One of my first memories is of my mum stretching her legs out in front of her and folding forward to touch her toes in our lounge. I remember trying to copy her and asking what she was doing. “Yoga,” she replied.
It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I went to my first yoga class – and I was hooked. For all the sport I grew up with, yoga gave me another connection, another type of freedom. Vinyasa, astanga, sivananda, anusara, jivamukti, kundalini, bikhram, yin…. I bounced from class to class to get my yoga high when I worked in London. Finally I found my groove – a passion for the dance and rhythm of vinyasa flow contrasted with delicious restorative yin.
Teacher training was about a lust to learn more. As someone who loathed public speaking of any sort, I thought learning how to stand up in front of a room full of people when my tummy was in knots, and make them relax, was a big challenge and a very good skill to learn, not just for teaching yoga, but for life.
I qualified in 2005 after completing a British Wheel of Yoga and Yoga Alliance accredited course with the Yoga Academy and, despite having no intention to teach, I loved it. I loved the peace and the energy, but most of all I loved the way students left class with smiles on their faces, somehow lighter and taller. It provided a lovely balance to my work in a busy newsroom. I carried on exploring yoga, attending workshops and training with the likes of Paul Grilley, Sarah Powers, Sianna Sherman, Uma Dinsmore Tuli and Shiva Rea.
Since moving to Ireland in 2010, I have completed my prenatal and postnatal mum and baby yoga teacher training at The Elbow Room, my Womb yoga training with Uma Dinsmore Tuli and Yoga for Teenagers course with Yoga Therapy Ireland among others. Writing about yoga and wellbeing in a weekly column for The Irish Daily Mail as part of my day job also kept me busy. I’ve also had three babies.
Becoming a mum has changed my practice. Yoga has helped to protect my back when lugging toddlers around, deal with serious sleep deprivation and find a sense of calm and stability in my body and mind when life is so very busy.
This is why I wanted to open The Studio in Blessington. I truly believe that yoga is for absolutely everyone and it should be accessible for all. It’s not about being able to throw crazy shapes; it’s about feeling all the feels, rooting down and going deep inside without judgment to find a bit of peace and space in our lives