Make Change Together - Q+A on Friendship with Carolyn and Clara
Friendship is a powerful motivator in yoga and in life. With the support and encouragement of friends we can rise up, find strength and be the change we want to see in ourselves and in our world.
To honour the incredible potency of friend love, we asked our favourite dynamic duo Clara Roberts-Oss and Carolyn Anne Budgell—yoga teachers, good friends and business partners—to share real life stories about their friendship.
We are sure glad we did.
Q: How did the two of you meet?
Carolyn: We met many times whenever I attended Clara’s yoga classes, but I can remember two specific instances where I truly 'met' Clara. First, a retreat she led on Bowen Island. We carpooled home together and she said the F word multiple times. Second, an art club night outdoors on Granville Island. I brought a bike, a guitar and a bottle of white. The night ended at the Naam followed by a blurry taxi ride home to our respective boyfriends. I guess you could say it was a spiritual connection.
Q: How do you motivate each other?
Clara: We are very motivated separately but when we get together, I feel like we could take over the world. We have so many ideas and love to figure out new ways of executing them. We write lots of lists about what we want to do and what we want to see. We have lists for days.
Q: How does friendship help you see the world differently?
Carolyn: For me, life would be meaningless without friends and family. Connecting with others is the point of it all. Not just connecting through celebration, but also in our times of struggle and pain. If I went through it alone, the journey would be much harder and things would feel much slower to overcome.
Q: Clara, what’s the best advice you’ve received from Carolyn?
Clara: The best advice I have received from Carolyn is not to make so many plans. I don’t have to do as much, in my work/social life. I forget this and every so often my plate is overflowing and she reminds me to take less on.
Q: How has your friendship helped you in times of need?
Carolyn: Clara always shows up when you need her. She always holds your hand. I'm often in a time of need and she will bring over croissants and muffins in a heartbeat.
Clara: Carolyn is one of my bestest friends. If I’m ever having a hard time, I know that I can count on her. She’s flown all the way to New York City to help me move and called me every day when my mother passed. She’s really been there for me.
Q: Would you say that your are more similar or different than one another?
Clara: We are very similar and very different all at once. We both love to be organized, but I focus more on big picture and she is sooo good with details. We are both very blunt. If we ever want the straight truth, we know we can count on the other for it. We both love the same genre of movies (romcoms!) and we have no problem watching a movie every night we’re on retreat. I think we complement each other so well. We know our own strengths and look to the other for help when we need it.
Carolyn: One similarity is that we often think the same thing. Although, we have worked through some rocky situations to get here, we rarely need to talk to each other anymore when leading workshops because we are fully on the same wavelength. It’s hard to describe. This has definitely helped our working relationship feel easy and smooth! Another similarity is a guilt-free love of baked goods. How are we different? Clara: purple and green, Carolyn: grey. Clara: tequila, Carolyn: wine. Clara: goth teen, Carolyn: skater teen.
Q: What goals have you achieved together and what does the future hold for both of you?
Clara: We have achieved so much together! We co-teach a 200 hour yoga teacher training, lead retreats worldwide and have such a fun time while doing it! What we’re looking to do in the future is lead more restorative and meditation retreats. We want to help people to slow down and enjoy stillness.
Q: How would you define friendship?
Clara: Friendship is mutual respect, being there for one another, lots of laughs, helping to shed light on things that the other may not be able to see, support, enjoying each other’s company, being empathic and loving.
Carolyn: Friendship is someone who knows the parts of you that are joyous and light, as well as the parts that are serious and vulnerable. Friendship is being able to take space, sometimes months without speaking, and come together without skipping a beat and without judgement. I’m still learning all of these qualities and how to be a supportive friend while honouring my own needs. Non-negotiables for me in my friendships are a sense of humour, a love of chips and a willingness to work on oneself.
Clara has taught for over a decade and has been leading retreats and teacher trainings worldwide for the last 7 years. She draws from many different traditions including Prana Flow, Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Jivamukti, to create strong, integrated holistic classes. Clara has also studied philosophy with Paul Ortega, Lorin Roche and Daniel Odier. Find information on her many incredible retreats, trainings and classes at www.clararobertsoss.com, Facebook or Instagram.
Carolyn Anne Budgell Carolyn discovered yoga in 1999 as a ski bum in Whistler. With a passion for vinyasa flow and the potent silence of meditation, she guides from a realistic, down-to-earth and lighthearted perspective. Thanks to teachers such as: Ana Forrest, Schuyler Grant and Clara, she shares yoga and meditation around the world with Wanderlust Festival and Lila Vinyasa School of Yoga, Calm Rebel Meditation Community and others. Stay connected to all of her events at www.carolynannebudgell.com