By age 25, I was overweight, anxious and pretty much lost in life.
I was the least athletic boy in school, partied heavily (but happily!) in my 20’s and lived for the weekends.
One evening, my Dad sat me down for a family intervention and I knew something had to change. Luckily for me, it was at this time that a good friend encouraged me to train for a triathlon (which I thought was some sort of chocolate bar) and that began my journey into health, fitness and wellbeing.
In the last 10 years, I’ve left the corporate world, trained as a yoga teacher (250-hour RYT), a Pilates instructor (Mat PTTI), a Personal Trainer and a group fitness instructor with the European Qualification Framework (EQF Level 4) – the highest fitness instructor standard in Europe.
In my classes, I love to share my experience of yoga, Pilates and strength training in a way that is accessible and fun for everyone of all fitness levels.
Mary has been passionate about music and movement her whole life. Her yoga journey began in 2010 initially been drawn to yoga by the sense of escape and very quickly grew to love the mind, body, spirit connection.
She began her teaching career in Miami in 2012 before moving to Dublin, teaching restorative yoga Bikram yoga, children’s and additional needs yoga and Vinyasa flow. She has enjoyed watching students of all ages light up from the practice of yoga ever since. She enjoys travelling and teaching yoga and sharing her love it.
Her mission as a yoga teacher is to help others see that Mindfulness can be achieved through a variety of approaches such as yoga, music, meditation and healthy living and being present in everything you do. While not flowing on her mat, Mary teaches music, plays violin in an orchestra, snowboards in winter and lies forever under the sun during the summer.
Sandra is a qualified Kundalini Yoga teacher. She trained with Jivan Mukta Academy of Kundalini Yoga in Cork. Yoga has been an integral part of her life for the past decade. She has explored many different styles of Yoga. Particularly, she felt drawn to Kundalini Yoga. It has had a profound effect on Sandra’s life and has helped her to live more joyfully and embrace acceptance and the challenges of life.
Sandra has works as an art teacher in adult education. She has worked with people of different ages and backgrounds as a social worker, a teacher and a workshop coordinator. She likes to inspire and be inspired by other people and share what she loves doing. She has had the opportunity to be taught by great teachers. Sandra carries the creative spark on to her students and delivers a heartfelt experience of Kundalini Yoga.
Deirdre Murphy is interested in making life more accommodating, grounding, and stimulating. She does this by performing, writing music, making theatre, dancing, teaching yoga, dance, and acroyoga, training circus, throwing parties, raising children, knitting, cooking, and standing on her hands. She is also director of Fumbally Court Studio.
Deirdre took her first yoga class in 1995 at University of Alaska Anchorage, and failed it. Soon after though, the introduction of Astanga Yoga revolutionised her way of living, inspiring multiple teacher trainings and a good dose of discipline. Her yoga teaching career has spanned fourteen years and has included Astanga, prenatal yoga, parent/baby yoga, gentle Hatha, Yoga Nidra, Vinyasa flow, and Acrobatic Yoga.
She regularly teaches workshops in Acrobatic Yoga all over Ireland, and has toured to teach in Lithuania, Latvia, and Paris. The lesson and the love for Acrobatic Yoga is in the community which it builds — it brings yoga into a meaningful shared practise, which can be both very light hearted and transformative. Yoga means union. Acrobatic yoga brings
that into union with community.
My first experience of yoga was in the early 90’s and falls somewhere between the realm of amusement and humiliation. I was about 25 years old, a runner and cyclist and like most of people, I initially went to yoga to become more flexible. As an athlete I was result driven and competitive and as yoga encompasses neither of these traits, I suffered.
Back in those days Jane Fonda headbands and neon lycra were compulsory, and as a dedicated fashionista, my leggings clashed with the linen-clad yogi-hippies who remained oblivious to my pain as they quietly breathed and effortlessly stood on their heads. I’m glad I kept on going back because that little deviation from my norm eventually led to some amazing life changes and I became a teacher of yoga.
