Finding Balance – Yin/Yang – with Niamh Daly held at Tuam Yoga & Pilates Studio, Sunday, 11 March 2018
It was with great anticipation that I set out this morning for Tuam, which is a good half an hour drive away from me (thanks to the new motorway). I regularly attend vinyasa classes at Tuam Yoga & Pilates Studio with either Charlotte Farragher or Rory Murphy, so I was really pleased to be able to sign up for their maiden voyage into hosting an outside yoga teacher for a couple of workshops. As today is Mother’s Day, I figured I deserved it.
The yang workshop was first. I expected to be a big sweaty mess at the end of this first workshop, but this was not the case. Niamh covered a lot of information about anatomy, posture and how it’s ok to be comfortable in poses even if this means straying from traditional methods (Feet have to be parallel? Not if it isn’t comfy! How liberating!). The sacro-iliac area (and how to treat it right) was one of her main focuses, and with good reason as moving incorrectly for one’s own makeup can cause pain, usually in the lumbar area. She taught us this idea after a brief anatomy lesson, complete with graphics, and then we put what we had learned into practice with a few standing poses, mostly working in small groups of two or three. Niamh used real bodies (us!) to show how to correct imbalances or shift to create more comfort in a pose. Hopefully we will be able to use some of her words, her cues to self-adjust in future classes or in our own practice.
The yin workshop was a nice foray into the juicy bits of the body. I have to admit that I’m still new to yin and I still sometimes don’t GET a pose as I feel like I am not ‘working’ at all. I am sure that with practice I will start to understand some of these poses better, especially if I can use the idea that Niamh explained to us about working to your first edge and then the next edge. That, I can feel happening, at least in most of the yin poses. She had us do Deer pose, which you could deepen into Twisted Deer if you wanted to. Your legs are in the shape of Bharadvajasana , but with both legs on the floor and not crossing each other at all (in a swastika shape). You twist towards the front and then drape yourself over a bolster, looking out over the opposite shoulder if you like. I am not a natural twister at all (in fact, twists are my bugbears really). So for me, this one was horrible and delicious at the same time. And I did indeed reach my first edge and the second one, especially in the right hip area.
Niamh gave some really nice nidra at the end. I actually caught myself doing a little snore, which I don’t do much anymore in Savasana. I could have sworn I was actually conscious, so I must have been in that nice middle ground.
It was a really nice day out and great to have a day of workshops available outside of Galway or Dublin, and not so far from my rural home. Niamh Daly seems to have a real passion for teaching; it really shines through. She has good stories and peppers her teaching with interesting facts and quotes. Niamh is also an actress (anyone heard of Fair City? Well, she plays Debbie) and seems very comfortable in talking to a large group of students. Plus, she made some really yummy dark chocolate and date treats for us! Niamh can be contacted through her website your-yoga.wixsite.com/youryoga.
Charlotte and Rory were great for hosting and I hope this is the first of many workshop days to come at Tuam Yoga & Pilates Studio.