Hatha Yoga teacher Caroline Downey
Caroline Downey is from Dublin originally, and was immediately hooked when she began practising yoga.
In the beginning Caroline was attracted to the strong flowing and challenging nature of ashtanga yoga and went to classes a few times a week right from the beginning.
Within one year, Caroline had begun to build up her own daily yoga practice and tailored the practice each day to how she was feeling on that day. This ‘permission to practice’ according to how one feels is very important to Caroline and she imparts this ‘freedom’ to each of her students.
Although Caroline began practicing quite strong yoga in the beginning, nowadays her own practice although it is still flowing, is much more gentle and taking account of the energy on any particular day.
“My teaching style is very much me, relaxed and accepting of our limitations. Nobody should get hurt doing yoga. If it doesn’t feel ok, don’t do it! “
Caroline took the opportunity to practice with many teachers such as Danny Paradise, Dharma Mittra, Emil Wendel, Desiree Rumbaugh, Bridget Woods Kramer, Sianna Sherman, Marc Holzman, Donna Fahri and many more. Quite a diverse bunch really.
Caroline was introduced to Pranayama by Richard Spahn from early on, and incorporated breath awareness into her physical practice.
During the first few years Caroline did not have much success with meditation and often experienced feelings of restlessness and even sometime panic when having to sit still for meditation.
Working with the physical body was Caroline’s natural way of getting in touch with herself, and after a few years discovered Yin yoga which allowed her to discover stillness through the deep stretches which were held for longer periods of time than in other forms of yoga.
Through Yin yoga, Caroline learned how to let go, and begin to tune in more deeply inwards. To use the slowness and stillness of the Yin postures to develop a sense of ‘just being within the present moment’.
“Spending time in the stillness of poses helped me both clear my mind and find my breath more easily.”
Caroline practiced with Sarah Powers and Paul Grilley and through the stepping stone of Yin yoga began to also practice meditation herself.
During her yoga teacher training she was introduced to Somatics and has incorporated some of these very gentle exercises into her own teaching.
Caroline now teaches hatha yoga, blending the complimenting styles of Yin and Somatics to release tight muscles and stressed minds.
She includes in her classes a guided relaxation which helps lead one to a deep place of inner calm.
“I feel the need to ‘bend’ the yoga to suit our individual bodies and not force our bodies into ‘shapes’! Yoga is for everyone regardless of age!”