“Yoga means to unite. When practicing Yoga we unite our bodies, our breath and our mind. This is a very important practice as we all too often live in the past or the future. To practice Yoga, is to come into the present moment and that is where life is happening.”
In this post, Im sharing some photos from a shoot I did back in November, hard to believe with that gorgeous sunshine!? It was a beautiful, crisp Autumn’s day, the last one of the year. I met Sinead of LoveYoga Galway at one of our joint favourite spot (Barna woods), early in the day. We wandered about, chatting and laughing finding nice spots to stop and snap. At this time, I’d been practicing Yoga with Sinead for about four months. Since arriving home from Thailand in September, I knew I wanted to continue on with my practice and work on my body and mind.
Sinead teaches Hatha Yoga which very slow and relaxed, exactly what I needed. Hatha Yoga is a traditional Yoga practice from India dating back thousands of years. Using our breath along with the poses helps to nourish our bodies, we build a better relationship with our bodies, giving it attention, giving our bodies love & acceptance – this is the core ethos of Hatha Yoga. Having personally tried some other types of Yoga I found Hatha is definitely my preference at the moment in regards my spine. So I started to practice with Sinead twice a week at the Sat Nam Centre in Galway City.
When I started last year with Sinead, the evenings were getting shorter and darker. This meant that inevitably, there were evenings where I didn’t feel boundless amounts of energy and joy at the thought of going to Yoga and sometimes the couch seemed a lot more enticing but seeing Hatha is so slow and relaxing that these evenings were made so much easier!
I found Yoga easy when I started. I started my training with Maev Craven (she’s also amazing) who was doing private classes with me last year due to a severe spinal injury I have. I took it really easy and at my own pace. With Hatha being so slow, meditative and based on breathing – staring is a lovely process. After not long at all, I started doing two classes a week with Sinead and could visibly see and feel the newly gained strength and flexibility in my body. The pain I was feeling in my back was lessening and the constant stretching of the spine was really working for me.
“I went to my first Yoga class about ten years ago and class by class I got hooked! I was suffering from severe anxiety at the time that I started. I loved the high intensity in the class but when it came to relaxation, my mind was racing and I wanted to leave. It just showed me how much I needed it [Yoga].” Sinead tells me. “My body and mind were completely disconnected. I see how it happens so easily to people. We can live so much in our heads, living in the past and the future and becoming totally out of sync with ourselves. This will only end is some sort of dis-ease in the body.”
Sinéad Mc Kiernan of LoveYoga Galway studied Hatha Yoga in India. “It was an intense course, waking up at 4am for meditation and finally finishing with anatomy class at 9pm. The days were filled with Yoga practice, Pranayama ( breathing) classes, Yoga philosophy, Meditation, Anatomy, Ayurveda Medicine and teaching practice.” Sinead said. She knew from the start that it was for her as she loved navigating the courses, working with the teachers and loved to learn more and more.
LoveYoga Galway has been very successful so far and is proving a big hit with Galway Yogi’s. As the classes and workshops fill up, Sinead has been connecting with all walks of life and all ages. With a great online presence, Sinead’s classes are filling up quick! “The ratio of women is higher but there are some great lads coming to my classes and I encourage more to come!” she said. “Yoga is great for everyone. People have their pre-conceptions of what it is. Every class is different but you should feel great benefits even after one class. It`s meditation, exercise, relaxation and therapy combined.”
Where does Sinead see LoveYoga Galway going in the future? “I would like Yoga to be accessible to everyone, everywhere.” she said. “I feel everyone should try a class at least once! There are no expectations, no pre-requisites. Breathing mindfully is Yoga as is doing a headstand. I encourage people to do what suits them, challenge themselves but to go at their own pace.” Already this year Sinead has a jam packed calendar of events, classes and workshops! She is working on online tutorials, is on social media and is doing Youga tutorials on Youtube too! She loves to help people realise their potential and use the tools they already possess to relax and have fun. Find Sinead at LoveYoga Galway here and book a taster class, Im sure you will enjoy it!