Alix Jean: Energy and Emotions that Live in the Body

alix jean

One of the greatest gifts is discovering how to welcome the body’s messages, and one of the surest paths to moderation is observing the body’s requests and sensations. Excess pleasure and pain lead to discomfort and disease; the idea of yoga and many alternative practices is to bring the body back to neutral. 

Alix Jean, TCM practitioner and Japanese Acupuncturist, joined us on the podcast to share how she treats the body and witnesses the transformation of healing through Hara diagnosis; the treatment used in Japanese acupuncture to assess through abdominal palpitations.

With Hara diagnosis within the abdomen, we literally feel how there is a blockage in one of the organs or meridians. I like the immediate feedback used in the Hara diagnosis. Hara is listening to our guts; your body will give you little signs from the subconscious that you may or may not be aware of consciously.” – Alix Jean.

Our focus for the entire month of November featured Ayurveda and all the ways we treat our bodies to better care for ourselves. Through Ali Cramer, we learned about the doshas and the elements of each constitution; Insiya Rasiwala-Finn spoke about proper nourishment, diet, and ritual; and Maria Garre provided tips and tactile takeaways to stimulate the digestive fires to bolster the immune system during periods of the disease. 

Our interview with Alix concludes our month of navigating the spectrum of wellness, discussing the body’s subconscious messages and how to treat physical, emotional, and mental stress through Japanese acupuncture. 

Read the highlights from our talk; listen or watch the full episode.

Interview with Alix Jean

What is the style of acupuncture that you teach? 

AJAcupuncture defines points in the body to stimulate healing. The style I teach in Japanese acupuncture, it’s unique from TCM in several ways. Traditional Chinese Medicine is what all acupuncturists are trained in, in the West. TCM is our governing body. Japanese acupuncture provides a few extra techniques on top of TCM is how I like to think of it. 

Through additional training, I’ve learned techniques that are more focused on palpitations and Japanese Meridian therapy. In Chinese medicine, we have the meridians, which are energy lines in the body. There are twelve main meridians with the corresponding internal organs. In Western Medicine, we might relate the energy lines to the fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that encases the muscles and organs and, essentially, everything in the body. 

Each meridian corresponds to an internal organ; for example, the lungs are in my chest, but the lung Meridian goes along the arm. When I’m looking at a person, I might assess that some lung symptoms are happening and then check the Meridian for tight or tender points or the nodules or changes within that connective tissue. Those are points that I would work on in the acupuncture session. In TCM, we learned about the meridians; it’s something we focus on, but sometimes the diagnosis goes straight to what’s going on in the organ, and then there’s a point prescription. 

In Japanese acupuncture, there’s a lot more space to check the person through touch. The practice of Japanese acupuncture is more tactile. A lot of traditional Chinese medicine acupuncturists will pop the pins in and leave the room and wait. With Japanese acupuncture, I’m in the room the whole time as I’m checking and rechecking the body and the pins. I’m assessing based on the abdomen; it’s called Hara diagnosis. That’s a system of reflexes, which tells me which points to do. 

Through Hara diagnosis through the abdomen, we literally feel a blockage in the organs or meridians. I like that immediate feedback. Hara is listening to our guts. Your body will give you little signs from the subconscious you may or may not be aware of. 

The beautiful part about Hara diagnosis is that there’s a moment of feedback where the patient is on the table, and I feel a difference: what had been tight or tender finally releases. That’s the key difference for me as an acupuncture practitioner; there’s so much feedback and information presented right away that’s useful in reading the body’s response.  We assess based not only on touch but also on observation. You might evaluate the colour in their cheeks or see the person breathing deeper. 

What’s the most common injury or ailment you treat? 

AJThe most common is stress-related things, and then hormone-related issues and chronic injuries. Back pain, mental and emotional distress, hormones are all prevalent. 

A classic part of Chinese and Japanese acupuncture is examining the root branch. We take a look at the root of the issue. If the roots are strong, the roots will nourish the branches. If Hara, the center route is clear, we’ll look at the branches. Sometimes local treatment is needed, say if your shoulder is sore, we work on that specific area, but it depends. Sometimes the branch is so loud; only that area needs relief. Someone might come in with neck pain, and I’ll work on their feet because that’s where the meridian’s root needs to be nourished and treated. The roots of the meridians typically start at the feet and work up to the head. The yang, the deep inner meridians, generally work from the ground upwards.

The other thing to keep in mind is posture, to ask what the spine is doing and see how the posture is affecting the injury. There are so many ways we create imbalances from improper posture, from walking to sitting; it’s all about the placement of the heel strike and where the toes land. Gait issues tend to throw off the hips and shoulders up to the neck because the neck is the lightest point. We have the most mobility in our cervical spine. So pain in the neck could be linked to an issue at the roots, which would be the placement of the feet. 

If you could choose any era to live in, what period would you choose? 

AJAncient China is one, and I’ve always been drawn to medieval Scotland as it’s part of my heritage. 

What are some of the items you always have with you? 

AJMy triad of cell phone, wallet, and keys. I also always have a deodorant in my bag. I always forget to use it in the morning. I always have three things in my heart: this ability to pause; an openness to holding space without judgment at all times. Appreciation of beauty. I feel like I’ve always been a daydreamer. 

 

 

How did you become interested in acupuncture? 

AJIn my late teenage years, I was in a car accident that was a big kind of life changer for me. It was kind of intense. I was also studying psychology at the time, particularly health psychology, so I was already interested in that area. I discovered a link between physical and mental health and emotional health through my injuries and my healing experience and not healing and what that felt like. I felt that all aspects were not being addressed, I had been through a shock, and when I tried acupuncture, it provided the relief I needed. 

What’s your favourite part about treating people?