Going back a little further, I qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1987 and some years later I was Operations Manager in a busy Social Work department. Yoga and fitness helped me to manage my stress. In the summer of 1999, a conversation over a pizza and a beer brought about an incredible life change that wasn’t exactly planned, I changed my career and moved to Amsterdam. I registered my company, BLP Wellness Consultancy. It went well, I taught yoga and fitness classes, designed in-house training and education for a chain of gyms and eventually went on to open Amstel Yoga Lounge.
In 2012, I relocated to Dublin.
I’m currently studying Neuromuscular Therapy. I’m a yoga teacher, a writer and Be Activated Therapist and I truly love my work.
Be Strong Stretched & Activated Bx
Melissa has been teaching women yoga for over 14 years and and is a Mother to 3 children. Having started yoga in her 20’s in San Francisco, Melissa’s yoga journey has been fairly colourful. She is a fully trained Bikram, Hatha, Pre and Postnatal Yoga teacher, Kids yoga teacher, Infant Massage Instructor, Cuidiu breastfeeding counsellor and recently completed level 1 Yin Yoga Training with Josh Summers.
Melissa is very passionate about birth which led her to start facilitating birth preparation classes, complete a doula and postnatal doula training and most recently has completed a Well Woman/Womb Yoga training with the well known women’s health advocate, Uma Dinsmore-Tuli.
Melissa’s passion for women’s health is obvious in her classes due to her nurturing approach and being able to respond to the needs of women’s health issues. Whether in or out of the yoga room and knowing well how challenging life can be, Melissa loves to empower and support women from all walks of life.
Sophia is an experienced yoga and meditation teacher and has been practicing meditation since her teenage years and yoga for over a decade. She has explored a variety of meditation traditions and in recent years has been consistently working with Mindfulness.
She has completed many meditation retreats in Ireland and abroad and has attended trainings and intensives with Donna Farhi, Michael Stone and James Higgins. She has recently trained in Yin yoga with Josh Summers.
Her teaching style places great emphasis on integrating mindfulness and self-compassion within the practice. Cultivating presence, awareness and kindness are paramount in both her practice and teaching. Over the years she has developed great deal of experience teaching restorative and mindful movement and meditation, bringing these practices to hundreds of students in an easy and direct way.
Sophia has been teaching Restorative and Mindful Practice The elbowroom Foundation Yoga teacher Training for the last two years.
Máirín O’Grady is a 500 hour Yoga Alliance US and UK Certified Teacher specialising in Hatha and Vinyasa Flow having completed her initial training in The elbowroom, Ireland and advanced training in Sampoorna Yoga, India where she is now an affiliated teacher on their 200 Hour TTC’s. She has also completed her training in Pilates with Pilates Teacher Training Ireland. She has a deep meditation practice having most recently completed a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation course near Rishikesh, India. She holds a B.A in Philosophy from National University of Ireland, Galway and an M.Phil from Trinity College, Dublin.
Máirín incorporates her Pilates background into her yoga classes, creating a strong, stable, and dynamic practice for her students. She believes in yoga’s unique power to create space in both the body and the mind and relishes the opportunity to bring this power to her class. Expect to sweat, stretch and smile!
James Higgins is a leading instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area where he was The Teachers Director for Yoga Works in 2009. Interweaving his long-term dedicated studies of Vinyasa Yoga with his Vipassana meditation experience, James offers a unique, appealing, and challenging Hatha Vinyasa practice. With a strong emphasis on the integration of physical, mental and emotional wellness, each class holds the intention for peaceful healing, personal evolution, and a deeper understanding of the heart. Using Buddhist wisdom, spiritual insight, personal develpment and conscious leadership he composes a journey that enables his students to experience the very best of themselves in body, mind and spirit. James leads retreats, and teaches in the U.S., Mexico, Europe and Asia. He’s been a presenter at Kripalu and at The Yoga Journal Conferences in America.
Deirdre O Connor, Holistic Sleep Therapist, Yoga Dip, Craniosacral Therapist CST-T, CST Paedriatics DTR movement Dip, and Advanced
For almost 20 years Deirdre has been exploring, training, teaching and experiencing Yoga – initially with the Bihar School of Yoga in india where she trained and lived for almost 3 years exploring many different Yoga styles – Hatha, Bhakti, Jhana and Karma Yoga.
