Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Claire Maguire
Claire Maguire has been practicing yoga for over 17 years and although she has practiced many styles over the years, she feels much more drawn to the Ashtanga Vinyasa form of yoga. She believes that although Ashtanga yoga can be quite challenging, that it can be modified initially to make it accessible to everybody.
She began her yoga journey by attending Ashtanga yoga classes twice per week and loved the practice straight away. She also began her own practice at home right from the start.
Claire attended her first Yoga Teacher Training with Paul Dallaghan in Thailand in 2006 and he encouraged her to also try out other forms of yoga. So Claire attended Sivananda and Iyengar yoga and also tried many hatha and vinyasa style yoga classes especially during her pregnancy.
Although Claire went to plenty of classes of different styles of yoga, she always came back to Ashtanga as she found that ‘the breath was so central to the practice’, and Ashtanga was the only form of yoga where she found this.
Claire was very fortunate to come across many great authentic yoga teachers as she travelled and loved that the lineage of Ashtanga is very strong.
Claire has also studied Pranayama (breath work to influence to internal energies) with Paul Dallaghan since 2012 and also includes this within her own teaching depending on the students.
She trained extensively with David Swenson and her passion for the beautiful practice of ashtanga yoga was ignited further. His humour and love for not only the practice but for Pattabhi Jois really rang true with her. 40 years of non-stop devotion to the practice has brought humility and love to David’s training. He firmly rooted Claire’s loyalty to the Paramagurus that have passed down the tradition of ashtanga yoga.
Claire has always felt the meditative effects of practicing Ashtanga yoga, as she was deeply in tune with the breath and found how this settles the mind, and helps keeps one’s awareness within the present moment. However it was through her training with David Swenson and his teaching on the breath and the proper count through the Primary and Intermediate Series that brought Claire’s practice and teaching to a more efficient level.
Claire also attended many workshops with Manju Jois each time he visited Ireland and also travelled to Prague to learn the teaching of Intermediate Series of Ashtanga yoga from him.
Claire – “Manju Jois’ depth of knowledge to the therapeutic approach of the practice was truly insightful. It firmed up my ideas from long term practice of just how deep a human body can heal when the physical and mental approach is honoured and unbroken. Paul, David and Manju taught me that. I like to think I have a relationship with my students and my passion for the healing qualities of ashtanga are being passed on.”
Claire teaches in her small yoga studio in Ashbourne and some of her students have been continually practicing and going back to her since 2006. Her love and care in teaching the Ashtanga practice is beautiful, and she teaches in a careful and caring way to ensure that each person looks after their own body and does not hurt oneself through the practice.
Claire believes that meditation is a natural progression from asana and pranayama. Some people in the western world need a lot more asana and pranayama in order for them to be able to sit down quietly in a settled way for meditation.
She teaches a simple form of breath focussed meditation where one’s awareness lightly rests on the breath flowing through the nostrils. This helps to prevent the mind from wandering away and being ‘caught up’ in thoughts or by being carried away by the thoughts. It is through this daily practice of meditation that the mind gradually settles down and begins to rest in those beautiful calm and peaceful spaces between the thoughts.
Claire also teaches Yoga Nidra deep relaxation which is a very easy way for students to feel deeply relaxed. For those people who find meditation difficult, Yoga Nidra can be a very good way to easily and gradually train the mind to settle down, and become more conducive to the meditative state.
Claire teaches based on her own extensive experience of yoga and meditation, and will make sure that everybody no matter their age… no matter their previous experience or not… will feel comfortable practicing at their own level.
This weekend is an ideal weekend to become familiar with the Ashtanga yoga practice, and top bring in into your daily life on your own at home, after the weekend is over.