I started yoga in Hong Kong over 25 years ago, and was immediately enchanted by the incredible scope of yoga - physical, mental; easy as you want it, and at the same time incredibly demanding. 18 years ago I trained to teach, and have been teaching - and learning - ever since.
I am qualified to teach children through Yoga Therapy Ireland, and have learned of the power of story through experience. I co-created a summer CPD course for primary school teachers, to train others to leverage the benefits of yoga for children in the classroom.
Besides leading weekly classes in Carlow, Tullow and the SouthEast, I guide the weekend Yoga & Sleep retreats at Lisnavagh, Co. Carlow.
Occasionally, private lessons are of more benefit to a person than a group setting, and I have developed an approach that leads the individual into a safe and useful home practice. More information on private lessons here.
In 2003, I was introduced to Shadow yoga by Paula McGrath. This judicious style of hatha yoga continues to be my personal practice, supported by workshops primarily with Karen Watson. See Shadowyoga.com for more information.
About Pam's classes
Pam's classes cultivate the connection between physical movement and breath, encouraging a meditative practice. Students often comment on how limbered, refreshed and relaxed they feel after class. Many have succeeded in using relaxation techniques learned in class to restore and recharge themselves in their daily lives.
Typically, a hatha yoga class begins with a warm up; sun salutations which is a flowing sequence of movements coordinated with the breath; and Asanas (postures) which develop balance, strength, and flexibility. A closing relaxation allows the body and mind to absorb the work done.
Beginner's classes teach fundamentals of movement, coordination, breathwork, and develop strength, flexibility, and familiarity with classic Hatha Yoga asana. This class takes a gentle approach and is aimed at those who need to develop physical strength gradually.
Mixed Level classes develop on the fundamental squencing and introduce a variety of asana, with the focus on standing postures to develop leg strength and flexibility, which is the foundation of practicing floor work (seated, lying, inverted). Beginners with normal mobility are welcome.
Intermediate classes introduce more subtle elements to the practice, including bandhas and mudras. More advanced variations of asanas are brought in. This level is aimed at those developing a regular personal practice.
Done correctly (within one's limits, yet wtih sufficient effort), yoga cultivates the individual physically and mentally. The breath is the link between body and mind. Different methods of breathing have the power to draw the mind inwards, massage internal organs, release toxins, calm the nervous system, and thereby control energy. Yoga helps to preserve and contain energy, and can be a life long practice that develops focus, acceptance and joy.
Yoga is an art and a science that provides a practical, integrated education for the body, mind and spirit.
The word "yoga" is derived fro the Sanskrit word yug, meaning to bind, join or yoke. It is the art of directing and concentrating the attention, bringing an 'incoherent and scattered mind to a reflective and coherent state'*. The practice of asana (steady postures), pranayama (expansion of the vital energy through the breath), pratyahara (withdrawl of the senses), along with observance of the yamas and niyamas (individual and social ethical disciplines), leads to the fruits of yoga: concentration, contemplation, and profound meditation (dharana, dhyana and samadhi). This eightfold practice is "astanga yoga".
Who can do yoga?
Yoga can be practiced by everyone, according to their abilities and needs. This means that you can start at any stage of life and any level of fitness; but it also means that people who are young, old, fit, unfit, healthy, unwell, male, female, pregnant, menstruating, stressed, energetic, lethargic, will have different needs and will be able for different postures. From that starting point, the practice is built.
Yoga is not ...
A religion (you can practice and develop spiritually without contradiction to religious beliefs).
A miracle cure (benefits come with practice).
Competitive (work for your self, in the moment, without comparison to others or to your past self).
Physical exercise only (mental focus, correct breathing and positive attitude are part of yoga).
Owned by anyone.
*Iyengar, BKS (2004). Light on Pranayama, Crossroad Publishing Co, NY.