Kathryn Thomas TV Celebrity visits Burren Yoga
This article was written by Kathryn Thomas and published in the Chic Travel section of the Irish Daily Star.
For upcoming Yoga Boot Camp and Bikram courses please see
A weekend of meditation and yoga with no booze and lots of rabbit food…we are going to feel fabulous!”
I reassured my friend Barbara as we pulled into the drive way of the Burren Yoga Centre.
It was Friday evening when we would normally be getting ready for a night on the tiles, yet here we were in the middle of nowhere.
The drive from Kinvara, Co Galway across the rugged Burren landscape had been amazing and I understood why Dave Brocklebank felt this was the perfect place to set up his retreat back in 1999.
Last to arrive, we went straight to the kitchen where the rest of our group were already having dinner in the cosy candlelit kitchen.
Chef Paddi, who used to run Seventh Heaven restaurant in Galway, served up a vegetarian feast of wild rice and lentil burgers, carrot and courgette salad with homemade breads followed by chocolate and beetroot cake.
Rabbit food, this is not, I can assure you!
The chat amongst the group of 15 was relaxed as people got to know each other. While some were travelling in twos and threes, most were on their own — in fact, 90 per cent of people visiting the centre go solo.
There are two main buildings; one with the kitchen and yoga room and an adjacent one with bedrooms and bathrooms. Living quarters are pretty basic; shared bunk bed rooms of two, four and six people which won’t appeal to everybody, but you can pay extra to have a single room.
After the long drive and with a full belly, I was ready for bed. But not before a half hour meditation class followed by an hour and a half of gentle yoga with Niamh Jones, our instructor for the weekend.
The reason I had chosen the bootcamp weekend was because it promised as many yoga classes as possible, so you get maximum practice as well as value for money.
There are nine different types of yoga available, from very gentle to quite intense so make sure you choose a course that suits you.
The following morning after breakfast and two hours of meditation and yoga, we set off for a hike across the beautiful Burren.
The sun was shining, the views were stunning and everyone arrived hungry to the Tearooms in Ballyvaughan.
After a fabulous lunch in the conservatory, avoiding the cheesecake that Stephen Spielberg famously flew in especially to eat, it was back for 4pm yoga.
I could feel myself stretching into the postures a little more and the energy in the room changed as people really began to slow down, unwind and switch off.
After dinner, the chat was animated and fun as those rostered to do so, tidied up, while others set the table for the following morning.
It reminded me a bit of being back in Irish college but instead of gossiping about who gave who “the shift” at the back of the ceile hall we talked spine alignment, spirituality and the joys of Downton Abbey.
Sunday after breakfast, Niamh had lit a huge fire and the temperature was set for Bikram or hot yoga with 26 postures that claim to stimulate every joint and muscle and increase circulation to all organs of the body.
We sweated, twisted and stretched for 90 minutes, eventually lying in thankful silence on the floor.
We all lead very busy lives and a few days away in the Burren Yoga Centre is a great reminder of how important it is to make time for ourselves every day.
To be still, to be present and to be mindful — even if it is just for 20 minutes before a night on the tiles!
Fore more, check out www.burrenyoga.com or call 091 637680
Note from Dave
Please note this was a strong yoga weekend, and we also have many much more gentle yoga retreats.
If you would like to see what types of people come on our retreats, and also which retreats are more gentle than others, you can read more at Who Retreats are suitable for