It’s impossible to distill in to just a few lines the overwhelmingly positive impact Ashtanga Yoga Ireland has had on my life, but I’ll try! Ashtanga has made me fitter, more flexible and stronger of body, but more importantly, of mind, which is the real goal. I have achieved things on the mat I never thought my body capable of, and I bring the lessons of this to life off the mat. Life’s trials are now easier to handle with breath and focus and a new found inner strength, self belief and confidence. Ashtanga has become my anchor in good times and bad, and continues to improve my life with every practice in myriad ways, from what I eat to how I handle stress. Yes, it is demanding and takes time, dedication, discipline and hard work. But if you put that work in, you will experience magic on that mat and be rewarded off it in so many ways. And as a separated parent with a demanding job, if I can develop a solid practice, anyone can! My love affair with Ashtanga, however, would not have happened without Gillian. I have never encountered a yoga teacher with her experience, expertise and personal touch. She is recognised globally for this, and we are utterly blessed to have her in Ireland. Not only all of this, but the growing community she has created is full of people from all walks of life. There are always interesting chats and craic to be had in the shala, which now feels like an extension of my own home. I have made friends for life through Gillian and her gorgeous shala and I have to admit that I would be lost without it. If you have an interest in yoga and/or improving your quality of life, please come and join our wonderful community. You won’t regret it.Martha Connolly, 38, magazine editor.
I had practiced Ashtanga yoga for about 8 years and when my teacher moved away I lost interest in the practice for a few years. It wasn’t until a friend recommended Gillian with the words ‘she really is the best Ashtanga teacher in the country’ that I decided to make the trek from Swords into the city each week.
As a busy mother of 3 running my own business, I rarely take time for just me, to switch off and to actually breath right down into my very being. When I started coming to the shala I had been going through a really busy time in my life and had reached that point of really needing to relax for my own health and well-being. Gillian could see my mind racing, my breathing not switched onto my practice and each week she would patiently bring me back into the room, and help me focus on what I was there to do.
I only make it in once a week as life is busy but for me it is the best thing I do each week. I leave feeling balanced, focussed and I really feel like a better person because of Gillian and her teaching.
I would be lost without this class each week and after trying many Ashtanga classes in the city I can honestly say this one is the very, very best.
I can only say, give it a try and see what you think yourself. You won’t be disappointed. Aileen Cox Blundell, 40, busy Mother to my 3 children and Author
Working with Gillian, I find that she meets my practice wherever it happens to be on the day. In particular, she helps me to make that practice intentional instead of automatic, often working with me to rehabilitate old or new injuries, even surgery, or to process debilitating fears and emotions, and all on the mat. It hasn’t stopped me from getting older or having to travel but it has made it a lot easier! We are truly lucky to have her. Maurice Mason, 53, Company Director.
After 3 weeks I began to experience notable improvements in my hip. Since then (3 months on) it has progressively improved. In addition to this, I have experienced some very nice emotional, intrinsic self-awareness.
I have been doing yoga on and off for over 20years, some of which were great classes. However, I have never experienced the level of one to one tuition and guidance as Gillian gives in her class/practice. She is extremely patient regardless of your level of yoga or your level of mobility. It is for this reason that I am recommending Gillian’s yoga teaching, too many of my patients. I know they will be well looked after and safe, while they maximise their ability and progress.
Gillian has huge intuition, which and connects with her students amazingly.
If you are looking for notable deep progress, consider this practice. Sharon O'Donoghue, 40, Osteopath.
Gillian is an incredibly skilled teacher for students of all levels. She guides us all individually and intuitively knows when we’re ready for a new challenge. We’re very lucky to have her in Dublin. She is also a kind and generous person and this shines through in her teaching and shala, making it a comfortable, welcoming space for everyone who walks through the door. Ruth Mc Court, 31, Public Relations Manager
Since there are so many class options and since I travel a lot with work I’ve found it great to be able to do more or less some weeks and also not to be tied to a particular day of the week.
