“The Yoga Barre is 5 years old and I’m about to open my first studio! I can’t believe it!!
My journey and career of practicing massage and teaching Yoga all started in Feb 2001 when I packed my bags to go on a hike in the Namib desert, taking a break from my busy stressful job in Recruitment in Dublin.
It was in aid of The Simon Community and I went with other like-minded souls to walk in this beautiful country.
I had always loved to travel before this, packing bags to live in Prague for 18 months after College, traveling through Europe, and heading off for summer adventures through The States and South America but this was different.
I didn’t need to think. I had space all around me in this desert, fantastic guides to take us to our next camp, and food cooked by the campfire every night. All I needed to do was walk. And walk I did.
I had never had so much time walking and thinking, walking away my worries and dreams. At night when we camped, I would walk out into the sunset and fall to my knees with the absolutely stunning beauty and stillness all around me, I had never seen anything like it before.
With this stillness, something shifted in me.
I got to listen really listen to myself for the first time.
What did I want to do with my life?
I knew right away that working in recruitment in a fast-paced life in Dublin wasn’t it.
So when I got home I knew I had to go traveling.. again.
I didn’t put much thought or planning into it, quite simply I just couldn’t wait to go and within 3 months I was on a plane to Japan to visit an old friend in Kyoto.
I wanted to immerse myself in a different culture as soon as possible and within a few weeks, I got to see how beautiful and different the Japanese culture really was.
From there I traveled to Melbourne to live with a houseful of lovely hippies, one of whom was an Italian who studied capoeira and shiatsu who I loved to listen to about anything holistic and healthy.
In Melbourne, I had my first holistic training in Massage Therapy and loved every minute of it. After traveling to the center and west of this beautiful country having great adventures with one of my oldest pals, I settled in Byron Bay for 3 months.
This is where the true hippy heart in me was unleashed.
I was staying in a hostel and campsite overlooking a lake, trading massages outdoors in exchange for my accommodation.
I developed my craft quickly.
I spent my day barefoot, drinking green tea, and practicing yoga on the beach every day. I wore tie-dye dresses and had homemade dreads in my hair, playing drums on the street at night with my friends from the hostel. I had never felt so free, this was what calling me in that Namib desert.
It was here on the beach that I met ‘Beautiful’. A kind and oh so funny 70-year old dressed in only a loincloth, who spent his days telling everyone he could they were fantastic. He named me ‘Loving’ and we became fast friends. He just wanted everyone to know they were beautiful too.
Those few months in Byron Bay allowed me to fall in love with yoga and to connect with people through holistic therapy.
I was hungry for more.
And I was hooked.
I went on to beautiful New Zealand and Thailand for 6 months and when I ran out of energy and money I came home to qualify fully in Holistic Massage.
I went on to study Reflexology, Hot Stone Therapy, Indian Head Massage, and Pregnancy Massage, any course that was on and I was all over it.
In fact I aced my exams, this had never happened before when I was in school or college!
When I met my fella and we were planning a family I started looking ahead to qualify in Yoga, wanting to teach in particular Pregnancy.
So off I went to India, a place of my dreams to study and immerse myself in all things Yoga before we got married. From the moment I got off the plane in New Delhi I loved every sound, smell, and color, I honestly felt like I was home.
I spent a few weeks on an adventure tour camping on The Ganges, traveling to the unforgettable Varanasi and Rajasthan, getting a feel for this majestic land.
Then I was on my own and ready for the adventure of a lifetime for my Yoga Training.
The Ashram was many hours from Mumbai, between mountains and so simple and authentic.
Our days started with 5 am wake-ups for meditation and asana yoga practice, to learning all our yogic philosophy and teaching.
We spent many afternoons practicing all our poses on top of a hill with the most beautiful views, laughing so hard with yogis from all over the world and eating the best vegetarian food we had ever had. It was a dream come true for me and I left with my Yoga Teaching Certificate in my pocket and memories that would last a lifetime.
I was reunited with my hubby when he came out to visit me in Kerala for a fab holiday together by the sea.
When we got home I fell pregnant with our first baby and our lives in Wicklow really began.
As I experienced my own pregnancies and births I went onto study Pregnancy Yoga, Active Birth Training, Baby Massage, and Post Natal Yoga. While my 3 babies were growing up it was such an honour to be going through this time and supporting other women in my classes in Greystones.
And It was when we were living near Brittas Bay that one of my clients from The States asked me had I ever heard of Barre? I said no but I googled it that night and I discovered It was huge in the States and the UK.
I was intrigued so as soon as I could I got into Dublin to take a class and I loved it right away. I looked into training and as fate would have it there was one for Yoga and Pilates teachers running the next month.
And that was it for me.
After that I spent a year traveling into town going to weekly barre and yoga classes, writing down all the moves that inspired me, and learning as much as I could. I drew all my training into one and The Yoga Barre was born in May 2016!
I love teaching this high energy fun class, with its mix of cardio, weights, barre, yoga, and core exercises. No 2 classes are ever the same so it keeps me so creative in my teaching. I love so much working with all the gorgeous girls who have crossed my door, we work hard and laugh a lot!
When the first wave of this pandemic hit, I missed the energy of the classes and the girls in them so much. Both of the studios I rented closed down and we had to completely turn around our business model in 2 weeks to go Online and the Beach. What a learning curve this last year has been, but like so many of my creative peers, we did it! A rollercoaster for sure but so worth it.
And now as The Yoga Barre turns 5, I am preparing to open my very own Yoga Barre Studio in Kilcoole. A real dream come true.
Thank you to everyone for all your support on this journey with me,
Here’s to the next adventures that lie ahead for us all ”