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mindfulness

Kids Yoga

 

Kids Yoga

Meet Cat: 

My name is Catherine. I am a fully qualified Yoga instructor with specialisms in both child and teen Yoga. I am also a Primary school teacher with previous roles in Montessori teaching and special educational needs. I have always been interested in movement from a young age. I took my first Yoga class while at school, as luckily my teacher was also a Yoga instructor.

 

After a car accident in my 20’s, I came back to Yoga practice to help heal my injuries but found much, much more. I practiced on and off for several years and while living in the UK training as a Primary school teacher, I decided to take the leap and complete my Yoga teacher training as well. I studied traditional Ashtanga, Vinyasa Yoga, Children’s Yoga and Yoga for Teens with Yoga Alliance UK. I’ve completed various Yoga CPD courses and as a Primary school teacherI have full Garda vetting, first aid training, and a range of SEN and PSE courses to aid my teaching.

 

I am passionate about Yoga and the sense of wellbeing it brings to both adult and children’s lives. I love working with children and have over 10 years of experience in various educational roles. I aim to provide fun, accessible and happy Yoga lessons which will boost children’s health, wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem.

 Basic class structure

Each of my classes follow a basic structure to include an introduction to class, breathing exercises, a group of poses or sequences, a game and/or activity, and a guided meditation.

Depending on whether the theme is used (e.g. Autumn/Christmas), each of those elements can tie into a bigger topic or idea.

Intro to the Class

Students set up for class by sitting in a circle. If theme based it is introduced here. I play soothing music and often use a candle or incense.

Depending on the activity level of the children I have a range of fun group warm ups or Yoga games to settle energy such as Musical Yoga mats, or more soothing activities such as ‘silent ball’ or ‘Yogi talking stick’.

After, we normally have check in time to see how everyone’s day has been, perhaps do ‘magic massage’ self-massage of head/hands/neck/shoulders or play the ‘Om name game’ chanting our names instead ofom to set a fun, relaxed class mood.

Breath

There are so many breathing exercises you can use with kids. With “Bumblebee Breath” for example I have students sit comfortably, then ask them to slowly inhale for a count of 3. On the exhale they will buzzzzz like a bee.  This is repeated 3-5 times and I ask them to notice the sensations that they feel as they make this sound.

Other breathing exercises introduced to children would include Balloon belly, Candle blowing breath, Good in/Bad out breath, and perhaps the extended exhale. Breathing has an important impact on how we feel and learning these tools can help children in stressful or anxious times.

Yoga Poses

Traditional poses are used but I often swap out the names to fit with the theme or to be more child centred, for example using nature themed names such as Tree, Crow etc. In each pose, I discuss the qualities or sounds that the animals etc. make to encourage engagement.

Example series of poses:

Warm-up using traditional Sun salutations sequence, followed by basic plans as follows-

  • Child’s Pose or “snail” – Discuss how snails are very small and still.
  • Cobra pose- Inhale to rise, “hiss” as you lower back to the ground.
  • Cat/ Cow – “moo” on cow, “hiss in cat”.
  • Puppy pose – stretching long like a puppy waking up from a nap.
  • Downward Facing Dog- walk out the heels like you’re walking a dog.
  • Ragdoll or “Gorilla”- gently sway your arms from side to side.
  • Dancer or “Flamingo” – find graceful balance on one foot.
  • Squat or “Frog”- crouch low to the ground with great flexibility.
  • Butterfly – gently flap your wings up and down.
  • As time progresses we can move on to more challenging poses and sequences such as Dancing warrior or mini-inversions.

Children’s sessions are usually shorter, often have stories, games, myths and music intertwined for e.g. using story or activity breaks. I sometimes use the book ‘Being me and loving it- activities and stories to boost self-esteem or read other relevant children’s short stories. Alternatively, Yoga principles such as peace and honesty can be discussed, and kids often come up with some beautiful discussion ideas when they are relaxed and focused.

Also, once children are familiar with traditional sequences such as Surya namaskar or Dancing warrior I often give opportunities for them to lead, which tends to be very popular and builds confidence, focus and memory skills.

Games

Going around in a circle, I have each student share their favouritething in nature or favourite animal and we create a pose that looks like the animal. Alternatively, we make up our own poses or sequences to share. The whole class try each pose.

Guided Relaxation

With all students laying on their back with eyes closed, I read meditations such as the following example:

“Imagine that you are your favourite animal settling in for a long night’s sleep. Think about where you might be sleeping. What does this place look like? What can you feel in this place? It is warm or cold, soft or hard, wet or dry?”

“What can you hear in this place? Are there waves crashing? Is there wind in the trees? Can you hear other animals around you? What do you smell in this place? Are there fresh flowers or a salty ocean? Spend a few minutes in this place feeling totally safe and calm.”

