Category: Birthday Special


Important News

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Dear Clients,

Thank you all for your support during these difficult months. Our whole reason to exist as a school is to promote health and wellbeing. For nearly a decade we have been working to improve the lives of people in Cork to boost their physical and mental health. On a few occasions over the last few months we were set to reopen, however during the planning phase to do so we were conflicted about safety and decided to postpone reopening more than once.  

At present, we feel that it would be irresponsible to bring people together, many times a day to gather in an enclosed space without the use of masks where there is a focus on deep breathing. Even at 2 meters apart we feel that the potential risk is too much for our clients and to our team. We know from recent developments that numbers are rising in Ireland as is the reproduction rate. Ethically we simply can’t reopen and potentially put anyone in harm’s way.

Obviously, for us as a company, it makes business sense to reopen, to clear the class credits of our clients, and to generate some income and to re-employ our teaching team. We have the space, we have the team, on paper we have everything we need to restart our business- but it just does not sit right with us. We simply can’t compromise on our personal and business ethics right now. We have not opened yet, for the same reason that we were one of the first businesses to close in Cork when the pandemic hit. We will always want to put our community first. 

We have had our doors closed for nearly 6 months now and the cost of keeping the company going so we could pivot online and keep providing for our students has been significant. We provided free online yoga classes every day to thousands of people for 8 weeks in our community and we are so proud of the peace and comfort it brought to so many during the first 2 months of the pandemic. We then launched our online studio with accessibility and affordability at the heart of our vision. We are really proud of everything we have done since we have been forced to close our doors.

Alongside that feeling of pride is the sadness we have felt seeing everything we have built come to a close in Cork city, Ballincollig, and Goa overnight. It has been heartbreaking for all of our team. We know it has been hard on our clients too, we know the sanctuary that our spaces provided for people since we first opened in Academy St and we feel that loss the most. We are especially conscious of our vulnerable clients who need us more than ever, for those who have faced the loss of health or loved ones and for our charity partners too who have really lost out since we could not run our Seva fundraising programs.

In terms of our future, we will be reopening our Ballincollig studio when the rest of the country is deemed safe to fully reopen by NPHET and move into phase 4. We want to be absolutely sure that we will be opening at the maximum limits of safety rather than for business reasons. We have a very large space in Ballincollig that can accommodate social distancing and our low price model and safety for our clients and teachers. 

Sadly, we will not be reopening our Penrose Wharf location. It would be impossible for us to sustain or retain a space in the city center when we are not operational until the country reopened. Even if we could, it would be completely unfeasible for us to reopen in that location with more than 65% of our capacity gone. We have always operated at a high capacity of volume to make our low prices a reality, and without that capacity, our pricing model would simply not work. We would be going from a capacity of 35 people to 13 people in our large studio and from 20 people to 6 people in our smaller studio. No amount of classes would be able to see us break even in this scenario with city center rents and rates, and a large team to sustain. We do not want to put our prices up. We have always been centered on accessibility and socio-economic diversity. 

We will work hard to retain our premises in Ballincollig even with our doors closed so that we have a physical space to return to and we will also work on getting a larger space in the city that will accommodate the new normal of social distancing and support our pricing model when the time is right to return. 

None of these decisions have been easy to make, sometimes the right thing to do feels like the hardest thing to do. This is the right thing for us to do. This time will pass but our choices will stay with us. We would also like to share our support with other businesses in our industry who are reopening. Each situation is completely different and each business owner must make the choices that are best for themselves and their own clients. We are unique and so are our set of circumstances. People have been hit so very hard by this pandemic, and this time is also a chance for people to rebuild while they can if they personally feel it is safe to do so. We wish everyone reopening the very best.

We are wishing everyone else in our business community the best of luck with their own ventures and reopening. And we want to share our sympathies with those who have not been able to do so.

We want to thank all of our clients who attended our city center location for their unending support. As much as you gained from being our students in that location, we gained from being your teachers. We want to thank our team who worked in the city center studio with us for their love and support too over the years. Your dedication to Himalaya Yoga Valley and our clients has been outstanding. One day we will all rush around a busy studio again, we will see the smiling faces of our clients and we will be smiling too because we will all be back doing what we love.
 
