About Me

Why Yoga?

Despite being curious about yoga as a teenager, it wasn’t until I had a sports related injury in my 20's, that I really gave yoga any serious thought. My first foray in to yoga was a Barbara Currie video from Tesco in Halifax... in those days my toes were a v. long way away!!

But what started as a way of alleviating physical pain, quickly became a way of life, as I began to feel the positive effect on my mental health. As a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual violence, yoga gave me the tools and techniques to re-connect with my own body and to begin to address the effects of PTSD.

I can honestly say yoga has changed my life.

Claire Thomas

Yoga Teacher

I am passionate about bringing the ancient wisdom of yoga alive; to improve and enrich modern day life. I teach trauma informed yoga for all, with an emphasis on improving our physical and mental health.

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I trained to teach in Northern Ireland, before returning to England in 2007. My original training was heavily influenced by Satyananda and Iyengar Yoga. On my return I visited the Mandala Yoga Ashram in Wales and was inspired to explore the teachings of Satyananda Yoga in more depth. Initially I trained to teach Yoga Nidra and began my Satyananda Yoga Teacher Training in 2009. In the same year, I was given the spiritual name Kripa Devi by Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati during her visit to Harrogate. In the years since, I have continued my practice, study and training in this tradition. Whilst there are so many different paths we can follow in yoga - and it's important to explore until you find the one for you - I feel deeply connected to this tradition and it is for this reason I share the teachings as a student and teacher.

I teach, what I would describe as, a more traditional style of practice. My teaching style is slow and steady, with lots of attention to observing the body, breath and mind. It doesn't mean that there isn't a place for stronger, more dynamic practice, but this comes with experience. I feel passionate about making yoga an accessible and empowering experience and will encourage you to develop a greater sense of self-awareness and in doing so cultivate a quiet confidence in your own ability.

As a trauma survivor, good mental health has at times been elusive and it is through yoga I've learned to be kinder and more compassionate towards myself. With this in mind I teach trauma informed yoga, suitable for people with a variety of mental health conditions and PTSD. If this is something that affects you, please feel free to phone me if you'd like to join a class.

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Teaching Qualifications

Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga Therapy & Training Centre, Northern Ireland - Teacher Training Diploma

Phil Xerri - Yoga Quests - Pranayama Foundation Course

British Wheel of Yoga - Teacher Training Diploma

Satyananda Yoga UK - Yoga Nidra Module

Satyananda Yoga UK - Teacher Training Diploma

Swami Pragyamurti - Meditation Training Course

Mandala Yoga Ashram - Kriya Yoga

 

Pregnancy & Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training

Birthlight - Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training

Birthlight - Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training

Birthlight - Rectus Diastasis CPD

 

Specialist Mental Health Training

Satyananda Yoga UK - Yoga for Mental Health Module

The Yoga Clinic UK - TCTSY Trauma Sensitive Yoga Foundation for Complex PTSD

Satyananda Yoga Italy - PTSD & Stress

If you are in any doubt as to if this yoga class is for you, I would urge you to try it
– you won’t regret it!

Anon

I am absolutely loving the yoga course. I really do like yoga and am finding it very helpful. I am so sad that you are moving away. I wish I had known you longer and found you sooner. You truly are an inspiration. Thank you again for helping me start my journey to being a better me.

Sian

Thank you for such an enlightening introduction to yoga, which I began only recently to ensure flexibility of an ageing body, but quickly realised that the time used for meditation was equally important for my mental health.

Lynda

Claire provides a welcoming, relaxing environment in her classes. She catered for our individual needs and was reassuring and positive throughout. I can’t thank Claire enough for helping me achieve the positive birth experience I longed for and can’t wait to do it all over again with her guidance and support.

Yoga Mama

I just wanted to say a personal thank you for the yoga sessions you’ve provided. I will always remember when I was really struggling and came to the yoga for mental health workshop, how kind and supportive you were.

Kirsty

I have thoroughly loved my Wednesday morning yoga for the last three years… learning to be kind to myself and much more.

Tracy

Thank you for the yoga/therapy when I really needed something to help me get back on the straight and narrow. I’m only occasionally wiggley nowadays and I can always use the skills you taught me to bring myself back on track again.

Shelley

I’d never practiced yoga before, but Claire assured me you didn’t need any experience and I soon found Wednesday nights a retreat to meet other pregnant ladies and practice really useful yoga positions that made me more confident in the run up to our baby’s due date. It’s a lovely class run by a lovely lady.

Yoga Mama

Yoga has really helped me with my fibromyalgia, depression and stress. I don’t believe I would have managed in another class or with another teacher. Thank you for your patience.

Sandra

Thank you so much, I have really enjoyed my yoga with you over the past few years. You have helped me in so many ways, my life has been enriched by being a part of your yoga family.

Barbara

Thank you so much for all of you wonderful teaching. I’ll never forget your unfailing enthusiasm, words of inspiration and many acts of kindness.

Philip

Not only was attending Pregnancy Yoga a great experience, but it aided an empowering, calm labour and a very content baby girl. Yoga babies = Happy calm babies!
I could not have gone through pregnancy so smoothly without yoga. Claire was amazing in every way. Very inspiring, supportive and just lovely.

Yoga Mama

Thank you for all you have inspired me to be.

Liz

I consider myself to be so lucky to have been attending your yoga classes for at least the last ten years. Thank you so much for all that you’ve taught me and given to me. Everything I have learnt from you has enabled me to be the person I am today.

Pam

A brilliant worthwhile class in a friendly welcoming studio, made all the more enjoyable by a lovely teacher. Thank you Claire!

Yoga Mama

Thank you for being a brilliant yoga teacher and guide. Over the last four years there have been some very sad times for me personally but through yoga and your teaching, I have learned how to ‘breathe’ through some of the moments, rise above others and just let some go!

Elaine

Thanks for teaching me how to breathe, slow down and take time in life. It’s been a fab experience.

Michelle