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Yoga Therapist, The Yoga Therapy Clinic Yorkshire

Since moving back home to Yorkshire I have launched The Yoga Therapy Clinic Yorkshire. I offer private clinical yoga therapy sessions catered to specific individual needs. Specialising in yoga therapy for lung/respiratory health and oncology.

Why I chose to study at Leeds Trinity

I chose to study at Leeds Trinity University (previously Leeds Trinity & All Saints University College) primarily because of the course offered. I studied Communication & Cultural Studies with Media thinking that it could lead to many different career paths that I was interested in... journalism, public relations, marketing, advertising etc. Media and communication touches everyone’s lives. I was also interested in learning about different cultures. During my school years, I had gained experience working within the newsroom at my local newspaper and I decided I wanted to go into journalism. 

With all my different desires, the course at Leeds Trinity University ticked many boxes. Not only did I like the course content, I really wanted to be in a smaller university environment where everyone knew each other. I loved the “family feel” and community is key.

Claire Whittleston at work.

My best student memories

Meeting my university friends who have become lifelong friends. I lived in halls for the first year and then shared a house in Horsforth. I loved gaining the experience of living away from home and finding my own independence. 

How my placements supported me

I really appreciated my placements because they gave me real life experiences of what a real-world job would entail. I worked at many local newspapers, ITV and public relations agencies. The placements gave me a better idea of which career path I wanted to follow.

Skills I left with that helped my career development

Presenting to others helped me grow in confidence, especially when sharing new and creative ideas. I also gained self-independence and the ability to connect with people from different backgrounds of my own. The practical and professional skills needed for employment, business and life in general were crucial. 

Claire Whittleston at beach.

Training to become a yoga teacher

I took a nine month 200 hour teacher training course at my local yoga studio in New Jersey USA, accredited with the Yoga Alliance. I went straight into teaching yoga for cancer at The John Theurer Cancer Centre, part of the Hackensack University Medical Centre. I knew I wanted to teach within a healthcare setting. I later took a 3.5 year diploma at the Beaumont Hospital School of Yoga Therapy in Michigan USA. I undertook extensive mentored training of clinical applications of yoga therapy. I enjoyed working with physicians and patients as part of the Integrative Medicine Department at Beaumont Hospital. Speciality mentored clinical training & exposure included: depression, anxiety & stress, traumatic brain injuries, trauma & addiction, oncology, MS, cardiac/pulmonary issues, Parkinson's, pain management, childhood autism and palliative care. 

I graduated in January 2019 and became a certified yoga therapist registered with The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). To support the professional training of future yoga therapists, I now present on the healing power of meditation through sound, circulatory systems: heart/lung health as part of faculty at The International Institute of Yoga Therapy.

My career highlights

I’ve had many proud business successes… I worked in the public relations industry for about 9 years in the UK, Singapore and the USA. I’ll never forget working with the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) who was on a mission to launch a five-star rating system for toilets, that would meet the publics expectations in design, cleanliness, effectiveness, maintenance and user satisfaction. I launched the “Happy Toilet Programme” gaining global coverage including the BBC World Service. It was so fun and the programme had a huge impact. 

In the USA, I enjoyed working with The Salvation Army Hackensack Corps creating a Thanksgiving Day Breakfast event for the homeless. I gained successful local media coverage and it had a great impact on people’s lives.

Claire.

Now with a vision to merge yoga with healthcare, I was excited to introduce the first yoga therapy clinic within Michigan USA - The Yoga Clinic MI LLC. The clinic was based within a physical therapy business where patients could continue therapy when their physical therapy treatment finished. I was thrilled to have been featured within the business development section of Yoga Therapy Today Magazine’s Autumn 2020 edition and within local newspapers.

Most recently, since moving back home to Yorkshire I have launched The Yoga Therapy Clinic Yorkshire. I offer private clinical yoga therapy sessions catered to specific individual needs. Specialising in yoga therapy for lung/respiratory health and oncology.

Many people are demanding an holistic approach to medicine and healthcare. Yoga Therapy can support and help manage limiting illnesses and the symptoms that people suffer with whether its through critical illness, chronic pain, mental health challenges, neurological conditions or the desire for healthy ageing.

I’m excited to see how my yoga therapy clinic will grow.

My advice for prospective students

I would advise people to surround yourself with a diverse group of people that are bound by a common interest. Get involved in extra activities whether it be running the radio station, having your own show, writing for the university newspaper, joining a photography group etc. It will make your time at University more rewarding and with great experiences.