Using this basic template, I create many different classes that fit with varied themes or concepts. Ages and attention spans of the students help dictate how long I will spend on each portion of the class.

  • I also regularly use the book ‘The wishing star’ 52 meditations for children, which always proves very popular.
  • Blankets and eye pillows can be useful to help the more active child fully relax into Sav asana.
  • Each class and each student are always different.

 Namaste

Catherine Finnegan

Age group: 2nd Class to 6th Class 

Cost– 60 Euro per child for set 6-week course

Start time– Tuesday’s 3:45pm to  4:45pm, to allow time after school to go home, snack, change and travel to class on time.

Booking: Contact Reception on 018310888 to secure your child’s space.

 

Yoga with Cat

Contact information:

Yoga with Cat-Facebook page

Email- edpe8a@gmail.com

Ph: 0833427624

Yoga for teens with Alison

Yoga For Teens

 

By Alison McEvoy

Why I teach yoga to teens

I started practising yoga when I was a tender, green shoot of just 14 years. Despite being young I was stiff, and quite stressed. I worked hard at school, at my homework and even at my little part time jobs walking dogs and babysitting at the weekend. I carried heavy books on my back each school day and leaned over my desk to read, write, ponder, memorize and all the other mental activities that go with learning and studying.

Intuitively, I knew I needed something that would give me some in-my-body time, something to calm my over alert mind and all the washing-machine of worries that churned in my head as my school diary filled to over-flowing each week.

For four years, down in the local parish hall, it was me and a group of middle aged ladies every Thursday night; learning to stretch mindfully, breathe deeply, relax consciously and feel the sensations in my body – aches, emotions, all the things that needed my attention as much as my school work.

And that amazing thing was that yoga helped me to balance all the mental activity associated with secondary school but it also improved my performance. A year after I started I achieved the highest results in the history of my school for Junior Certificate performance. I had learned, along the way, to concentrate, to think clearly, to focus and my memory improved.

I continued yoga right through my secondary schools years, throughout college and then delved into my teacher training for two years after finishing my primary degree.

I’ve been teaching yoga to teens for the past four years. I’ve come to hone in on what works, just the right mixture of what’s relevant, fun, meaningful and interesting to young bodies and minds.

What do we do?

Yoga for teens brings all of the physical, mental and emotional benefits of yoga into the bodies, minds and lives of young people.

Course Content

What is yoga?

What are the elements of a yoga practice (The breath, the mind, the body)

Yoga Asana (postures, stretches and movements)

Yoga pranayama (Breath awareness and breathing practices/techniques)

Meditation (Yoga Nidra – the yoga of deep sleep, creative visualizations and conscious relaxation)

I will also touch on other self-development topics to do with relaxation, health and wellbeing.

AIMS:

  1. To give teens an experience of the essential elements of yoga practice: asana (poses, positions, stretches and movements), pranayama (breathing practices), guided meditation, visualization and conscious deep relaxation
  2. To bring students into an experience of embodiment and connection with their physical self to balance the mental activities which the rest of their day abounds with
  3. To increase teens self-awareness, self-compassion and self-understanding
  4. To equip teens with an understanding of simple ways by which they can manage their own needs for relaxation i.e relief from stress, tension and anxiety

METHODOLOGIES:

* Discussion; questioning, introducing new ideas and generating reflection and discussion

* Practice of yogic techniques; deep breathing, poses and guided meditations

* Games and partner exercises to make the learning fun

Details:

Thursdays 4.30pm – 5.45pm

8 week course – €120

Max.10 students – Booking Essential

Starts Thursday November 1st – December 20th

Contact: River Holistic (01) 831 0888 / info@riverholistic.ie

Booking Deposit: €20

 

 

 

Let Me Try

It’s not about how long we live but how well we live.

There are so many things that we are told not to do in life: Don’t smoke, don’t drink coffee, stay away from fatty foods and keep as active as possible.

But where is the balance?  To live a truly Holistic life you need to find that balance.  Yes, I drink coffee, my exercise consists of running around after my two wild boys and constantly going from A to B doing jobs for the centre, I eat red meat and I am not Phoebe from friends, although I do sing like her.  But I am for the most part happy, healthy-ish but mostly I am content with my life which I believe makes me complete.

If I were to believe everything I have seen online, on peoples beautiful posed Instagram feed, on the front cover of nearly all the magazines, on numerous online articles about a tablet to cure this and that, stay away from all medications, macro, micro diets, to supplement or not supplement and so and so on, I should be 6 feet under by now.

I believe that good health and happiness go way beyond the physical, you must embrace the beautiful mess that life is, warts and all, and learn to be the best version of yourself on any given day.

