A few weeks ago we had an amazing and inspiring photoshoot with two lovely sisters in their new studio, whose movement and body work is in their veins. Getting to know the women behind the photoshoot is maybe one of our favorite things, this time was no different, these two are an inspiration, with a unique life story and a powerful message.
Let’s dive in and get to know them better!
Reut Klifi Amar, 30 years old, Movement teacher and Japanese medicine therapist (“and of course an eternal life student”).
Shahar Klifi, 27, yoga instructor and currently doing an internship as a dance therapist.
Tell us about yourself. How did you get to your current occupation?
Reut: Really by coincidence. Or not :) I have practiced sports and movement my whole life. It was always a part of what I do. When I was 22, while studying for my BA in Business and Marketing, I went to a movement class in the ”Ido Portal” method in Tel Aviv. It didn’t take long and I was addicted, until it was all I wanted to do all day - to practice, win over my limitations and to spend most of my day with the amazing community that started there. I graduated and started a mentorship year in the Ido Portal method. It was one of the most significant and shaping years I experienced. After a Chinese medicine therapy session helped me recover from a training injury, I realized that people who train intensely need maintenance practice. I felt these studies are calling me and they’re adding a different perspective on the human body and soul. I studied 4 years of Chinese medicine and now I'm in my second year of Japanese medicine studies.
Shahar: I always remember myself dancing, I used to do gymnastics as well. Then I had a personal mental crisis, when I was 18, I stopped dancing all together. I started going to a therapist who suggested yoga. Out of this big distress, and because of the competitiveness of the dance world, the yoga space brought a lot of compassion and self acceptance. Something there caught my heart. I started practicing, and it wasn’t easy in the beginning, my body was weak. Slowly I started feeling like myself again from the yoga, from the breath which is so important to cope with stressors. And the breath really started to bring me back to balance. I decided this is my path. It was while I was studying for my BA in psychology. I understood how much strength our soul and mind have on the way we function. I realized I want to combine working with the body and working with the mind. Then I decided to do my Masters in dance therapy. My dream is to open up a place that will bring the connection between these worlds. A place for people to solve their mental problems with movement.
Can you share about personal challenges you went through?
Reut: Like anyone walking on the earth, I went through a lot of challenges along the way. Challenges with picking the path to walk on - it took me a while to formulate this in a clear way as it’s now so evident in my life. A lot of questions and thoughts and of course a lot of risks that I decided to take along the way and learning from the results for better or worse.
Shahar: At the age of 18 I relocated to the United states with my parents which puzzled me, and I Started having panic attacks, It started taking over my life, I started to be afraid of driving, I started to feel depressed, I was scared to be alone, from being an independant and active teenager. At the age of 17 I weighed 36 kilos, out of anxiety and feeling down and a lack of appetite. I needed to start moving again, everyday activities. Slowly things really started to improve, together with psychological and psychiatric help. After that, one of the hardest things was to start bringing compassion towards myself, that I’m not a failure, but rather I’m going through a crisis, and right now I can’t do it, and I’m in a process and I’m working on it. Slowly the mantras in the yoga class became my self-talk. You’re there for a minute, closing your eyes and saying thank you. You suddenly manage to see something to be grateful for.
Tell us about your business, how is it to open a business with your sister?
Reut: We share the studio and operate separately. The business is still new and evolving as we speak - each one of us has her own vision. Of course there’s nothing better than doing something like this with your sister, we spend a lot of time together, we have a lot of responsibilities to share and teamwork to do. I couldn’t ask for a better person than my sister to be beside me.
Shahar: Wow it’s an amazing experience. Beyond getting to spend so much time together, I gain so much knowledge from her and vice versa. More than our connection, it’s like another home for us, where we can come from a hectic day and meet there, train, each on our own, but together, there’s something that is keeping us close and it’s very nice. I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else. Our cooperation, getting honest and constructive criticism, wouldn't be possible with anyone else.
We’re interested to hear about opening a business at a young age, about the challenges, struggles and experiences from the process.
