A unique not-for-profit yoga studio in Salthill is working to make the Eastern practice and its many health benefits available to everyone.
BERNIE Ní FHLATHARTA hears how Yoga Darsana was founded and how its popularity is growing, thanks to its sliding fee scale, its work with local charities and its weekly community sessions.
This is the time of year when people make resolutions to get more active. And, increasingly, many of us are opting to take up more mindful pursuits, such as yoga. Though the practice of yoga has recently become hugely popular in the West, it’s had a long association with esoteric, alternative lifestyles and spiritualism.
And while this might appeal to many, it can put others off. However, more and more studies show that activities that make us more mindful are as important for our health as physical fitness is.
Yoga goes a long way to addressing both and community, not-for-profit yoga is now available in Galway.
Yoga Darsana in Salthill was founded two years ago as the world emerged from the Covid pandemic, with the aim of making yoga available to everyone.
Darsana is the Sanskrit word for mirror or reflection and the studio’s name is inspired by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – an ancient collection of Sanskrit writing about the theory and practice of yoga. It represents how yoga is like a mirror, reflecting a person’s soul through their thoughts and actions.
Community Yoga has become a popular concept worldwide and the Galway version was started by Tara Duffy, an American who settled here after travelling the world. She has since returned home for family reasons but hopes to be back in Galway for the summer months, to temporarily instruct and hold workshops at the beautifully located centre, which was formerly the Salthill Driving Range.
Meanwhile, Tara has left the centre in good hands, with Eva Du at the helm.
Eva, a yoga instructor, who is now the administrator at Yoga Darsana, is in her element.
Having travelled a great deal in the years before Covid, she spent the first few months of the pandemic in India and managed to get on the last flight out of that country when it went into lockdown, months after Ireland had effectively closed its borders.
Eva spent some of the second lockdown of 2021 in Portugal teaching yoga and on her return to Galway, she met Tara, who was in the process of setting up the community yoga centre.
Its location in Salthill, adjacent to the Prom and overlooking Galway Bay, the Aran Islands and County Clare, is idyllic.
There’s even a deck outside the big glass windows, where classes are held in the open air when weather permits.
Pictured: Instructor Eva Du, the administrator of Yoga Darsana, has a law degree from UCD. She began training as an yoga instructor while she was on a student programme in India.
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