How it Began
So here’s a little bit about me. I am from a little town in Co. Galway called Milltown in the west of Ireland. I was raised on a farm so I know all about hard work, animals and nature but probably didn’t appreciate it enough during that time. In fact, I hated farming and promised myself I would never marry a farmer. I moved to Kilkenny about 10 years ago, I just love this city and everything about it. I settled in the day I arrived and my yoga business has thrived over the last 10 years. It was love that brought me to Kilkenny and I didn’t marry a farmer, ha, ha.
Several years before that I was in full time employment in a “good job” in Galway City but I was crying out for a change/something/anything and not knowing which direction to take. I decided this can’t go on any longer, my life was slipping by and I didn’t want to have any regrets. Questions were frequently calling my attention “is this it?” or “am I going to be stuck inside these four walls forever?” I didn’t have a clue what to do but I knew I had to do something as I was experiencing many uncomfortable circumstances for many years in many situations.
When the sh1t would hit the fan I would want to get out, run away, anywhere, travel, not really dealing with any of life’s situations but thought at the time that was the best thing to do. My boss wanted me to go to Paris on business so I jumped at the opportunity. This is where my real yoga journey began. Imagine this, the first day I arrive in Paris I ask my landlord where would I find yoga and he says, my friend does yoga, he will pick you up on Tuesday. Every Tuesday for 6 months that friend came by my studio and on we went to yoga together. How blessed/jammy was that?
I will never forget the first class in Paris city centre, I only had a little conversational French but that didn’t matter, I had been to yoga several times before in Ireland so I could follow along with the poses and some of the words I knew. At the end of the session when it came to Savasana (corpse pose) I went into a deep state of relaxation, sleep, dream, I don’t know exactly what happened but I don’t think I had relaxed like that ever in my life or perhaps I touched a part of me that was waiting to be touched since I was born. I woke up with new eyes and in love, but this time in love with yoga something that I could call a close friend anytime I needed. Yoga became my best friend. I started teaching in 2009.
Roll on 12 years later, I’m still the aspiring student/teacher of yoga with as much enthusiasm as I had on the first day. They say when you are on the right path, you just know, things flow more easily, my whole way of life changed and I can say, for the better.
For me connecting to a force/entity/universal energy/higher consciousness/dare I say God, a God of my own understanding, something much bigger than me, set me on the right path. Yes…. I have my Catholic upbringing and my mother did her absolute best but I never felt the rich meaning of life in that kind of religious teaching in comparison to the study and practice of yoga. Yoga became a way of life, not something I participated in just on Sunday mornings. I started to appreciate everything in front of me, the green grassy fields, the cows grazing in the fields, the milk that they produced, the flowers in the garden, the wonderful people in my life, the not so wonderful people in my life, and everything else in between. All of this was taken for granted in my earlier years and now I’m just so grateful to see with new compassionate eyes and this is all down to the philosophy of yoga and practice. It makes me sad to know how blind I was for so many years, unappreciative, unforgiving, angry, ego-centred and basically asleep or perhaps an actress as once I was once called.
Now, I understand the value and how wonderful farming is. Can you believe it? A life outside in nature, you can’t get more healthy than that, if you get the work/life/balance correct. I know for sure when I am not connected to spirit, I am lost, agitated, not myself, off-kilter so the answer is very simple for me, never lose connection with the one. Keep returning…keep coming home……
Nowadays, I don’t just fall to my knees in prayer when the sh1t hits the fan, I take regular visits for all sorts of reasons, many times a day and many are prayers/words of gratitude or just a chat. It’s like having the comfiest, cuddliest blanket wrapped around you all the time except when you forget of course……but then you remember. Regular yoga practices helps my memory so I know I’m not alone, that support is available anytime I need it. It’s up to us whether we take it or resist it and it comes in many forms. Living the life we want and love requires active participation and in getting there we have to take action.
It is my intention/goal/vision/dream to share what I know with as many people as possible around the world. The dream vision I am manifesting at this time is that embodied living become known to every, man, woman and child with a sense of urgency. What we learn on the mat and in our classes teaches us how to respond not react, to stand up/speak up for what is true, equal and just in our world. We don’t turn our backs and pretend things are not happening, we actively participate in doing good for ourselves, others, our environment and our world. Yoga shows us the way!
WHAT HAS YOGA FOR ALL GOT TO OFFER?
You could call me a one-stop yoga shop as through the years I knew that one type of practice was not going to work for my body, age, seasons, state, etc. It didn’t make sense to me to practice a really active, strenuous yoga class if I already had a very hard day and felt depleted. My whole ethos is about healing, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I would have been going against the grain so to speak. So I started searching what would be the right practice, taking into consideration the felt state or emotion present at any given time.
I was blessed to have stumbled across Yin Yoga and Hanna Somatics. These two practices were the missing piece of the jigsaw for me and changed my whole perspective/perception of body/mind integration and movement and it’s effects. Consistent proprioceptive and interoceptive learning, big fancy words but important ones, ones I didn’t have in my vocabulary before were making changes in the body I had never seen before. It’s called getting the brain on par. People often say things like, “it’s a miracle” or “my pain has disappeared” or “why didn’t I know that before now”, or “I feel freer” or/and “I can now go back to my golf or my yoga”. This was incredible for me to experience, understand and share, I was blown away by the results from such a beautiful gentle subtle practice. It turned my yoga beliefs up side down, not away from yoga but something so integral to yoga practice. It was win-win situation.
The other two practices I adore and need/want in my daily life is meditation and breathwork. That’s for another discussion on another day, however I’m offering those classes on zoom at present along with many others. I also offer chair yoga, many poses can be adapted from the support of a chair and if you are a beginner, there is no better place to start especially if you want to know how to take yoga snacks if you are sitting around a lot or in a seated job or driving all the time. It’s great to have a little knowledge at hand for whenever you need it, it actually can be a life saver and get you out of a hole fairly quickly.
I have also added the use of doTerra essential oils to my practices and to my everyday life for continued health support. If you have not heard of doTerra, look them up and see what their ethos is and how they give back to some of the less fortunate communities. Lives are being changed and everybody is winning together. The world is one small place and we are in this together.
The key thing is to start where you are at, one step, one breath, one day at a time. I’m not saying it’s an easy journey but it can be the most rewarding. Learning, loving, understanding your-Self, your amazing Self is where it’s at and then spreading that light with the world.
I’ll finish with one quote, one of the first quotes I learned in my first training and it stuck in my psyche for 12 years as it’s gets my ass on the floor every day.
“An ounce of practice is worth tonnes of theory”, Swami Sivananda.