Sandra Hayes

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Hello, nice to meet you! 🙂

In case you wanted to know a little bit about me and my yoga….

My personal journey & practice

My own daily practice always centres around the Ashtanga primary series, which has truly been a form of Yoga Therapy (Yoga Cikitsa) for me. Resulting from a Motorbike accident (and, due to youth, impatience and insufficient aftercare) I had and still have plenty of weaknesses and limitations in my body. Through the continuous practice of Ashtanga Yoga (with all the appropriate modifications), the guidance of a great teacher (David Collins) – and some great physiotherapists who helped along the way, I have literally re-shaped my body and with it also my mind. The consistency of the sequence provides a constant measure and helps me to stay aware and connected to any changes occurring in my body. I have been amazed by what my body – against all odds – was capable to heal and to do and I believe that this is possible for everyone.

I truly believe Ashtanga Yoga is for everyone, no matter your age, shape or background. Sometimes misunderstood, it is not a system where one should chase one posture after another to “achieve” difficult shapes but rather an amazing opportunity to heal body, the subtle energy system and the mind and use the consistency of the sequence as a daily mirror through which we can see the ever changing fluctuations of both body and mind.

I have even come to believe that each and every obstacle on the way to “achieving” any outcome in Yoga is a true blessing, from which we can learn so much.

All we need to do is practice regularly, with awareness, mindfulness and a self observing attitude, without attachment or a goal oriented attitude and with faith in the practice. If we can manage to do this, Ashtanga Yoga is a truly magical, transformative method that doesn’t only heal our body and mind but helps us to transcend our ego centred reality to enter a new way of being that allows us to live in true happiness and freedom.

I also practice Pranayama and meditation daily and love to occasionally replace or supplement my practice with a deeply nourishing Yin Yoga or Yoga Nidra practice.

My teaching style

My classes are a reflection of my own practice. In the led classes I try to create a consistent flow using the traditional methods and sequence without loosing sight of the varying individual needs. I try to make the primary series accessible to everyone by offering suitable modifications, so that every person in the class has an option to safely practice to their best ability.

In private classes (either 1 to 1 or small group practices in mysore style) each individual person, constitution and background is taken into account even more and a practice can be created for the persons very specific needs.

Yoga is a lifestyle that extends far beyond the mat. Not only does it keep my body healthy, cleansed and supple and my mind clear and better able to concentrate, but also, through connection with the breath and awareness, and the study of it’s philosophies, it becomes my daily act of self care and internal awareness practice. It has helped me to access and experience a deep seated joy and a sense of gratitude which truly helped me to stay balanced and sane through some of life’s trials. This is also something that I am trying to filter into my classes – to instil an understanding of YOGA as a whole, a taste of what it can truly be, rather than Asana (posture) practice alone.

Particularly in the Introduction courses I try my best to ensure that the bigger concept of Yoga philosophy is, at least in a nutshell, understood and can be integrated into one’s practice.

My trainings & studies

What brought me to Yoga was a culmination of different passions: My love for physical experience and expression (coming from a background of theatre and dance),  my love for eastern philosophy (I had previously studied Buddhism), my interest in energy work and Shamanism (which I had dabbled in all my life) and my passion for health & nutrition (having studied Nutrition & Health Sciences in the past). When I realised the source of all this is perfectly combined in the practices of Yoga I knew I had truly found my path.

 

After having completed an initial 200 hour teacher training with Ashram Yoga Ireland in classical Yoga and some shorter additional teacher trainings in Ashtanga Yoga primary series, Yin Yoga and Yoga for kids,   I have been studying the traditional system of Ashtanga Yoga in more depths with David Collins and Paula Herbert since 2014 and have completed a 200 hour teacher training with them in 2017. I have also completed a 250 hour study course in classical Yoga philosophy with Brenda Feuerstein and a 300 hour Advanced yoga teacher training at the Elbow room in Dublin. I have attended many additional classes and workshops to further my knowledge of Yoga and related practices  with David Swenson, Manju Jois, Sudhir Tiwari and more and hold additional certifications/qualifications as a Pilates (level 1 with balanced body) instructor, Barre instructor (Total Barre), Trauma sensitive Yoga (with Mandala Yoga Project) and TRE 1 (Trauma/tension relief exercises, NIBA institute Berlin)

Currently I am studying toward an ayurvedic practitioner diploma at level 2 at the Ayurvedic Institute UK (after having completed a level 1 year long course with Doug Hyde at Satmya Ayurveda in Killaloe). This course also includes the study of Sanskrit and herbal medicine.

In the past, I have been teaching in different areas of physical work (theater, dance and fitness/health related) since over 25 years and there is nothing in the world I would rather do than to pass on what I have learned about this most transformative practice I have experienced so far.

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