Claire Dunniece

ABOUT ME

As a devoted yoga practitioner for over 13 years and a teacher since 2015, my biggest joy is to share yoga as a path to more balanced and conscious living.  

My personal yoga journey has taken me through an exploration and study of many disciplines and styles of yoga, meditation and relaxation that all influence the variety of teachings that I offer today.

My students enjoy my calm and reassuring teaching style,  I offer a kind and progressive approach which enables both beginners and experienced yogis of all ages to feel comfortable and welcome in my classes. 

In sharing these methods and practices I aim to show how each day, our practice can meet us where we are both energetically and physically. 
This awareness can enable us to live from a place of balance and ease, in a way that respects the cycles and phases of both life and natures seasons. 

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Currently based in Ballincollig in Cork Ireland, my interest in yoga has taken me all over the world both as a student and a teacher.

While these days I can say I am truly honoured to live a life that I dreamed of, it wasn’t always this way! I have experienced major burnout and chronic pain first hand and know all too well the consequences living from a place of constant stress and anxiety.

As a child, I was always in awe of the image of health, wellbeing and inner peace that yogis seemed to radiate. In my teens I wanted to know more so I taught myself some yoga poses with the help of a small book and the patient use of dial up internet to seek out how to practice but it wasn’t until my early twenties that had the opportunity to attend a real class. I dabbled in and out for a while and gradually went from practicing once a week to daily.

During this time I also completed a Bachelor of Commerce in UCC, qualified as a Chartered Accountant and was working as a manager in a busy accountancy firm.
I also kept a very busy social life, travelling as often as possible and filling every hour of the day with an enthusiasm for living and working that while rewarding was starting to take its toll. Working hard and playing hard with no time to rest! My approach to my yoga practice was just as intense, during those years, I was drawn to a particularly strong and energetic practice, ashtanga yoga always pushing to achieve the next pose.

Unsurprisingly, this yang way of living caught up with me in more than one way. For three years I struggled with exhaustion, chronic pain, fatigue and anxiety. My yoga practice, particularly yoga nidra was a saving grace during this time but my main focus was on big dynamic sessions when looking back now I realise what I needed was much softer therapeutic practices.
After many doctors, treatments and holistic therapies, I finally decided to just stop trying to push through everything.

I knew yoga had to hold the answers, I just needed to understand more about how it worked and follow the one thing that was holding me together. So I left my job and headed to India. ( A classic westerners story!)
Like so many others, it was never my intention to teach, I simply wanted to know more and it became a calling. What I discovered would lead me on the path to my own healing and deeper happiness than I could have expected.

During my teacher training, I learnt how the nervous system worked, I found a deep appreciation for savasana, for allowing the body to rest. I also spent time in the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala and deepened my meditation practice, allowing years of tension to begin to unwind. In the ashram while going through a cycle of pancha karma, (Ayurvedic cleansing) I started attending gentle classes and here cemented my deep respect for the simpler parts of the practice and listening to the body’s needs.  When I returned to Ireland I began teaching as soon as possible. Meanwhile I increased my restorative practices in an effort to continue to heal and nurture my nervous system that had been pushed to its limits  through years of extreme living.   Eventually over the following 12 months the chronic pain began to lessen. While my overworking tendencies would need more time to retrain (still a work in progress!) restorative yoga was a revelation. For the first time I was truly living my yoga, listening to my body, using a mix of balanced practices to find true wellbeing both mentally and physically.

I have been incredibly lucky to study with Judith Hanson Lasater, hailed and greatly respected for pioneering restorative yoga. I became a certified Relax & Renew Teacher in 2018 and now practice and study with Judith as often as possible. Along with many other inspiring teachers, you can see below in the qualifications section.

These days I practice a blend of restorative, gentle and vinyasa styles, adapting my practice to suit my needs, following the cycles and seasons of life and nature. I am mostly pain free, and when I do have occasionally flare ups, I use it as a guide to point me back to keeping life simple. 

I have studied anatomy, breath and movement in depth in order to move and teach in a way that is respectful of our bodies natural functioning.

This is true balance for me, being in tune with nature and knowing when to rest and when to play!

Like many yogis, the more awareness and consciousness I found on the mat, the more I craved the same in my life off the mat. Along with my husband Piotr, we share our love of vegetarian food, conscious living, nature, forest walks and animals, especially our little dog Rupee. This is hugely reflected in our retreats that we offer through Prana Yoga Retreats.

My own story and journey continues, I’m constantly practicing, studying and discovering, an eternal student. 

 

My belief is that with compassionate guidance, we can learn to listen and trust in the body’s inherent intelligence enabling us to move safely and with awareness.

Through integrating breath, movement & rest practices into our regular routine, we can begin to find greater in ease in how we approach life. 

I offer an inclusive and adaptive practice that welcomes all ages, abilities, shapes and sizes.

My classes are filled with varying options and thoughtful sequencing that prepares the body throughly for each progressive posture offered.

I incorporate the use of props in most classes to facilitate the practice or as an aid for relaxation.

Infused throughout all sessions is the intention to bring balance to the nervous system, so that we build resilience and learn to value true rest. 

  • Certified Experienced Yoga Teacher & Member of Yoga Alliance Professionals
  • Certified Women’s Health & Fertility Yoga Teacher – Sally Parkes & Real Fertile
  • Yoga Myths 50hr- Judith Hanson Lasater
  • Pranayama intensive – Judith Hanson Lasater
  • Certified Chair Yoga Instructor – Claire Osbourne
  • Reiki Level 1 – Michelle Carey
  • Certified Relax & Renew Teacher – Judith Hanson Lasater
  • Foundation in Yoga Nidra – Uma Dinsmore Tuli
  • RYT 200 – Ashtanga, Hatha & Meditation – HYV Goa
  • Full time Yoga Teacher since 2015 with over 3000 teaching hours.
  • Highly experienced in group classes and 1:1 private sessions
  • Led over 30 retreats (Ireland, Poland, Spain, France)
  • Corporate Wellbeing provider for many large and small companies
  • Specialised experienced in burnout recovery, stress & anxiety management, injury recovery, chronic pain management, sleep issues and women’s health.

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