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Holly Clay-Smith

“I try to teach from core places, leading practices that nurture in safe and effective ways.” Yoga entered my life almost 20 years ago, while I was studying for a master’s degree in Education, taking courses at night. Days and nights became times of super stimulation and mind-buzzing energy which, like the beast it was, needed to be tamed. Since movement had always helped me slow down, and tension was a constant companion, yoga made sense to me. Soon, I started attending classes regularly.

Both my body and mind liked the dance of postures. The further down the mindfulness path I’ve gone, the deeper and more lush has been the scenery. The journey has inspired a “trying on” of yoga styles, products of Eastern & Western
traditions. The beauty of yoga’s natural rhythms, the deepening and lengthening of breath and postures, stand at the center of most of these. I try to teach from core places, leading practices that nurture in safe and effective ways.

My yoga teaching practice has included “at-risk” populations. I have designed instruction that incorporates accommodations for cognitively disabled teens, orphans and HIV infected men and women, so they too can learn yoga sequences and enjoy its benefits. My work with social welfare organizations and charities has been rewarding.

Formal training dates back to 2007, when I completed a certification course to facilitate yoga with children, adolescents and families. Soon thereafter, I went to the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, CA where I received my RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) certification. I have continually studied with different schools of yoga since then, including taking a course in yoga therapy. These days I offer classes year-round at the Gloucester Yoga Collective on Main Street in Gloucester and in summer in Annisquam. Being a “guest instructor” at the high school is one of my favorite gigs.