Clare Stephen - I first encountered yoga while backpacking around Sri Lanka and India aged 19 and instantly fell in love with this most profound and beautiful practice. Yoga has been a constant refuge throughout my life since.
I trained to become a yoga teacher within the Iyengar tradition and qualified at introductory level in 1989. In 1991, after visiting the Iyengar Yoga Ashram in Pune India, I went on to do further training with senior Iyengar teachers and gained my junior intermediate level 3 certificate in 2005. This allowed me to specialise in teaching antenatal yoga which, being a practising midwife , was an area of particular interest.
In 1986 on a year’s trip to Asia, I visited McLeod Ganj, a Tibetan refugee village in the foothills of the Himalayas and the residence of the Dalai Lama in exile. Whilst on retreat there, we were lucky to have an audience with His Holiness on two occasions. This experience and indeed the whole journey round Asia, affected me profoundly and deepened my faith in the Three Jewels: the Buddha , Dharma and Sangha. I subsequently took refuge as a Buddhist.
I started coming to Dhanakosa in 2000 and have been teaching on yoga retreats here since 2008. I find the practice of yoga and meditation mutually supportive. Both nurture ease and deep embodiment and create the conditions for insight, wisdom and compassion to arise.