An interview with Claire March – founder of One Life Yoga and host for our yoga and wine retreats in Australia and Italy.

I first connected with Claire during a – wait for it.. – yoga and wine event in Melbourne that she organised as part of her Yoga and Culture series. It was a great evening filled with yoga, meditation, music, delicious wine and inspiring chats. The idea for our Yoga and Wine Retreats was born shortly after, and as they say, the rest is history!

When did you first become interested in (practicing) yoga?

My yoga journey really began when I was 24 years old. I had just landed in Australia after having lived in Paris, Brazil, Dubai and Singapore in quick succession. I had no job lined up, no friends, very little money and was in a highly volatile relationship with a guy I had just moved to a new country with. To say I felt overwhelmed, homesick and totally lost is an understatement.

My love for Australia quickly grew, as did my circle of friends. I found a job, moved in to an apartment by the beach, tried to calm my increasingly erratic boyfriend; and I joined a gym. It was there that my yoga practice began.

How long have you been practicing yoga and why did you decide to become a teacher?

I’ve been practicing yoga regularly for 10 years. I had done yoga a few times before that and loved it. My mind is incredibly active and prone to wandering off in every different direction; focussing on anything for longer than a few minutes has always been a struggle. So I fell in love with spending an hour on my mat just concentrating on my breath and those beautiful, fluid movements that left me feeling so relaxed and open.

Yoga and Wine event in Melbourne

I felt my mind beginning to still, and from there I discovered meditation. It also helped that my yoga teacher was phenomenal – one of the kindest, most engaging souls I have ever met – and she truly inspired me to take my practice to the next level. I decided almost straight away that I wanted to teach. I was close to starting a teacher training course when life threw some curve balls and we moved to Barcelona for 6 months.

I put my teacher dream on the shelf and continued with my personal practice for a while. Then I turned 30 and something clicked. If I really wanted something in my life I needed to bite the bullet, grab the bull by horns and go for it.

It was a financial hit, yes, it was a big time commitment, and going back to studying again after 15 years was a shock to the system, but it was worth every cent and every hour. From the moment I stepped on to that mat to teach a class I knew I was in the right place

You’re obviously a fan of yoga AND wine. Why is a balanced lifestyle so important to you?

I believe that balance is the key to happiness. I love to eat healthily and exercise most of the time because it makes me feel good and helps me maintain a positive mental attitude. I say most of the time because I also love to enjoy a glass of wine and a pizza on Friday nights! That’s what life is all about. Balance and moderation, not deprivation.

What’s your favourite yoga posture and why?

Ooh it has to be pigeon! It’s so intense and some days I just want to cry when I do it but it’s so good for opening up the hips.

How do you maintain a regular practice yourself?

Being a yoga teacher certainly helps! I also just love yoga; doing it every day is a part of my routine. There are also some incredible yoga studios here in Melbourne, we’re very lucky!

Do you have any tips for busy people who want to do yoga or meditation at home?

The best time of day for me personally is first thing in the morning. I set my alarm half an hour earlier than necessary and get up, put on my active wear, roll out my mat and go through a yoga flow followed by a guided meditation. I often use apps like Headspace or One Giant Mind. Everyone is busy; it’s about prioritising yourself and carving out time for your wellbeing.

Join us for Savasana and Shiraz at our glamping retreat
Book a Vino and Vinyasa Retreat in Tuscany, Italy