Claire's Story

About Claire

Welcome to Stretch It Yoga

I began practising Yoga around 2001 at the age of 23. I have been a fully qualified Yoga teacher since 2007 graduating from a 200 hour (Yoga Alliance) teaching diploma. I taught part-time for 5 years while continuing in my career in TV production and in 2012 I left that world behind and set up Stretch It Yoga. “I have since went on to train in Pregnancy Yoga, Mum and Baby Yoga, Baby Massage, Fertility Yoga, Kids Yoga and Yoga for Menopause. I am also in the process of training for a 500 hour senior Yoga teacher qualification with Amy Ipolliti of 90 Monkeys (Yoga Alliance). 

This year I am taking a training in Chair Yoga and plan to start teaching classes for older people and people with reduced mobility.

I was first drawn to Yoga in the hope that it could help with some of the neck and back pain I was experiencing in my early 20’s. I was born with Klippel–Feil Syndrome, a rare syndrome characterized by the congenital fusion of two of the cervical vertebrae. This resulted in poor range of movement of the neck, bad posture, shortness of breath and neck and backaches that were gradually getting worse. A sedentary unhealthy lifestyle wasn’t helping the situation.

On the advice of a friend, I took a yoga class. I was hooked straight away. Over the next couple of years, I began to develop a regular home practice and attended many classes and workshops with many wonderful teachers. Over time, pain and other symptoms improved dramatically. Over the next few years, I began to build a solid home practise and continued to attend as many classes and workshops as I could. As a result of my dedicated practice, I have managed to stay off long term pain medication, which is the usual route for my condition.

Over time I began to notice that there was so much more going on with my Yoga practice than just the physical changes I was experiencing. I began to notice the mental benefits too. I was able to go with the flow a bit more. I began to grow as a person. I was able to take a step back & analyse my reactions in various situations. I became a more compassionate person, less concerned only with my own happiness. I developed better tools for dealing with anxiety, fear and grief. I am not saying I am perfect, far from it but Yoga gave me the tools and the discipline I needed to manage in life and taught me to be more accepting, both of myself and others.

At some point along my journey, I felt I wanted to deepen my practice for my own growth and development and that is when I decided to begin teacher training. The course I chose was completed over two years and by the time I was finished, I knew I really wanted to teach Yoga. I wanted to help other people benefit from the powerful physical, mental and spiritual effects of Yoga.

In 2013 I completed the Trust in Birth prenatal teacher training with The Elbowroom while pregnant. My waters broke the day I finished my practical exam. Yoga helped me enormously throughout my pregnancy and birth. When my daughter Isabelle was three months old, I decided to embark on the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) baby massage teacher training course. I massaged Isabelle daily and found that baby massage relaxed both of us and helped her sleep better. After I completed my Baby Massage training I also trained to teach Mum and Baby Yoga. I also taught Yoga to Adults with special needs in St Micheals House from 2015 – 2019.

In 2019 I completed my training in Fertility Yoga with Sue Domais of Family Passages. I now offer monthly Fertility Yoga Workshops

In December 2019 I completed a fantastic Kids Yoga training with The Elbowroom (Autumn 2019) and I teach Kids and Preteens Yoga on Saturday mornings in

Before Covid 19 restrictions I had begun my 500 hrs Yoga Training with world-renowned Yoga teacher Amy Ipolliti of 90 Monkeys and I hope to continue my training when all this is over.

‘In December 2020 I completed online training in Yoga For the stages of Menopause’ with Niamh Daly of

Yoga is my life passion. I believe it can help everyone feel better no matter what age, weight or level of fitness they are at. It’s just a matter of finding the right class for you and developing a regular practice. Yoga is particularly helpful in pregnancy and postpartum and I feel very privileged to work with and support women during this special time in their lives.

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