This is an extremely hard time for all of us as a team and for our family. We appreciate your support and understanding. So often we remind our students about the depth and history of yoga. Yoga has existed for thousands of years before us and will exist for thousands after us. We all still have yoga, our doors may be closed but hopefully, if we have done a good enough job as teachers, you will be able to access your personal practise yourselves for now or you will join us online. 

Thank you all once again for coming to our studios, for supporting our fundraising and community projects and for welcoming us all the way from the Himalayas to Cork when we arrived here from India 9 years ago. As a family business, we were embraced as part of the family in Cork. We look forward to continuing the journey with you in the future. 

Our Founding Director Lalit in particular would like to thank all of his students and our teachers for their years of dedication and practise. He has chosen a quote from one of his own teachers in India to share with you in the hope that you will carry on practicing until we meet again. You will no doubt have seen this on our walls in the studio. It’s a favorite of ours because it is a reminder that through all of the impermanence in life, we always have the light of yoga to guide us. 

“Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame.” ― B.K.S Iyengar

Stay safe and well. 

We hope you will join us online or in Ballincollig when we reopen. If you can, please support us during this time by transferring your existing classes from your pass to our online classes or for use when we reopen in Ballincollig. We want to come back into our community when this awful phase in our collective history is over.

For now, we will continue to serve our yoga community online. It is a wonderful new blossoming that we are so proud to lead and we plan on growing that offering with the usual integrity and effort our clients have come to expect.   

Our team are on the webchat here on our website and emails as usual if you need to get in touch with us.

We look forward to being back with our clients as soon as possible. 

Yours in Yoga,

Eveanna 

On Behalf of The Himalaya Yoga Valley Team 

Client Guidelines for Practising Yoga at our Studio

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We are so looking forward to welcoming our clients back to our Ballincollig centre from the 13th of July! The safety of our clients and team are our top priority. Please follow these guidelines when attending classes with us.


Class Capacity, Timings & Student Registration

• Capacity of students in each class will be in line with social distancing requirements of 2 meters

• Each class will be one hour in duration reduced from one hour and fifteen to allow for extra measures between classes

• There is 30 minutes between classes to allow for cleaning studio

• All bookings and transactions made online so that there is no cash transactions in the studio (prearranged exceptions will be made for people with accessibility barriers, no internet, this must be pre-arranged and absolutely the exception not the norm)

• Students must sign in before coming to the studio. We can not facilitate drop in’s

Supplies

• Students are welcome to wear visors and masks and can bring their own masks

• All students must bring their own props and yoga mat- these can not be left at the studio and must not be shared between clients

• We no longer have a water dispenser- please bring your own water

Cleaning and Hygiene

• Students must sanitize their hands before entering and exiting the studio

• After and in between each class the teacher will sanitize commonly touched surfaces

• The studio will continue to be regularly cleaned by a contracted cleaner

• Our downstairs door will be locked while cleaning takes place. Please wait for the teacher in your car or outside observing social distancing until you are called to enter. This prevents client crossover and ensures you are entering a clean and safe space

Practising Yoga

• We have staggered marked out spaces based on current social distancing guidelines for people to practice. Please place your mat on these designated markings only

• Teachers will provide verbal cues and demos rather than physical adjustments

• Please observe 2 meter distancing from the teacher

• Prop heavy classes are not currently on our schedule as we do not provide props

Class Check in and traffic flow

• Our teacher will meet clients at entry door downstairs to check you in on the iPad and there will be staggered entry staggered entry

• Please keep 2 meters apart when entering and exiting the studio and remove shoes at entry and put in bag, and store with other personal belongings in studio cubby holes. All personal belongings including shoes and car keys must be in a clean bag in cubby hole.

• Please come to the studio in dressed ready for practise. We will not be using changing rooms.

