Friend or foe? This article by Raymond B. Cadwell, PhD, which appears in our Summer 2019 issue, delves into the positive role that our microbes play in regulating our overall health. To read the magazine in full, pick up a copy in your local stockist or subscribe to receive a copy direct to your door.
As the evenings slowly lengthen and hints of spring begin to emerge, what better way to brush off the cobwebs of winter than going on a rejuvenating yoga retreat? From Friday the 2nd to Sunday the 4th of February, dancer and movement teacher Laura Sarah Dowdall is leading a Vitality Retreat in Lisnavagh House, Co. Carlow. It promises to be an energising, tranquil experience that fills you with optimism for the year ahead. To learn more, visit healingyoga.ie/retreat. Tickets can be purchased by emailing Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As spring begins to dawn, the beautiful Lisnavagh House will be hosting a very special Vitality Retreat, led by the dancer, yoga and somatic movement teacher Laura Sarah Dowdall. Laura practices an integrated approach to her clients’ wellbeing, using a mixture of techniques she has mastered through her study of somatic movement methods, traditional yoga, bio-energetic practices, and transformational change processes. She believes that by opening the body, clients can open their minds, and to this end, she works with each of them on a deep individual level to help them attain new insight, creativity and self knowledge.
The three-day Vitality retreat programme will include techniques based on Healing Yoga, Asana, Pranayama (breath work), Yoga Nidra (guided relaxation), Soul Dance (a dance practice Laura has developed) and voice work, amongst others. This video will give you a glimpse of what you can expect during this beautiful retreat.
In addition to the group activities, one to one Integrated Healing and Reiki sessions with Laura will be available during the retreat. These sessions, which can be purchased for €50, are designed to enhance the movement and meditation processes of the weekend, facilitating a deep level of healing for those who choose to avail of them. These clients will also receive a personally designed practice to assist them in achieving their goals.
The Vitality Retreat will take place from the 2nd to the 4th of February 2018 at Lisvanagh House, Co. Carlow. You can book tickets by emailing Laura at email@example.com. For more information, visit healingyoga.ie/retreat. You can find out more about Laura’s work through her dance website, laurasarahdowdall.wix.com/dancer, or her therapeutic background information page, healingyoga.ie/about.
Promoting Positive Mental Health in Co.Galway: Helplink and SCCUL Sanctuary Organise Family Fun Day Festival
We have another great competition for you, lovely readers! We are offering two free tickets to the Family Fun Day Festival, taking place on Sunday the 10th of September 2017, from 2 to 5 p.m., in the Walled Garden of Kilcornan House, Clarinbridge, Co. Galway. To enter, just follow Positive Life on Facebook or Twitter, share this article, and tag us @positivelife so that we know you’ve done it. A winner will be selected and announced on Friday the 8th of September 2017. Good luck!
By Aisling Cronin
On Sunday the 10th of September 2017, Helplink Support Services (in association with the SCCUL Sanctuary) are holding their inaugural Family Fun Day in the Walled Garden of Kilcornan House, Clarinbridge, Co. Galway. The event has been organised to mark World Suicide Prevention Day – which also falls on September the 10th – and aims to promote positive mental health. We spoke to Helplink CEO Lochlann Scott to find out more about the inspiration behind the festival, and what attendees can expect on the day.
This festival is aimed at promoting positive mental health. Can you tell us why you feel that this theme is so important?
Well, the main reason that we created Helplink in the first place, five years ago, was because we were attempting to normalise the discussion around mental health and reduce stigma for those accessing mental health services. The situation is getting better, but unfortunately, for many years there has been a lot of stigma around mental health issues, and we have always been about making sure that these services are accessible. We hope that by holding a family-oriented event, we can bring the concept of positive mental health into mainstream conversations. That is why we are holding this fundraiser.
So how did the idea of a family-oriented event originally come about?
We were trying to think, what would be the best way to promote wider discussions around mental health, and get rid of the stigma behind the issue? We eventually decided that the best way to do that would be to get the whole family involved. The idea was to help whole families have a conversation about what positive mental health means to them.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Walled Garden? It sounds like an enchanting place to me – it invokes fairytale imagery!
It really is a fairytale space, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I was speaking with Trish from SCCUL Sanctuary one day, as the Sanctuary is located in Kilcornan House. She told me about the walled garden, we went down to see it, and we immediately knew it would be a perfect space for an event like this. There is a little crannóg in the middle of it, where bands can play. On the day, we will have a multicultural choir playing, a local folk singer called Mick Brown, and a jazz band called the Jazz Mongrels.
What other activities will be taking place during the Family Fun Day?
There will be a raffle with some great prizes, a kids’ corner where children can make magic wands and play with hula hoops, a treasure hunt, dancing, and lawn games. We hope it will just be a really fun, uplifting day, packed with fun things to do, and we hope people enjoy it.
So I hear that this is your inaugural event. How are you hoping that the festival will grow and develop in the years ahead?
Well, our organisation runs on some revenue from our low-cost mental health services, but many of our services are free – funded by the government or by local mental health organisations. We have committed to doing one big public fundraiser a year to help us continue with these services, and this is our first attempt at it. We hope that it goes well, and we are hoping to expand on it year on year!
The Family Fun Day is taking place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday the 10th of September 2017 in the Walled Garden of Kilcornan House, Clarinbridge, Co. Galway. Adult tickets cost €10 at the gate, and are also available online through iDonate.ie – just search for ‘Helplink.’ Tickets for teenagers from the age of 13 to 17 are €5 each, while children under 12 will be granted free admittance. To find out more about Helplink Support Services, visit helplink.ie. More information about the SCCUL Sanctuary can be found at scculsanctuary.com.
Yoga Fun With Children
Simple Asanas for Kids
By Cristin Tighe
Here are some great poses for children. Kids love yoga and it’s a great way to channel their energy to create joy and relaxation.
- Cat/Cow – on hands and knees, breathe out as you drop your head, looking towards the legs, while arching up the back. Reverse, breathing in, with tail up, belly down and eyes upward. Moving the spine this way supports the nervous system and energy flow.
- Dog/Donkey – from hands and knees, lift your bottom upward (make yourself a pyramid shape). Lengthen your body from fingers to tail, and from tail to feet with deep breaths. For fun, spread your fingers wide and kick the feet up to sky, using your hands to balance. Inversions (head below heart) like this one are great for physical health.
- Mountain/Tree – stand with your feet parallel, hips over feet, shoulders over hips, looking forward. Root down and raise your arms straight above your shoulders. Breathe in and out several times. Lift one foot and place the sole inside the other leg to balance. Don’t forget to reverse this pose to maintain alignment. Standing poses align the spine and body and balancing helps body awareness.
- Standing Forward Bend/Rag Doll – with feet hip-width apart, fold forward from the hips, letting your head relax. You can grab your opposite elbows with your hands and swing from side-to-side, as you breathe. This exercise is great to slow down and stretch the whole back body.
Cristin Tighe comes annually to Ireland to train children’s yoga teachers. She’s offering training in July in Cork and Kilkenny.