We (along with over 200k others!) were first introduced to Claire through Instagram. After a few hours of endless scrolling through her Trill Yoga practice, we were convinced we needed to meet her in person, so we met up at the West 4th basketball courts for some early morning asanas.
Can you tell us about your background and how you got into yoga?
I grew up in Jackson, MS, but went to Vassar College, in upstate NY. I always wanted to be in and around NYC. Yoga started for me when I was 15 or 16, I was looking for ways to deal with my depression and anxiety. I knew I had to do something and yoga turned out to be a lifelong help.
At what point did you realize yoga and fitness could be a career?
During and even after school, all I wanted to do was be a writer but I also knew I was passionate about the food industry. I had been writing and baking, while teaching yoga at night and ended up in this one particular writing job. I’m a creative, and terrible at traditional structure… in which case, this particular writing job was traditional structure, so I walked out. I decided I should focus more on yoga and personal training and have been blessed to have it take off in the most rewarding way possible.
Can you explain what Trill Yoga is and the inspiration behind starting it?
When I first started posting my yoga practice to social media, I needed a way to differentiate my more “guerrilla” style, a style that’s maybe more raw and uninhibited than what most people think when they think “yoga.” There are stigmas and stereotypes about yoga I’m happy to not fit into, and Trill Yoga became a way for everyone to do yoga the way that feels the most authentic to them which is actually the purpose of yoga anyway, to get back to your most authentic self; your truth. How can you do that if you don’t even feel comfortable being yourself in a yoga setting?
What does a typical day look like for you?
Wake up, kick ass, take names. (Kidding). It really changes day-to-day and depends a lot on my travel schedule. Working for yourself means you’re always working. There is a lot of time spent on my phone with emails and communication with my team, or anyone that I’m working with that day. There is a lot of time spent teaching/practicing yoga with my clients or for projects I’m working on. However, there is always purpose and things like a solid breakfast, lots of water, and hanging with my dog.
What are you self-care and beauty routines?
Self-care for me goes deeper than the physical, though I’m obsessed with skincare. Self- care includes journaling and reading books that help me be a better me, even if that just means opening new ways of thinking. It also involves therapy and making sure my head and heart are in a good place. Meditation and yoga are good for both the inside and the outside as stress, even the subconscious kind, can age you. Speaking of, your readers can check out a piece I wrote for Tata Harper that talks more about this here.
Beauty routines are basically taking care of my hair, skin, and nails. Morning and night care has become ritualistic and soothing to me. However, I’m super simple with it. This means drinking enough water, always washing my face before I go to sleep, and applying plenty of moisturizing things. I’m a big fan of oils for cleansing, moisturizing, healing.
Do you have an overall philosophy on health and wellness?
Everything just needs to be simple. I think we get overwhelmed with information nowadays and try to do too much when it’s really not complicated. I know that sounds easier said than done, but I see this obsessive way we look at health and wellness now, and it ends up backfiring. Yes, we live in an age where it’s easier to be unhealthy, and industrialized food is quick and inexpensive, but we also are drowning in “healthy” information that isn’t always right, accessible, or without an agenda.
I think wellness is anything that makes you feel good, that doesn’t hurt you. We often do some self-destructive things in the name of “health” when everything on the inside isn’t quite aligned yet. I preach setting an intention, and from there, if you stick with it, all positive and good things will flow because health and wellness is really just a collection of positive choices and healthier decisions that add up over time.
You seem to always be on the go! What are you favorite places you’ve been to, and how do you stay healthy when traveling?
I have always been someone who will disappear on a whim and am someone who values every opportunity to travel. Favorites are London (the second home) and probably Trinidad and Tobago or mainland China or Tokyo. I learn a lot about myself and human nature when I travel, so everywhere has its gifts.
Being healthy is a lifestyle choice and a mindset, so if you carry that with you, you will continue to make decisions that fuel that intention. Even sleeping super late in a big hotel bed is wellness if your body needs rest and rejuvenation. If you crave activity, get active walking around and exploring a city or hit up a local gym or fitness class. Many hotels are now offering yoga or wellness classes at no cost, and all without ever leaving the building. Eat the local food, find green things and plants as often as you can, and always drink water. Avoid too many stimulants and sugars if you want to feel your best, and take melatonin if jet lag has you feeling rough.
What products or items do you always have in your bag?
Something for my lips (like a balm,) a face mist, hand lotion, headphones, and a notebook.
What is next on your agenda?
Currently a very cool project with Nike NYC and Nike Women, and this coming fall, a TrillTour with Wellness Now panels. Trill Tour is a tour where I get to teach people the practice of Trill Yoga in 5-6 major cities as well as bring out some other prominent voices whom I want to share their views on wellness. I think breaking down what “wellness” looks like, in different industries, can help us all find something that fits for us. Healthier people are happier people, and the world needs that now.
What does beauty is wellness and wellness is beauty mean to you?
It’s beautiful to be full of wellness. When your wellness is on point, and you feel good, you will radiate that feeling. Plus, it’s no secret that taking care of yourself in the form of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a lifestyle full of love and positivity will make you look more appealing. There’s really no makeup or cosmetic procedure that can replace the natural grace that comes from truly embracing your own essence through wellness.
What are your top 5 picks from CAP?
Tata Harper Elixir Vitae – it’s amazing, and you can see the difference it makes in your skin quickly.
Organic Herbal Toner – Never used a toner until I learned about this one, and have been pro toner ever since.
Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil – Say oil, and I’ll usually say yes with no questions asked. Loving this oil mixed with my toner for day to day.
Tata Harper Purifying Mask – A powerful mask for my skin that deals with the abuse of travel and the city air everyday.
The SPA — so it’s not a product, but everyone should treat themselves to one of your CAP facials. Never before has a facial felt like meditation to me, but it was a truly healing experience, not just for my skin but for the mind and body.