But most important of all, Gillian and the other instructors in Ashtanga Yoga Ireland bring a wealth of experience and genuine warmth to their teaching which make this Shala a treasure in Dublin’s City centre. Joseph Behan, 43, Father of 3, Pharmaceutical Head
When I first stepped into the shala 1 1/2 years ago I thought once or max. twice a week in the afternoons is all I want to do. It did not take long for me to make it a more regular habit to the point that I completely changed my daily routine to be able to do the Mysore style yoga practice in the mornings before heading off to work.
The benefits I encountered during the last year or so are endless. To name a view: I am stronger (physically and mentally!), I am more flexible, I am more patient, I do not panic so easily anymore….
Thank you Gillian for your endless patience, your guidance and the lovely atmosphere in the shala. I love the community, all people are so friendly and encourage each other. Brit Hammer, 44, Digital Sales Rep.
Thanks, Gillian! Federico Cavallini, 44, Accountant
Ashtanga yoga and Mysore style have not only taught me to push myself but to also take deep breaths and stop when I need to. Committing to a practice in the shala has made me calmer yet more committed as a college student. It helps me every day in various aspects of my life and makes me appreciate my last few years in Ireland. Fatemah Alkandari, 22, Medical Student
The shala is a lovely space to be in first thing in the morning and although the practice can be physically challenging, it is made accessible and easy for students of all levels. Before starting at AYI, I was often frustrated at my lack of flexibility. However practicing ashtanga at AYI has helped me to be completely accepting of my body and both my strength and flexibility have improved greatly. AYI is a great place to practice Ashtanga yoga! Peigi Askew, Charity Worker, 26
Ashtanga is challenging and that helps you to know yourself deep inside, to know what you fear and to understand yourself much better. Gillian has an amazingly deep knowledge of the practice. She loves Ashtanga and she is passionate about it. Gillian uses all that passion to teach us every single day in the Shala at her best. Gillian adjustments of the posture show me every day how much she knows my body and where I can go with it. This is a practice for life!!
I have been on a diet since I was eight years old and what I really love the most is that even though I am a bit overweight Gillian does not see any limits to me and she pushes me to exactly the most of my capabilities and we always have a laugh.
One of the most valuable things I have learned with this practice is that Ashtanga yoga is for absolutely everyone and Gillian makes it happen.
I can assure you that you will never regret of trying Ashtanga! You should definitely try it! ” Maria Garcia, 37, Senior Credit Analyst
The Shala is a very safe space where your practice is individually tailored to your needs and cultivated at your own personal pace.
A place where, Gillian and her teaching assistants bolster commitment, consistency, and integrity to the practice of Ashtanga yoga. Derek Malone, 41, Secondary school teacher.
When you step through that door, you immediately feel a warm, quiet and relaxed atmosphere.
The shala holds a unique, true space for yoga.
The Mysore class starts by chanting together and the only sound after the opening is just the breath of all the students. Everyone is different and every day is different therefore we are all encouraged by Gillian to practice at our own level and understanding of the practice. This creates a not-competitive atmosphere where I personally feel safe and supported to progress in my yoga path. Gillian is a knowledgeable teacher, she looks after each student, taking notes of the progress. I love the fact I learn something new every day I practice in Asthanga Yoga Ireland and this is something that makes Gillian’s teaching so special. I truly recommend this shala to anyone interested to deepen the yoga practice. Stefania Ceolin, account manager & yoga teacher, 35.
I’m looking forward to many many years of deepening my practice supported by Gillian and the amazing community she has cultivated in the heart of Dublin. Sandra Mc Guffin, 43, yoga teacher.
It’s a joy to have such a lovely place to practice, with a devoted and knowledgeable teacher in the heart of Dublin city centre. Bev Porrino, age 50, Yoga Teacher
I feel very privileged to be practicing yoga at such an amazing place. Margie Golby, 34, Legal Executive.
I’ve learned two important things since taking up Ashtanga yoga at AYI a few months ago. Firstly, my body is stronger and more capable than I ever gave it credit for. All it needed was a little practice and guidance (I had never even done a ‘real’ push-up before coming to AYI, so have no fear!). And secondly, not to compare myself to others. Someone might be further ahead than you but that is OK. I learned to be genuinely happy for them while still respecting where I was on the journey.
