You teach, practice, learn scripts; how do you find time to relax?
I don’t. I guess you have to make time and that is the key. I love to cook. I light a candle, bang on some music and start to create. Lucy Whippet, my naughty whippet, will take residence on her bed and watches, which I love. On a Friday, the hubby brings me a cheeky drink and I’ll have a little dance in the kitchen. My mum always taught me to dance away my troubles and I do exactly that. When I’m happy, I’m relaxed.
Favourite Yoga moment?
San Francisco, when I was working on a seven-hour show touring the USA. I remember this specific practice in Berkley where I really did have a life defining moment. It all clicked on and off the mat. Thereafter I made some life determining decisions, stepped hugely out of my comfort zone, and that experience and what it unveiled as a result has helped to shape where I am today.
Who and what are your inspirations?
James my husband and, more importantly, my friend who challenges me every day and has seen me quite literally at my worst, has always instilled a faith and trust in me. My father’s work ethic and positive mind encourage me to strive to be the best version of myself I can be. And people. I have met some incredible people through yoga and, in particular, at The Power Yoga Company. I have shared some crazy, honest conversations you just wouldn’t get anywhere else.
Why did you choose Tapas as the main theme for your workshop?
I’d been chatting to friends and fellow yogis before the opportunity came about and it felt like everyone was in this rut. I call it that feeling of ‘the fog’. It’s the lack of motivation even to do the smallest of tasks and the feeling of non-achievement, not being able to put things into perspective. We project a lot of these feelings onto ourselves and when we’re tired, stressed and generally dealing with the day-to-day it can get on top of us.
This led to my decision to focus on Tapas for the workshop – the third of Patanjali’s Niyamas – which often translates to ‘discipline’ or ‘austerity’. The word Tapas is derived from the root Sanskrit verb ‘tap’, which means ‘to burn’, and evokes a sense of ‘fiery discipline’ or ‘passion’. In this sense, Tapas can mean cultivating a sense of self-discipline, passion and courage in order to burn away ‘impurities’ physically, mentally and emotionally, i.e. ‘the fog’.
Tapas is an aspect of the inner wisdom that encourages us to do things when we don’t feel like doing them. Tapas burns away the negative thought patterns and habits we often fall into. By cultivating this sense of Tapas into our physical practice it challenges us to attempt the poses we usually avoid or to lean mindfully into our edge on and off the mat. Creating the discipline to practice consistently or work consistently on that one thing as well as the humility to admit when we’re not perfect are both essential to reaping the rewards discipline has to offer.
I see this workshop as an opportunity to help yogis discover and utilise tools we will learn on the mat to help master that discipline, passion and motivation.
The workshop will include a very strong practice both physically and emotionally and we will work with stillness. We will focus on our core strength – a perfect way to tap into that sense of ‘fieriness’ stoking the ‘agni’ or inner fire. The Manipura Chakra lies in our core, and this energy centre governs our sense of self-confidence, inner strength, willpower and self-discipline.
The element of fire – which both the Manipura Chakra and Tapas link to – is also the element of ‘transformation’, and we can see this for ourselves as we take on those challenges we’re faced with.
Transformation generally happens when we allow change to happen; stepping outside of our comfort zone we begin to grow and learn about ourselves.
It won’t happen overnight, but like our asana practice, it is exactly that – a practice in patience and self-discovery. When we incorporate and utilise these tools in our everyday lives, we will definitely begin to experience a positive transformation both for ourselves and for those around us.
I look forward to seeing you on the mat!
Cloudia’s workshop is now open for booking.
Cloudia Hill is a Yoga teacher and Actress in Theatre, TV and Film. She currently works in Studios around London and is Co/Founder of Yogalux.