My Yoga Story: A Girly Yogi by Claudelle Anderson

When I first started teaching yoga a few years back, some of my students began calling meClaudelle-e1455583763749-272x300 the girly yogi. Why did they give me that particular nickname you might ask?

The fact that I love sparkles, wear pink all the time and have a voice that sounds like Tinker Bell’s could all be valid options! However, I choose to believe that it is because my yoga story is one for the girls… one that will inspire them wherever they are.

Why?

Because my story is their story.

It is a story that has been and will be experienced by so many girls and women in the world.

It is one of change, resilience, hope, and love.

My yoga story can’t be understood without observing my evolution. They simply are two parts of one story. So here it is:

It all started when I was a little girl.

I, like so many children out there, embodied the true essence of life: I was joy, I was compassion, I was wisdom. I was love.

From the youngest age, I was told that I had a very unique spark about me and that my dharma was to share it to the world… and I did naturally. In fact, I was that little munchkin who would smile at strangers in the supermarket until they would smile back at me. I was the one who would sing to old ladies at the pharmacy while they were waiting for their medication, just to have the pleasure to see their gorgeous wrinkly face brighten up. “Score! I helped that person to be happier today! 1 down 7 billion to go! Who’s next?” I would say. It was clear that my purpose in life was to guide people into shining their inner light out.

However, as I grew into a teen my true essence got clouded. I, like too many young girls, started to change, to loose myself and to dim my light. Why? Because my 21st century adolescence welcomed me with a series of very confusing “rules” that darkened my world: don’t be too loud, but don’t be too shy; don’t be too fat, but don’t be too thin; don’t be to smart, but don’t be dumb; don’t be too nice, but don’t be mean; don’t say what you really think, but don’t lie… What a nightmare! It made me feel like I was all wrong and could never be enough. However, since I had a natural need to belong, I, like many others before and after me, decided to abide by all these dos and don’ts… no matter what it took.

We often wonder why growing up is so hard. We wonder why so many teenagers and young adults feel lost and end up engaging in bad coping mechanisms? My answer to these questions is that there is nothing harder than trying to find yourself, when the world tells you who to be.

Luckily, in the midst of it all, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a wonderful place… a safe haven: HappyTree Yoga. The very first class I took as a Dawson student, was taught by none other than Melanie Richards. Seeing this amazing teacher stand there with confidence and beauty, talking about the powers of our hearts and the splendour of our souls, I was inspired like never before. As soon as the last OM had been chanted at the end of the class I promised myself: “One day, I am going to be just like her.” I was only 17, one might say that I was still young and naïve, but I knew within my core that yoga was my future.

Through the years that followed, I encountered difficulties and moments where my spark was drawn back in. However, contrary to before, I wasn’t alone to face the world and its many demands anymore… I had yoga by my side and it is what got me through. Yoga became a compass that always showed me the direction back to light and to happiness.

Every asana teaching me self-love and respect.

Every member of the yoga community, embodying the true meaning of friendship.

Every teacher showing me the characteristics that makes up true light-seekers:

  • Unconditional love taught by Melanie.
  • Compassion taught by Sonya.
  • Wisdom taught by Bram.
  • Hope and perseverance taught by Brian.
  • Female power taught by Christine.
  • Authenticity taught by Veronique.
  • Life alignment taught by Asami.
  • Joy taught by Jade.
  • Care taught by Manon.
  • Equanimity taught by Bhaskar.
  • Surrender taught by Anna.
  • Determination taught by Dave.
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Claudelle’s Rise&Shine Yoga Series

Every practice inviting me to rise back up and shine to my true self and my purpose.

This long journey eventually led me to join HappyTree Yoga’s teacher training programs (Gentle, Yin, and Hatha). In fact, the more I practiced and the more I reconnected with my inner light, the more I felt like wanted to help others find their own inner light. In other words, I wanted to educate my fellow women and men on how to use yoga to find light, positivity and strength. With the support of my mentor Melanie, I was able to do so, through my Rise&Shine Yoga initiative – early morning classes that invite you to rise and shine to your true self. As nature goes from darkness to light, so do you!

Moreover, I was recently given the opportunity to teach the Family series, where I get to see pure light in action through every little yogi! I feel so fortunate to teach them, because I believe that yoga will give them the tools to keep on shining so bright as they grow up.

So this is my story.

Like I said, I am just a girl… a girl who got the chance to become a yogi… a girly yogi, who’s purpose is to empower girls and women through yoga, showing them the way back to their inner light.

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Claudelle’s 4-Week Family Yoga Series

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