For those of you with an interest in the deeper aspects of Yoga and Eastern medicine, please check out my friends at the Kagyu Samye Dzong Buddhist Centre in Kilmainham D8. The centre is beautiful and they are running courses in Mindfulness and Tibetan Medicine clinics in addition to their usual schedule of events.
I attended meditation classes there for about a year when I lived nearby and still miss them.
Yoga is mindfulness in motion, acupuncture can bring you to a state of mindfulness through energy balance. Meditation and chant are direct ways to this same end.
If you have any questions for the folks at the centre, you can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org or join their mailing list at www.buddhism.ie
Hi All, Dave Curtis, well known teacher trainer in Dublin with an excellent reputation, will be doing a workshop at the Ananta Yoga Studio on the N11 just outside of Arklow – details below (please contact Liz - not us):
Master Class with Dave Curtis of Vinyasa Flow Yoga Dublin at The Ananta Yoga Studio. Friday 30th September 7.30pm-10pm. Fee €25. We have extended class time by half an hour from last one in July to bring you all best value for money possible so this will be a long session! Only 20 spaces and payment due in full by Friday 16th to hold your space and to avoid wasting precious yoga time on the night. Text Liz to book your place 086 8963425 asap. Many thanks! Liz
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Hi all, just a reminder that the great Chuck Miller will be teaching this September (23rd through 25th) at the Open Mind Yoga Centre on Pearse Street. Prices are reasonable and the your choice of days quite flexible so call them as soon as you can if you are interested as places will be taken up quickly. Hope to see you all there!
Acupuncture has been shown time and again to benefit couples who are experiencing difficulty conceiving. So how does this relate to the issue of weight? For some excellent info on this topic check out this excellent article by Zita West, the renowned acupuncture and fertility specialist, written for the lovely people at rollercoaster.ie, Irelands best online resource for pregnancy and childcare. Zita West has a practice in Harley St and specializes in fertility. She is an acupuncturist, nutritionist and midwife and the author of many excellent books relating to these issues. To learn more about acupuncture and fertility in general check here for more details
To learn more about the Zita West approach to fertility you can check out her book Plan to get Pregnant on Amazon.
Yes that's right, a free Yoga Workshop and Pilates Workshop rolled into one! No need to book, just show up on the day. We had planned it for 11am but has been extended! At no cost to you, you are welcome to come along for over 3 hours of Yoga and Pilates with time for discussion and demonstration at the end. I'll be teaching approx 45 mins to an hour of Hatha Yoga, 45 mins to an hour of Ashtanga based Vinyasa yoga and 45 mins of Pilates. Each will be discussed briefly before we begin. You are free to attend all three back to back (with breaks in-between!) or to just pick and choose. So for example if all you are interested in is Hatha Yoga just come along at 10am.
This is perfect if you would like to try out any of these for the first time, if you already practice yoga and would just like to try out the venue or if you haven't taken yoga or classes with me before and would like to sample a class or two before you commit.
You are also more than welcome to just come along, no strings attached and just enjoy a good, long 3 and a half hour Saturday morning holistic workout!
The schedule will be:
10am to 11am - Hatha Yoga
11am to 12pm - Vinyasa / Ashtanga
12pm to 1pm - Pilates
1pm to 1.30ish - questions and demos
All are welcome. Bring a mat if you have one, but don't worry if you don't we will have penty of mats there.
More details about the location can be found at http://www.bodytransform.ie/classes.html
Kids are back at school!
It's nearly September again and the kids are getting ready to go back to school, which for many mums and some dads, means its time to start thinking about getting active again and maybe trying a yoga class for the first time or even returning to yoga after a long break.
There are so many types of yoga around these days that it can be hard to know what's what and so many yoga studios and independent teachers that you just don't know where to start.
So here's some basic advice to get started.
Ask yourself what you wish to gain from yoga.
Is it physical fitness with super flexibility? If so, try a beginners Ashtanga class or Power Yoga. Vinyasa Flow may also be quite vigorous but you will need to ask the teacher about the pace fo the class.
Would you prefer a detailed breakdown of each pose with attention to alignment and safety throughout as the main focus? Try an Iyengar class.