Other Important Measures

• Any student who has contact with someone who has Covid-19 must not attend our studio for 14 days and until they have received medical clearance to do so

• Any student displaying symptoms of Covid-19 should not come to class. You can find out about symptoms of Covid-19 and what to do if you get sick, here https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/472f64-covid-19-coronavirus-guidance-and-advice/

• It is imperative that absolutely all students are signed in to class for the purpose of contact tracing should it be required. Please check that your contact details on our system are up to date and we can contact you should we need to

• If you are unwell, or become unwell after class please contact our team on info@yogacorkireland.com and notify us so


Our philosophy on holding space for yoga during these times

We are overjoyed to have you back! We will give you the same warm welcome you are used to when coming to our studio, we may not be able to be physically close to our students but we will still aim for close energetic and human connection. Our space will be a much needed sanctuary that puts safety at the peak of our priorities. We commit to creating a safe space of healing and warmth that is designed promote and protect the health of our clients and team.

If you have any questions please contact us.

Namaste and see you soon!

Our Reopening Date and Other Exciting News!

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Namaste,
We hope you and your families continue to remain safe and that you are enjoying an ease in restrictions. Our team have been working hard behind the scenes preparing to welcome students back to our Ballincollig studio with all social distancing and precautions in place. We have also been working hard on some exciting tech developments too- read on!

Our New App and Booking Software

We are delighted to share with you the launch of our exclusive Himalaya Yoga Valley App! You now can easily book classes online, update your memberships, attend virtual classes, book your studio classes, watch our members and access all of our services with much greater ease and speed!

Follow these links to download our app

Android: Android App
iOS: iOS App

All of the details you need to get our app and your account activated are here

Himalaya Yoga Valley App & Booking Tutorial

All Clients Must Activate their New Accounts

As well as our exciting new app being available for our clients we are now using Glowfox as our client management and booking software system. All clients have had their accounts, membership and class credits moved across to our new software and you will need to follow these instructions to set up your password and book classes and access your account.

Our new booking system will be live on this page https://yogacorkireland.com/online-booking/ from Monday July 6th at 10am.

Active Membership/Pass

-Log in if you have an existing membership/class pass with your registered email and click on Forgot Password to reset your password
-If you are signed up to our Online Monthly Unlimited Yoga Membership for €19.99 you need to purchase a new membership when your current monthly pass expires. We are running an amazing value intro offer of €9.99 for the first month which gives you access to over 100 virtual live yoga classes each month and an exclusive members video library. Be sure to sign up before your next auto renew date!
-All active class passes have been transferred to our new booking system

New Users

-Create a new account and purchase a new membership or pass

Please note we have a special offer running of just €9.99 for an unlimited virtual yoga pass for the first month to our €19.99 virtual studio members who make the move to our new software with us!

Reopening in Ballincollig

With our capacity reduced by close to 60% and Ballincollig being a large space we will begin holding classes in this location from Monday the 13th of July. As per our announcement last week, we will begin our phased reopening with the opening of our Ballincollig studio first given it’s space and suitability for social distancing.

Ballincollig

Please see this video of our Ballincollig Yoga Studio which will give you an idea of why it is such a popular place to practise with our clients- we look forward to welcoming you there.

Highlights of our Ballincollig Studio

*One of Ireland’s largest yoga studios spanning over 2000 sq ft
*Located just off the link road
*Beautifully designed, spacious studio with lots of light & overhead heating
*Free Parking on Site
*15 minutes drive from Cork City

Safety

We will be following all HSE guidelines to make practising with us as safe as possible for our team and our clients and these guidelines can be viewed here. Please read these in advance of attending our studio.

Classes will be one hour in length to account for studio cleaning and can not cross over so we will have approximately 3 classes per day to begin with in this government phase of restrictions.

Please note all bookings must be completed and paid for online as we will not be doing transactions in the interest of safety. In the interest of taking care of vulnerable or elderly clients who may not be able to book online we will make exceptions and our team will assist you. You will need to email for this before attending the class and this is in exceptional cases only. We want to keep barriers to practise down so we are here for those clients who can not book online and for all other clients we greatly appreciate your support in keeping our team safe by pre paying and pre booking.

