Clare Spillane

How did you begin your yoga practice?
I was first introduced to yoga by my mother and sister when I was in my late 40’s. They were both avid practitioners so when I visited them I would tag along with them to their yoga classes. I found that even though I could hardly do many of the poses I always left feeling calm and relaxed and I became curious about why this occurred. At that time, there were no yoga classes offered in the Salisbury area, so I picked up a few videos and began to occasionally put on a video and follow along. Then in 2007 when I was going through a personal crisis I attend a Women’s Retreat. I don’t think it was a coincidence that the retreat was held at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. The week-long retreat offered yoga classes three times a day and from that point on I was hooked. I left that retreat feeling emotionally and spiritually strong, with more confidence, with renewed health and well-being, and ever since then I have had a daily yoga practice

Why do you practice yoga?
Yoga is different for each person but for me it is a practice of gently focusing on breathing and moving the body through poses that focus the mind and allow peace and serenity to enter. A yoga practice is a metaphor of life itself. You deeply breathe, stretch, let go, and focus on the moment. Sometimes you are standing firm in warrior, other times bowing down in a forward bend surrendering. You pay attention to where there is constricted or fearful energy and breathe into it. Yoga is about clearing out the “thinking” mind and preparing for openness, preparing to listen, and to receiving God’s grace. It is about finding and empowering the self and nourishing your soul.

Where did you receive your training? When were you certified?
I received my 200-hour training at the Kripalu School of Yoga in 2014, and I have continued my training there. I completed my 500 hours of training in July of 2017. In addition, as a licensed clinical social worker I have attended hundreds of hours of training in mind/body healing modalities with some of the top trainers in the field of mental health, healing, and trauma sensitive practice.

Why do you teach yoga?
I’ve studied mental health and practiced social work for many decades, and I’ve yet to find a therapeutic tool as effective as yoga. I love to share yoga’s wisdom with others. Each day is a tremendous gift, life renews itself in every moment, and when all seems to be going wrong, everything can change by simply stepping on the mat and reaching upward to greet the heavens and welcome the flow of life’s energy into the body, mind and spirit. I teach because I believe it can create emotional, physical and spiritual health and bring healing to just about anything that ails you.

What else do you do with your time?
I enjoy my three amazing children, my family, and my pets. I love taking walks and doing anything outdoors. I also love to cook and share meals with family and friends. I have been a social worker for 33 years and currently work in child welfare. I have always loved the work I have done in the community as a social worker.

What is your favorite yoga pose and why?
Natarajasana- King Dancer pose. I love it because it represents strength, grace and balance with an open joyful heart.

How would you describe your classes?
My classes encompass the mission of Kripalu yoga which is to empower people and communities to realize their full potential through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga. Classes are sensitive to the needs of the students, with an emphasis on creating safety and preventing injury.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell your students?
Try several styles of yoga and different teachers and find what you like and keep at it and you will experience many rewards.