She trained further in Meditation and Buddhist Philosoply, and during that time undertook many intensive meditation retreats over the years, including several of over 3-months duration under the guidance of teachers of the Dalai Lama.
Her deep love of movement rests on her faith in our ability to foster a natural self-balancing and healing awareness in ourselves.
Rohan Hennessy was introduced to yoga at the tender age of fourteen. Over the years, his interest has deepened leading him to detailed exploration of several forms of yoga. His early studies began in the general Hatha tradition and then progressively developed to in-depth studies of the challenging Iyengar, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga styles.
Initially completing his teacher training in the Iyengar tradition, he began teaching in 2000. Since then he has been drawn more and more to practicing and teaching in the Vinyasa style, balancing the importance of alignment and technique with the fun dynamics of flowing transitions and movement. His classes are strong yet slow, challenging yet calming, offering a serious level of yoga which shouldn’t be taken too seriously : ) He believes the asana should adapt to suit the body instead of the body adapting to suit the asana. Instead of struggling to make the perfect shape, his classes focus on developing correct form and technique whilst progressing towards the perfect shape at your own pace. Developing body awareness, figuring out your natural rate of work, understanding not only the how but also the why of yoga….. All of this is integral in his style.
As well as teaching regular classes he has also been working as a teacher trainer for the past five years, helping to bring his understanding of yoga to a new generation of teachers.
Rohan has come to believe strongly in the power of Yoga through the development of his own personal practice and in seeing the resulting positive effects in himself, as well as his students. This belief is evident in Rohan’s teaching and along with his years of experience is what makes him one of the more popular and respected teachers in Dublin today.
Eimear’s first introduction to Yoga was at the age of 8, having maintained her practice throughout her teenage years she completed her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training in 2012. She furthered her studies by completing a Yin Yoga Teacher Training Level 1 and 2 with Josh Summers and a Chakra Mantra Vinyasa Flow Teacher Training with Shiva Rea in LA in 2014. She is taking part in the Advanced Yoga Teacher Training at the Elbowroom as well as other embodied anatomy courses. Eimear has recently completed her Masters in Dance at the University of Limerick. She has had the opportunity to study with Yoga and Somatic Practitioners such as Donna Farhi, BJ Galvan, David Swenson and Liz Koch to name but a few.
As a trained primary school teacher and part-time lecturer Eimear is passionate about teaching and sharing the benefits physically, emotionally and psychologically that Yoga has to offer. Eimear believes that connecting body and mind is at the heart of a yoga practice, practicing in this way the opportunities for insight and self-reflection are endless providing fuel for a lifelong yoga practice that is adaptable and practical. She believes Yoga should be a creative and fun process. Whether teaching Yin or Vinyasa Flow Eimear is a conscientious teacher who aims to empower students to deepen their practice each time they arrive on their mat.
Ewa Szczupak went to her first yoga class over six years ago with a lot of hesitation, but very quickly began to notice the profound effect yoga had on her- she became more grounded, calmer and simply happier. When I discovered Ashtanga Vinyasa style I was immediately drawn to the way it challenged me, initially enjoying the intense physical side of it most. However as I committed to a daily practice, I began to understand that Ashtanga is a deep breathing practice, a flowing meditation- as we focus on breath, bandhas and drishti, we can find strength, stillness and a true connection within.
I consider myself a student of yoga first and feel privileged to share experience of yoga with my students. I am humbly grateful to all my teachers for their guidance, encouragement and inspiration I am given every time I step on my mat.
My yoga journey started over 5 years ago in New Zealand. I came out of my first class buzzing with energy and calm focus, I cannot now imagine life without it.
After travelling extensively through India absorbing the various styles of Yoga Aimee Stones completed a classical teaching certificate here in Dublin.
My classes use slow fluid sequences, accessible for beginner level to more experienced practitioners.
