Charlotte Clews is a nature-nerd, yogini, runner, triathlete, mother and wildwoman teaching Vinyasa Yoga, Pilates and Ayurveda in Downeast, Maine and beyond.
I teach mindful movement of many kinds but yoga on the mat is one of the easiest ways to re-establish a respectful conversation with your body. Yoga is slow enough to attempt deep presence in moment-to-moment breath, movement and thought. Like a baby bird in a nest we can stay safe and cozy on our mat, investigating and micromanaging every twitch and fiber of our being and like baby birds, once we feel some mastery over our wings, we will probably want to fly.
Flying for me is running over mountains, getting up early to bike around the peninsula, swimming to offshore islands and dancing with my girlfriends. Above all, I live for the sharp, vibrant feeling that comes when I push up against the limits of my own athletic competence
I started yoga as a dull, aching, out-of-touch teenager. My first Ashtanga Yoga class made my mind sharp and my body resilient in just the right ways and I was totally hooked. My new daily practice followed me everywhere. It was the thread that held me together as I pushed myself to the limits emotionally and physically through my 20’s. Overtime I spread my wings beyond the strict structure of that practice and have studied with a wide range of teachers, learning to value the wisdom of my own body above all.
I teach weekly Vinyasa yoga and Pilates classes to a wonderful community of good humored, hard working students in Blue Hill and Ellsworth, Maine. My classes are instructive and upbeat. I teach hatha yoga in the vinyasa style. Connecting breath and movement, the pace is slow enough to pay attention and cultivate good postural alignment but fast enough to cover a full-spectrum of poses in each class. I strive to integrate the most modern understandings of therapeutic alignment, breath and movement to help my students feel more at home in their bodies.
I also offer nutritional consultations and seasonal cleanses to help people all around the world feel good about how they feed themselves and their families.
I grew up in Blue Hill, Maine where I attended a Waldorf-inspired School, cultivating my love of art, nature and philosophy. After graduating from Cornell University in 1998 with a degree in ecology, I banded flocks of black-capped chickadees for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, prepared many bird study skins including one very memorable Canada goose, attached transmitters to unfortunate cow birds, drew blood from American kestrel chicks, hacked a rantallion of peregrine falcons on the Continental Divide for the Peregrine Fund, and joined warblers over-wintering in Domincan Republic cocoa plantations. Later I combined my biology and rock-climbing skills working for the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica (1998 – 2002) and National Outdoor Leadership School (1996 – 2002) in Alaska and the Yukon. In 1999 I hiked the 2,600mi Pacific Crest Trail alone, and in 2002 I hiked 2,000 miles of the Continental Divide Trail with my future husband. I attended the Field Naturalist Program at University of Vermont and earned an M.S. in botany in 2002. I taught wildlife biology and winter ecology for the Community College of Vermont and Sterling College (2002-2006). I have since worked as an interpretive Park Ranger for Acadia National Park (2003 – 2009) and was the Director of Stewardship at Blue Hill Heritage Trust (2009 – 2011).
I started teaching yoga in 1998, and completed my first teacher training with Richard Freeman in 2000. I spent several years in Boulder, CO studying classical yoga philosophy, physiology, anatomy, yoga therapy and Ayurveda. In 2004 I started studying with John Friend, the founder of Anusara Yoga and became Maine’s first certified Anusara Yoga Teacher in 2010. I resigned my license with Anusara in April 2012 due to irreconcilable differences with John Friend. I have had many other influential teachers along the way, including most notably Angela Farmer.
In the last 20 years, I have accrued thousands of hours of teacher training. I’m a certified teacher trainer and regularly teach teachers, including 200 and 500-hr level Yoga Teacher Trainings.
I live with my husband and two daughters in Blue Hill, Maine, just a short bike ride away from Acadia National Park.