WHAT I DO
I work as a Life Coach and live as an Ayurvedic Yogini, observing the principles of Self-knowledge, non-violence, and non-dualism. But these roles are not my identity. Who I am can be explained in one simple word.
Since I was a child, I felt a deep connection with my inner Self. My Guru has been nature itself and this connection that has never left me.
Our desire to grow and evolve is deeply ingrained in our human psyche and DNA. Yet, most human beings have a difficult time knowing their true Self.
Why do we struggle to know our true Self?
Our mind plays games with us. It pulls a curtain in front of us that creates an illusion. But it is your Self who sees-- you are not behind the curtain. So, to know your true Self, your spirit, you have to turn inwards and realize that you observe from your Self. The curtain pulled down by the mind then becomes irrelevant and you are centered in consciousness no matter what happens around you.
The mind is trained to have more than 60,000 thoughts per day. It creates duality— black and white thinking, good or bad, fears and doubts. It follows patterns of thought and behavior that have been carved into our brain pathways for years. We give the mind too much authority and importance and this is the cause of many of our health issues and distorted perceptions.
Fear caused by the mind is the number one block to Self-knowledge and true realization. I help people overcome their fears and discover their true Self. To achieve this, I combine universal principles of life coaching, Yoga techniques, and modern psychology.
Watch any of these two video lectures to learn more.
WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU
Through my work as Yoga teacher, Ayurveda counselor, and human rights advocate for more than 20 years, people started asking me great questions: How do I get more energy? How can I be more positive? How do I change my habits? How do I leave my abusive relationship? Why am I stuck? Why I am not happy?
People often ask me how do I stay positive and where do I get my energy. They tell me that I must be one of the "lucky ones" that were born healthy. But this is not entirely accurate. Although genetics play a small role in mental and physical health, well-being and Self-realization are available to everyone. It starts with acquiring the right knowledge and healthy habits and continues throughout our lives with the willingness to stay open and healthy.
"The right knowledge involves the understanding that we are not our body. Our body is only the vehicle in which we take our journey in this life. We give too much importance to the body and the mind, which can decay and disintegrate at any time, even if we are healthy. We stay trapped in a physical dimension that limits our limitless capabilities." ~ Yogini Claudia
I had a positive example of health growing up in my family. My father was an athlete, exercising daily and participating in competitive sports. A strong, centered, and peaceful man in every aspect of his life, he advised me on how to be internally and externally strong and healthy. He taught me by example. These healthy and positive habits provided a solid foundation in my life, but it was up to me to continue making wise decisions, informing myself, and maintaining mental, physical, and emotional balance. And understanding that the body is temporary.
Mental, physical, and emotional health are intimately related. This realization inspired me to learn a more holistic approach to coaching and personal growth. To reach diverse groups of people in terms of background, culture, and belief systems, I acquired the methods of mental health counseling and psychology as it is taught in the West and learned the basic tools of the science of Yoga and Ayurveda— the natural system of medicine in India, as it is taught in the East. Ayurveda is a complete life coaching system that includes nutrition, Yoga, and Ayurvedic Psychology.
My passion for understanding the nature of the mind and psychology inspired me to further my studies with a Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness practices. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that helps people become aware of maladaptive thoughts and belief systems that may be getting in the way to Self-knowledge and realization. I am now in the last year of the program, starting practicum period as of January 2020 and internship in the summer of 2020.
Universal Principles of Yoga & Yoga Philosophy
I incorporate to my Life Coaching practice, the teachings of Yoga and Vedanta-- a school of Hindu philosophy believed to be one of the classic paths to spiritual realization in Hindu tradition. This philosophy refers to the idea of the true-Self, the spirit or Atman, as the highest metaphysical reality. Realizing and connecting with our true-Self is the most important aspect of human beings and the best gift we can give to the world and those around us.
To benefit from this ancient wisdom, we have to be open to understanding these principles. The smartest people in history did not follow dogma or established ideas; they were not necessarily religious but had a curiosity for real and rational spirituality. They had an insatiable thirst for truth and higher knowledge.
The non-religions teachings of Vedanta can be beneficial in helping individuals to know themselves and achieve liberation and self-realization.
How do we achieve self-realization? By acquiring knowledge (vidyā) of one's true identity or true-Self.
"We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far." ~ Swami Vivekananda
Yoga Teachings: An Effective Personal Growth Tool
I've always been athletic and health-oriented. During my teenage years I became a professional flamenco dancer and later on developed a passion for Yoga. Since 2010, I've been practicing Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga as a tool for personal growth and spiritual development.
I've obtained 200-hour (RYT200) and 500-hour (RYT500) Yoga Teacher Certifications and Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT500) certification with Yoga Alliance. My company was approved as a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider. This means that I can provide Yoga education and classes to Yoga practitioners and students who need hours to be certified by Yoga Alliance.
I teach Hatha Yoga, founded in the Nath Siddha-Dattatreya tradition in India. My approach to teaching Yoga is not focused only on body postures; it includes wisdom teachings passed on by the great seers and sages of India who used Yoga techniques and Yoga philosophy to improve one self (self-refinement) and achieve self-realization.
I observe the wisdom of Vedanta as demonstrated in the lives of several spiritual teachers, like Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886), his chief disciple Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) who brought Vedanta to America, Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879--1950), and others.
But my best Guru has been nature itself.
Ayurveda and India: Deepening the Love of the Practice
This path lead me to the study of Ayurveda— the system of natural medicine in India. I obtained a certification in the United States as an Ayurveda Counselor and Life Coach. This inspired me to travel to India and learn more about Yoga Philosophy and Ayurveda. In India, I felt immediately at home. I had the opportunity to meet wonderful people and deepen my studies. I obtained a second certification as an Ayurvedic Counselor. I fell in love with India, its simple life and spiritual wealth. Since then, I have returned to India every year to deepen my studies in Yoga Philosophy and Ayurveda and to hold spiritual retreats and workshops.
In December of 2018, I became a partner with PDI Ayurvedic Health Resorts, (PDI Institute of Ayurveda and Yoga Sciences) in India-- an Ayurveda clinic and Yoga school where I lead yearly retreats and workshops that can include: Yoga classes, guided meditation, Panchakarma therapy, health consultations with local doctors, and life coaching sessions by me focused on Self-knowledge and true realization. We share several clinics located in Rishikesh, Delhi, and Goa in India.
The philosophy of yoga and its principles apply to every aspect of our lives. This includes a commitment to keep our mind and body in a healthy state, to follow a vegetarian diet, to be mindful of our speech and actions living from a foundation of truth, kindness, and non violence, and through our intentions of building peace and unity in our modern societies. The cornerstone of the yoga philosophy and yogic lifestyle, as taught by the Rishis and ancient seers for more than 5,000 years, is the understanding that our soul is the primary aspect of our being and the body is only the vessel through which our soul takes its journey in this life.
In Western culture, societal values are founded on how successful we are based on material possessions, titles and external beauty, but we spend little time and education regarding what is within us and how do we grow spiritually. In Eastern philosophy, the foundation of every human being starts with your spiritual journey and who you are within. If you lose everything else — your job, your beauty, your possessions — you still have this solid foundation that is your inner-self.
"We all have the capacity to observe the lower qualities inherent in human beings, or to observe the higher virtues. This duality is always present in our existence, but there's a space within you that is the highest virtue of all. Keep listening to the invitation from your higher voice."
~ Yogini Claudia