We explore how the body adapts to each pose and working with the muscles gently; propel you gracefully through, leaving you feeling strong, grounded and energised! I always view each moment on the mat as an opportunity to learn something new and embrace the awesome person you are, expect to be challenged, super-stretched and keeping a smile on your face!
Aoife Donnelly has been practicing yoga for over 10 years and teaching for 7 years. In 2007 she completed her Pre/post natal teacher training at the elbowroom under the guidance of Melissa Curtis and Lisa Wilkinson. In 2008 she completed the 250 hour yoga foundation teacher training with Veronica Larsson, Debbie Corradino, Marianne Jacuzzi, Anthony Sharkey, Karen Ward and Susan Church.
Her style of teaching is a dynamic Hatha flow. Pregnancy yoga has always been a great love of hers. As a mother of three children, she used yoga extensively as a birth preparation and loves to pass on her knowledge to empower the new mothers in her classes. As her children grew so did her interest in kids yoga. In 2011 she completed the Rainbow kids teacher training and then went on to complete The elbowroom’s childrens yoga teacher training in 2013.
Aoife continues to develop her yoga practice with a variety of workshops and courses most recent of which, was an advanced yoga immersion training with James Higgins, Yin yoga teacher training with Josh Summers and she is currently studying on the 300 hour Advanced teacher training in The elbowroom.
Tanja Thomas, originally from Germany, trained at the elbowroom specializing in teaching Yoga for children.
She has been teaching yoga for children in montessori preschools, primary school, yoga summer camps, and independent classes nationally & internationally. Currently Tanja Thomas is the elbowroom’s Family Yoga Teacher.
A qualified Reiki Master, and trained in Three in One Concepts, Kinesiology, Tanja Thomas has a special interest in meditation & visualisation practices, healing sounds, mindfulness and Chi Gung.
When her daughter was born in 2005 with Congenital Heart Disease, Holistic Practices & Yoga became integral to both herself and her daughter as a way of life.
What she would love most is to pass on these tools to children to help empower them to be healthy, happy and balanced little people.
Katarina Jarinova encountered yoga through her mums practice when she was 8 years old. I was the only kid in an all-adult yoga class trying to master different yoga asanas and meditation techniques, less for the actual benefits of yoga than for the precious time with my mum. However I kept practicing the morning sun salutations all through my teenagehood and college times until I moved to Dublin. Yoga became the time to reconnect with myself, a sanctuary away from the business of life. I always dreamed of becoming a yoga teacher so when the opportunity to do the Kids yoga TT arose I jumped on it. Having a background in education I feel very privileged to work with kids and let them discover the gift of yoga. Learning as I go, I find that sometimes class plans are less important than the fun and life lessons that can take place in a yoga class if we stay open to them. Katarina Jarinova is currently doing an Iyengar TT with the Iyoga Dublin.
Cathy Coughlan’s classes are deeply rooted in her training as a professional dancer. Her style is flowing and dynamic, with an emphasis on alignment, breath and release. Over the last ten years, Cathy Coughlan has worked for all major Dublin based studios/organisations as a teacher of dance, yoga and pilates, including Dance Theatre of Ireland, Dance Ireland, CoisCeim Dance Theatre, Yoga Dublin, Vocational Educational Colleges (VEC), The Elbowroom Studio’s, Centre Studio’s, Pilates Ireland, The National College of Ireland and more.
As a mother of four she pays careful attention to the different journey that each body takes, making sure that each class is accessible to all levels of ability.
Having studied yoga for more than 10 years with some of Ireland’s top teachers, Kathy Kinsella is a qualified 250-hour yoga teacher trained in Hatha and Vinyasa flow, she also incorporates elements of the heart-opening practice of Anusara yoga and meditation into her teaching to create and support the connection of body, mind and heart.
Valerie Kent has been practicing yoga and meditation for 7 years. Valerie completed the YTTC yoga teacher training programme in 2012. She furthered her studies in 2014 by completing a Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Josh Summers and she is currently pursuing further Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga Training. She has had the privilege of attending workshops and immersions with world renowned yoga practitioners and somatic movement experts including Liz Koch, BJ Galvan, Tiffany Cruikshank, Meghan Currie and Jason Crandell.
