Ríonach began practising yoga in Paris in 1997 at L’Ecole Francais du Yoga, where her primary teacher was Philippe de Fallois and the ethos of the school was to explore several different styles of yoga.
On her return to Ireland, Ríonach discovered Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, through her teacher, Marianne Jacuzzi, who is a direct student of the late Sri K Pattabhi Jois. She developed a daily practice under Marianne’s guidance and subsequently trained to teach at Les Aisles du Yoga in Paris and with David Swenson in Edinburgh.
A certified (500hr) Yoga Alliance Teacher, Ríonach has studied with many leading Ashtanga teachers worldwide. She is most influenced by her studies with Guy Donahaye, David Swenson, John Scott and Lino Miele and she regularly travels to continue her yoga studies. Her style of teaching is non-dogmatic and she encourages students to maintain an open mind as they develop their personal practice in a way that works for their unique body and stage of life. As a teacher of Ashtanga, Ríonach hopes to facilitate students to discover the life-long benefits and joy of this powerful and transformative practice.
My first yoga class was in 2005 in my local gym. As an avid gym bunny back then, I wasn’t sure what to expect from yoga. I even thought it might be a bit boring. Slowly and surely, however, I began to understand that yoga does more than just keep you physically fit and strong – it also has an extraordinary effect on the mind.
The lovely calm that I felt after a yoga class and the way my stress levels reduced was simply magical. Not to mention the whole body workout that was very challenging and also (to my surprise) very enjoyable. I tried many different styles of yoga (Hatha, Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga, Bikram) in various studios in Dublin but hadn’t established a regular practice until in January 2010, when I signed up for an Ashtanga beginners’ course. I was instantly hooked! I just couldn’t wait to get back to the class each week so I also started to practise at home. Soon after, to my great delight, a beautiful yoga studio opened locally, in Greystones, offering led Ashtanga classes as well as a 6 day a week morning Mysore programme.
I have learned a lot from attending in-depth workshops and am forever grateful to have studied with teachers like Luke Jordan, Suzanne Brennan and world class Ashtanga experts, David Swenson, Hamish Hendry, Manju Jois, David Williams, Guy Donahaye, Greg Nardi and Kathy Cooper.
But teaching yoga would probably have remained only a dream if it hadn’t been for the loving support of my own teacher, Rionach O’Flynn, who encouraged me to complete an authentic teacher-training course with renowned Ashtanga teacher, Brian Cooper, who has practised Ashtanga yoga for over 40 years. In 2012 I completed the Union Yoga RYT 200h Teacher Training course with Brian in the South of France. The greatest advice he gave me was to always be myself as a teacher, and to remember that one’s own practice is the greatest teacher.
I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and the happiness that a regular yoga practice has brought me over the years.
Ever since I was little, I always had an interest in “physical” hobbies – volleyball, athletics, dance, tae-kwon-do, swimming etc. So, when I went to my first yoga class 12 years ago – it was purely for a physical challenge…Years later and I am still captured by yoga – it transformed my life! Starting as a physical challenge, yoga slowly became my inspiration, my life philosophy and my sanity in this busy world.
After years of regular practice, I qualified as a yoga teacher in 2011 and since then, I’ve been continuously teaching and studying yoga and body movement. I have been privileged to practise and study under many wonderful teachers from Belarus (where I am from), Ireland and India. I hope to continue their great work by sharing my knowledge and experience with my students.
My medical background has always been helpful, giving me a deeper understanding of body anatomy and movement. I aim to make my classes fun, challenging and informative – flow style with a playful attitude. Every time you roll out your mat, it’s a unique journey. I look forward to sharing that journey with you and welcoming you to my classes at Greystones Yoga Studio.
10 years ago I started yoga, I was in my 40s and my progress was shaky and slow. With kind and steady encouragement, and plenty of fun from my first teacher Anto Kearney, I gradually got stronger and more confident and as the benefits of this practice for me and my family began to mount, I became a firm convert. I had been well and truly bitten by the Ashtanga bug.
I went on to practise with Paula and David Collins in Ashtanga Dublin, Blackrock and this is where I did my teacher training. David is a great anatomy and asana teacher and the emphasis is very much on the spiritual side of the practice. Ashtanga continues to work its alchemy as I practise through the years.
I enjoy practising with some of the famous, international Ashtanga teachers. Manju Jois’s approach makes most sense to me. He says yoga is about looking within, that this is where the real teacher is, and to simply relax and enjoy yoga. I believe it should be empowering and accessible to everyone. I now teach because I believe everyone has something to gain from Yoga.
It has been an honour and my pleasure to be welcomed by Ríonach and the Greystones Ashtanga community as a practitioner and teacher.
Sophie Ní Loinsigh (Therapeutic Massage)
My journey into complementary therapies and bodywork began during my professional training in physical theatre and contemporary dance. During this time, while training in Ireland, France, the US and the UK, I was introduced to the mind-body practices of yoga, somatic therapy, massage and alexander technique. These practices opened up a transformative space for self-growth, a greater understanding of and respect for my body. In experiencing the extraordinary benefits of bodywork on both a professional and personal level, I was compelled to share these benefits with others.
I trained in Holistic Massage with Holistic College Dublin, and Deep Tissue Massage with Beata Aleksandrowicz at Pure Massage London (voted best massage in London – Tatler). I am also a qualified Pregnancy Masseuse and Reiki Practitioner. Alongside therapeutic bodywork, I have a strong interest in Western Herbalism, sparked while working with master herbalists at Neal’s Yard Remedies London and for which I recently obtained a certificate in herbal medicine with Dr Clare Dillis. It is my belief that the Eastern approach to health and wellbeing, which aims to find the root cause of disharmony in body, mind and spirit, correlates to our more traditional healing methods, which we have moved away from and for which there is need to return. In light of this belief in returning to ourselves through our roots, in viewing each person as a whole than merely a symptom, I continue my explorations – presently, towards a Diploma in Acupuncture under the tutelage of Medical Doctor and Acupuncturist, Dr Vincent Carroll.
I have been practising the Jivamukti yoga method for 12 years. In the early days, I focused only on the physical practice, working alongside my gym sessions to help prevent injuries. Cat alip Douglas was my first yoga teacher and she is still my guru and mentor today. She has passed down these ancient teachings in an honest and beautiful way, embracing all of the yogic principles and practices.
In 2007 I developed a serious illness and this is when my practice deepened to incorporate the mindful and spiritual side, while the physical side had to take a step back. I am 100% convinced that my whole yoga practice was a huge factor in a speedy recovery from my illness.
In 2013, after many yoga retreats, I decided to follow this yoga journey to the next level and complete the Jivamukti 300HR teacher training in Costa Rica. I trained with the founders of Jivamukti, Sharon Gannon and David Life, as well as the inspiring Yogeswari and Jeffery (Rama) Cohen. This was the best experience of my life to date and I am deeply honoured to be able to pass down these ancient and beautiful teachings that have survived unchanged for thousands of years.
In my classes, the breath, mind and body are brought into harmony, while we sweat and we laugh.
The teacher will always be a student, the student will always be a teacher.