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 in 2000, Ríonach discovered Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, through her teacher, Marianne Jacuzzi. 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) Senior Teacher with Yoga Alliance Professionals, Ríonach is particularly inspired by her studies with Gregor Maehle and Monica Gauci, David Swenson, Guy Donahaye, Lino Miele and Richard Freeman. She regularly travels to expand her knowledge of yoga asana, meditation and pranayama practice, philosophy, theory, and adjustment technique, believing firmly in the adage that the teacher is always a student. Her style of teaching is non-dogmatic, and she encourages students to maintain an open mind as they develop their 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.
We are delighted to have Marianne Jacuzzi join us to teach the History & Philosophy of Yoga module on our Teacher Training Course.
Discovering the Bhagavad Gita while still a schoolgirl in California, Marianne began meditating with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in San Francisco when she was sixteen. Later, she studied Indian Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz.
Her yoga practice began in the Sivananda tradition, with meditation, chanting and devotional practices as important as asana. After moving from California to Ireland in the early 90’s, she studied Iyengar Yoga with Elizabeth Connolly in Dublin, who introduced her to Ashtanga Yoga in the late 90’s. It was not long before the power of Ashtanga Yoga completely captivated her. For about eleven years, she maintained a strict daily practice of Ashtanga Yoga and travelled many times to Mysore to study directly with Pattabhi Jois.
But her personal practice began to evolve around 2009 to 2012, the combined richness of those three foundational schools, along with an internal transformation and a few extraordinary Indian masters—all coming together to give birth to her own fluid style of practice, which she developed and called Shakti Rasa. Shakti Rasa Yoga incorporates breath and meditation into powerful asana work that raises the frequency of the subtle energy body. Since her teaching has always flowed from her personal practice, she began offering classes in Shakti Rasa as well.
Having done teacher trainings in Sivananda, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Vinyasa Krama Yoga, she is Yoga Alliance certified at the highest level: E-RYT-500 and is also a Yoga Alliance continuing education provider: YACEP.
Alongside her daily practice of yoga, Marianne also continued her studies in Indian philosophy. With eminent yoga scholar Georg Feuerstein, she completed over 1000 hours of coursework in yoga philosophy. With Buddhist priest David Brazier, she studied Buddhist psychotherapy for over four years in the UK. She incorporates techniques of Zen therapy into her work with clients and continues to be inspired by this teaching.
I started yoga much younger than average. One class in GYS as an experiment turned into a lifestyle for me from the age of fifteen. The enthusiasm and dedication from both my teachers Ríonach and Ingrid played a huge role in this. I began with drop-in classes and next thing you know it’s a monthly unlimited pass! It came to the point where I felt the urge to do my yoga teacher training. I really wanted to fully immerse myself in the yoga world, and doing my 200hrs teacher training was the first step.
I spent a month over on a small island in Bali called Nusa Lembongan, where I received an accreditation with All Yoga Teacher Training. Daily practices included pranayama, meditation, kriyas, anatomy, Philosophy and of course Asanas. I left the island full of knowledge, gained from incredible teachers. I was completely immersed in yoga and connected with like-minded people. I am forever grateful for my time spent in Bali. I learnt so much about myself and the reason I keep coming back to yoga.
Dr Ganesh, my Philosophy teacher, said ‘In yoga, it is not variety which is the spice of life, but mindful repetition which works wonders,’ and that is the reason Ashtanga yoga resonates with me.
I want to share what I have learnt with the hope that others can enjoy practising as I have through my teachers.
When yoga became part of my daily life in 2011, my well-being was at rock bottom. I was at a crisis point of anxiety and my body had taken the beating for it. Starting off exhausted and full of injuries and ailments, after just a few weeks practising yoga, I began to heal. Within no time at all, I transformed into a stronger, healthier and happier version of myself and started my journey to become a 500RYT Hatha Yoga and Meditation teacher.
My own experience made me fascinated with yoga’s ability to promote healing. I decided to train with Yoga Therapy Ireland on a 2 year, 500-hour course. Throughout my studies, I developed a knowledge of the relationship between anatomy, asana and emotion. In-depth, practical mentorship with yoga therapists on the course taught me to be a responsive and inclusive teacher, ready to work with all ages, abilities and body types.
As my practice deepened so did my spiritual experience of yoga which brought me all the way to India. During my trips, I have been honoured to learn mantra, pranayama and ritual in the Brahmin tradition across the Himalayas.
Whether the class is gentle or challenging, there is always space in my class to listen to your body and be light-hearted. My experience of yoga as both a teacher and a student continues to bring me joy and I hope to share that.
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.