AJIt’s so rewarding to see people getting better; it’s the most gratifying thing in the world. In Japanese acupuncture, you can see the moment when it occurs. I feel it’s humbling to honor the process of someone else healing and be witness to these aha moments.  

CROI feel the same way in terms of teaching. It’s like those moments when you see and feel people drop into their bodies. I find that it takes 15-20 minutes for people to arrive because they’re thinking about all of the things that happened that day, and it takes time to drop in and be present in the moment fully. When the shift occurs, there’s almost like this energetic hum. One of my favourite parts of teaching is watching this process and witnessing what occurs when we are aware and in our bodies. 

How would you achieve balance through TCM? 

AJWith Chinese medicine, it’s based on observations of nature. Therefore every day is different, and it would depend on the season. You would see what’s occurring in nature to decide whether it’s a yin season and go more inwards, such as winter, or a more yang season and spend more time outwards, such as summer. It’s always about balancing the constitution based on the environment and what you’re dealing with on that particular day. 

How do the emotions correspond to the body and its organs? 

AJIn Japanese and Chinese acupuncture, we work with the elements and yin and yang concepts. The yang energy is all things solar and active and typically associated with the masculine. The element for yang is fire. The yin energy is more receptive and contracting and is commonly associated with the feminine. The element for yin is water and earth. We’re always moving through the phases of the elements within the body. 

The liver and gallbladder are related to springtime. For spring, the element is wood. With wood, everything moves up and outward. Wood is represented as growth and leadership. The emotion that corresponds with the liver is anger, and the idea is that the energy moves upward and outward for growth. It can be a positive thing because it’s progressive. When checking the liver and gallbladder meridians, there’s this energy of up and out, this sense of drive, growth, and goals. 

Spring moves into summer, and with summer, we have the element of fire. Summer is joyful and open-hearted. It’s represented as love and passion. The pathology of joy is this idea of over excitement and doing too much, as in chasing joy or almost like you would chase a drug addiction. It would mean you have too much fire, too much of a good thing. The organ associated with these ideas and elements is the heart.

From summer, we shift into autumn, where we discover the earth element. The earth element doesn’t have one direction; it comes back to the center. It’s the grounding and stabilizing source of nourishment. It’s the digestive organ that brings us back to our center. The emotion we have in this area is worry and overthinking. So we want to balance this energy by taking care of ourselves as much as we are others. The imbalance would be over-giving to others and not taking care of the self. 

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Your Ayurveda Playlist

Classes that ground the over-excitement and angst associated with Vata.
 
  • Ganesha Mantra
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Quick Chill – Restorative Yoga
  • Back Release – Hatha Yoga
  • Get Ready for Bed – Yin Yoga
  • Stay Low – Hatha Yoga
  • Mudra Meditation
Classes to soothe the intensity of Pitta while gently stimulating the inner fire.
 
  • Beauty Within & Without – Vinyasa
  • Ocean Meditation
  • Fluid Power – Vinyasa
  • Creative Flow.- Vinyasa
  • Saraswati Mantra
  • Go with the Flow – Vinyasa
  • Keep it Moving – Vinyasa
Classes to stimulate the inner flame and digestive fires to clear stagnant energy and lethargy.
 
  • Ignite – Vinyasa
  • Fire Flow – Vinyasa
  • Shiva Mantra
  • Space through Strength – Slow Flow
  • Super Duper Power – Vinyasa
  • Pranayama Meditation
  • Unfurl Your Peacock Tail – Vinyasa

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Maria Garre: Bettering Digestion and Immunity through Ayurveda

maria garre

Benefits of incorporating Ayurveda’s practices into your lifestyle include bolstering the immune system and bettering digestion, which decreases the occurrence of illness. In Autumn, as we transition into the colder, drier months of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, strengthening the digestive system is essential to health according to Ayurveda. 

In a previous interview with Ayurvedic Counselor Insiya Rasiwala-Finn, we discussed protecting and strengthening the body’s aura using food and physical exercise. A person’s aura represents the energy field and vibrancy; as we come into contact with our environment and others, we want our aura to be strong to ward off threats and disease. 

When it comes to supporting the immune system and the overall health of the mind, body, and spirit, stimulating the digestive system, known as Agni in Sanskrit, works to keep the body strong, safe, and healthy. Toxins, called Ama in Sanskrit, are presented in many forms, such as food, intense emotions, or unnecessary violence we witness in the media. Healthy digestion offers an opportunity to prevent toxins from amassing and causing illness and imbalances.  

We welcomed yoga teacher and Ayurvedic Therapist, Maria Garre, to learn more about gut health and how to prevent disease and better digestion through Ayurveda practices.

Ayurveda treats the body first, and when we follow the basic principles, we take care of ourselves, and in this way, we take care of the environment. We would never hunt or eat a sick animal. We make sure that we’re eating and hunting the proper food. If the plant looks like it’s falling apart, we leave it alone and don’t eat it. That means we’re taking care of the environment; we’re all in it together.” – Maria Garre. 

Listen or watch the full episode, or read the highlights from our discussion below.

Interview with Maria Garre

How would you define Ayurveda? 

MG—Ayurveda is, first and foremost, medical science that comes from the great land of India. So it’s an Indian medicine. It was popular in the Himalayan region way back, over 5,000 years ago, and developed into a system of medicine to keep the population healthy. Ayurveda is a system of medicine that translates to the knowledge of life, the wisdom of experience. 

Ayurveda’s premise is to understand how to live in balance and recognize how to live in flow with your entire environment. When we’re in flow, we’re in optimal health. When there isn’t health, that means something got out of balance; We identify with that imbalance, and we bring the body back to balance, which means back to health.

How did you discover Ayurveda? 

