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Note from Clara: The Anniversary

Hello friends,

Today is the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Twenty years ago, two planes came crashing into two buildings that had been in my field of vision for what felt like my whole life. Twenty years since, I experienced how quickly my world can change within the span of a few hours.

I grew up in New York City —or should I say —I lived my formative years in the big apple. I had always wanted to live in NY. I would visit at Christmas and summer breaks and loved the energy of the city. When I was 11, my parents asked if I’d like to move to New York and live with my mother or continue living with my father in Montreal. I didn’t even skip a beat—I said yes.

I wasn’t expecting how much culture shock I would feel—going from a super artsy elementary school in Montreal to a public school in Queens, NY. I was blown away by the amount of anger, sadness and overall tension that would be my school, neighborhood, and friends—AND I jumped right in. I loved how much diversity there was— in people, ideas and neighborhoods. I could smell the hope and possibility all around me. It was very inspiring. My biggest takeaway of New York is that it is EVERYTHING. It is the super-rich, poor, diverse, racist, filled with possibility and destitute, a place where people fulfill their dreams and others lose them. Normal folks going about their normal days, others living a fantasy. It’s the city of extremes, and I loved all of it.

Then September 11th happened. We all remember where we were, what we were doing, who we called, who we lost. Sitting where I am now, and the year we’ve just had, i.e. pandemic—just in case you forgot— the one thing that really got me through that time was community. My community and the larger NYC community. It felt like we were all in it together. People showed up to help how/where they could and to grieve. We got through that very challenging time together.

This year has been so different, in all the obvious ways and that it’s felt so isolating. We are going through something so big, yet we haven’t been able to help or grieve together, at least not physically. So many underlying feelings have bubbled to the surface of the collective: Me Too, BLM, climate change that is now a crisis—along with our individual sh*t. I feel as though I’ve been left alone to sit with/reflect and try to figure out where the heck to go from here.

So, where does that leave us today? You? Me?

It’s left us in a paradox

  • Appreciating the time and space, we are given to reflect on who we are, who we want to be and how we want to show up for our families/community AND missing our “normal” lives and pace we were used to moving at.
  • Connecting to my community through the weekly live classes AND missing the community I would see in the studios on a daily/weekly basis.
  • Learning how to connect with each other in creative ways (i.e. Zoom parties, YouTube weddings, etc.) AND missing how simple it was to meet up with people or go for dinner.

You get it.

There have been pivotal times in each of our lives that have changed the way we see/think/feel – some deeply personal and others on a more global scale.

I leave you with a few questions to ponder:

  • What have you learned about yourself this year? What have learned about those around you?
  • When was the last pivotal point in your life? What did you learn about yourself? How did it change the way you lived?

My answers…

I’ve experienced and learned so much about anxiety – my anxiety – how hard it is for me to live with so many unknowns. I’ve learned, again, how important it is for me to connect with people—people outside my bubble. What I’ve learned about those around me is how different we digest/process fear.

My last pivotal point was birthing my daughter Karmen. I learned and am continuing to learn so much about myself. Do you have a couple of hours – just kidding, but not. The biggest takeaway from this process we call parenting is that the goal is not to be perfect at it but instead to continue listening to Karmen, connecting to my intuition, and knowing that it’s all temporary. Umm, hello yoga, hello life.

In other news…

I’ve shared a new slow flow vinyasa yoga class on my YouTube Channel, Blue Throat, featuring inversions with shoulder stand. This short class is perfect for anyone seeking to open the front and side body and features Vishuddha (the 5th chakra) as the theme as we’re heading into a 7-Day Mantra Sadhana Series on Monday, September 13th!

Through mantra and the power of sound, you can shift and transform whatever you’re sitting with or working through.

One of my favourite mantras on the Practice with Clara site is the Shiva Mantra—for a more playful and upbeat mantra, you might take the Shiva Shambo Mantra.