Your Pass or Membership

If you had a pass or membership with us with remaining classes or time on it before the lockdown started and have not transferred it for use online, you can now contact us to reactivate it and we will extend the validity equal to what was remaining on it when we closed. If you have a pass or membership that you bought for use in our studio before the lockdown and you reactivated it during the lockdown to use online, you can carry on using it online, in house or blended between both. Virtual studio memberships are exclusively for use online. Our team is always on hand if you need any help or clarification regarding your pass. Simply drop us a line.

Out of respect to our clients who have patiently waited to use their passes during lockdown we will not have passes available for sale. Single classes will be available for purchase and use on the same day at a reduced drop in rate of €10. We kindly request that clients attend a maximum of three classes per week online and also use our online classes to ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to attend.

Himalaya Yoga Valley Online

Should you wish to practise from home you can join our thriving online community and attend up to 100 classes per month with Lalit, Lisa, Anca, Jim and Carolann from the comfort of your own home for just €19.99 per month and €9.99 for the first month! We have up to 5 classes a day, including Dynamic, Themed, Gentle Glow, Restore & Revive and plenty more of your usual favourites. Our clients are thrilled with being able to access the same classes they know and love without the commute. We have recently acquired a purpose assigned yoga recording studio where all of our live classes will be streamed from, and all of our videos recorded from. We look forward to delivering the highest quality virtual classes to our clients from around the world!

We now have over 30 videos available for our clients, this bank will keep growing as we go and we are excited to bring you some fresh class themes, workshops and guest teachers from August. Keep an eye on our website and app for all of the details!

Thank you and Welcome Back!

Thank you to all of our clients who have supported us since we closed our doors in March, and to all of you supporting us as we reopen them. Thank you also to our wonderful team who have kept our clients in yoga online and everything running in the background! We look forward to welcoming you back to Ballincollig or to our virtual studio.

Great News! Our phased reopening begins soon…

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Namaste,

We hope you are all doing well and your families are safe and well too. It came as a pleasant surprise to us on Friday that yoga studios will have the opportunity to become operational again on the 29th of this month. We were expecting permission for yoga studios to reopen in the August phase and our planning has been geared towards that date. We will however now begin a phased reopening of Himalaya Yoga Valley with our Ballincollig centre reopening first and we will also retain and expand our virtual studio offerings. With our capacity reduced by close to 60% and Ballincollig being a much larger space it will be feasible for us to begin our reopening from that location with all of the social distancing and hygiene measures required to do so safely. We aim to reopen in Ballincollig in the second week of July and will notify you when our schedule is up to take online bookings!

Ballincollig

Please see this video of our Ballincollig Yoga Studio which will give you an idea of why it is such a popular place to practise with our clients- we look forward to welcoming you there.

Highlights of our Ballincollig Studio

*One of Ireland’s largest yoga studios spanning over 2000 sq ft
*Located just off the link road
*Beautifully designed, spacious studio with lots of light & overhead heating
*Free Parking on Site
*15 minutes drive from Cork City

Safety

We will be following all HSE guidelines to make practising with us as safe as possible for our team and our clients and we will circulate and publish our practice guidelines and policy in the coming weeks before we open. This will be available to view on our website, social media channels and you will also receive it by email if you are on our mailing list. We were the first studio to close in Cork. We did so early to protect our team, clients and community and we will not rush reopening for the same reasons. We thank you for supporting that decision when we made it and thank you in advance for working with us to keep everybody as safe and healthy as possible.

Classes will be one hour in length to account for studio cleaning and can not cross over so we will have approximately 3 classes per day to begin with in this government phase of restrictions.

Your Pass or Membership

If you had a pass or membership with us with remaining classes or time on it before the lockdown started and have not transferred it for use online, you can now contact us to reactivate it and we will extend the validity equal to what was remaining on it when we closed. If you have a pass or membership that you bought for use in our studio before the lockdown and you reactivated it during the lockdown to use online, you can carry on using it online, in house or blended between both. Virtual studio memberships are exclusively for use online. Our team is always on hand if you need any help or clarification regarding your pass. Simply drop us a line.