MG—Ayurveda found me through my studies of yoga, but science found me first. My love of science as a university student took me to medical school and led me through a biomedical degree in viruses and virology.

My dad is a famous virologist; discussions about viruses and bacteria were discussed at my dinner table.

I love science, but it didn’t meet me in a place where I was fulfilled. I was fulfilled in my head academically, but it wasn’t until Ayurveda that I was fulfilled in my head and heart.

What are three things you would advise listeners to do to stay healthy during covid? 

MG—I recommend gargling with salt, warm water, and turmeric. What we know about covid and the virus is that it’s always changing and that it seems to be more bloodborne, but it’s still getting in your juices and rasa, the fluids of the body. It’s also been found to live a long time in your GI tract. The GI tract is a long tube extending from the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus. When I discovered this, I immediately went to the throat and ways to keep the throat and nasal passages to the throat clear. Just take salt and turmeric and make yourself a little concoction to gargle mixed with warm water. 

The other thing I recommend is to protect the nasal passages by using oils inside of the nose. Nasya is an Ayurvedic practice of massaging oil inside of the nose. Nasaya also supports mucosal immunity. 

The last thing I would say is to keep your digestive fire strong. It’s essential because if your gut is strong, your gut also will kill the virus.

Trikatu is really easy to make it home because it’s equal amounts of dried ginger, black pepper, and long pepper. You combine those three ingredients in equal proportions, and you make a mixture. I made my little Trikatu mixture, and I have it in my tin container. I take a little Trikatu with honey on a spoon during any rainy season and put it in my mouth with a bit of warm weather to wash it down. It’s great to take after you eat as a little dessert, which will burn anything in the GI tract.

 

What are the three things you always bring when you leave home? 

MG—A tongue scraper. I try never to leave home without my dog Raja. I would never leave home with some form of oil. I can survive without a lot of things, but I can’t survive without oil. Whether it’s something easy, like almond oil or sesame oil, I feel it fixes all things.

I never leave without a sense of the ocean; the ocean is my happy place. The Himalayas live in my heart all the time, and faith is something I always have with me when I leave home. 

What’s your superpower?

MG—I believe my superpower is organization. I can take chaos and organize it.

 

 
maria garre

What are the ama (toxins) that create disease? 

MG—There’s mental ama and physical ama. If we take care of our Agni and take care of our gut health and digestion, we don’t have to worry about ama. We focus on the positive, on creating strong Agni. 

One way to create good Agni is to cleanse; you want to cleanse to get rid of ama twice a year in the fall and the spring. You cleanse and detox when the sun and moon are balanced. You don’t cleanse during other times of the year; you want to cleanse closest to the equinoxes. During detox, you’re purging the physical and also the mental ama. Mental fear comes out during a detox. It can be very emotional and well as physical. 

We all accumulate ama throughout the year. Fall is a great time to clear and spring; spring is a time to celebrate renewal. Cleanses are a time to reset our mind, body, and spirit. 

Ayurveda treats the body first, and when we follow the basic principles, we take care of ourselves, and in this way, we take care of the environment. We would never hunt or eat a sick animal. We make sure that we’re eating and hunting the proper food. If the plant looks like it’s falling apart, we leave it alone and don’t eat it. That means we’re taking care of the environment; we’re all in it together. 

If the planet is sick, we’re going to be sick. When I look at the coronavirus and what it means in terms of hidden messages, if you look at the history of the virus from the SARS family, this is not the first time we’ve been hit. So what was the underlying factor? It’s China; China needs to take responsibility for its practices; we’re here because of human greed. We’re here from human greed for eating exotic animals because greed leads some to think it’s fancy. The inhumane treatment of living beings because of greed, the Great Mother, will teach you a lesson. From an Ayurvedic point of view, we’re here because of greed. 

How can we work on greed? 

MG— The teachings we know are what we teach is yoga; we keep trying to fill ourselves with everything outside, but the answers come from within. What’s outside is useless; it’s temporary. I love things. I’m a material girl all the way—thank you, Madonna. She’s still like one of my heroines. But the true teaching is to enjoy material possessions but don’t be attached to them.

Working with greed is realizing when enough is enough. Just be satisfied. Greed is just a substitute for feeling something up. We’re always going to have some greed, but what we need to do is we have to have less greed. 

Self-reflection only comes, I believe, when we practice meditation for some time. Meditation can look so many ways; it could be sitting by the ocean or painting or whatever it is for you. Deep clarity comes in, and it teaches you to be mindful of your living place. 

Self-reflection at the end of the day, it’s just exercising your mind. If we just worked on exercising our minds, as much as we did our bodies, the world would be in a better place. Anytime we pause and self-reflect, even if it’s something small like not buying too many coconuts or avocados—developing basic awareness around what we are disposing of and what we are consuming. If you control your trash, you control your greed.

How do you cook for a family with varied constitutions?  

MG—If you’re living in the same location, this means you’re all living in the same environment. The reality is, the foods you take should be the foods that are available based upon the season. So it would be absurd for anybody in Canada to be eating coconut anything right now or even cooking with coconut oil.

If you cook seasonally, no matter your constitution or the imbalance, Ayurveda says to eat for the most seasonal; the best seasonal things you can eat based on your constitution will create balance. 

What you can do is favor more of those kinds of foods in the meal planning to stay in season, so it’s not going to throw anybody out of balance. Dinner is the most common meal that families eat together, and there’s no way you can drive your family out of balance with just one meal, which is dinner. You can cook your dinner using the fruits and vegetables that serve all the doshas; there are many Tridoshic foods, so you’re essentially cooking for someone who’s Tridoshic. 

What you need to do to take care of your imbalances for yourself is mind what you’re eating for your breakfast and lunch. That’s where you should address any imbalances in the diet. You take care of your imbalance with good teas and drink the right herbal teas for your dosha all day long.

