Meet and Love: Claire
Writer, Visionary, Wellness Educator
My biggest problem with all this body talk is that it’s STILL a focus on the body.
Our last addition to the panel is the one and only Claire Fountain. She will be joining us, sharing her insight and stories on Thursday June 28th at our second Love Squad Series of the year! Come kick off the Summer with us as we continue to push forward with our mission with the help of strong and influential women. Clare is a mental wellness advocate who has experienced her own body in a positive and negative light– “healthy self = heal(thy) self.”
LS: Hi Claire! before we dive in, can you tell our readers what your title is?
CF: I’m generally called a celebrity yoga instructor and wellness visionary, which are both true, but I’m primarily a writer and personality who’s work focused on the intersection of women, wellness, mental health, body, society, and concepts of self.
LS: How did health and wellness first appear in your life? Has it always
been part of your lifestyle or later developed?
CF: I’ve always been a seeker of knowledge and sought out wellness from a surprisingly early age. When I was eleven, I read a book about being a vegetarian and was plant based until I was 26! Yoga and weight lifting also started in my teens, and before that I was active. Mostly I was a thinker, and you can’t be a thinker and not consider the other aspects of the self like health and wellness.
LS: How would you define wellness?
CF: It’s really becoming such a tired word, no? In truth, it’s the optimum physical, intellectual, social, occupational, social, emotional and spiritual development of a person. It’s not just health or work outs, but it take into consideration all dimensions of a person’s being. So it’s for everyone… it should be something we all can achieve in our own ways.
LS: Do you believe there is a strong relationship between the mind and the body? What is something you would want to share with our readers regarding the two entities?
CF: I think that goes without saying. Our bodies are really only experienced through the lens of our thoughts and perceptions about them. Think about it, thoughts are how we view anything…including our body. I want to tell women that bodies just are.They are sporty models that help us experience this grand thing called life, yet the intrinsic stuff about us, our sports and souls, is what really matters. But I’d be lying if I said, society didn’t judge them and make all sorts of bull shit rules up about them. The true challenge is to live above the noise. To know your truth, enjoy your body, and accept that there will always be a conversation about bodies (albeit unnecessary) going on somewhere.
My biggest problem with all this body talk is that it’s STILL a focus on the body. My biggest fights have been to stop the obsession with body. Even those championing “body positivity” are still focusing on nothing mattering more than their outward appearance. Problematic. I once heard, we can’t just think our bodies look good, we have to believe they are good…as they are, whatever that might be.
LS: What do you think is the most challenging thing for people when understanding wellness?
CF: My definition above should clear it up, but I think the challenge is unlearning all the shit we see online and in popular media as to what being “well” means. Within that, I also think we have to get rid of the obsession (as I mentioned) and we have to stop doing self-destructive things in the name of “being well.”
LS: Tell us more about TrillYoga! What is your realistic approach?
CF: When I started posting yoga to social media, I needed a way to describe what I was doing since it seemed unconventional and more guerrilla, so TrillYoga came about. I don’t much fuck with the way traditional westernized yoga came with a bunch of stigmas and stereotypes. I believe yoga is for everyone and those who need it most might not even know it’s available for them to practice. I believe the practice is for everyone and you can come to it with your own style, your own sauce, and take what you need from it.
I talk more about what TrillYoga means on my blog, here.
LS: Have you always had a good relationship with your body?
CF: Hell no. I thought I was a “fat kid” even if I wasn’t. I was super self conscious. I thought so much about my body for a very long time. As a teen I took out all my confusion, depression, and anxiety on my body. Before I knew it I was going to sleep and not knowing if I would wake up. My heart was struggling as I weighed less than half of what I do now. Let that sink in.
It took a lot of therapy and yoga to get me to a place where I said, ya know what, bodies are beautiful and I should enjoy this. To enjoy also means I take care of it. My relationship with my body has become more complex as a woman in the world, and especially so as one who exists in a large part on social media. It’s an ever changing landscape but the fact remains that I live without body shame but I also live with awareness.
To read more about my exploration of women and bodies as well as my own journey, see:
LS: What are some on going challenges you face when it comes to self-care and wellness?
CF: I have a melancholy that hangs around me. Maybe it’s remnants of depression, but it’s a challenge to stay onwards and upwards when you feel moderately lower more than you’d like for longer than you’d like. If that makes sense. Though I’d to just exist, there is far more to be done and I’m honoring my own pace at getting it done, melancholy and all.
So my challenges are more abstract; like staying in tune with my intuition, recognizing when I’m sleeping too much, or even things like not tolerating things in relationships because of my innately accepting nature (self care things all in there.) I have to stay on task pursuing what genuinely brings me a sense of wholeness, not just pleasure and fleeting happiness.
And it’s a challenge to not give into petty goals at times. Who doesn’t want a fat ass just because? I really like being strong, thick, and taking up space so it helps to balance that thought out.
LS: What is your favorite post-yoga snack or meal?
CF: Ha! That heady answer and now a snack… but that’s how my life is set up. Knowledge, thinking and food. I don’t think much about snacks after yoga past lots of water to support the body and rejuvenate it from all the movements and twisting. After weight lifting matters way more to me. That’s when I have to make sure I refuel with plenty of carbs for lifting days and protein along with enough salt.
LS: Share with our readers in a few lines how you would promote to live a conscious lifestyle.
CF: When I was in food writing, I would always think about I want food that is “good to eat, and good to think.” In that way, I meant that food should be delicious and enjoyable but the thoughts behind and around it, should also be good. I just encourage people to explore what they consume. Ask questions. Learn as much as you can, as you can. Every purchase or thing you consume is a chance to make a choice about what could have a positive impact or a negative one. Do your best to make positive ones, choice by choice.
Claire Fountain @cbquality is a wellness visionary, writer, and celebrity yoga instructor who’s globally recognized TrillYoga continues to influence the fitness industry. With clients ranging from the top NBA, NFL, and MLB athletes to the likes of brands such as Amazon, Target, and Nike; Claire inspires with her unorthodox and realistic approach to yoga and health, while promoting a conscious lifestyle through insight and education. She graduated from Vassar College and is currently finishing her graduate studies at Wake Forest University while working on a forth coming book.