MEET THE FOUNDERS
Sam is a Little Rock native who grew up involved in sports and the arts, including dancing, acting, and singing, and has been performing professionally since the age of nine. Her arts and dance background is what eventually brought her to yoga, as she was looking for ways to dig deeper into the body, mind, and spirit connection.
As a yoga teacher, she is heavily influenced by her extensive dance and movement background; she loves the spirit of play and exploration that she learned as a performer and has invited that into her teaching, allowing space for others to reignite their own sense of joy through the moving body, breath, and mind in order to bring about true, holistic healing. Helping others to connect deeply in this way, providing tools of self-empowerment and healing, and spreading joy is what she is called to do in her life.
Sam has been practicing yoga for the past 7 years, and she received her 200 RYT certification in Vinyasa Yoga from Amanda Dee Smith at Sun Salute Studio in Torre de la Horadada, Spain in 2016. She received her 500 RYT certification with Matt & Holly Krepps at Circle Yoga Shala in September 2017. Since the summer of 2016, she has taught in New York, Spain, and Arkansas, and is currently teaching regularly at Arkansas Yoga Collective.
"As a student and practitioner, I am constantly learning. Every day is a learning lesson for me, and I am grateful for this body and this moment of being alive. Yoga grounds me, heals me, and reveals my true self to me. And all that I am as a teacher is a tribute to my teachers who are also on the path and have been generous enough to share their own experiences with me and others. I am forever grateful to them and their guidance, and hope that I can continue to share their lineage & yoga for the rest of my life. I feel the deep calling to share love and healing practices with others because it has changed my own life forever! I see a need in my community and hometown, and it's important for me to share my gifts and calling with others so that I can be the change I wish to see. I want others to know that they have the power and the love that they seek within them, and that they too can change and be the change."
Claire began taking yoga classes as a teenage athlete, when her coaches advised a land-based movement practice to complement her swimming and sailing training. What started as a purely physical and competitive tool gradually morphed into something much better: a way to find peace and stillness, and a newfound kindness for her body and mind.
Claire’s deep interest in movement and sports physiology can be seen in her teaching style and practice; she is greatly inspired by movement culture as well as traditional vinyasa yoga, and enjoys exploring the intersection with yoga with other forms of movement. Her teaching goal is to spark students’ curiosity and wonder at their own bodies, and for them to find the lines of softness in their most challenging moments of practice. Claire received her 200 RYT certification in Hatha Yoga with Matt and Holly Krepps at Circle Yoga Shala in June 2017, and has been teaching regularly since her graduation. You can currently find her at ZenStudio and SparkFit Movement Studio in Little Rock.
“A few years ago, I would have said that yoga was my movement practice. I have always been an intensely physical person, and a lot of my life experience reflected that physical embodiment. Even when I stopped competing in sports and softened my practice, I could only see calmness and peace in terms of physical anatomy: breath was moving through my body at a rate that activated my parasympathetic nervous system, alignment was drawing me into balance, etc. Since then, I have been incredibly humbled by the depth of the practice, yoga tradition, and intensely difficult and rewarding work of using yoga as a tool for self-study. I hope that my teaching can be a useful aid for others on their own journey to look both inside and out. When we reach a higher understanding of our own mind and body, we change the way that we interact with ourselves, others, and the world.”