I started art classes for little people 20 years ago; they've taught me a lot!
Courses are €60 for 4 weeks, payable in advance. If this is not possible for you, get in touch to discuss payment options.
Phone 085 2441321. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some tips for your comfort and safety...
This is my very simplified view. Authentic yoga teaches us how to breathe properly, which is crucial to boosting our health and self-development.
Just as a tree grows up before branching out in all directions, yoga has evolved into many styles. It is 5000 years old; some believe it may even be older than that. The Vinyasa style was developed in the 1970s.
Vinyasa is a series of poses to keep you moving and build heat; it's like a flowing, full-body dance. It is all about stamina. Over time, vinyasa develops a person physically and mentally. I enjoy it because head to toe, my body feels so alive afterwards, while my mind is calm and brighter.
Hatha is a generic term. In hatha, we hold physical poses (asanas) for longer. It's all about gentle movement, with pauses in-between each asana.
Hatha alternates between sitting on the mat for poses and standing up. It is slow and steady. It seems subtle, yet it goes deeply into the body.
Yoga can challenge and soothe us in equal measure. So, which style to choose? If you are undecided, I suggest that you try both to discover what resonates with you! I even teach a course that explores various styles each week, so that people can discover what resonates with them. Ultimately, the only way for you to know how yoga feels is to experience it for yourself.
To be apprehensive about any new activity is completely natural. Before your first yoga class you might feel anxious, excited or a mixture of both. The number one topic that I hear mentioned time and time again by my newcomers is flexibility.
Flexibility is not required for yoga! Social media is full people who are addicted to posing pictures of themselves 'doing yoga'. What is even funnier is seeing images of people who are engaged in acrobatics....and calling it 'yoga'. The result? Some people are scared to even try!
To me, yoga is about feeling good, not forcing the body into any shapes. Yes, a person's flexibility can increase over time, but that is not the primary aim. And yoga is no quick fix, either. If I don't practice regularly, I'm stiff. It's that simple.
I see people using yoga to cope with their own stiffness, stress, arthritis, back issues.....all sorts. Some are dealing with illness or addiction, others want to enhance sports training or reduce their risk of injury. Most people love yoga because it feels good on so many levels.
Yoga has served humanity for over 5000 years and it doesn't need me to defend it; I just wanted to point out the fact that you do not have to be flexible!
Everyone moves differently. In yoga I invite you to connect with your breath as you explore and expand the mobility of your unique body with awareness.
There is a whole industry out there that wants you to feel fat, frumpy, ugly or lacking in one way or another. Reality check: 'perfect' does not exist! Our body is not a permanent entity. It is ever-changing.
Some people need to slim down for health reasons,and whatever the body size, we all need to remember that being happy is not just something for the future, when you "shed the extra pounds" Finding inner peace is most important, and yoga can bring to to that place of calmness. And by the way, when you are more content, you are less likely to over-eat.
You do not have to be a skinny white girl to participate in a yoga class: that is yet another myth. Look at these large people moving! Thanks Spokane Yoga Studio for sharing your inspiring photo with the world.
Picture: 'Fat Girl Yoga Studio' in Spokane promotes yoga for all.
Our bodies are designed to move, so we need to move! Gentle yoga, full-on vinyasa flow, chair yoga, walking, dancing, sport, swimming.... you can do it.
Today is Summer solstice; a day to contemplate light. How do you use your energy, your fire in the world? To balance the element of fire, we need to connect with the element of water.
Hydration is so important! Water is life; your body weight is 60% water, and every cell, organ, and area of body tissue depend on this miracle liquid. H20 regulates body temperature and maintains multiple functions. Water is lost through breathing, sweating and digestion, so we need to re-hydrate by drinking fluids and eating water-rich foods.
Sipping water regularly throughout the day prevents cramps in yoga. The amount that I drink might not be ideal for your body, and vice-versa. We are all different. As in yoga, how much you need is very personal. It depends on how physically active you are. If you have an illness or health issue, your water intake will differ. Our individual drinking needs are also affected by what kind of climate we live in.
