My parents were of the original hippy generation, and lived in Morocco and were devout Sufis, a mystical form of devotion. Growing up, my name was Habiba (meaning Beloved One in Arabic). At 10 years old, in a new class at school I was asked if I had a nickname. I said ‘Claire’. As if I could create normality and identity through an English name…
I started dancing at about age 6. It became my life, and my escape and solace when my parents split up. I danced every night and loved every moment. In the most difficult childhood moments, getting lost in movement and music helped me cope with the real-life upset. My teacher, June Ranger, is one of my biggest inspirations, a true visionary. She taught me discipline, how to work hard and to find my direction in life.
I went on to become a professional dancer, choreographer and to lead a dance company. At this time (in my very early twenties) I led the company, taught dance and lectured in movement, facilitated dance degree courses and choreographed over 40 music videos for various rock bands, including Manic Street Preachers, Blur, Funeral for a Friend as well as many performances for Top of the Pops!
I came to yoga and meditation as a dancer, for the physical benefits. I still remember the first time I practiced – no form, no strength just a really flexible body and a big heart with no direction. With the help and inspiration of my teachers, my body and mind changed, I became focused. I loved merging the spiritual aspect of yoga into my body. It felt divine. I had come home.
Claire Missingham began teaching yoga and meditation over 18 years ago, and was lucky enough to start leading yoga to very well known students immediately: she toured the world as a private yoga teacher with many clients coming from the film and music industry. Previous to teaching yoga, Claire was a successful choreographer for music videos and stage. In 2008 Claire ceased teaching yoga privately and was the first yoga teacher in the UK to open a Certified Teacher Training School for Vinyasa Flow Yoga, and has trained over 150 well-known teachers in the UK and Europe.
Claire has contributed articles, sequences and been a model for Yoga Journal magazine since 2007, as well as talks, lectures and teaching yoga at US YJ Live! festivals and conferences. Claire is considered an authority on yoga philosophy, practice and the implementation of creativity in yoga. In 2013, she was chosen as one of the worlds top yoga instructors, and the only European teacher for the online platform yogaglo.com, based in Los Angeles.
Claire has also produced an award-winning Yoga DVD and Music for Yoga CD, both with much success across the globe. Since 2000, her work has featured in over 60 magazines, including Tatler, Grazia, Vogue. Since 2007, Claire was the first Vinyasa Flow yoga teacher to have yoga classes available to follow on television via Sky TV’s Wellness Channel. Claire has also collaborated with Nitin Sawhney, Radhanath Swami and Dishoom on huge yoga, live music and food events in London, attracting hundreds of people to each class.
Lastly, having been diagnosed with auto-immune disease Coeliac over 18 years ago, and more recently Lupus, she has used her credits as an Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant to keep herself not just well, but Radiantly Alive and loves to pass on her knowledge and passion for adaptogens, herbs and a fully plant-based life as a path to health and vitality.