I sincerely hope you give the practice a try at AYI. If a TV addict, with no previous upper body strength, can now amazingly do a back bend, then anyone can get on their mat and learn Ashtanga yoga with Gillian. Susan Lee, 27, Management & Administration.
We all see the pictures thrown at us on social media of the asanas (postures), I wonder are a lot of us forgetting the basics such as breath, acceptance and being grateful for where we are at on our lifelong journey. This has been a further enlightenment for me during my first pregnancy. I am eternally grateful for Gillian and her team’s guidance during this special time. Although my practice obviously looks and feels very different, I feel like me. It has kept me grounded and has contributed greatly to my positive experience in my pregnancy. Gemma Crowley, 33, Yoga teacher & Healthcare Professional.
Ashtanga yoga is a practice that’s deeply transformative, yet often misunderstood as a very physical practice. However the most important aspect of this practice is developing a deep connection with the breath- we commit to cultivate steady breathing as we move through our postures, and that’s a true challenge! But as soon as we establish this connection, the practice becomes a flowing meditation, and brings stillness to the mind. With such a powerful tool, all daily life struggles are easier to deal with!
And if you feel intimidated by Mysore style- don’t! It’s a common misunderstanding about this most traditional practice- that you must be already an advanced yogi and know all the sequences by heart to start practicing Mysore style. It’s misleading and not true – we all have to start somewhere! I find that especially in Gillian’s shala, she and her team of assistants are very dedicated to allowing each student to find their own pace, and you will always feel safe and supported.
For anyone considering starting Mysore practice with Ashtanga Yoga Ireland – don’t think twice! You are about to embark on a wonderful journey, full of bumps, adventures, laughs and tears, but most fulfilling and empowering. Ewa Szczupak, 39, University Senior Executive.
Gillian is a dedicated and technical teacher that guides you through all the steps (postures and breathing) and Meg is a great assistant, with care she will help you with the postures and breathing. Both are always paying attention to how you are feeling and progressing in the class.
If you want to practice yoga in a safe haven with caring teachers, Ashtanga Yoga Ireland is for you! Filipa Vieira, 27, IT support.
Gillian’s dedication to Ashtanga Yoga and to the progression of students is second to none. She believes in you and helps you push through fear. (Sirsasana fear was one of mine, thanks Gillian for helping me conquer it!).
Gillian’s adjustments are insightful and her knowledge of yoga, the physical body, and mental barriers are based on years of dedicated study and extensive experience.
The shala Gillian set up is so peaceful and I always love coming here! If you are thinking of starting yoga, I highly recommend Ashtanga Yoga Ireland. You will be in great, loving and experienced hands and steadily grow physical and mental strength! Jasmin Victoria, 32, Dance Teacher.
My respiratory consultant advised me to take up yoga. I developed asthma after lung surgery and it just kept getting worse. Almost any physical exertion difficult. On bad days I was short of breath even walking short distances and climbing the stairs felt like tackling Mount Everest.
I found Ashtanga Yoga Ireland by chance and decided to try it out. I was very apprehensive at first, because I thought the class would be full of young, flexible fitness fanatics and that I wouldn’t fit in. I was relieved to find people of all ages, shapes and sizes at the shala. Because Ashtanga yoga isn’t competetive, it doesn’t matter that some students are more advanced than others, or that everyone learns at a different pace.
The instructors (Gillian and Meg) are very adept at recognising what each student is capable of.
After a few months there was a noticable improvement in my breathing. I was able to do more in class and started to develop strength and flexibilty. I got more focused, my energy levels improved and I can climb the stairs or walk a few miles without any problems now.
There’s no requirement to adopt an extreme, austere lifestyle. I don’t go to class every day and and I’ve never been in the shala at 6.30 am.
I think the reason I’ve been able to make progress is because it’s been a very gradual process and there’s no pressure – just expert, intuitive guidance from the team at Ashtanga Yoga Ireland.
I can’t recommend it highly enough! Gráinne Leamy, 47, Public Servant
Very highly recommended! Maris Vask, 44, Financial Controller
I’m looking forward to many many years of deepening my practice supported by Gillian and the amazing community she has cultivated in the heart of Dublin. Daniel Mahon, 29, IT Consultant