Do you want more or less the same routine every time so that you can easily begin to practice at home? An Ashtanga Yoga class or Sivananda Yoga class will always feature the same routine. Ashtanga will be more demanding while Sivananda will be much more basic with more emphasis on meditation and spirituality.
Are you looking for some spiritual content, yoga philosophy and meditation in the class? Sivananda Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Raja Yoga will probably be best for this.
Would you like a varied routine that focuses on flexbility, relaxation and meditation? Hatha Yoga, the original yoga, will be best for this.
Are you looking for remedial yoga to alleviate or to cure chronic pain, recover from illness? Firstly, consider a 1-2-1 class. If this isn't financially possible then try a Viniyoga or Somatic Yoga class. Other classes may also be suitable but you will need to discuss with your teacher.
And finally, should I choose an independent teacher or go to a large Studio?
This question isn't as simple as it appears. A large Studio may have discounts and sign up offers with lots of different types of yoga you can try. This is perfect if you are getting started as it allows you to find out which style is best for you and if you miss an evening you can always switch for another. As time goes on and you have found the style you like the other classes become less important and you may find that there is a lack of continuity in larger studios with timetables changing and teachers being substituted. An independent teacher cannot offer the same variety but if you like their style then this won't matter and you are more likely to get just the class you want every time you go. Developing a relationship with an individual teacher means that you may receive discounts specific to you over time that a large Studio will never offer. It also means that if you wish to progress your yoga to teacher training then you have a solid relationship with a person who can help you on this path.
This is not at all an exhaustive list, but I hope it will help a little. If you have any questions about which kind of yoga class will be right for you this september feel free to send an email to email@example.com, find us on Facebook or use the comment section of the blog.
In the meantime, to prepare your body for all that stretching, check out www.yogabodynaturals4U.com for the only supplements created by a yoga teacher specifically for yoga students.
If you are chronically unwell then usually you will be emotionally ‘off’ as well. We mostly assume that being unwell causes negative emotions such as grumpiness, short tempers, even misery and depression. However, according to Chinese medicine, this street runs both ways. For several thousand years Chinese physicians have understood the close relationship of emotions to health and have fine tuned a method to cure emotional ill health through the body and physical ill health through working with the emotions.
In order to understand better where your chronic illness may be coming from, you will need to take an honest look at what kind of person you are. In Chinese medicine we are broadly divided into 5 categories described metaphorically as Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each of these 5 Phases or Elements corresponds to a pair of internal organs, to a predominating emotion and most importantly, to a virtue. When the emotion or the organ is out of harmony, then negative emotion and illness begin to take root.
The Wood or Liver type of person likes to control and organize. They are affected by tight muscular contraction, often around shoulders and knees, headaches, burning eyes, acid refux, to name a few. Anger, irritability and eventually depression are the result of disharmony. Organisation and kindness are the virtues.
The Fire or Heart type loves to laugh and enjoy life. They can be affected by palpitations, heart murmurs and irregular heart beats. Over excitement and exciteability are the result of disharmony. Joy, good humour and humility are the virtues.
The Earth or Spleen type is caring and sympathetic. They are prone to digestive disorders, IBS, diarhea, constipation, bloating after eating, to name a few. Worry and overthinking are the result of disharmony. Caring, sympathy and faithfulness are the virtues.
The Metal or Lung type is analytical. They are prone to respiratory disorder, hayfever, asthma, bronchitiis and so on. Out of harmony they suffer from sadness and grief. Their virtue is fairness.
The Water or Kidney type is creative. They tend towards bladder, kidney and low back disorders. Out of harmony they are prone to fearfulness. Functioning correctly they are courageous and wise.
How you think and feel not only makes you the kind of person you are, it also can dictate the kind of patient you may become and the specific way that your illness will try to teach you. If you are chronically ill then take some time to see what this is telling you about your thoughts, your emotions and about who you are as a person. There is always something new to learn. While achieving insight about your constitutional type may not ‘cure’you of an ailment overnight, it may well put you on the road to a long term recovery andl will enable your Chinese Medicine practitioner to help you more effectively.
