My Yoga Journey: Kate O'Brien Wellness Expert and Yoga Teacher, Dublin
Kate O'Brien is a Dublin based yoga teacher, beauty and wellness expert, and author of eight books ranging from the spas of Asia to how to glow your way through middle age. She is also a YogaClicks Ambassador.
In this interview with author and YogaClicks Founder Lucy Edge, she shares her yoga journey.
I have been practising yoga for more than 20 years now, gradually progressing from dynamic Ashtanga practice (while living in the frenetic madness that is life in chaotic Hong Kong), to a more subtle blend of Vinyasa and Kundalini and as I delve deeper into Yogic/Ayurvedic philosophy, I know I am on the right path.
I recently took the step to become a yoga teacher – and yes I made it and qualified earlier this year. I trained in Dublin and loved it, most of it anyway, especially my daily practice and learning more about how we can best apply yoga’s timeless teachings into our daily lives. One of my fears when starting my training was that I would soon feel that it wasn’t really for me and would become the proverbial Yoga School Dropout (to quote the title of Lucy Edge’s riveting read!), but I’m feeling more excited than ever about my journey and every time I am on my mat reaffirms this.
A rich philosophy
Movement has always been a key part of my life, from competitive hockey and tennis during my younger years to running, cycling, skiing etc but there’s something deeply powerful and grounding about yoga that I haven’t found with anything else. I now know that with regular practice my body thrives, both physically and emotionally and the older I grow, the more its rich philosophy resonates. I sleep sounder too – which really helps us deal with life, as we know!
Practising acceptance and contentment
I have an enquiring mind (hardly surprising I suppose with my work as a journalist!) and I love learning more about yoga’s eight-fold path, but one of the words that resonates most is the Sanskrit word santosha meaning acceptance and contentment. Even saying the word brings a sense of calm and helps me stay more positive, especially during stressful periods. In his Yoga Sutras Patanjali explains that real contentment comes from accepting everything that comes our way in life and from this comes ultimate happiness. As a student of yoga, I am privileged to have been guided by some truly inspiring teachers who have both challenged and nurtured me in equal measure, steering me to where I am at now. Hopefully I can do the same with others coming onto their mats.
Working in the world of wellness
I’m a qualified Dietitian with a diploma on cosmetic science and am lucky to be working in the thriving world of wellness - a desperately needed antidote to our stressful lives. Over the years, I have experienced some magical healers and therapies in some of the world’s most pristine locations and written about them in numerous magazines and books. I adore what I do and can’t wait to write more books and bring my Wild & Wise podcast series to the airways, amongst other projects pending.
Yoga keeps me happy and healthy
It helps me listen to my body and take life a little slower without feeling guilty for doing so. Time on my mat continues to be treasured and even if I don’t get to practice asanas every day (most days I do), I try to sit with myself even for a couple of minutes at some stage every day. Also, as early as possible every evening, I take a few minutes to completely remove dirt and grime from my face and massage natural facial oils into my skin, giving it time to repair and replenish through the night. These moments of quiet I also consider as a mini meditation as they anchor my mind to the present and help me let go of negative thoughts that may have built up through my day.
Cutting through the craziness
As we know yoga is mainstream now as science is proving – as timeless wisdom as long shown - that it holds the key to a happier, healthier life. It’s that powerful blend of movement, breathwork and mantra that cuts through the craziness and the real genius is that when I continue to do my practice, my practice slowly starts to do me; and I become calmer, kinder and more content. This to me is all.
Kate O’Brien is a journalist and qualified dietitian and yoga teacher with a post- graduate diploma in Cosmetic Science. She has written 8 books including Your Middle Years (2016) and GLOW: Your complete four-week plan to healthy radiant skin (2018). Kate lives in Dublin with her husband and 3 children. www.midlifeedit.com @KateOB99
is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.
Sign up to our newsletter and receive 10% off your first order, events & exclusive subscriber only events here