Mary Breen

I was in my early sixties when my daughter brought me along to my first yoga class. Being passionately involved in competitive sport all my life I believed that yoga would be too slow for me, that I would not be able to spend a precious hour of my free time lying on a mat. It just took that first class to alter my whole way of thinking. Contrary to all my preconceived and naive ideas about yoga, that first hour was challenging and inspiring. It just took that one class! A week later I broke my ankle in a climbing accident. However, as soon as that healed I was right back on the mat again and have been on it every day since. My developing interest in everything to do with yoga led me to complete the Level One teacher training programme with Himalaya Yoga Valley in 2016 and then to a glorious yoga retreat in Goa in February 2017.

In the summer of 2017 I was an intern on the 200 hour teacher training in Cork. In spring 2018 I had the challenging but very rewarding experience of completing the 500 hour teacher training in the Himalaya Centre in Goa.

The most important life lesson that yoga has taught me is that age is no barrier to maintaining high levels of physical and mental fitness, flexibility, balance and contentment. Through regular practice you can learn to live cheerfully no matter what joys or sorrows you experience in life. Daily practice has proved to me that yoga can change both body and mind and that it is possible to develop a whole new outlook on life, no matter what age you are or how unfit you are when you begin.

I am retiring this year from a career spent in third level education. I have found both the research and teaching aspects of my work absorbing and fulfilling. Although I will continue many of my research projects after I retire I was anxious about leaving teaching behind. This is why I was so pleased and grateful to be asked to join the teaching team here in Himalaya Yoga Valley. As a very young yoga scholar I have so much to learn; with that in mind I hope to continue my student career with Himalaya Yoga and to complete the 500 Level teacher training next year. In the meantime I will continue to practice yoga and live cheerfully every day.