As a qualified solicitor who has transitioned into full time teaching, she is acutely aware of the toll that modern-day life can have on the body and mind. Her classes are adapted to real life, all the while strongly rooted in yogic tradition. She teaches hatha, vinyasa flow and yin yoga. She believes that regular practice on and off the mat empowers us to transform our lives on a physical, mental and emotional level.
Ashling Hughes completed her 200hr Ashtanga Yoga teacher training with Caroline Klebl in the rain forests of Costa Rica and went on to complete her 500hr Transformational Hatha Yoga teacher training with Swami Vidyanand and Michelle Kaminski in India. She has completed many workshops and smaller teacher trainings to continue her studies and is the Irish Ambassador for the Yoga Alliance International, India. Continuing her studies Ashling returned to India to study Ayurveda, the Indian Science of Life, after delving deeper into this way of life herself and discovering the undeniable benefits this necessary link to her yoga practice brought to her life. After studying Yoga, Buddhism and Psychology with Sarah and Ty Powers Ashling has now gone on to study Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Ashling has varied teaching experience, from Ashtanga, Yin, Vinyasa Flow, Hot Yoga, Hatha, Transformational Hatha, Yin/Yang Fusion to of course Meditation, Mantra & Pranayama. She is a passionate teacher who wants to help guide others to experience the healing, calming, opening and powerful affects yoga can have mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, as a way of living.
As a yoga teacher and kinesiologist, Eithne Kennedy believes passionately in the importance of yoga in our everyday lives and and that practicing yoga should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience that empowers the individual and offers a tool for life. Eithne has practiced many styles of yoga including Hatha, Anusara, Shadow, Vinyasa Flow and brings aspects of these together to create a flowing class that emphasises the importance of alignment and breath while buildingstrength and flexibility. Eithne Kennedy is a yoga teacher qualified at the Advanced 500-hour level.
Susie is a qualified Yoga, Pilates and Barre teacher, having trained in an eclectic array of teacher trainings including The elbowroom, Stott Pilates and Yoga Vidya Gurukul.
She believes the breath is the key to the practice and designs her classes around the connection between the breath and movement. In each class she builds an intelligent, purposeful sequence to become a moving meditation.
Her classes are always to be practiced with a light heart, full commitment but also to be fun and feel good. Through everything she has learned, she hopes to inspire a confidence within her students to find an inner rhythm through their movement and to promote healing, strength and flexibility.
Susie believes that yoga provides a nurturing practice physically, mentally and spiritually, and it evokes a sense of stillness in the mind allowing us to discover our natural peaceful state.
Lorna Ní Cherin
Lorna Ní Cherin (Jai Ram Kaur) has been practicing yoga and meditation for 15 years. She trained as a Kundalini Yoga teacher as taught by Yogi Bhajan in 2007. In class Lorna blends kriyas, meditations, mantras, pranayama, ancient yogic wisdom and contemporary knowledge to offer students an opportunity to calm and focus their minds, to physically activate their kundalini energy, to connect to their higher consciousness and to deeply rest and rejuvenate. Lorna Ní Cherin has done extensive training in Pregnancy yoga, Children’s yoga, Integrative Psychotherapy and Creative Therapies. When not teaching yoga, she works as a consultant researcher to embed evidence based strategies in child and adult mental health and community services.
I left the corporate world in a blaze of glory 15 years ago after reading the idiots guide to managing stress. Idea Number 32 said – if everything else fails run away. And that is what I did. After being a director of marketing strategy for one of Irelands most profitable start up tech businesses, I ran away to teach yoga in the Bahamas.
Now I am a mum to Tuilelaith and Sean first and foremost. They are my pride and joy. I do however love working. And I love The elbowroom. I am very proud of what my amazing team have accomplished over the years and wish to share that with you.
My speciality is working with families. Through pregnancy, birth and child development. Using yoga, workshops and individual therapies I have worked with hundreds of families over the last 13 years.