Reut: I now practice almost 5 years, the beginning of the business was very challenging. My business and myself went through a lot of transformations, growth and development. Finding my voice and confidence as an instructor and teacher, giving knowledge, to be in interaction with people, a lot of responsibility and a lot of doubts and confusion. A lot of disappointments and a lack of success, empty lessons - I remember that at some point I had this rule that I’m always conducting the lesson, whether people signed up or not. If they didn’t, I would spend this time on personal training. It’s with no doubt one of the best decisions I made. There was always a lesson, even if there were no people, the lesson happened. The persistence, the repetition and the faith, eventually created the reality I wanted. It’s very exciting for me, I feel I built it in my own two hands, despite all the difficulties - I always had the vision in front of me and a supportive family and I’m happy I managed to fulfill it.
Shahar: Opening up the business was challenging, a lot of uncertainty and instability. Constantly wondering how it will work out, and if this effort will pay off, not only from the financial aspect, but also the aspect of trusting myself that I can do this. Then you get to class with few students, and having to tell myself, ok you’re in the beginning of this path, it’s an independent business and it’s difficult, and I put the criticizing thoughts aside. There were concerns if we should open up or carry on teaching in different local studios or outside when it’s possible, but now I know that if I wouldn’t get into it with Reut I wouldn’t have opened up a business. It gives me courage and trust when I do it with my sister. I have this push and help, she’s my big sister after all.
How did you get to know ripple? Tell us about the relationship with ripple.
Reut: I met Adva and Ripple in a yoga festival where I gave a movement workshop. I remember the happy energies of the meeting, and that I was photographed with a set I have till this day. Since then I was in one photoshoot at the beginning of Ripple in Tel Aviv port and Jaffa and now to photo shooting in our new studio.
Shahar: I got to know Ripple when Reut had a photoshoot with Ripple, a few years back. I remember she said she’s going to a photoshoot with a yoga brand, and I looked at the website and one of the things that caught my eye was the stories behind the people. It impressed me to see a picture of a woman advertising a piece of clothing, but I can click further and get to know her inspiring story. And of course the fabrics, caring for the environment. Other than that, when Reut first came back from the photoshoot with a few outfits, I of course borrowed them and there really the most comfortable things I’ve worn. I love practicing in it. Especially as a teacher, I can concentrate on more important things. I see how the design gives you peace of mind so you can really be focused on your practice, and reach a more meditative practice.
Tell us about the photoshoot day? What was your personal experience?
Reut: Wow the photoshoot was such an amazing experience for me, I was very excited about bringing Adva and Liran to my second home. It was very pleasant, funny, fun and a little awkward. I felt good and comfortable in the clothes and it was fun to move and play around with them. I was moved to be in a photoshoot with my sister, my love, which always gives me confidence only by being there beside me. I met Carmit with her lovely energy and her precise instructions that alleviated the awkward moments that arose here and there. Liran was amazing behind the camera, with stunning energy, lightness and the laughter and positive feedback that gave me confidence. And of course Adva, that without her, none of this would have carried out.
Shahar: I was really excited when I heard about the photoshoot. But also a little nervous, it’s not my first time, but this is a brand I really appreciate. I didn’t know the people beforehand, but I was sure that if you have this kind of business you have to be a nice person, and it really was so. I met Adva, Carmit and Liran for the first time and throughout the photoshoot day, feeling that they kept complimenting us, for me at least these things are important. I felt loose, the energy in the studio was very pleasant and calming, nothing was done out of pressure. I really enjoyed the photoshoot. It felt very natural and nice. The energy was great!
Reut: Imagine the reality you want to live in, stick to it and believe in the path and yourself, and just start creating it. Until it will suddenly just exist.
Shahar: I think my story is my message, how I ended up in yoga and how things evolved, that’s my message. Beyond that also the idea that if you find something that ignites your inner fire, your motivation, it’s a gift itself. After we find this out, the only thing that’s in our responsibility is to never give up. No matter the struggles or what others will think or say, it’s our lives not theirs.
Thank you Reut and Shahar for sharing your inner world with us, together with your wonderful studio. We appreciate you both so much and we’re grateful to have you in our family!