Monday 19 March 2018

Weekender: John Healy's Yoga


John Healy
John Healy

Sarah Caden

After I had my heart transplant, I needed a big life change that wasn't just physical. A friend introduced me to yoga, and it changed my life. I started going three or four days a week, and then a retreat was the next step. My favourite is the Cliffs of Moher Retreat, Co Clare.

A retreat sounds very holy, but it's not. It's vegan food, no alcohol or caffeine, but you go as deep as you want. Some people bring wine to have with dinner, and that's fine, but I don't. If you're going to get married, have the white dress.

The first yoga session is Friday evening. The weekend generally has a theme. I've done some retreats with Mari Kennedy, who ties them in with the pagan calendar. I believe that Mari saved my life. On Saturday, you can get up at 6am for meditation, or you can stay in bed until breakfast. I do the whole lot. After breakfast, there's a yoga session, and you're free for the afternoon.

Before dinner, there's a two-hour yoga session, then, after that, a meditation, and relaxation yoga. You're asleep before you hit the pillow. It's like an express track to relaxation. You don't force yourself, but you're taken there by someone who knows what they're doing.

There's something angelic and pure about sunrise yoga on the Sunday. When you come home, you have to be careful around people, because you're in a different mental state. It's a purifying weekend.

See cliffsofmoherretreatcom

John Healy is general manager of Suesey Street Restaurant & Wine Bar, Fitzwilliam Pl, D2, tel: (01) 669-4600, or see

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