100 PORTRAITS Yoga

Nantucket Profile | Clay Twombly

June 15, 2015

Clay Twombly

One of the first times I met Clay, he was teaching a swing dancing class.  As he held me close and whirled me around the dance floor with grace and confidence, I did what any girl would do: I developed an instant crush on him.  I confessed to Audrey Sterk, who laughed and said, “Oh Sara, we all have a crush on Clay.”

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When he teaches yoga at The Yoga Room his voice surrounds you like liquid silence as he leads you into a gentle meditative flow.  Clay is responsible for one of the Nantucket’s most recent fashion trends, his mala-inspired line of “intentional jewelry”.  It’s not unusual to over hear two women on island glance knowingly at each other in appreciation and recognition… “I see, you have one of Clay’s necklaces… What do your beads represent?”



Clay, what does “A Delicious Lifestyle” mean to you? 

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What brought you to Nantucket and what keeps you here?

“I moved to Nantucket in 2003 for the summer and after one month, I decided Nantucket is where I wanted to be.”


What is your profession?

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“I make intentional jewelry, prayer beads and teach yoga.  I just opened my shop, Clay Twombly, in a new location at 2 Union Street in Nantucket.”


I know you teach Yoga.  What are the benefits of a regular Yoga Practice?

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Who would you like to study with and why?

“I like science and appreciate a straightforward approach.  I’d like to study with Jack Kornfield, because of his focus on mediation and his accessibility, and with Erich Schiffman.”


How do you re-charge?  

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When you need to shift your mood, what techniques do you use? 

“One of my friends uses counting backwards as a tool, but I stop and sit or go for a walk.  It does not require a formal meditation practice, although that has been my path.  The key is to focus on something other than the mood.  For example, I can wash the dishes and re-zone or wash the dishes and still be pissed off.  The more you practice, the faster you can do it. The other day, I needed to shift my mood.  I sat, breathed, and gave myself space.  5 minutes was all I needed.  I came away appreciating all the doors that are opening for me instead of the frustrations I had.”


How do you advise people to start a meditation practice?

Start with 30 seconds and set a timer so you don’t worry about the clock.  We need to find the thing that allows us to plug in to something bigger than ourselves. We are bodies in motion.  It’s a law of physics.  Everything is moving throughout nature, including the planets and our breath.  How do we manage that movement in stillness?  The breath becomes the motion. If we look at our evolution, we have the Fight or Flight Reflex built in, but we haven’t learned how to use it in our new lifestyle where we don’t have those basic life threats.  Fear and excitement often elicit the same response in our bodies. As humans, we create systems in which to build stress.  It is very simple: if you don’t want to have the stress of having a business, don’t have a business.  If you don’t want the stress of having a mortgage, don’t own a house.


On a busy day, what choices would you make for your health if you only had?

“10 minutes: Sit, close my eyes, breathe and see what my mind does.”

“30 minutes:  Take a walk with the dog and try to get him to walk faster.  (I’m just joking, but it is a good reminder to me to be where my feet are instead of trying to rush him.)”

“60 minutes:   A yoga class, or a bike ride.  On days when I am really tired, I might take a nap.”


Do you have any “Go To” Health Tips (or tricks to keep yourself motivated???)

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“The dogs get me and my best friend, Jessica Sosebee out several times a week!”


What are some of your favorite Healthy Eating choices?

“I try to have a salad a day.  I try to be balanced most of the time, but I have a wicked sweet tooth.”


What are some of your favorite things to do on Nantucket you make sure to do regularly?  

“I find ways to be outside.  Some of my regulars are: Bartlett’s Farm (walking the property or through the market), driving to Cisco Beach or the Polpis Loop, walking around Siasconset or going to Altar Rock, visiting Madequesham.  In the summer, I go to Jetties for dinner.”


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Sara Boyce, MBA, MPH brings her creative vision and personalized attention to each client.  With a 24-year career in marketing, her approach is strategic, collaborative, and effective. Coincidentally, she has also spent the last 24 years without flour and sugar and coaches people who want to transform their bodies and live a healthy lifestyle. A long-time Nantucket resident, Sara eats clean and healthy, but rarely turns down a glass of good wine or the occasional cream sauce. She has a crazy belief that a life that prioritizes beauty, health, and wellness is actually A Delicious Lifestyle!

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