Bikram Buddies: Instructor Claire Barrett From Bikram Yoga Park Slope

Our teacher shares her story of strength


Meet Claire Barrett, BYPS Instructor, and competitor in this month’s Yoga Regional Championship. She shares her journey towards competition below…

What inspired you to compete?

It’s something I always thought about doing but it was never the right time..until now. My life over the past year and a half has completely changed and I felt the need to really throw myself into my practice in a deeper way. The training process has been a sort of emotional cleanse. I really had no interest in getting up on stage to do yoga in front of people, that is terrifying to me, but the prep for competition was very appealing to me.

How long have you been practicing bikram…and how long have you been prepping for competition?

I’ve practiced for about 4 1/2 years. I started training in November 2014, which is kind of early but I had only been to a handful of advanced classes before that. I started doing:

  • Advanced once a week
  • Intermediate class at South Slope once a week and
  • Regular class four times a week.

Now I am practicing pretty much every day leading up to the competition.

What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself in the training process?

I’m much stronger than I ever knew. It has changed my whole mindset about what’s possible, not just in my body but in my heart, in my everyday life. It has changed the way I teach my class. It has changed my body, my practice, everything.

I was talking to a student at the Flatbush studio on New Years Eve and he said “Its so great that you get to get up there and just say what you have to say, without saying anything at all.” That really struck me, and its become my mantra of sorts. I am the only gift I have to give the world, so what do I want to give? What do I want to say through my postures?

I think everyone should try to compete at least once! It has been such a great experience, just do it! Just commit and do it!

Check out our schedule online and get to Claire’s classes. She’s a great teacher–the author personally likes her Monday morning at 6:30 a.m. at the South Slope studio, 555 Fifth Avenue.

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