My yogic journey began at age 10, with an image I found in a book of a woman meditating in the lotus (padmasana) posture. This is an image I was often drawn to during moments of uncertainty. The posture was also one I often found myself in, chasing my elder sister around the floor on my knees. So much so, it is now one I naturally slip into when simply sitting for a moment of relaxation.
I started practising Hatha yoga in 1997 to help me deal with a debilitating period of anxiety and depression. Within weeks of starting a Yoga class, I felt more able to cope with my internal and external worlds. I was inspired by the class of age 60+ men and women, who seemed at ease in body and mind. The teacher introduced me to basic asanas, pranayama and meditation (candle gazing) and I slipped into the rhythm like a duck to water. The anxiety and depression becoming a distant memory.
Yoga has remained a large part of my life ever since. Even when I was inspired to travel through my love of surfing, I often found myself practising asanas whenever and wherever I could. Sometimes this would be in idllyic spots, such as a beach in Sri Lanka or Australia and other times, when necessary, in a cramped dormitory!
A spell in Mysore, India, in 2004 took my practice much deeper, when I learned Ashtanga Yoga intensively for three months. From this point I knew my passion was to become a Yoga teacher, though life had different ideas …
I soon became a mother of two and family life took over for a while, though my love of Yoga and the need for regular practice never left me. I soon started teaching Kid’s Yoga and when possible I offered donation based classes to the local community. When living in Ireland, this included teaching weekly classes to a group of disabled people.
In 2012 I moved to the Portuguese mountains, the Serra da Estrela, where I bought a 3 hectare abandoned quinta (farm) nestled at the foot of the medieval village of Linhares da Beira. Here with the family we began to fulfill a dream of living off grid and a more self sufficient, self reliant life, more than was possible in Ireland. Unfortunately the stress of the move attracted the shingles virus, which entered my right eye and threatened my eyesight. Luckily over a short period of time, practising yogic eye exercises and following a yogic lifestyle, I regained my eyesight and a healthy immune system! I am convinced that without my knowledge of Yoga I would not have recovered so well.
During 2015 I experienced the breakdown of the 19 year relationship with the father of my children. Again Yoga helped me deal with enormous change in a way I could have only previously imagined. It gave me the tools I needed to deal with the emotional upheaval on a spiritual, mental and physical level. Yoga has also taught me to harness my innate energy which can often lie dormant, but once flowing makes anything possible. Hence one of my mottos, I believed I could, so I did!
With support from my family in late 2015 I was able to fulfill my 10 year long dream of becoming a Yoga teacher. I completed my Yoga Teacher Training in Nashik, India, which was a truly wonderful experience. It also introduced me to new aspects of Yoga practice, like Yoga Nidra, which I now pass on to others in my classes.
Over the last 10 years I have also gained some experience in Bodywork. Yoga and bodywork combine well together as they both increase self awareness – the key to living in harmony. I have also received Reiki attunements and studied Ayurvedic massage in India. The bodywork is another great tool to help me remain present and in that way help heal myself and others.
I truly believe that life is about experiencing, and learning to embrace that experience whole heartedly. This can be learned by living a yogic lifestyle. I believe in embracing Yoga as a life practice.
Professional training and related experience
- 250 hrs Yoga Teacher training in Traditional Indian Yoga, Nashik, India
- 2 months intensive Ashtanga Yoga self practice, Mysore, India
- 3 x 10 day silent Vipassana Courses, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand
- 2 x 5 day silent Buddhist Meditation Retreat, Nilambe, Sri Lanka
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage Foundation Course, UK
- Reiki 1 attunement, Kerala, India
- Reiki 2 attunement, Serra da Estrela, Portugal
- Ayurvedic Massage Foundation Course, Mysore, India