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Wisdom, fun and hope in online yoga community

Judy Murphy

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'Elemental and wacky', Ciara's advice is that movement and listening to your body are more important than achieving a perfect pose. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Lifestyle – Ciara Ní Dhiomasaigh and her partner Josef run the Nádúir Holistic Centre in Furbo, which is normally busy with therapists and students. After life changed last year, the experienced yoga teacher learned new skills so she could create her a daily online practice that’s available to everybody, either free or for a nominal cost. It’s aimed at building resilience, health and hope, she tells JUDY MURPHY.

Ciara Ní Dhiomasaigh laughs as she recalls a comment she made to her partner, Josef, last February about needing “a bit more rock and roll” in her life.  It wasn’t that she was idle. Far from it. But Ciara, who teaches yoga and tango as well as being a massage therapist who practises and teaches Cranio-sacral Bio-dynamics, had a yen to go travelling. While she’s not someone who makes grand plans, she was working towards making that happen when everything changed in March.

“Now look at me.” She laughs again as she gestures around the massage room at Nádúir, the holistic centre that she and Josef run in Furbo. Located on a leafy boreen off the Galway-Spiddal road, it’s a gorgeous, peaceful place where she conducts yoga classes in non-Covid times. But foreign climes it ain’t.

Yet, Ciara has broadened her reach enormously since March and in ways she could never have imagined back then. Like most yoga teachers, she quickly moved her regular classes to the online video-conferencing app, Zoom, and that’s been working fine.

But she’s done way more than that.

“I love working really hard and connecting,” explains this elemental, smart, funny woman.

“I was looking for something to excite and energise me, to challenge me to do something at the end of my comfort zone, to teach myself new skills.”

So, in August, Ciara began offering daily 20-minute yoga sessions on YouTube and Facebook and she’s continued to offer them every month, with a different monthly theme, such as ‘Connect’ or ‘Strength’. ‘Flow’ is January’s focus.

This unique teacher who has been practising yoga for three decades, is now building an online community who love the wholesome, humorous, wise take on life which she brings to her daily practice.

People who sign up are asked to pay €10 a month, to ‘subscribe for sustainability’.  Afterwards, it all remains online, freely available to anyone anywhere who has the internet.

Ciara and her sister Sinéad, who helps with administration, thought carefully about what to charge, before embracing the model of US yoga teacher Adriene Mishler who has millions of followers and offers many of her classes for free.

Ciara’s aim is that her sessions are affordable for people, while creating some income for Sinéad and herself – vital, given that Nádúir has lost practically all its revenue streams since March.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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