Growing & Training in India!

Michele leaves at the start of June for a solo journey to India- for spiritual growth and for more yoga teacher training.

Her trip will begin in Dharamsala (Northern India)- the home of the exiled government of Tibet, and of the Buddhist leader, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In hopes of experiencing Buddhist teachings first hand, and learn more about the Tibetan culture, which she has been interested in for years, since beginning Buddhist meditation in 1999. This is a a visit of a lifetime!

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Then she will travel to Rishikesh, the self-proclaimed birthplace of YOGA, on the mighty Ganges River. This is a holy city, the place the Beatles traveled to for their self-discovery in the 1960s and home of world-renowned Yoga ashrams and training centres. She will study for an intensive month, exploring yoga asana, philosophy and meditation practices with pros, where it all began. She will visit a variety of special places along the way— so follow her here on the blog or on our Instagram of Facebook feeds.

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yoga by the Ganges

Starting Yoga

I remember attending my first yoga class in the basement of a church on my university campus when I was eighteen.  From the first week, we were introduced to numerous ways to bend and contort our bodies.  A super-flexible, older man, with a grey beard and white t-shirt was my teacher, and I was quickly hooked.  The problem was that once I wanted to practice at home, I had forgotten what to do...  I could only remember a few of the moves.  Eventually I bought a great book, filled with illustrations and descriptions... I still have it today, twenty-five years later.

That book was The Sivananda Companion to YOGA, and I highly recommend it, even today.  I have the 1983 edition, but not surprisingly, yoga hasn't changed.  So, with that in mind, I have created this downloadable hand-out for my students just starting.  It contains basic instructions, stretches and the sun salutation cycle, with breathing guidelines.   There is no reason that you cannot begin your home practice now.   If you can incorporate 15-20 minutes a days, you'll be on the road to improved health & well-being.

Merry Christmas!  Michele

Confessions of a formerly “zoned out” kind of yoga student

Eimear Lowe

My 1st Aerial Yoga Class

By Eimear Lowe

 

Ok full disclosure, I’m not a yogi or a gym person. I’m not even a jogging person, despite my brief flirtation with it. No, I’m a zone out, once-a-week yoga kind of woman, who gets excited about long walks. And here I am, in my 1st aerial yoga class and I’m anticipating PE-grade humiliation and apologising for my limitations. I’m practically preparing my, ‘I’m sorry it’s just not for me…’ when I realise, what do you know?... I love it! Turns out, with Michele’s intuitive instruction, even I can do this! I can’t do a headstand in real life, yet first class, here I am, in a full inversion, supported by a hammock, head over feet, in something called ‘frog.’  After the initial rush of blood to the head, I experience this wonderful feeling of freedom and release.  It’s such a spiritual moment, of what Michele likes to call “zoning in.”  I feel zen, and in the moment but I’m also free and focused and strong.

It’s what I imagine joggers feel like, quietly amazed at what their bodies can do. Leaving the world behind. There’s also something so delicious and fun about standing up in a hammock, suspended from the ceiling, that it’s hard not to laugh.  I am by no means the best in class, but differing levels are accommodated for, and there are easier adaptations for every move, even looking around the class, it’s just so cool seeing what all these bodies can do.
 

Another thing is that Aerial can really deepen your existing yoga practice. With the added stability and support of the hammock, the aerial class is enabling me to access the health benefits of full inversions, when I can’t manage a forward fold in my mat-based yoga class. I’m super excited about this, as the many benefits include: easing mild anxiety and depression, giving your heart and lymphatic system a break, by  helping circulation, as well as lymphatic drainage and of course, literally seeing the world from a new perspective! Always helpful. I’m also reliably informed that aerial is good for cellulite, which is very exciting news indeed. (Surprisingly, upon leaving,) Michele instructs that the inversions are also beneficial for releasing tension in the neck back and shoulders & indeed can be tailored to provide extra release. For my part, I realise I have experienced a release in my shoulders, neck and head, which is just lovely.  I must have been carrying more tension there than I realised.

I experienced such a child-like feeling of triumph and delight at the sheer newness and novelty of it, but I also have the knowledge that I can build up to deeper moves. The class followed the familiar yoga class structure, even starting on the mat. By the end, after one of the best meditations I have ever had, I left with such a feeling of accomplishment and sheer delight that I am counting the days till my next class.

I’m super excited about adding aerial to my existing yoga practice.

Clothing wise, yoga gear is perfect for your aerial class, just nothing too flowing on top, or you might cover your eyes… close-fitted tops are best!

A 4-week Aerial Yoga course begins Wednesday, September 21st @ 8pm for €50 and there are 2-hour Intro to Aerial workshops monthly- the next is Sunday, September 18th 2-4pm for €25.  Text Michele at Soul Space to book: 086-854-0023.  
 

Eimear is a writer, artist and intern at Soul Space, follow her experiences with all things Soul Space here on the blog, or follow her on Twitter @EimearLowe101