The rest of my time is spent mothering 40 plus staff and teachers, being a yoga teacher, Pilates teacher, Cranio sacral therapist, Pregnancy yoga teacher, Teacher Trainer, Doula, Crochet Queen and playing the cello …badly.
My first experience of yoga was at Queen’s University PEC in Belfast where I attended classes with Iyengar instructor Marie Quail in the mid-90s. From the very first class, I was hooked on yoga and immersed myself over the following years in practice and training.’ Paula completed a hatha yoga diploma in 1999 and since then has trained in prenatal yoga, yoga therapy, anatomy, Buteyko breathing, mindfulness meditation and anti-gravity yoga. Paula has been a tutor on teacher training courses and also teaches at Om Yoga Dublin. Paula is accredited with Yoga Alliance UK, RYT 500 hours.
‘I am always inspired to share yoga with others and I try to teach in a way that is clear and accessible for everyone. My hope is that if you come to my class, you will leave feeling better
Kasandra Ziolkowska began practicing Yoga almost 10 years ago and it soon became an indispensable part of her day. Noticing the change Yoga brought in her and the way it helped her alleviate different ailments made her want to share it with others. She completed her Yoga Teacher Training at The Elbowroom, under the guidance of Lisa Wilkinson, Tanya Fitzpatrick and Marianne Jacuzzi.
Through her own practice and the limitations and changes she discovered in her own body, Kasandra became particularly sensitive to the personal aspect of Yoga practice. As she strongly believes Yoga is for everyone no matter the age, health conditions or abilities, she addresses her classes to the individual needs of her students always emphasizing the importance of personal experience and gaining self-awareness. She is also very specific about proper alignment as a means to experience a safe and wholesome practice. Kasandra’s classes are mostly slow self-exploration or gentle flow sessions, but she also teaches more demanding Vinyasa flow.
To deepen her knowledge of the human body and further develop her skills in working with students with special conditions or limitations, Kasandra is currently participating in the Yoga Therapy Graduation Course with Yoga Therapy Ireland.
Hailing from the Real capital, Cork City, Aideen enjoys teaching Pilates in a good humoured & relaxed way. Following a life long love of massage, she began her journey with an intensive 2 years of training in holistic therapies in 2001. This included Anatomy & Physiology, Holistic Massage, Aromatherapy, Indian Head Massage & Reflexology.
In 2006 she started an apprenticeship in Pilates with Susan Church of Pilates Teacher Training Ireland (PTTI) & qualified as an instructor In 2007.
In 2013 Aideen completed her 250hr Yoga Teacher Training with the Elbowroom, studying again under Susan Church, Tanya Fitzpatrick & Marianne Jacuzzi.
Her fascination with the body & how we move continues to grow. She is committed to developing her knowledge & to date has attended many workshops with internationally acclaimed Pilates teachers including first generation Pilates Master Teacher Lolita San Miguel, Anthony Lett & Rebecca Leone. And within the yoga world has attended yoga intensive workshops with James Higgins & Granville Cousins.
In 2015 she began assisting on the PTTI Pilates teacher trainings.
Disciplines: Pilates(including post-natal), Yoga
Melanie began practising Yoga in London, and after moving to Dublin in 1996, started her training in Iyengar Yoga with Aisling Guirke & Elizabeth Connolly. Since then she has attended workshops and trainings with many senior Iyengar teachers, including the Iyengar Yoga Association’s 2009 Convention in London with Dr. Geeta Iyengar. As a holder of an Intermediate (Level III) Iyengar teaching certificate she has undergone continuous training both in her own practice and as a teacher. Melanie has been teaching Iyengar Yoga in Adult Education for the last 8 years, and also teaches at the iYoga studio in Phibsborough Melanie strongly believes that Yoga is for all of us – no one is too old, too young, too stiff, too large or too tired to practice! Her classes are designed to provide an enjoyable and progressive practice of Iyengar yoga for all abilities.
The elbowroom has an extensive range of classes for all ages and abilities. We offer such an eclectic mix to enable you to find something that will suit you. If you need any advice, please contact our class advisor who can point you in the right direction.