What are the teas that each dosha should drink to balance?

MG—For Vata, it’s really good to have some black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, like those kinds of things. Vata is cold, so teas that are spicy and warm serve Vata dosha to address any imbalances. 

For Pitta, use fennel and lemongrass, even pomegranate; teas that are cooling are best for Pitta because Pitta has so much heat. Kapha would do well with cinnamon and licorice tea. So warming teas but also teas that stimulate the digestive fires. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Your Ayurveda Playlist

Classes that ground the over-excitement and angst associated with Vata.
 
  • Ganesha Mantra
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Quick Chill – Restorative Yoga
  • Back Release – Hatha Yoga
  • Get Ready for Bed – Yin Yoga
  • Stay Low – Hatha Yoga
  • Mudra Meditation
Classes to soothe the intensity of Pitta while gently stimulating the inner fire.
 
  • Beauty Within & Without – Vinyasa
  • Ocean Meditation
  • Fluid Power – Vinyasa
  • Creative Flow.- Vinyasa
  • Saraswati Mantra
  • Go with the Flow – Vinyasa
  • Keep it Moving – Vinyasa
Classes to stimulate the inner flame and digestive fires to clear stagnant energy and lethargy.
 
  • Ignite – Vinyasa
  • Fire Flow – Vinyasa
  • Shiva Mantra
  • Space through Strength – Slow Flow
  • Super Duper Power – Vinyasa
  • Pranayama Meditation
  • Unfurl Your Peacock Tail – Vinyasa

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Insiya Rasiwala-Finn: Honoring Diet and Ritual through Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a mindful approach to how you interact with the world around you. One way to view Ayurveda is a ritual for self-reflection. Ritual helps you create a system and routine to anchor your day. Ritual may help you make space to become more mindful of how you act and what you eat.

Ayurveda and yoga are both a ritual to establish a relationship with how you feel in your bodies.

Food is one of the most significant contributors to disease; what, how, and when we eat drastically affects our gut health and digestion. Eating foods that fuel the body and keep stoking the digestive fires is essential to maintain optimal health and interact with the world positively and productively. When we don’t eat the right foods, we become sick. Illness may be mental, emotional, or physical, and the desired diet depends on the individual’s constitution and natural environment.

We sat down with fellow yogi and Ayurvedic Counsellor Insiya Rasiwala-Finn to discuss the art of ritual, gut health, and Ayurvedic practices.
Insiya has been an Ayurvedic practitioner for roughly fifteen years. Her roots in Ayurveda extend to childhood; born in India, Insiya was raised in a household that promoted Ayurvedic ritual and yoga. From a very young age, Insiya was introduced to using food to heal and promote better health.

Growing up, there were a lot of rules around food. There were lots of things like, oh, we don’t eat this food in this season, it’s not right. We only eat this young garlic, for example, in the winter, because the season allows us to digest the heat of the garlic. Food was always thought about in terms of the properties of that food and the effect it would have on the body during that specific season. When I’m feeling out of sorts, I crave the food of my childhood; perhaps that’s where the term comfort food comes from. The foods that offer us a wave of sustaining and nourishing memories from the past.” – Insiya Rasiwala-Finn.

Read the highlights from our talk below; watch or listen to the full interview. 

Interview with Insiya Rasiwala-Finn

How has Ayurveda and ritual assisted you in your understanding of how to live? 

ISThe first step to self-healing is knowledge. People want to know about themselves; it’s exciting for people to learn about themselves. The doshas present a gateway into Ayurveda’s science, but it’s very different in India than in the West.

I grew up in India, and as a child, the doctor would never tell you that you have so much of each dosha, and that you have this sort of an imbalance, and that you need to do these things to heal. It wasn’t like that; there wasn’t as much of a focus on the doshas in that sense. I think there’s a danger in that as well, of people getting stuck on one perspective, of thinking they’re one dosha or a certain way, and then holding onto those tendencies. 

Whereas my perspective, in all these years of working with Ayurveda, I would compare my natural tendencies to the environment and the factors that can either exacerbate things or alleviate them. I examine the environment and external factors and say, here’s what I need to do to work with these things, to bring all the conditions into more balance.

At the same time, I have to remind myself that this is not necessarily who I am; there’s an essence of me that is separate and true and deeper and where everything is whole and connected, but life happens. Events occur, and we start to lose little bits of ourselves, and we lose energy. All of the things that we do should be to regain that energy to get it back. I can make choices to help bring myself more into balance. 

How did you arrive at Ayurveda? 

ISI studied Ayurvedic at the Mount Madonna Institute, but I was introduced to this practice as a child. I was fortunate to grow up in India in Bombay, and I grew up in a family where there was a real focus on what we ate. My mother was really into preparing hot foods and making foods from scratch, as did my grandmother. My father practiced a lot of yoga, so I was exposed to yoga and using food as a medicine at a very young age. 

Growing up, there were a lot of rules around food. There were lots of things like, oh, we don’t eat this food in this season, it’s not right. We only eat this young garlic, for example, in the winter, because the season allows us to digest the heat of the garlic. Food was always thought about in terms of the properties of that food and the effect it would have on the body during that specific season. 

My mother used food as medicine; I had sinus issues as a child, and she wouldn’t allow me ice cream on cold days. She’d say, ‘maybe after lunch on a hot day, but not at dinner because it’s going to make you congested at night.’ So even as a young child, I was introduced to these little snippets of knowledge.

I didn’t think much of it until I moved to the US for university, and then I started to eat food that didn’t feel so good in my system. I would write to my mother and say things like, ‘I don’t feel so good,’ and ‘I’m kind of stressed out,’ and ‘I’m up all night working or studying.’ As a result, I would fall sick. This pattern repeated post-college when I moved to Chicago and took a job in advertising with intense hours and deadlines. I would stay up late and fall sick, and I knew something wasn’t right. 

