My Journey to becoming a Yoga Instructor

Yoga found me at the young age of 15, before I even knew what it was! Intuitively, in my first major exam year at school, I began to feel tension in my back, neck and shoulders, while studying at my desk. Feeling achy and tired and sometimes unable to wind down at night and go to sleep, I took to the floor of my bedroom. One night, breathing deeply and stretching my body slowly and very quickly, I found access to a space of deep relaxation, mental freedom with a body that ached less for my invented practise.

Yoga was not really known then in Ireland, not in my world anyway. I found myself being able to zone out into the peaceful new world of breath and movement I had discovered. One evening, when I was practising in the family living room while everyone watched TV, my father asked where I had learned to do yoga from India and this was the first time I heard the word Yoga!

I continued to self-teach, inventively finding new poses to add to my evening practise. I clearly remember doing shoulder stands a lot before ever knowing what it was or its benefits. It stretched and eased out my neck and gave my legs a lovely feeling of lightness and rest. My practise was a constant calming companion that brought me through the pressure of last few years of school as well as helping me be more flexible in my love of tennis and basketball at the time.

My personal practises became my safe haven and rock of support at this young age. At the age of 20, on a summer Working holiday in Germany, I found my first yoga Book in my lodgings called

“the book Of Yoga, The Complete step by step Guide”

By Lucy Liddell

The Sivananda Yoga Centre

(I still have this book and it was and still is a great introduction to the practise of yoga.)

That summer, the practise of yoga started to integrate for me as I learned more clearly the names, attributes and deeper understanding of the yoga practise. My practise matured and deepened over this Summer as I practised every evening after work. Indeed, I returned home after that Summer with a new awareness of body, spirit and mind through my new practise and I was hooked.

Again, my yoga course gave me an anchor that brought me through Art College and I even incorporated yoga moves into the dance performance “Dress Dance, Inside Out” which would be part of my final degree show – “in order to make the beauty of clothing your own, you first must make your spirit and character a thing of beauty” was the theme of the dance and costume performance.

So, at my degree show from Art College I could see clearly that the holistic practise of yoga and my love of art and its expression would both be part of my life purpose. Creative arts and Holistic health care have always gone hand in hand for me. I bring my creative force and ideas to my yoga classes, making them unique and fresh with constant change and new ideas.

After College, from the age of 23 to present, I have always loved to join yoga classes in Navan, Dublin, Cork, New Mexico, Seattle, USA, and Dahab, Egypt. I learnt so much from other teachers and branches of yoga and found it greatly helped me in my personal practise and teaching.

In 2004, while I managed a massage and holistic healthcare business in Dahab, Sinai, Egypt, I was asked to teach yoga to the guests as a morning activity and, after only a few weeks of this, I knew I had to train to become a yoga Teacher. I took time out and travelled to India where I completed The Sivananda Hatha Yoga Teacher Training in Madurai Tamil Nadu, India in November-December of 2004.

Returning to Egypt, I taught my first yoga courses at The Cral Coast Hotel, Dahab, Sinai in the most beautiful yoga room, overlooking the turquoise sea of Aquaba, an idyllic start to my yoga career. I also taught on yoga holidays for yoga.co.uk. in Dahab and taught the evening meditation and yoga Nidra slot on Sunra Yoga Teacher Training Dahab, during the time of the Egyptian Revolution, my last work and time in Egypt after 9 years living there.

Teaching Yoga has always been one of my greatest passions. I have taught in schools in Cairo and El Gouna, Red Sea, Egypt, both primary and secondary as well as at St Claire’s Primary School, Manorhamilton. I have taught Yoga at Merchants Quay, Stabilization programme for recovering Heroin addicts, 1996 and I have taught a course of Yoga at Mountjoy prison in 1996 also.

I have taught with active age groups in Leitrim from 2000 to 2011, caregiver groups, to hen groups and tourists at Rockfarm glamping site, Slane, where Siog Holistics began before moving to Manorhamilton, Leitrim in 2018. I have taught Yoga courses with The Men’s Group and The Women Centre, Manorhamilton with online courses since lockdown and have continued teaching private classes in Manorhamilton for last 3 years.

Physical exhaustion and PTSD, after a traumatic life event in 2019, meant my Yoga Practise had to change to bring me the other side of trauma. I found a deeper empathy for the different needs of the Human Body. At different times in our life, our yoga needs change. My class ethos and teaching methods really welcome everyone, regardless of their ability.

There is total acceptance of each student and their limitations and I welcome and know you can benefit from a class that is heart centred in the awareness of meeting you and your body where it is at. Restorative yoga and Somatic yoga have really helped me through traumatic times, where my body didn’t have its normal sense of safety or strength and, by engaging and practising deeply in these models of Yoga, I found a way to selfheal and deepen my practise to one of a deeper and fuller awareness of the human condition through Yoga. I see my yoga classes as a form of therapy that can help you find your natural force, in all of its radiance.

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