Hi! I’m Claire, certified yoga instructor, plant-based chef and holistic nutrition educator.
I have BA in International Affairs, Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition Development from George Washington University.
However, my true passion is working with food and people through a holistic and personal lens. As a natural foods chef, I’ve worked alongside Matthew Kenney in his raw vegan culinary academy and helped create the companies first cleanse programs.
In 2009, I became an RYT certified instructor and began my teaching journey. I’ve traveled to India to study Ashtanga Yoga with Pattabhi Jois’ lineage, along with philosophy, meditation, mudras and pranayama with BNS Iyengar and Srivasta Ramaswami– and picked up a little Ayurveda along the way!
Now, with my company Vidya Lifestyle, I work with clients around the globe to inspire transformational changes in their healthand wellbeing.
My holistic wellness programs are infused with Ayurvedic principles, plant-based nutrition, and yogic philosophy to cultivate inner wisdom for intuitive healing. I guide purposeful seasonal cleanses and cook healing food for international retreats.
Each day I feel blessed to share my passion for the beautiful overlap of yoga and food.
Why did you become an instructor?
Yoga, in its many forms, has always been a part of my life. My mother received her certification to teach when I was 7 years old. I even remember my very first class as a little girl, giggling alongside her at the closing OM! As I grew into my own practice in my late teens, it was a natural progression to embark down this path.
The practice has been the mostprofound healing experience for me, and getting to share this with others and witness their inner transformation brings me joy and purpose as an instructor.
Where do you Teach?
I currently teach at two lovely studios in the Oklahoma City area – This Land Yoga & Yoga at Tiffany’s-Norman, and also run a small private studio in my home where I work with clients one-on-one.
What Do You Teach?
I have a background in the traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa method, but have also done studies in functional yoga therapy. My teaching takes the approach that each of us shows up with unique bodies, histories and needs, and use the physical practice as a way to heal, strengthen and align.
I incorporate pranayama, mudras and chanting into my alignment-focused vinyasa and yin yoga classes. I also teach hands on workshop series called “The Yoga of Food” where I teach about healing the nervous system, postures, and breath work for optimizing digestion and the principles of creating a sattvic diet and lifestyle.
Who/What Inspires You
Maya Tiwari has been an incredible influence on me and has helped shaped my awareness around food, energy and yoga. Her books “Living Ahimsa Diet” and “Women’s Power to Heal” are phenomenal, go pick yourself up a copy and dive in!
My mission is to empower and inspire a deep connection with our food in all aspects, and to look at eating as a sacred act of nourishing our bodies, minds, spirits and communities.
Your Favorite Quote:
“Living in the sacred is a choice, the chanceto create every moment is an opportunity for awakening.” –Matthew Engelhart
Any other relevant information you think our readers would love about you! Goals are especially popular and it helps our followers to really reach for something more and improve themselves hearing about inspirational people.
Off the mat, I spend a good deal of my day in the kitchen testing recipes for the blog or preparing meals for friends and clients. For me, cooking is my meditation. It’s a time where all the noise and chatter of to-do lists and emails to be answered drift away.
I often chant mantras when I cook and become completely absorbed in the creative and loving process of preparing something wonderful to share. Photography and styling is my other creative passion that takes me into that zone. This year I launched a series called the “Vidya Seasonal Kitchen” where I fused my love of food and styling together to create short culinary lifestyle videos around seasonal recipes.