Please note all bookings must be completed and paid for online as we will not be doing transactions in the interest of safety. In the interest of taking care of vulnerable or elderly clients who may not be able to book online we will make exceptions and our team will assist you. You will need to email for this before attending the class and this is in exceptional cases only. We want to keep barriers to practise down so we are here for those clients who can not book online and for all other clients we greatly appreciate your support in keeping our team safe by pre paying and pre booking.

In respect to our clients who have patiently waited to use their passes during lockdown we will not have passes available for sale. Single classes will be available for purchase and use on the same day from the start of our second operational week. We will monitor attendance and open up sales for passes based on our findings. We kindly request that clients attend a maximum of three classes per week online and also use our online classes to ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to attend.

Himalaya Yoga Valley Online

Should you wish to practise from home you can join our thriving online community and attend up to 100 classes per month with Lalit, Lisa, Anca, Jim and Carolann from the comfort of your own home for just €19.99 per month! We have up to 5 classes a day, including Dynamic, Themed, Gentle Glow, Restore & Revive and plenty more of your usual favourites. Our clients are thrilled with being able to access the same classes they know and love without the commute. If you wish to become a member of our virtual studio you can do so here many clients have expressed their wish to keep practising from home and we are proud to be able to deliver the highest quality yoga experience directly to them. We have some very exciting international teachers lined up and our online community has grown into a very special one!

Thank You So Much

We appreciate all of the incredible support from our clients over the last few months and our wonderful team who offered so much to our community for the first 8 weeks of the pandemic lockdown with free classes every day- we had attendance of over 100,000 during that period with people from all over the world benefiting from yoga to help them get through a difficult time. We continue to offer free online classes to frontline health workers and we hope to restart Yoga in the Park as soon as possible to fundraise for our charity partners who have been so hard hit by this pandemic. We are in the process of getting relevant permissions from the council to do so.

It has been a challenging time for us as a team and to stay afloat as a business, but the support of our wonderful clients and teachers has kept our spirits uplifted!

Once again, thank you, and we look forward to seeing you in Ballincollig or online!

Yours in Yoga,

The Himalaya Yoga Valley Team

Virtual Studio Announcement

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We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we have launched Himalaya Yoga Valley online! Classes will kick off live at our virtual studio on Monday the 11th of May. We have up to 5 classes a day and over 100 classes per month for you to enjoy with our team of expert teachers and here is the really exciting news…after such an incredible response to our community wellbeing classes we are launching our introductory unlimited memberships for just €19.99 a month on a rolling basis!

After seeing the response to our online classes and what they meant to so many, we wanted to offer unlimited access to the highest quality classes for as low a price as possible. We launched our studio 7 years ago with a vision to make yoga accessible and now we open our virtual space with the same mission and hope in our heart- to bring authentic, accessible, affordable yoga from it’s origins to everybody! We are keeping our classes FREE for frontline healthcare workers as a way to say thank you for all that you do and we are also running a free weekly Seva class for all levels each week.

We have kept affordability and accessibility at the core of our vision, and you can expect the same incredible quality teachings that you have come to know from our team, led by Yogacharya Lalit.

Here is what is on offer

-Over 100 classes a month

-Classes 7 days a week

-Various styles

-Something for all levels

-Members-only access to our library of classes that will grow as we go

-Private Classes

-Corporate Classes

-FREE classes for frontline Healthcare workers

-All classes easily accessible on Mindbody Online

If you are already a member of our studio you will have received an email about your existing memberships and passes and if you have any questions you can drop us a line. We look forward to welcoming you all back to our classes online and want to thank you for your support over the last few months.

If you have enjoyed our classes or would like to support us in our online expansion we would greatly appreciate your support!

‘Ashtanga in Depth & Detail’ Masterclass

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Join our school founder Lalit for this Masterclass which is FREE for Members on 3 & 6 month unlimited passes, half price for those on class passes and €20 drop in. Be sure to book your place as spots are limited!

