Thursday, 23 January 2014

Tackling the January slump

Doesn't January go on forever?  And it's getting harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning.  With no imminent prospect of sun and a new job starting next month, I have decided to try some dietary changes to increase my energy levels.

I stumbled upon on my cousin's instagram ( - check it out) and I must admit the decision to adopt this new eating philosophy was born of greed while salivating over the gorgeous photographs, rather than more noble intentions.  Nonetheless, her food looks delicious and sounds absurdly healthy so it's a win-win in my books.

I did an extensive - and expensive - health store / Asia market shop during the week to pick up the nuts, seeds, grains and oils I would need to tackle some of the recipes and made the first items on my 'to try' list last night - quinoa dressed with tamari, tahini and herbs; raw date and ginger bars and apple and blueberry compote.  I'm very pleased with the results so far, particularly the date and ginger bars which will be a perfect snack before class this evening.  Very much looking forward to making some homemade granola to go with the compote over the weekend

If you are going to try something similar I suggest you identify 3 or 4 recipes you want to try, preferably ones that require seeds, oils and herbs so you don't end up spending a fortune on buying new ingredients.

Homemade almond milk

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Detox with Twists Workshop - 25 Jan

TIME:       2pm - 5pm
DATE:      25 January 2014
VENUE:   Methodist Centenary Church, 4 Leeson Park, Dublin 4 
A winter workshop to warm the body and clear the mind.  This practice is designed to create heat and space in the body, promoting digestion and mental clarity after the indulgence of Christmas.   
The workshop will include movement (asana), breath-work (pranayama), meditation and relaxation.  It is suitable for all levels.
Cost is €25 per person.  For bookings contact  Spaces are limited so please book early.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Getting a good start to 2014

Beginners' Vinyasa Flow
Thursdays 7.10pm - 8.10pm
Room 5, South William Space, 27 South William St (
€10 drop in / €35 per month

January is 'refer a friend' month.  Bring along a friend for their first yoga class and get €5 off your own class.

This month we are working on reawakening and detoxing post Christmas bodies!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Workshops for a new year

For my first post of 2013 it seems appropriate to mention two workshops I attended in the last few weeks.  The themes of the workshops were new beginnings and detoxing respectively.  Two lovely themes for this time of year with interconnecting ideas of letting go, cleansing and making way for new possibilities.  Some lovely ‘opening’ exercises in both which I’m going to try out on my class tomorrow:

Supine shoulder and chest opener:
  • Lie on a block positioned and the base of the shoulder blades.  The height of the block will depend on flexibility.  Position under block at the nape of the neck.   Lie with armed outstretched.
  • Extend arms up on an inhale and lower behind head until parallel with ears.  Repeat several times.
  • Repeat exercise again with hands clasping elbows.

 Shoulder opener:
  1. Stand against wall with right arms perpendicular to body at shoulder height against the wall.   Turn to the left using wall as a resistance to get a deep stretch in the shoulder. Repeat left hand side
  2. In pairs, lift up and draw back partner’s right shoulder blade.  Place shoulder under shoulder blade and draw back with hand.  Partner takes a few steps to left.

Kundalini-style breathing exercises:
  1. A powerful opening for hamstrings: squat with big toes together and fingertips on floor to the outside of knees. Inhale.  On an exhale, breathing out through the mouth like a sigh, straighten legs keeping fingertips on the grounds.  Inhale squat down.  Repeat 10 or 20 times moving with the breath.
  2. Tadasana. Inhale extend arms above head exhale through mouth as you fold sweeping the arms behind with palms facing upward.  Repeat 20 times moving with the breath.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Warming up for winter

Really liked the warm up for this class, particularly for cold, damp December days when you need to build up some heat.   As you can imagine, after performing the warm up in 30 plus degrees I was already hot and kind of tired!