And more importantly, how will you know if it has?
Yoga has become so amazingly popular today and of course the perception of the general public towards it has changed dramatically. Just a decade or so ago it was still shrouded in mystery and very bound up with ideas of the energy Chakras, enlightenment, Moksha, meditation and so on. Some of this still remains, however, by far the majority of students who walk through the door of a yoga studio have little or no knowledge of or interest in these things. Those who do may be a little dissapointed most of the time to discover that most teachers and classes will involve only stretching, breathwork and a little meditation.
Despite the association of Yoga today with back health, losing weight, physical exercise and so on, the ideas of the Chakras, Nadis, Moksha and Samadhi remain and integral part of yoga. Somehow the ideas of the Chakras have been separated out of yoga practice and become incorporated into quite different practices such as Reiki, Shamanic work, even Angel Healing Therapy and so on.
So does yoga as most people know it today have anything to do with Chakra work, Kundalini etc? Will stretching exercises and synchronized deep breathing clear your Chakras (whatever they are) and bring you closer to enlightenment? And who should you be asking? Your ‘yoga’ teaacher?
Many courses these days include exotic visualizations and methods to clear Chakras. You might use colours, sound, even visualize glowing spheres of energy along the spine being cleansed and powerful energy rising from the sacrum to the crown of your head and beyond. Are these all forms of yoga? Will you get any of this from your yoga class? Do you even want to????
Here is my humble perspective. It’s just my opinion. I have practiced yoga and meditation for nearly 30 years and dabbled in many other things besides including Reiki, acupuncture, hypnosis and so on. My honest opinion is that yes, you can expect your energy system to be purified and strengthened through the practice of yoga and meditation. Going swimming or running will also be good for your energy system. Carrying out a charitable act, an act of kindness or love will also strongly benefit this subtle energy system. How will you know its working? As one of my teachers, Yogi Hari once pointed out, if your heart Chakra is ‘activated’ you won’t have visions of swirling green or pink vortices of energy (and if you did, how would they benefit you?), rather, you will feel more compassionate and forgiving as a person. Likewise with your base Chakra, you will feel more grounded in reality, less prone to float away in dreams, connected by loyalty to your family and ‘tribe’ and so on.
Many people have psychic gifts and may be able to see the colors of Chakras and so on, but if you don’t have this gift and if you don’t have the time to develop it, this doesn’t mean you can’t work on the energy of your Chakras. You may not be able to see them like a psychic, but they may well be more developed than those of someone who is only able to see them, but doesn’t know how to work with them!
To develop your base Chakra, spend time with our family. To develop your main abdominal Chakra, learn to take pleasure in life and develop your creativity. To develop your solar plexus Chakra, learn to take responsibilty, step up to the plate more often and develop your self-confidence. To develop the heart, be more kind, loving and forgiving. To develop the throat, learn to speak clearly, honestly and with confidence. To develop your third eye, learn to think clearly, to be objective, to develop your personal vision for your future and those of your loved ones. To develop your crown Chakra….
Physical yoga, asana and pranayama helps you with all of these things, but if you choose to remain in a vain, selfish, hateful state of mind, you may have a flexible body, perhaps even a beautiful one, you may even have learned Patanjali’s aphorisms by heart, but your Chakras will be as closed as your mind and as blind as your desire to see swirling vortices of energy in your spine!
Loyalty cards have been ordered and will arrive in a week or so. Watch this space loyal yogis and Pilates aficionados for more details! Send a quick mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
That's right! A whole new schedule of classes with yours truly starts this July at KB Fitness on Fitzwilliam St. in the posh D2 part of town. KB Fitness is right in Dublin City Centre with a range of fitness classes, amazing instructors and now of course, a full schedule of Yoga, Pilates and Yoga Pilates Fusion classes.
Check out the full schedule here http://www.kbfitness.ie/yoga-and-pilates.html and call KB Fitness directly on 01 6629723 for details.
Here's my profile on their site http://www.kbfitness.ie/trainers.html.
Spread the word folks!!
Liam Byrne, Yoga & Pilates Instructor, Acupuncturist, Physical Therapist, Sports Massage Therapist,