Whilst training as a youth officer with the Irish Red Cross, a colleague told me about Yoga and gave me a book of simple postures and suggested I give them a go. When I took the book home, I decided to try some of the postures and the breathing techniques, and I immediately felt the benefits. This was my introduction to yoga, and I have never looked back.
So, it was no surprise that in the summer of 2000, I found myself in a Yoga Ashram (community). I had enrolled for a 1-year Diploma in Yogic Science and the course was residential which meant I was living in the Gurukul (the Gurus family). The discipline in the ashram is quite strong, lights out at 8pm, a bell rings for morning practice at 04.30am, no television, no laptops, no phones, and no radios were allowed. The food was served three times a day. It was so different to anything I had ever experienced and looking back it was an amazing time. I had real, quality time for me to do self-exploration.
I loved everything I was learning and excelled at my studies in Yogic Science. In 2001 I returned home having decided to train as a yoga teacher and undertook a further 2 -years study at ‘the Mandla Yoga Ashram Wales’ to qualify. I qualified as a ‘British Wheel of Yoga Teacher’ in 2003 and have been teaching ever since. My passion and love for Yoga drives me to continue to develop professionally. In 2020 I qualified as a Foundation Course Tutor, and this year (2021) I am training to be a Diploma Course Tutor, allowing me to offer professional Teacher Training in the future.
Being able to share Yoga with others, has been a real blessing in my life. I love what I do and find it satisfies a desire I have always had to help others. I find being compassionate comes naturally to me, and, for me, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the benefits that yoga brings to people’s lives. Watching participants in my classes sit in silence and enjoy the stillness and beauty that most often we never get to appreciate, brings joy and happiness into my life.
My dream is to offer the highest standard of training to those wishing to train as yoga teachers. I hope to see the medical profession recognise the numerous benefits that Yoga brings in assisting healing and as part of preventative interventions in health care. My vision for Yoga is that it will be part of mainstream school activity, and that organisations introduce yoga practice as part of their health plan for their staff.
I was given the name ‘Vyomanada’ by ‘Swami Niranjananada’ when I was initiated into Sannyasin (Yoga disciple) in 2000. The name means “the sound of the empty sky” to me, it meant that using my voice and other sounds in a Yoga class could help others.
Namaste - Vyomanada