Bird of Paradise was a new pose for me.  Very tough balance and hamstring stretch but I loved how the instructor taught it, explaining that the alignment is basically a reverse Parsvakonasana with a bind then you begin to straighten the bent leg.  All while balancing on the other one : )

Warm up:

·       Started with spine stretches from sitting - all spinal movements: chest forward and back, side extension right and left, twists.  Repeated 20 times
·       Spinal stretches from standing eg helicoptering arms, side to side, fold and slight back bend
·       Vinyasa stepping in and out of low lunges, x 4/6
·       Surya Namaskar A x 2/4
·       Surya Namaskar B x 2/4

SSurya namaskars with variations: each repeated twice on each side
·                                              - High lunge. Knees on ground
-       crescent lunge
-       vira 1
-       vira II, reverse vira II (goddess), side angle pose (parsvakonasana)
-       vira 1, trikonasana, Ardha chandrasana, vira II
-       vira 1, parsvottanasana
-       vira II, lunge with twist, reverse Ardha chandrasana, vira 11
-       forward bend in half lotus
-       parskvakonasana with bind, straighten front leg, step forward and move to bird of paradise - keep foot flexed, forward bend, plus holding big toe / hands under feet


Seated poses

Cool down and savasana

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

New class starting 4 December

The first course of classes in The Space, South William St.   - - will start on Tuesday 4 December, 6.30pm-7.30pm.

As the final Tuesday in December is Christmas Day, I will be arranging a substitute workshop the Friday after Christmas in Sandymount.  The workshop will be based on restorative practices and Yin yoga - perfect after a few days of family, food and excess!


Drop in rate    €10

Monthly rate   €30

Register interest now.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Vinyasa Flow at Yoga Barn

My first class in the Yoga Barn in Ubud was both amazing and extremely humbling.  For a start, it was 30 plus degrees so within minutes in the open air studio I was in a lather, panting and feeling like I hadn’t been on a mat in years.  My fellow students were extremely adept.  One tanned blonde Adonis-like Scandinavian (who went to every class I attended) was the most flexible human being I have ever beheld and took variations that I previously had not thought anatomically possible.  Nonetheless, I couldn’t but look at him with a teacher’s eye and notice that his spine was so flexible that it was collapsing even in down dog.  As he rushed from pose to pose adding his own complicated variations, I wondered if he was connecting at all with his practice, or basically showing off.  (A few days later he was joined by his girlfriend, with whom he did some partnered Cirque de Soleil type balances.  Perhaps they were acrobats after all?)

The class was extremely challenging but quite different than any class I’d been to before so I have included below a few notes on the sequencing, which I hope my fellow teachers and practitioners will find interesting:

·       Warm up:
o   Cross legs - inhale chest forward, exhale chest back
o   Kneeling - arm movements linked to breath
o   All fours - ams - plank - knees, chest to bhujangasana. X 5
o   Arms - extend right leg, knee to chin x 3. Low lunge, lower to chaturanga, Up dog, down dog, low lunge with opposite leg. Step to forward bend. Tadasana. Repeat 2-3 times each leg.
·       Ukatasana - vira III
·       Uktakasana, hold at low point. Twist. Variation - side crow
·       Surya Namaskar B.
Down Dog - lower to elbows push forward to chaturanga, Up dog to down dog x 3
·       Vira II, reverse Vira II (goddess pose), Parsvakonasana
·       Padamottanasana, possible balance
·       Vira II, high lunge with twist, Ardha chandrasana
·       Happy baby, roll back and forward. Straight legs. Navasana - ankles crossed, straighten and back to upright. Repeat crossed the other way.
·       Ams, extend leg, knee to same elbow, knee to opposite elbow. open out to side at right angle (aptly described by the Japanese teacher as “like dog peeing”), slide across body and straighten leg. Wildcat.
·       Vira II, low lunge, shoulder under elbow. Possible balance
·       Squat, Bakasana jump back to chaturanga. Vinyasa.
·       Lying, fist under pubis, elbows tucked in, raise legs.
·       Salabhasana
·       Dandasana, Paschimottanasana
·       Wide leg seated stretch
·       Bend knee and take out to side at right angle with body. Elbow to straight leg, both arms touching head in a side stretch.  Straighten lower arm to lie beside straight leg, take upper arm above head and reach for toes.
·       Marychasana c,  cross upper leg, twist and bind.
·       Hook knee over shoulder, stretch out leg. Bend left leg, cross over right and balance
·       Headstand. Counter poses and cool down.
·       Savasana