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The Big Picture: Claudia Weston, School of Larks, Stroud

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High wire – Strength, confidence, friends and wellbeing

By Simon Pizzey

“I’m a director of School of Larks Circus School and I teach yoga to adults and also young people with special needs. Doing aerial (static trapeze, silks, hoop and rope) and yoga feels very good to do on a daily basis. I want as many people as possible to feel strong and comfortable and happy in their bodies. When you feel good in your physical self, this can improve your mental and emotional health and bring a sense of wellbeing. 

“At School of Larks, I want to foster an organisation fuelled with creativity of the arts which is also accessible to everybody. I hope it is a space that can be inspiring for students and a safe place for them to be creative and learn whatever circus skills they’ve been drawn to and hone these skills and gain confidence and at the same time get stronger and have lots of fun.  Aerial (the main thing I teach at School of Larks) can be very physically challenging at times. Lots of friendships are made in classes because everyone is sharing the challenges of the moves taught.

Claudia Weston School of Larks 9 | The Big Picture: Claudia Weston, School of Larks, Stroud

“I’ve always said to myself that if I am allowed the privilege, I want to do work that I enjoy doing. I so enjoy teaching yoga and aerial. I get to move, and I can pass on the benefits of movement, strengthening, flexibility and the joy of it to all of my students. I feel very lucky to be able to do work I am drawn to.

“I was brought up in Gloucester but all of my friends were in Stroud. I left home and was in London for a few years doing acting, but when I had my first child, I wanted somewhere a bit greener and so looked for a place in Stroud. I feel at home here.

“Stroud feels like home. It is unique and special and there is a lot of community. There are a lot of good people here and friends. There are many amazing Stroud views. I think either the view from Coaley Peak or Selsley Common. I love the town and the market; Sunshine Health is the shop I use the most.

Claudia Weston School of Larks 8 | The Big Picture: Claudia Weston, School of Larks, Stroud

Lots of things to do and visit, The Museum in the Park, the leisure centre some great walks along the canal. I also do Karate and short film making – My last film ‘Living in Limbo’ was shown at the Stroud film festival this March.

“I’m hoping to create an audience-interactive show with School of Larks and some professional circus performers we’ve worked with over the years – including some of our teachers.”

Claudia Weston School of Larks 11 | The Big Picture: Claudia Weston, School of Larks, Stroud
16 03 2024 Copyright Photographer Simon Pizzey Claudia Weston School of Larks Favourite Object; Worry Stone: My partner gave this to me about 30 years ago. It was meant to help me stop worrying – which I used to do a lot. I don’t worry so much anymore, but part of that I guess is growing up… The Big Picture, Stroud Times

Favourite Object – Worry Stone: “My partner gave this to me about 30 years ago. It was meant to help me stop worrying – which I used to do a lot.  I don’t worry so much anymore, but part of that I guess is growing up…”

Claudia Weston School of Larks 12 | The Big Picture: Claudia Weston, School of Larks, Stroud
16 03 2024 Copyright Photographer Simon Pizzey Claudia Weston School of Larks Favourite Photograph; Photo: My 3 children when they were younger. Over 10 years ago and we’d just come back from a yoga camp. We were all in need of a long hot soak in the bath, but we were all very happy and tired and relaxed. The Big Picture, Stroud Times

Favourite Photograph – “My three children, from left; Louis, Maya, Esmee, when they were younger. Over 10 years ago and we’d just come back from a yoga camp. We were all in need of a long hot soak in the bath, but we were all very happy and tired and relaxed.”

Events: Circus school classes and workshops for all ages in Stroud and Nailsworth. www.schooloflarks.com or for more details info@schooloflarks.com

Yoga for young and older adults with additional needs in collaboration with Allsorts and Yugo. Please email cloud9yogaclaudia@gmail.com

Pictures by Simon Pizzey

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