Yoga for me is more than simply the physical asana practice, and embraces mental calm and wellbeing. I hope that the classes I run will also help you to find your inner sense of peace.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to yoga as a child, when my mum followed 'the bendy lady' Lyn Marshall on TV. In my 20s, yoga became a regular part of my life and I eventually trained as a hatha yoga teacher with the Yoga Therapy and Training Centre in Northern Ireland, completing my diploma in 2004.
I have subsequently trained as an Iyengar teacher, the style of yoga I was first really attracted to, and passed the Intermediate Junior 3 assessment in March 2017. I am registered with and insured through Iyengar Yoga (UK) Ltd. I am registered with the Dublin Iyengar Yoga Institute, and I regularly attend professional development days and workshops with visiting senior teachers to continue my training. I was privileged to attend a month of classes at the home of Iyengar yoga in Pune in July 2016 and hope to go again! I am undertaking the six-year remedial yoga training with Stephanie Quirk.
I'm really keen to make yoga available to people who might not otherwise have the chance, so I teach a donation class in East Belfast, teach for local charities and volunteer for the Prison Phoenix Trust.
To help inspire me on those days when my mind or body or both don't want to get on the mat, I follow some great Iyengar teachers online, for example on the Roads2Bliss YouTube channel where there are many videos from senior Iyengar teachers such as Lois Steinberg, Carrie Owerko, and the Iyengar family themselves. The online YogaJournal is a great place to start for basics and has many interesting articles and videos too.
I have found that mindfulness, as done during asana practice or in seated/lying/walking meditation or when going about daily life, is a vital part of being able to enjoy life to the full and can help with mental health problems. I've found writings from Jon Kabat-Zinn and Tara Brach particularly helpful and clear.