There’s nothing like a bikini-clad Aussie yoga guru’s new book to inspire some major fitness reform in time for awards season. Los Angeles-based Claire Grieve is delivering just that with her vibrant e-book, Energize. The title features a foreword by her longtime client Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and is a clue as to what she aims to do for readers via yoga flows, plant-based recipes, mindfulness and relaxation rituals.
Working with other leading Hollywood actresses, pop stars, Victoria’s Secret models, and NFL players (including Odell Beckham Jr.), plus clients of all shapes and sizes, has given Grieve, also a stretch therapist and plant-based health coach, insight into what works in the long term. Though the fitness world is constantly being inundated by new fad workouts, she’s a strong believer in the power of an ancient practice.
“Yoga is a mind-body philosophy that has been around for thousands of years,” says Grieve. “Yoga doesn’t just tone your muscles, it completely changes the way you interact with the world. Some fitness, diet and beauty trends promise a quick fix — these are the ones that tend to go in and out of style. Yoga is an ongoing, ever-evolving practice that becomes a lifestyle.”
A hallmark of her style is her singular way of making all classes and sessions fun and uplifting. She keeps things positive, focusing on motivating not threatening clients. Fortunately, Grieve says, “People who are successful in their profession tend to bring that attitude onto the mat. My clients always bring a positive and determined mindset into the room.”
All the better to stay dedicated to a routine, challenging as it may be. At the core of her current practice are a few straightforward moves. Her holy trinity consists of plank pose (which she recommends holding for 45 seconds balancing on hands and feet), handstands (which can be practiced with a friend or against a wall to help build confidence) and Reclining Bound Angle Pose.
The latter begins flat on one’s back, bending the knees and allowing them to fall open on either side, bringing the soles of the feet together, and should be held for 5-10 minutes. “It’s my favorite restorative pose,” Grieve says. “It opens the heart chakra and releases tension in your hips, shoulders and throat — it’s the perfect pose for anyone who spends the day at a desk or on a cell phone.”
It’s also a good antidote to social media overload. “I feel that in our society we are expected to be constantly on,” Grieve says, which leads to a syndrome of failing to take care of ourselves in the most basic ways. Her book is about a journey: “Ten years ago I was on antidepressants, coffee and sugar. In the last decade I have completely turned my health around and feel more healthy and vibrant than ever before.” Energize shares what she’s learned personally, and from her clients.
One thing she’s noticed lately is the rise of body positivity in Hollywood. “Women of all shapes and sizes are being embraced. Now it’s becoming less about fitting into a certain image and more about doing what’s best for your body so you can look your best.” To that end she believes the most important thing about a “red carpet body” is that it’s filled with self-confidence. “If you integrate healthy, sustainable fitness and eating practices into your day-to-day life you will always look your best and be red-carpet ready.”
Energize is available on her website, clairegrieve.com.