This is how I started doing yoga, and yoga was helping, but it wasn’t enough. So I started looking at food as a healing source, and that was what really took me down the path to Ayurveda. 

When I’m feeling out of sorts, I crave the food of my childhood; perhaps that’s where the term comfort food comes from. The foods that offer us a wave of sustaining and nourishing memories from the past.

Ritual I perform every morning:

  • I wake up and slash cool water in my eyes. 
  • I scrape my tongue as it takes away the previous day’s accumulation of toxins from the tongue and stimulates the digestive system.
  • I have a cup of warm water with lemon.
  • Light abhyanga with sesame oil. 
  • Yoga practice, even if it’s five sun salutations or seated poses, twists, something to get the energy moving. 

What is comfort food for you? What are the foods that are nourishing? 

ISIn India, family culture is stronger than in North America; the connections and ties are stronger, and things have passed down from generation to generation. India has more history that way. The contrast in North America is a feeling of liberation and freedom because you throw so much of what came before you out. This is what genuine sons of immigrants have done. 

Still, the recipes were metamorphosed into the richer, sweeter, more enticing variations, so it wasn’t the simple foods from home. And what happened when you think about comfort food in North America was a lot of the foods that came from the old countries that came to North America. Because there isn’t this emphasis on tradition, the wisdom that went with the food from those countries gets lost, and it gets muddy. For me, when I think of comfort food, I think of the foods I ate growing up and eating the foods at my mother’s table. The nourishment is the love of coming to the table and sitting with others. 

The other thing that I speak a lot about is how we should not cook when we’re unhappy. Don’t cook when you’re angry because you’re going to put that emotion into the food. It reminds me of a book, Like Water for ChocolateIt’s such a great book, the author, she talks about how you should put love into whatever you are doing. This is especially powerful when we’re preparing meals as we’re putting the emotions we have literally into the food we’re preparing and serving to eat. 

What Ayurveda tips do you have for healing postpartum? 

ISThe body changes a lot during pregnancy as you’re gaining more of the earth element and more water and some more fluid in the body to keep the baby safe. Kapha dosha is earth and water, so Kapha grows, which allows the baby to be sustained and nourished because Kapha is love. 

It’s a big journey to come out into the world away from this watery, fluid, soft, protective space for the mama and the baby. Once the baby comes out, there’s this emptiness; there’s all this space. Whenever there are any quick changes, we shift into the ether element and Vata dosha. The feeling is more anxious, the mind and nerves are tense, and the mental chatter starts. Postpartum is the body trying to process this transition, the new normal, and Ayurveda helps safeguard and sustain the body. 

Postpartum depression and that anxiety that you feel is very normal in the transition. To keep the body and mind feeling warm, grounded, and nurtured, here are some things I recommend: 

  1. Abhyanga is perfect for postpartum. Using sesame oil would be nice in a colder climate, especially if you have colder hands and feet. 
  2. Eat nourishing foods like soups and stews.
  3. Make a cocoon for yourself. Be mindful of what you allow into your life. Distill all the people, conversations, smells, everything; be clear about what you bring into your life. 

The first six weeks after the baby is born are sacred. You want to be mindful as you regain your strength so that you and your baby are feeling nurtured and nourished. 

What is a ritual you honour?

IS A word comes to mind for me, Dinacharya. It means to be or to have mastery over the day. It’s this really beautiful idea that in every single day that you live, you have the opportunity to live your best self and to master that day. 

What are some of the Ayurveda practices you do each day? 

IS The biggest thing you need in life is your health, and you need your health so that you can be here for whatever purpose you were put on earth to achieve and fulfill. If you don’t have good health, you’re going to be struggling all the time to try to achieve your goals. 

The formula is really simple. It’s very practical. Your physical body is here to help you manifest your ideas and wishes, and goals. If your body isn’t working at its optimal level, you’re just going to create all sorts of different imbalances. So all these practices are ways of keeping the physiology functioning well. I also think of it, especially in these times now, is to strengthen your aura. Your aura is your first line of immunity. 

When I talk about boundaries and protection, I’m really talking about how I can make sure that every energy field I carry around me is strengthened and happy. Even if I bumped into things, I don’t become fractured or lost. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Your Ayurveda Playlist

Classes that ground the over-excitement and angst associated with Vata.
 
  • Ganesha Mantra
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Quick Chill – Restorative Yoga
  • Back Release – Hatha Yoga
  • Get Ready for Bed – Yin Yoga
  • Stay Low – Hatha Yoga
  • Mudra Meditation
Classes to soothe the intensity of Pitta while gently stimulating the inner fire.
 
  • Beauty Within & Without – Vinyasa
  • Ocean Meditation
  • Fluid Power – Vinyasa
  • Creative Flow.- Vinyasa
  • Saraswati Mantra
  • Go with the Flow – Vinyasa
  • Keep it Moving – Vinyasa
Classes to stimulate the inner flame and digestive fires to clear stagnant energy and lethargy.
 
  • Ignite – Vinyasa
  • Fire Flow – Vinyasa
  • Shiva Mantra
  • Space through Strength – Slow Flow
  • Super Duper Power – Vinyasa
  • Pranayama Meditation
  • Unfurl Your Peacock Tail – Vinyasa

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Ali Cramer: Discovering Balance through Ayurveda

ali cramer blog
We sat down with Ayurvedic Counselor and author of Modern Ayurveda: Rituals, Recipes, and Remedies for Balance, Ali Cramer, to talk about living life with more intention through Ayurvedic practices. 

