Galway Girl – Live well, laugh often, love much ❤ Ciara is the newest addition to the French Vanoli team.
Can you tell us a bit about your Yoga career?
I took my first yoga class in university and have been hooked ever since! I have always been an avid athlete, and have been involved in any sport I could find. Hockey played a huge part in my early years as my father managed the Knocknacarra Hockey Club and my proudest moments growing up include winning All Ireland medals for Knocknacarra, playing for Connacht and getting trials for the Irish Hockey team. After discovering yoga, I found it to be the perfect mind-body activity to compliment my athletics and sporting endeavours. At the moment, I love practising Hot Yoga, Aerial Yoga and Acro Yoga.
I started teaching yoga in 2012 and have studied the practice extensively, leading to a Master’s Degree in Yoga for Physical Education. I tailor my class to the needs of my students, and have taught a variety of styles over the years. In French Vanoli, I teach an energetic and athletic style of heated yoga that pays equal attention to posture and transition, before bringing you to a restful, mindful stillness in Savasana. My pregnancy yoga class is gentle and restorative, and focuses on exploring a range of breathing techniques and relaxation exercises that you can draw upon as you continue along your amazing journey into motherhood. I teach yoga simply because I love yoga!
Fitness is obviously important to you – what other activities do you do outside of Yoga?
I love to run, just for the sheer pure joy of running and over the last two years I have developed a passion for triathlon. I had been a middle-long distance runner since my teens, until I picked up a serious ankle injury which left me unable to run for two years. The combination of yoga and triathlon was the miracle cure that got me back running – yoga was absolutely essential in building back strength and flexibility in my ankle and the swimming and cycling elements of triathlon prepared my legs for the run. There aren’t enough weekends in the summer for all the triathlons I want to do!
I am passionate about mind-body wellness and alongside yoga and fitness, I am particularly interested in nutrition, meditation, mindfulness and having a bit of a smile along the way. There’s no point in doing it if you’re not having fun
If you lose me, you’ll find me in a bookshop or travelling somewhere warm. My favourite thing in the world is my gorgeous dog Rocky followed closely by my equally gorgeous husband Mike, my big amazing family and my irreplaceable friends.
So what classes do you take in French Vanoli?
Of course I love any kind of yoga class! But I also adore reformer pilates…
What’s next for Yoga with Ciara at French Vanoli?
I am very excited to be working with French Vanoli. The staff here are visibly dedicated to and passionate about their profession, and have given me a really warm welcome into the team.
I work as a Health and Wellbeing Advisor for the Professional Development Service for Teachers by day, so I teach yoga in the evenings purely because I love it so much. I teach a heated vinyasa class on Mondays at 8pm and pregnancy yoga on Tuesdays at 7:30. In 2017 I will be running The Yoga Workshop Series – a collection of 10 bespoke workshops which will take place on Saturdays and will include: Yoga for Runners, The art of Balance, Head over Heels Inversions, Advanced Power Yoga, Yoga for Triathletes, Embodied Mindfulness and much more!
What inspires you?
I am inspired every day by the beauty of the world around me, and I find the greatest joys in the simplest things. My parents Avril and Ciaran have been immeasurably inspirational in my life and I will always be grateful to the support and guidance they have given me. ‘Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of living… each morning we are born again, what you do today is what matters most’.
>>> Big shout out to everyone that has attended my yoga classes, it is an honour and a pleasure to be your yoga teacher 🙂