‘Advance Your Practice Using Props’ Masterclass

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We are excited to be running our first Masterclass of the year with our school founder Lalit. These Masterclasses are FREE for Members on 3 & 6 month unlimited passes, half price for those on class passes and €20 drop in. Be sure to book your place as spots are limited!

December Focus Class Themes

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Every Monday and Wednesday evening and all day Saturday our New Beginnings Level 2 and Bridge to Peak classes are themed! To keep things fresh the themes change each month. Check out the December themes below!

December Themes
Penrose Wharf
Monday: Hips & Hamstrings
Wednesday: Twists
Saturday: Shoulders (Mobility &Stability)

Ballincollig
Monday: Sun Salutation Techniques
Wednesday: Backbends
Saturday: Arm Balances & Inversions

Joanne O’Riordan ‘No Limbs No Limits’ story of her journey to yoga!

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Joanne O’Riordan recently started practicing yoga with Lalit Kumar, school founder of Himalaya Yoga Valley at our Cork City studio.

This YouTube video which can be viewed at this link is the inspirational story of her journey to yoga, a journey without limits that embodies the spirit of yoga for everybody! Joanne is a sports journalist and disability rights advocate and one of only seven people living in the world with the condition Tetra-Amelia Syndrome. Joanne was born without any limbs and her motto in life is ‘No Limbs No Limits’. Her amazing attitude to life has inspired many! In this video you will hear about Joanne’s experience of yoga since she started practicing with Lalit only 6 weeks ago and how our only limitations are the doubts we place on ourselves.

Lalit Kumar from India has been practicing yoga since the age of seven at traditional schools in the Himalayas. He has been teaching internationally for over a decade with a wealth of experience. He is a renowned teacher in the global yoga community. Lalit and the team at Himalaya Yoga Valley Cork are dedicated to improving the health, happiness and wellbeing of our clients and also our communities. The team have raised over €70,000 for Cork Simon Community and Pieta House through their Yoga in the Park project. Himalaya Yoga Valley centres in Cork City and Ballincollig are known as sanctuaries from modern day stress and places where people always leave feeling better than they arrived!

If you believe that yoga is for everybody please share this video and Joanne’s story!

To hear more from Joanne, check out the Joanne O’Riordan Podcast on redextra.ie, Apple podcasts and Spotify.

#yogaforeverybody

Media Queries
Please contact Marion Courtney on 0852544535 or by email marion@yogacorkireland.com for any media queries in relation to this news release.

‘Yoga in the Park with Himalaya Yoga Valley’ returns to Cork!

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Press Release 14th May 2019

‘Yoga in the Park with Himalaya Yoga Valley’ is back again this summer in the beautiful setting of Fitzgerald’s Park and the Regional Park Ballincollig. The weekly summer event has raised over €62,000 for charity over the last five years, with the team hoping to raise even more funds this year!

The first outdoor class of the summer will take place in both parks over the bank holiday weekend on Saturday 1st June 2019. All funds raised at Fitzgerald’s Park will go towards Cork Simon Community, while Pieta House will benefit from the funds raised at the Regional Park Ballincollig. The class at Fitzgerald’s Park will take place in front of the bandstand and run from 10:00-11:15am. The class at the Regional Park Ballincollig will run from 10:15-11:30am.

Every Saturday from June 1st-September 7th, yoga enthusiasts and novices will stretch it out and improve their own physical and mental health while supporting those in need! Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre will host this weekly donation yoga class. Last year, over 400 people joined the Himalaya Yoga Valley team across both parks for Yoga in the Park and this year they hope to make it an even greater success!

Cork Simon’s Director, Dermot Kavanagh, said “This is what community is all about – people believing in people; coming together to support men, women and children in our community who are suffering from the exclusion, isolation and devastation of homelessness. The support of Himalaya Yoga Valley and all those participating in this very popular event over the last five years have helped us to keep our doors open for every person turning to us for help – it’s Cork at its best.”

Kieran Brady Director of Funding & Advocacy, Pieta House said “Pieta would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the generous donation and continued support from Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre Cork. The Yoga in the Park is a really rewarding and beneficial Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative for all involved. The funds received will help us provide our nationwide services which are free of charge and freely available therapeutic services to people who are in suicidal distress, those who engage in self-harm and those who are bereaved by suicide”.