Life is trial and error.  You fail and you fall, then you get up and try again.  Life is a journey and we learn a lot from the bumpy roads.  I am still on that road.

My perspective on what a healthy person is:

A happy healthy person doesn’t wish their life away, or dwell on past events.  They are able to love and to be loved, they have strong relationships but love their own company and independence, so if that love were to leave, they are strong enough to make the most of their new lives.

They know how important it is to forgive.  Holding onto grudges and hurt feelings only affects the person who holds onto them.  You don’t have to be loved by everyone or try to please everyone, this is an impossible task and the quickest way to pile on layers of self-doubt and misery.

They have a realistic self-awareness.  In other words, they can see their own weaknesses and their own shortcomings, without trying to change the people around them.  Working on self-improvement is a lifelong challenge that they accept with open arms.

They can laugh at themselves.  If you can see the funny and incongruous side of life, even during stressful moments, it can be to your advantage.  Expecting yourself to be perfect is the quickest way to discontent. Do the best you can—which may or may not be good enough—but that’s all you can do.  Accept it, smile, move on and give yourself a break. Stop worrying!

They are not judgmental.   They walk their own path and learn from their own mistakes, never reminding other people of theirs.

They don’t complain.  There’s much to complain about today.  And there are times when we need to get things off of our chests to keep from exploding, and that’ okay.   However, constantly complaining and never trying to fix the issues is not a habit of healthy people.

This is my take on how life should be, as this is life it is not always possible.  I embrace this fact and every single day my mantra is “Let me try”.

 

It’s good to talk

written by: Claire Kenny 06/09/2018

Since opening the centre, now over 5 years ago, I have been asked countless times “why don’t I incorporate an online booking system to make life faster and easier for the clients and students that we have the pleasure of looking after.”

There is no doubt that these new systems have increased efficiency by leaps and bounds, but what has been sacrificed is human interaction and a direct connection to the exchange of value.

Have you ever booked online for a yoga class and arrived with your new mat and baggy tracksuit bottoms, as you are a complete beginner, and been met with a packed studio of twenty somethings in very tight Lycra doing handstands against the wall jammed in like sardines?  I have and boy did I hot foot it out of there and vowed that I would never try Yoga again. Don’t worry I have since.

Have you ever booked online for a massage as a treat after a really hard long week to be met by a deep tissue therapist, who yes is amazing at what they do but you feel like you have been beaten up with a baseball bat and all you wanted was sounds of whales in the background, candles lighting and a little hug of a massage?  I have, and was left disappointed, not by the therapist, but by the system and not being able to ask for a relaxing light massage and sip of herbal tea afterwards.

Now I do understand that life is so fast paced and there is an app for everything to make life simpler, but at what cost?

If time is so precious; then what if you do make that mistake of booking in for the wrong class or with the wrong therapist?  If you take the time to make a 2 minute call to us here at the centre, we will know exactly what you need and what would suit you best.  So rather than make that mistake that will cost you an hour or more from your already busy life, give us a call as we like to talk here at the centre.

For the full list of classes that are all starting new terms this week and next just click the following links:

www.riverholsitic.ie/classes

For a full list of therapies that you would like to try but may not know what exactly is involved use the link below:

www.riverholistic.ie/therapies

Then you guessed it, just give us a call and let us help you make the right choice the first time.

 

Claire

 

 

 

 

A journey of self-awareness

A Mindful Journey of Self Awareness

The journey comprises of Hypno-Meditations to increase awareness and facilitate the process of unfolding the ‘Self’. The purpose of which is to enable a you to step forward along a path towards wholeness. As we learn to Witness and be Mindful our awareness increases, this frees us from being stuck in a reactive mode and allows us to cut through the veils of illusion that keeps us from achieving wholeness. The path of Hypno-Meditation utilising Mindfulness, enables a you to raise your awareness and individuate along the path of wholeness.

Along any path of understanding “Who am I” and of integration towards authenticity and individuation, the first step is to increase AWARENESS at both levels; conscious and subconscious.

Vispassana (Mindfulness) mediation is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation, a process of Self-transformation through mindful self observation (builds awareness). It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.  Life becomes characterised by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace.

Hypno-meditation is a unique combination of hypnosis and meditation which enables self awareness and a vehicle to heal the mindbody as well as to achieve goals through reflection and choice. A natural powerful tool, which enables benevolent and sustainable changes. The more you practice hypno-meditation, the more you speak directly and align with Mind as a whole, building new neural pathways via the conscious and subconscious. Thus enabling you to make empowered choices, growing as an individual in mind, body and soul, creating a state of healthy mind and body.

Develop awareness through the breath.