Ayurveda is about being in a relationship and working to stay in harmony with the conditions that we find ourselves in. It asks that we examine our raw materials and how they interact with others’ raw materials and the environment. Ayurveda is a unique plan for self-care that can carry us through our lives. We’re constantly changing, and the world around us is constantly changing; Ayurveda honors being in the flow and allows us to stay open to the flow. Nothing is fixed in the world, so we can’t be fixed either”. – Ali Cramer.

Ayurveda is one of India’s oldest practices, dating back over 5,000 years to the Vedic period. Known as the Mother of Healing and the sister science to yoga, Ayurveda works with the elements to examine the energies we perceive in the world. The five elements are earth, air, fire, water, and ether. These five elements create the three unique doshas, or energies, that provide our constitution. 

VataPitta, and Kapha are the three doshas that make up a person’s constitution. The doshas are reflected as Vata (movement), Pitta (digestion), and Kapha (stability) with unique characteristics and requirements to maintain equilibrium. Examining diet, movement patterns, work, relationships, environments, and habits—especially patterns that cause disease and imbalances—contribute to our overall constitution and lifestyle. 

Please read the full post to get the highlights from our talk; watch or listen to the full episode. 

Interview with Ali Cramer

How do we prepare for Vata season and Yama Dramstra? 

ACYama is the lord of death, so Yama Damstra reflects the time of year when the veil between our world and the spirit world is very thin. Across so many traditions, this is a magical time of the year, an unearthly kind of time. Vata is part of this realm, being very imaginative and ethereal. 

In this season, the veil is very thin. So this is the time for creativity and spirituality. This is a time to journal, to meditate, to practice yoga, especially between the hours of 2-6 AM or PM, because that’s Vata’s time of the day. This is the peak port of the day where you want to create. It’s magical, and it is a time where keeping a meditation practice will help ground. When we ritualize a practice, it has a grounding effect. The yoga practice, or whatever it is you decide to do, is meant to keep us connected, to keep us grounded in something consistent.  

What are simple practices to start living with Ayurveda?

ACThis is what I try to get across to my clients:

  1. Right sleep, 
  2. Right nutrition, 
  3. Right Hydration, 
  4. Right movement. 

Movement should be something that feels healthy and enjoyable. One of the things I usually ask my clients is, does your current lifestyle make you happy? 

How do you nourish the doshas?  

ACIn Vata season, what we’re all experiencing right now, there’s lots of energy moving very fast. It’s light as opposed to heavy, dry, and irregular. So if it’s fast, then we need to move a little bit slower. Give ourselves a little bit more time to do things. Vata tends to be cold, so we need to make sure that we stay warm.

Vata is dry, so we need to add a little bit more oil, which could look like adding another slice of avocado to your meal or incorporating some good fats.

Once we know the season’s qualities, we can observe the opposite side of what we’re currently experiencing to balance us out a little bit. That’s a universal tactic to balance the doshas. It requires self-reflection every day. Each day is different; self-reflection and accepting that we are unique beings and need different things at different times. 

CROThe center’s always moving; our point of reference is always shifting, which is so fun and overwhelming all at the same time. I like to ask, how am I doing right now? Am I feeling good about what I’m doing right now? And if I am awesome, then I keep going. And if not, I need to pacify those particular things because I’m feeling out of balance with my constitution. 

What’s the difference between Vrikriti and Prakriti? 

CRO— Prakriti is what you are born with; it’s shaped by your parents’ constitutions and what happened when you were conceived in utero and the first two years of being on earth. Vikruti is where you are right now, what you deal with each and every day. Sometimes our Prakriti and Vrikriti are the same, and yet they don’t have to be. 

The main thing to understand is that we have all three of the doshas within us because we are all made up of the five great elements. Some of the elements and energies are more dominant than others, based on what we’re feeling on any given day. 

Age and what we’re experiencing profoundly affect our constitution, our body, and our overall energy. We’re always degrading once we’re born. One way to think of it is that the Virkriti is always changing as it represents what’s going on right now, so it may not be the same as it was some years beforehand. 

Why are we drawn to things that throw us out of balance?

ACI’ve had a bunch of incredible Ayurveda teachers. My primary teacher is Dr. Vassant Lad from the Ayurvedic Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When I first started studying, I asked him, why are we drawn to the things that we know throw us out of balance? For myself, I love popcorn, and it’s not great for me because it’s light, and it’s dry and hard and brittle, and all of those things are not good for Vata. It’s also acidic, which is not good for Pitta, and I have a lot of Pitta in my constitution. I asked him why I was drawn to these things—things that are not good for me. This is what he said:

The system is full of Ama, which are toxins in the body. The toxins could be from our food or the air we breathe, or even the toxins that we perceive on violent TV shows or media. Toxins could also be a fight we had with a friend or stress from work. The toxins build up in the body and clog the steady-state of flow; our bodies need to remain in harmony with the flow of the universe. When there’s a big buildup of Ama, we’re drawn to other things that bring us out of balance. Whereas once the Ama is cleared, we make better decisions. 

The thing I always think of is when I don’t get enough sleep and when I wake up in the morning and make a poor breakfast choice because I’m fatigued and I can’t make as good of choices for myself. This leads to a slippery slope of degradation. However, we can always come back up by making small, simple choices toward living in better health. We can take many small actions that bring us back to harmony, such as drinking water, going to bed earlier, and not snacking between meals. 

The best advertisement for self-care is: when you take care of yourself, you’re better able to take care of the people around you.

Try these Cleansing Recipes by Ali for each dosha, including Tridoshic recipes if you’re cooking for multiple people!

 

 
ali cramer

What’s your superpower? 