Books to assist you in your exploration of mantra that I’ve found helpful include:

  • Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton
  • Shakti Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Forrand

My weekly recommendations –

If you have any questions about training, poses, or anything else related to yoga, you can email me, post in the Facebook Group, or write us a review on the apps, and we’ll gift you a month of yoga!

Sending love and a virtual hug,
Clara.

New Yoga Class: Anniversary

Can we hold two opposing feelings at the same time?

Can we feel the heaviness of a catastrophe and the lightness of the everyday miracles?

Join Clara for a 60-minute slow flow practice where we explore holding opposites. This class will work with standing leg balances, and arm binds moving towards Flamingo pose.

Prop to have: 2 Blocks, 1 Strap.

For September, our theme is “Everything but the kitchen sink.” There will be a variety of classes to give you a little bit of everything so that by the end of the month, we’ll have covered all the things – yoga poses, breathwork, mantra, meditation and philosophy.

Here’s the link to the Spotify playlist for this class.

Release Abdominal Tension with Forrest Yoga

The Forrest Roll creates constriction at the lower abdomen to restrict the flow of blood, massage the internal organs, and release the fascia that wraps around the muscles located at the belly.

This practice creates more space around the gut to breathe deeper and provides access to the hip flexors.

A symptom of our society today is very tight hip flexors from sitting at a desk or in a car. Tight hip flexors cause pain in the low back and compression at the lower spine. To relieve low back pain, releasing the hip flexors is one way to create space around the tailbone. The Forrest Roll may also assist in relieving knots in the belly from fear, anxiety, and other emotional stressors.

Watch the short tutorial to see how to make the Forrest Roll:

The Forrest Roll is a way to activate the digestive system through compression to the abdomen. Constricting the blood flow to the organs creates tension, so oxygen-rich blood flows through the body when you come off of the roll. When you restrict the blood flow, the release will create more space in the body and a surge in fresh blood to the restricted area— in this case; it’s the abdomen. This practice may encourage better digestion and healthier organs.

Benefits of the Forrest Roll:

  • The roll softens the muscles around the lower abdomen to give the organs an internal massage.
  • Relaxing the abdomen around the roll provides more access to the psoas muscles, aka the hip flexors. A soft abdomen provides the psoas with a deeper release. The psoas becomes tight and stained from sitting and sit behind our guts, so when we soften the belly, we have more access to the psoas muscles in front of the spine.
  • As the psoas release, you may feel a rush of energy down the legs (tingling or heat).
  • The roll releases the psoas muscles at the front of the pelvis, which aids in decreasing low back pain—a good pose to perform before or after a backbend class.

Read the full blog post: Relieve Abdominal Tension with the Forrest Roll

Join a 7-Day Sadhana on September 13th

In Hindu and Buddhist tradition, a Sadhana practice is a commitment to daily prayer to attain enlightenment.

The discipline (tapas) effort in Sadhana helps cultivate an inner awareness of your responsibilities and reactions to adversity.

In Sadhana, you show up every day—especially on the days you do not want to. Commitment is easy when you are happy, well-rested, and have the time to dedicate to your practice. Sadhana is difficult when you are irritated, bored, tired, and lack the patience, effort, and energy to commit to your ritual.

A transformative spiritual experience— Sadhana translates as ‘realization’ from Sanskrit.

Join us for a 7-Day Sadhana Series to celebrate the power of mantra and movement this fall.

Monday, September 13th – Sunday, September 19th, take the on-demand classes of your choice!

For the inaugural 7-Day Sadhana Series, we’re featuring mantras and short movement practices for you to feel clear, grounded, and more attuned to those around you.

Mantra is a powerful tool to focus your mind and attention on a specific word or phrase. Chanting mantras help you release positive energies into the universe.

Here’s how you join:

1. Get the Mantra | 7-Day Sadhana Series playlist on your Practice with Clara App.

2. Join the community Facebook Group to connect with yogis worldwide.

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.

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.