all. Keep moving, keep breathing, keep looking within when you’re looking without. The truth can be revealed, always.

Be true, look within – honour your heart, your inner teacher.
Cx