AC— I would say cooking. I’ve been cooking since I was little, and I’m good at it. Cooking is a beautiful way to connect; it’s a nourishing experience to share with others. I remember standing on a stepstool and making breakfast for my grandfather. I recall scrambled eggs and toast.  I progressed to making chocolate chip cookies for my dad; it was never complicated or fancy. 

If you could choose any era to live in, what period would you choose? 

ACI think it would have been very interesting to be around in the late 19th century when Krishnamacharya was teaching his students because he was one of the first official yoga teachers that shaped the practice as we see it today in the modern yoga world.

What do you never leave the house without? 

ACMarty, my dog. I keep essential oils next to my keys, so I kind of douse myself before leaving the house. That’s my little protection against New York City, dousing myself with some oils. And then I take my phone. Those are the three practical, concrete items. 

I’m in New York City; I’m going to be extremely truthful here and transparent and say being on my guard is a way of protection and being on my guard in terms of who needs help. The other two things I take with me are a generous frame of mind and an open and compassionate frame of mind with boundaries and attention. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Your Ayurveda Playlist

Classes that ground the over-excitement and angst associated with Vata.
 
  • Ganesha Mantra
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Quick Chill – Restorative Yoga
  • Back Release – Hatha Yoga
  • Get Ready for Bed – Yin Yoga
  • Stay Low – Hatha Yoga
  • Mudra Meditation
Classes to soothe the intensity of Pitta while gently stimulating the inner fire.
 
  • Beauty Within & Without – Vinyasa
  • Ocean Meditation
  • Fluid Power – Vinyasa
  • Creative Flow.- Vinyasa
  • Saraswati Mantra
  • Go with the Flow – Vinyasa
  • Keep it Moving – Vinyasa
Classes to stimulate the inner flame and digestive fires to clear stagnant energy and lethargy.
 
  • Ignite – Vinyasa
  • Fire Flow – Vinyasa
  • Shiva Mantra
  • Space through Strength – Slow Flow
  • Super Duper Power – Vinyasa
  • Pranayama Meditation
  • Unfurl Your Peacock Tail – Vinyasa

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

A Beginner’s Guide to Ayurveda

Learn the Secret of Sustaining Good Health

The ultimate aim of Ayurveda is to seek, create, and maintain balance.

Ayurveda is an ancient Vedic practice and one of India’s oldest medicines, originating more than 5,000 years ago. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means ‘The Science of Life’ and is the sister science of yoga.

Also called the Mother of Healing, Ayurveda’s practice is rooted in the prevention of illness through balance and reflection on each individual’s diet, thoughts, relationships, environment, and activities. 

The ultimate aim of Ayurveda is to seek, create, and maintain balance; when we’re in a state of equilibrium, inner harmony is achieved. Observing and attuning our sleep patterns, diet, exercise, relationships— all the ways we consume and come into contact with the world—in such a way that strives for balance maximizes our potential to feel good and take care of ourselves.

When we feel good about ourselves, we’re better able to take care of others and the world around us. 

Many factors contribute to the individual’s overall health, including environment, seasons, relationships, diet, exercise, habits, trauma, work, and stress. These factors affect our constitution and how we feel; they can create balance or disorder.

Each constitution is unique based on the lifestyle and life choices of the individual. Balance and disorders depend based on the constitution of the person. A person’s constitution is made up of three unique energies called doshas in Ayurveda: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.  

The Doshas

Each person has a unique blend of these three energies. The three energies are made up of the five great elements: air, ether, fire, water, and ether.

A person’s constitution is dynamic and changes depending on many variables, including age, environment, mood, diet, activities, and relationships. 

Understanding which of the three energies are present and how to balance them elevates our awareness of staying present and open to new life experiences. We want the energies to keep moving and flow to mimic the vibrant world around us.

Ayurveda honours the simple rule that life is always changing, and the way to celebrate the flux is to continually adapt the lifestyle and diet to the shifts we perceive. 

The right question to ask is, what am I feeling right now?

The final word: don’t get attached to your dosha since it will change as you age.

Imbalances of the Doshas

The doshas are governed by specific elements and activities. To create balance and come back to a state of equilibrium, Ayurveda holds: like attracts like, and opposite heals. If the person has an over-abundance of one of the doshas, activities, and diet opposite from the primary constitution create balance. 

Choose from one of three dosha balancing collections:

Eating For Your Dosha

Food has a profound effect on the body and the brain, more so than the activities we choose. Switching up what we eat to suit our constitution is one of the fundamental attributes of leading an Ayurvedic lifestyle. 

We created three unique Nutrition Booklets to explore the diet for each of the doshas. Make yummy meals for yourself or your loved ones to satiate the flavor profiles associated with your constitution, and learn about the foods that stimulate or aggravate each of the doshas. 

Gut health is essential to maintaining proper health. By choosing the right foods and flavor profiles, you have the opportunity to boost your body’s immunity and give yourself all the essential nutrients you need.

Learn about your dosha with our Ayurveda Guides

In each booklet, you’ll find:

  • Personality profiles for you to see which dosha you align with the most.
  • Activities such as yoga to achieve balance
  • The foods to eat and foods to avoid.
  • Dietary considerations. 
  • Elements: air + ether.
  • Governed by movement, creativity, flexibility, vision, space, and sound.
  • In harmony, Vata is inspired and inclusive.
  • Out of balance, Vata is anxious, fearful, and flighty. 
  • Elements: air + fire.
  • Governed by digestion, metabolism, direction, absorption, assimilation, and intelligence.
  • In harmony, Pitta is a leader and advocate.
  • Out of balance, Pitta is angry, resistant, and jealous.
pitta ayurveda
Kapha Ayurveda diet
  • Elements: earth + water.
  • Governed by structure, stability, patience, compassion, nurturance, and immunity.
  • In harmony, Kapha is loving and vulnerable.
  • Out of balance, Kapha is lethargic, withdrawn, and greedy. 

