About Niamh & Yinstinct Yoga

Who is Niamh and What is Yinstinct Yoga?

Niamh has been teaching Hatha Yoga for 17 years, Yin Yoga for 9, making her one of Ireland’s longest standing teachers in that style.

She qualified as a teacher in 2004, completed a mentorship with Marlene Ffrench Mullen, and has continued to study and professionally develop with Donna Farhi, renowned Clinical Anatomist John Sharkey, Integral Anatomist Gil Hedley, Somatics trainer Lisa Petersen and with Sarah Lo. She teaches men and women of all ages, but also specialises in Yoga for Menopause, and trains Yoga teachers around the world how to adapt Yoga to support women in this phase of life. She created this training: Teaching Yoga for the Stages of Menopause, one of the first courses of its kind in the world.

Her curiosity about the habitual holdings and reactions in the body from the physical and emotional stimuli of our human life, began with explorations in the Alexander Technique 27 years ago. From there, primarily through Yoga in its most recognisable forms, and influenced by 5 rhythms dancing, somatic movement, mindfulness and anatomy, she sought and found ways to regain neutrality in, and then free expression of our physical and emotional body.

She has trained in Hatha Yoga, and studied and/or practiced most of the variations of Yoga from its most traditional roots in India, to new approaches and hybrids. Responding to what Yoga has become in the west, and the prevalence of injury in the quest for linear “improvement”, her own style of teaching is an offering to students of her knowledge, but with an invitation to take what speaks to them and make it their own, and to let go of that which doesn’t sit well with them.

Her approach is pragmatic, as she is fascinated by the science of stretch, and what is logically possible for the average human body. She is also keen to ensure we stay strong for life, as well as relaxed, mobile and comfortable.

 

Yinstinct Yoga balances traditional Yoga with up-to-date research in anatomy, biomechanics, functional movement, and somatics, and with the reasonable and compassionate expectations of what a body which has lived YOUR life can, and wants to do. This is an evolutionary way to approach Yoga, which has often resisted changing in response to developing research.

 

With a light approach, Yinstinct uses many practices and philosophies of Yoga to give you a strong structure upon which to base your own explorations. Then, through techniques which guide you to potent interoception, encouraging awareness of your internal and external environments, you will be helped to honour your instinct and your own body’s wisdom.

 

Yinstinct can lead you to a Yoga that is as kind (Yin), sensual, playful, strong, expressive, or traditional as best serves your journey on this planet.

 

Currently, we are in an exciting phase, as an evolutionary surge in the way Yoga is perceived, taught, and practiced is stirring. With its popularity and varied benefits, come gifts and challenges.  As Yoga is often used now “just” for physical healing, or “just” for relief from stresses, teachers must take care of those millions who come to Yoga for myriad reasons. In sharing Yinstinct Yoga, Niamh will hold you safe, offering Yoga that suits you. She will nurture you; simply, into greater ease in body and mind; or onward, into a deep intimate inquiry, instinctual understanding, and compassionate response to your magnificent self.

What happens in Yinstinct classes?

In our weekly classes, we focus on a Yoga that, evolving with our modern learning about the body, aims to keep you as healthy and mobile as possible for the life you love. Whether you want to run 10k every week for the rest of your life, or continue to be able to walk your dog til you are 99, whether you want to enhance a meditation practice or find ways to cope with stress or depression, there is value in these classes. Here is a continued offering of the basic Yoga practices of pranayama (breath work), and asana (physical practice), and a smattering of philosophy.

 

In these classes you can expect to be guided moment by moment, working on such necessities as bone health, muscle tone and mass, joint mobility, core strength and the dissolving of aches and pains, but with small portions where Yinstinct Yoga helps you to find that your body needs, deserves and benefits from pleasure, and how to find that.

 

In teaching the traditional postures, Niamh will offer you options to suit what you need given your tensions, injuries, illnesses, or energy levels on any given day. You will find that Yinstinct Yoga brings a level of exploration to each posture from the subtle and internal, to a very clear, physically individual version.

 

As in all her teaching, Niamh’s emphasis on approaching your self with compassion and gratitude is greatly calming to the nervous system.