Clarissa On-The-Spot: The Woman who guided me to make peace with my Yang

Have you ever been to a place where you don't know anyone and hoping that things will work out well?

Have you met a total stranger for the first time and didn't feel alienated?

Has someone ever made a great impact on your life that you turned your life around 180 degrees without knowing it?

Well, I did.

It was insane, overwhelming, totally spazzed out, and all in a good way.

Wine tasting with my Yang.

It's not every day you get the opportunity to meet people who will change your life's perspective in an instant. But if you did, you are blessed to have them in your life because they are the "keepers".

I met Clarissa at the first Yoga Retreat I attended last year in Greece. She and her yogi-friend and co-founder of the Light the Spark Within Erin were the ones who led the Ancient Awakenings Yoga Retreat in Greece in the spring of 2019.

Clarissa is quiet yet friendly and welcoming.

She is one of my Yoga teachers who is instrumental in my personal transformation. One of the reasons why I am evolving. And definitely one of my inspirations in my yoga journey.

Clarissa, just like in the concept of Yin and Yang... is the YANG who helped me see that the light side of my present challenges. She helped me appreciate my weaknesses and turned them into strengths. And for that, I'm grateful.

FRIENDS, meet CLARISSA... my Yang!



Full Name: Clarissa Thompson
Certification/s: E-RYT®500 HR
Place/Yoga School where you got certified: Tapas Yoga Shala
Name of Yoga Studio (if any):
Website (if any): /
Social Media (If any): IG @clarissa_mae_ / @lightthesparkwithin / FB @Clarissa Mae Yoga

When was the first time you fell in love with Yoga? How did it happen and what was your inspiration for the practice?

I found yoga when I was in college, I was invited to try out a class with a friend and took my first class in the wrestling room at my college. The teacher was also an English professor and it was a powerful experience for me.

Please describe your Yoga Journey: How did it change your life and how it impacted your lifestyle?

Yoga gave me a path - I was stressed out and completely unsure of myself, yoga gave me strength, courage, opportunity and the chance to challenge myself in completely different ways.

What 3 words describe you as a Yoga Teacher and what word or words describe your teaching style?

Dedicated, Engaging, Adaptable - I think my teaching style is ever-changing as am I as a teacher so it's hard to pick just a few words at this moment. But I think my style is organic and flowing and always evolving.

What advice would you give your new yoga student who is struggling with letting go and ego?

Just keep breathing - focus on your breath, make that the focus and all else will follow.

What advice will you give your yoga students who are thinking of taking Yoga Teacher Training Course?

Find one that sparks your interest, teachers who have a style that you connect with and do it for yourself!

How many years have you been teaching Yoga and what are the challenges you encountered along the way?

I've been teaching for 7 years and I have encountered challenges from physical injury, lack of confidence, drama, and anything else that any of us face anytime we take a leap of faith. But this practice has changed my life in so many ways and it continues to change others and I am just honored to be able to share my passion for it.

Is Yoga your only workout or you also do other workouts aside from yoga? If YES, what is it? Can you give a brief description of your other workout?

I love to hike with my husband and my dog out here in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. We rock climb a bit too and look for any way to have an adventure.

Lastly, what do you want your students to take away with them from your Yoga Class?

Peace, calm, a shift in perspective, a drop of inspiration, a shared feeling of the yoga community as a whole. I hope they have a great time, learn something new and keep coming back!

Clarissa showing me how to do the inversion at the Namaste Shala after our daily morning Yoga practice.

It's my turn to do the forearm headstand while Clarissa supervising and making sure I'm safe.

Anything you want to add?

Yoga is a powerful path - a path to light, to shadow work, and to the deeper layers of ourselves. When we do this practice we don't only connect with the deeper self but with the collective energy of the whole.


Clarissa discovered the joy of yoga when she was in college. Since then, she was transformed and continuously evolving.

Her love for learning did not only make her a great student but an amazing teacher, as well. She passes along the knowledge and experiences she gained from her teachers to her students through many different yoga styles and movements in her own classes.

Clarissa loves adventure and connecting with people and Mother Nature. She loves and enjoys doing a lot of outdoor activities. When she is not teaching yoga, she would be camping, hiking, road-tripping and exploring with her husband Wade Ellett and their dog Inkling.

Her passion for life and yoga helps her to seek and explore new places, lead retreats, and workshops in the U.S. and abroad.


Thank you Clarissa for touching my life and helping me see myself differently. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to push myself harder and pass my comfort zone. It was then I realized that I am capable of doing great things.

And because of that... I am reborn!