We welcome you to join members of the Himalaya Yoga Valley team, Cork City Council, Cork Simon Community and Pieta House at the launch of this wonderful fundraising initiative on Saturday 1st June 2019.

Marion Courtney, Business Manager at Himalaya Yoga Valley said “All of our team get great satisfaction from helping others through yoga. We encourage everybody to join us each Saturday of the summer months in either park to help raise much needed funds for these organisations whilst looking after their mind and body through yoga! To see over 400 people from all walks of life, ages, fitness abilities and entire families practicing yoga together every week for charity really is something special. We are so grateful to our team, members of our community and Cork City Council for making it such a great success”.

To take part in ‘Yoga in the Park with Himalaya Yoga Valley’ all you need to bring along is your yoga mat, donation (minimum €5), water and sunscreen. All ages and abilities are welcome and this is a family friendly event. Follow Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre Cork on social media to keep up to date on weather updates each Saturday. For more information log onto www.yogacorkireland.com, email info@yogacorkireland.com or telephone 0214279696.

We look forward to seeing you at the launch of this wonderful community initiative!

Picture Caption: Fitzgerald’s Park, July 2018. Yoga from the Sky! ‘Yoga in the Park with Himalaya Yoga Valley’ starts back on Saturday June 1st! This class by donation will take place every Saturday over the summer months in Fitzgerald’s Park and the Regional Park Ballincollig. Photo Credit: Loose Skies

Follow the Five Yamas of Yoga this New Year!

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One of the wonderful things about yoga is that it’s not just a series of exercises, breathing and relaxation techniques. It can be a way of life! We can practice yoga through the way we treat ourselves and others in everything we do. We can become happier and more fulfilled through practicing the yamas of yoga, which are ethical guidelines for our daily lives. Yoga is an ancient healing science from India and the very first part of the traditional journey of yoga starts with these five yamas:

1. Ahimsa (non-harming)
This instruction is to practice kindness, forgiveness and non-judgement to ourselves and other beings, both in our actions and most challengingly, in our thoughts. Putting this into action can be difficult but so internally transformative that students often put all of their focus into this yama before moving on to exploring the others. When we are free from negative thoughts towards ourselves and others, inner peace can be found.

2. Satya (honesty)
To practice Satya, we need to explore the reasons why we are being dishonest in the first place. Is it habit? Fear? Recklessness? If we are more honest with ourselves about the causes of our lies it may help us to be more honest with others. Through truthfulness we can live freer, more confident and authentic lives.

3. Asteya (non-stealing)
Of course, this yama means to refrain from stealing the obvious – physical objects but it also asks us to look at what else we are taking from others that we don’t own or need. Are we taking advantage of other people’s kindness, their time, credit for their work? Are we stealing from our own potential by spending time and energy on things that don’t lift ourselves or others? We all know how good it feels to give a present or help another being. This yama encourages us to consciously take less and give more.

4. Brahmacharya (unity)
This yama asks us to look at where we are getting our pleasure from? Are we using other people? Stimulants? Unhealthy habits? Can we assess and moderate these dependencies to balance our senses and free our minds? Can we strive for healthy, non-dependant relationships, and make better choices in what we are feeding our minds through social media, TV, magazines etc. Moderating our senses can help us to find inner peace and joy.

5. Aparigraha (non-possessiveness)
Do you envy others for what they have? Do you attach emotion to your possessions and to the acquisition of them? Do you own more than you need? Are your goals in life to acquire more stuff? It’s hard when we live in a society that encourages all of this. It takes wisdom to see that these things only lead to unhappiness, but it takes huge strength to stop. This yama asks us to put less importance on possessions, to use what we need in life without placing ownership on it, to value our relationships, our health, happiness and self-worth more than the things we own or could own.

By practicing the 5 Yamas of Yoga this New Year, you will lead a more honest and peaceful life.

Lisa Fahy
Senior Teacher
Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre Cork