All art & photography by Kathryn Crowley.
Water protects the joints.
During asana (yoga postures), my students often hear me talk about how to protect the joints. Did you know that one of the best way to lubricate and cushion the joints is by consuming water regularly?
Water also helps to protect the spinal chord. Body tissue needs water too; otherwise sensitive areas like the eyes, nose and throat can become uncomfortable and dry.
Enzymes in our saliva dissolve minerals and other nutrients in our food. How much we drink has a direct impact on this process. After digestion, urination and solids happen; yes, water is crucial in order to help your body excrete waste.
Constipation can be aggravated by dehydration. The kidneys, liver and intestines also need water to help move food through the digestive tract before flushing out waste. When it comes to urinary tract issues or cystitis, water can alleviate the symptoms greatly.
In the last few years I have been told by medical specialists that most women they come across are dehydrated. I don't know if it is the same for men; what do you think?
Having access to clean water is a real privilege. For all-round health and as a mood-changer, the simple act of taking water into your body throughout the day can work wonders. So drink, be grateful and enjoy.
Thanks to everyone who shared their knowledge to inspire this blog post, including Jen Laskey and Doctor Sinha Shanai.
For many years, I have had great results with yoga by candlelight. Here are 5 benefits of evening yoga:
1 . Sleep.
Gentle movement and focused breathing induces a better sleep. Evening yoga calms all body functions. Restorative sleep is so important; as we rest and replenish, inflammation is reduced in the body. A good nights' sleep helps us to function better on every level.
2. Muscles and nerves
In the evening, we are more hydrated (or can be, if we sip enough water all day), which means more elasticity for evening practice. Stretching deeply into the muscles soothes our nerves and allows us to really feel what is going on in our bodies.
Taking some time and space to focus on your breath and gentle movement is a good way to let go of any tension or stress that built up during the day.
4. Mind medicine
Evening practice can work wonders for mental health. To enjoy the gentle twists and forward folds in full comfort and safety, do not eat in the 2 hours leading up to practice. 3 if possible.
Yoga improves circulation and increases levels of oxygen throughout the body. If I had to choose one word to describe evening practice, I would say 'soothing'.
"I absolutely love this class. with candles, calming music and Kathryn's guided meditations, it's exactly what I need after a stressful day at work. Kathryn's classes are fantastic because she calmly talks you through every movement, ensuring you don't push yourself too far. I'd highly recommend this class if you are looking for something to help you unwind, relax and centre yourself again".
- Catherine Hughes, Limerick.
"I went to private yoga lessons with Kathryn to improve my flexibility and to be able to relax. Yoga has helped me to become more aware of my body. Kathryn is a gentle, kind and patient teacher. I'm so glad to have met her"
"I felt more connected to my body and breath and was able to carry that same sense of awareness through my mornings"
"I absolutely love this class. with candles, calming music and Kathryn's guided meditations, it's exactly what I need after a stressful day at work. Kathryn's classes are fantastic because she calmly talks you through every movement, ensuring you don't push yourself too far. I'd highly recommend this if you are looking for something to help you unwind, relax and centre
- Catherine Hughes.
"The classes helped me re-connect with yoga practice again. Kathryn is a sincere teacher"
It's fun to try new things. If you've never experienced a yoga class before, here are some tips......
Lessons in legs
It's cold as I write this, and Ireland right now is more about barometers and blankets than bikinis! Physical movement will get your circulation going, but at the end of yoga class your body temperature will drop. So, what to wear?
1. Put on your chosen yoga outfit and lie down on the ground. Extend your arms, stretch this way and that, then roll around for a little while.
2. Lie on your back, then flip over onto your belly. Wriggle about.
3. Put on some music and have a dance to test your 'boob support'.
How you feel is more important than how you look, so remember that function is priority, not fashion. Go go forth in yoga and in comfort! Enjoy.