Tell us about your journey into yoga – why did you get started and what keeps you returning to the practice?
After watching Moulin Rouge one too many times and developing a girlcrush on Nicole Kidman, I stumbled upon an Ashtanga Yoga DVD that was made by her sister Antonia. I was about 14, really interested in becoming an performer and somehow decided that yoga would be an important step towards that goal. I would practice my Ashtanga DVD in the spare room, not having an idea what I was really doing but I knew there was something special about the practice. It felt like it had been missing from my whole life. I felt at home.
I eventually branched out from that DVD and had a long on-off relationship with yoga before developing a regular practice and becoming a teacher. There is a simple but powerful Thich Nhat Hanh quote that captures why I keep returning to the practice - “I have arrived, I am home”.
What benefits has yoga given you beyond getting flexible and stronger?
When I prioritise my own physical and mental health, when I prioritise the time to practice, I have more to give to others. Because I practice yoga there is a ripple out that affects my relationships, my family, how I view the world, each decision I make. It’s brought me more joy, more compassion and more self-belief. Oh and I’m still not that flexible - but I’m OK with that!
Has your yoga practice helped you cope with life in lockdown? If so how?
Yes definitely. It’s given me routine, structure, commitment and discipline which have helped when those things no longer exist in other areas of my life.
How has your practice changed or evolved since you began your yoga journey?
Hugely. And I’m sure it will continue to change and evolve as I change and evolve as a human. I trained in Ashtanga Vinyasa, Yin and Rocket and had a varied practice but I arrived at a point where my body didn’t feel great - and then of course mentally I wasn’t feeling great. I had questions as to why this healing practice wasn’t feeling amazing in MY body when I know it made others feel great. That led me to discover LYT Method Yoga which transformed how I move on my mat and as my body felt better, I felt better in my spirit. Who knows where my practice and teaching will evolve to in the future but for now, here I am.
Do you have any other wellness rituals or routines that help you?
Laughter, fun, doing wobbly handstands, hiking outside, swimming, paddleboarding, making and slowly drinking coffee, journalling. I believe wellness has become over complicated. I feel well and alive when I’m having fun and I lose track of time.
Where can we find you?
On instagram I'm at @clarebethanyoga for stories about bread and cats interspersed with yoga
I also have an upcoming course - 6 week Intro To LYT Method running through The Life Centre North starting Thursday 18th Feb. Contact me for more info.