Body Scan / Progressive Relaxation (relaxation response)

Mindfulness of the senses

Witnessing Thoughts

Removing Obstacles…. Planting Seeds

Connecting with your Inner Adviser

When : Thursday the 16th of August 2018 8 – 10 pm

Where : River Holistic Centre, 10 Main street Raheny Dublin 5

Cost : €45

Includes a collection of Hypno-Meditations to help you on your journey.

https://www.ruthallen.ie/mindful-journey-self-awareness

It’s okay you got this

Going through fertility treatment can be a challenging experience both physically and emotionally. All matter of scenarios might be running through your head, with so many questions, what ifs and more. You might be researching the topic or constantly wanting to think about it.

Some days you may feel completely overwhelmed with the process, so it is important to put some strategies in place early, to help you cope during these times.

 

#1 Be kind to yourself

Fertility treatment can be an emotional rollercoaster; it is normal to find you cope well some days and others your emotions are a little overwhelming. On those tougher days, consider taking time out for yourself to engage in whatever self-care works best for you – it may be having a good cry, time alone, time with friends or family, doing something you enjoy.

 

#2 Develop and maintain good self-care practices

Make these part of your daily or weekly routine and use them regularly; prioritise these to assist with your well-being. Self-care is very personal but could include things such as reading, music, exercise, time with family or friends, soak in a bath, fresh flowers, meditation, engaging with spirituality etc.

#3 Focus on the things that you can control

By doing this you can be proactive and channel your energy into things you have the ability to influence which many people find empowering. Things you can control include diet, exercise, sleep, self-care etc. but be balanced in this and don’t be too restrictive.

#4 Consider limiting the amount of time spent focussing on infertility

You could set a daily time limit (e.g. 30 minutes) or a specific number of times per week. During this time give yourself permission to think about, talk about, research infertility and treatment as much as you like, but once the time is over try to set it aside until the same time the next day/occasion. Although difficult, it is important not to let fertility treatment consume you.

 #5 Try to live in the moment

It is easy for your mind to wander too far ahead worrying about all the what ifs. Try to deal with each moment or difficulty as it arises. Mindfulness can be very helpful in allowing us to stay more in the present moment.

#6 Keep the lines of communication open

It is important to talk with others, particularly your partner about your thoughts and feelings.

 #7 Prioritise reconnecting with your partner and rejuvenating your relationship

Fertility treatment can take a toll on your relationship. Try to do things that help to put the fun and spontaneity back into your relationship. Reconnect with all the things about each other that drew you together in the first place.

#8 Consider keeping a gratitude journal

Noting down three things a day that you are grateful/thankful for. These could be related to fertility or could be completely separate. Even in tough times, if we look hard enough there are often other little things in our life that give us hope and lead us to feel thankful.

 #9 Ask for help if needed

If your feelings seem to be increasing in intensity or lasting more than a few days please seek professional support through your specialist.

We are always here to help with your journey through IVF, ART, pregnancy and all that comes with it.

We have a full list of therapies that would include body treatments, talk therapies and classes.

Just call us on 018310888 or email info@riverholistic.ie

xxxx

 

CLAIRE

FACT Mindfulness Skills Course

FACT Mindfulness Skills Course 

Mindfulness is an awareness process that involves the ability to pay attention with flexibility, openness and curiosity to life as it arises at any given moment. It is a practice when cultivated, that enables people to interact with themselves and others through awareness and compassion, handling life’s stresses and challenges with more ease and resilience. Ultimately, it teaches us to accept and respond, instead of react to life.

Aim
The aim of this six week course is to introduce clients to the practice of mindfulness in their everyday lives while simultaneously being held within a psychotherapeutic space. This one-to-one experience fosters a tailored and unique mindful environment.

Week 1: – Introduction to course and exploration of relevant life issues and expectations
Week 2: – Stopping, calming, resting and healing
Week 3: – Nourishing happiness and sustaining mindfulness
Week 4: – Understanding and transforming ingrained habits
Week 5: – Developing conscious awareness and maintaining happiness
Week 6: – Establishing mindfulness practice in daily life.

Psychotherapeutic Approach
Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (FACT) is a progressive evidence based psychotherapeutic behavioural intervention designed specifically for brief therapy. FACT encourages psychological flexibility in clients and integrates mindfulness in its approach.

Outcome
At the end of this course clients will be able to understand how to recognise and handle difficult thoughts and strong emotions within themselves related to stress, pain (including physical), anxiety, fear, sadness and anger etc. They will have developed awareness on the factors that influence and perpetuate much of the patterns of suffering within their lives and have gained the knowledge and skills necessary to make alternate and more life affirming choices within their respective environments.

For further information:

To make an appointment with Niamh, please contact her directly on the information below.

Niamh is available for appointments here at the centre on Monday’s from 11am to 3pm 

MINDFUL MEASURES

087-9828707

 

 

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