Yoga to Balance the Doshas

The Ayurveda Playlist is comprised of yoga classes and meditations that help to balance the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, & Kapha).

Take a look at the collections to see the yoga, meditation, mantras, and slower practices to soothe imbalances in each of the doshas. 

Classes that ground the over-excitement and angst associated with Vata.
  • Ganesha Mantra
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Quick Chill – Restorative Yoga
  • Back Release – Hatha Yoga
  • Get Ready for Bed – Yin Yoga
  • Stay Low – Hatha Yoga
  • Mudra Meditation
Classes to stimulate the inner flame and digestive fires to clear stagnant energy and lethargy.
  • Ignite – Vinyasa
  • Fire Flow – Vinyasa
  • Shiva Mantra
  • Space through Strength – Slow Flow
  • Super Duper Power – Vinyasa
  • Pranayama Meditation
  • Unfurl Your Peacock Tail – Vinyasa
Classes to soothe the intensity of Pitta while gently stimulating the inner fire.
  • Beauty Within & Without – Vinyasa
  • Ocean Meditation
  • Fluid Power – Vinyasa
  • Creative Flow.- Vinyasa
  • Saraswati Mantra
  • Go with the Flow – Vinyasa
  • Keep it Moving – Vinyasa

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Interviews with Ayurveda Therapists

We interviewed three Ayurveda Therapists and one Japanese Acupuncturins who provided recipes, tools, and simple practices, to help you learn more about the body’s physical and subtle energy systems.

In this interview with yoga teacher, author, and Ayurveda Therapist Ali Cramer, you’ll discover more on: 

  • The five elements and how they relate to the doshas.
  • How to nourish the doshas and rules for living Ayurveda.
  • Aligning with the seasons and Yama Damstrao
  • Why we seek things that throw us out of balance.
Listen / Watch / Read 

In this interview with yoga teacher and Ayurveda Therapist Insiya Finn, you’ll discover more on: 

  • Comfort foods versus nourishing foods.
  • Ayurveda to heal from postpartum.
  • Dinacharya; honouring ritual through Ayurveda.
  • Simple practices to do every day to be in optimal health.
Listen / Watch / Read 
 

In this interview with yoga teacher and Ayurveda Therapist Maria Garre, you’ll discover more on: 

  • Tips to stay healthy during covid.
  • Ways to strengthen our digestive fire and optimize gut health.
  • Cooking for various constitutions; a Tridoshic perspective on meals.
  • Teas to drink every day to pacify each dosha.
Listen / Watch / Read 

In this interview with TCM Practitioner and Japanese Acupuncturist Alix Jean, you’ll discover more on: 

  • Traditional Chinese versus Japanese Acupuncture.
  • Fascia; what it is and why it’s important.
  • How emotions correspond to the body’s organs.
  • Common injuries related to stress.
Listen / Watch / Read 

Additional Resources

  1. Cleansing Recipes by Ali Cramer, including Tridoshic recipes if you’re cooking for multiple people!

  2. Maria Garre’s Nasya technique. Nasya is an Ayurvedic practice of massaging oil inside of the nose. Nasya also supports mucosal immunity.

  3. Maria Garre’s recipe for Trikatu with equal amounts of dried ginger, black pepper, and long pepper.
    Combine those three ingredients in equal proportions and make a mixture.
    Take a little Trikatu with honey on a spoon during the rainy season and put it in your mouth with a bit of warm weather to wash it down. It’s great to take after you eat as a little dessert, which will burn anything in the GI tract.

  4. Insiya’s simple practices to start the day:
  • Splash the face with cold water.
  • Scrape the tongue to remove the previous day’s accumulation of toxins from the tongue and stimulate the digestive system.
  • Drink a cup of warm water with lemon.
  • Light abhyanga massage with sesame oil. 
  • Yoga practice, even if it’s five sun salutations or seated poses, twists, something to get the energy moving. 
ayurveda

Morning Chai Recipe

“I love this tea for not only heating my body but also for stimulating my Agni, spiritual and digestive fire.” – Clara Roberts-Oss.

 
Ingredients:
  • 5 black tea bags
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tbsp whole black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup/honey
  • 2 cups of (almond) milk
Preparation:
  • Grind up the spices with a spoon.
  • Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add spices and ginger.
  • Set to medium heat and boil for 10-min.
  • Turn off heat and add tea bags and steep for 5 min
  • Add milk and sweetener

Ayurveda Quiz Results

In November 2020, we sent out an Ayurveda Quiz that received over 1,000 responses! We gathered some of the data from the quiz to explore how the Ayurvedic constitutions are present within our global community and examine the multifaceted ways we experience stress and celebrate emotions. 

The infographic captures the quiz results and the solutions to living a more harmonious lifestyle by understanding each dosha. Your constitution varies from moment to moment; what you’re working with today may differ from how you felt yesterday. Ayurveda teaches us to examine the internal and external factors contributing to our lifestyle—from what we eat to the weather outside and how we interact with those we love. 

The quiz and all results were gathered to shed insight on how to live an Ayurvedic lifestyle. Please consult an Ayurvedic Doctor to learn more about your constitution and how to work with your results. 

Ayurveda Infographic

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Class of the Day Features:

  • Vinyasa classes based on Lila Flow Yoga.
  • Peak poses with backbends, twists, hip openers, arm balances, and inversions. 
  • Subtle body practices such as pranayamas, kriyas, and mantras. 
  • Various styles of yoga including Hatha, restorative/yin, slow flow, and meditation.

Join me for an experiencial practice!

My favourite thing about yoga is getting to watch people have a connection with themselves.

 

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.

 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

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✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.