Clonakilty’s first yoga retreat promises a restful and nurturing experience

elemental yoga2

Posted on: 6th July, 2015

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

Elemental Yoga, a collaborative project that endeavours to bring a diversity of teachers and teachings to wild and wonderful places, presents Clonakilty’s first yoga retreat this coming October at Dunowen House, Ardfield from October 9-11.

For this weekend retreat, yoga teachers Deirdre Desmond and Susan Montgomery, the faces behind Elemental Yoga, have invited the well-loved Bosca Beatha (mobile sauna) to stunning Dunowen House, just outside Clonakilty and a five-minute stroll to a secluded cove.

Susan says, “We will explore the idea of yogic heat, known as ‘Tapas’ or ‘Agni’ (fire). We discover how we can safely build up heat in our bodies to allow a deepening, detoxifying and purifying process. When the warmth of the summer subsides, and the chill of autumn is in, we will explore how to build and sustain inner heat and intention to take us through the winter. There will be a total of five hours dynamic and restorative yoga and meditation on the Saturday, two hours on both the Friday and Sunday, as well as plenty of free time to relax in the luxurious house and gardens – eat delicious food, have a swim and sauna (optional of course) or take time explore local beaches, forest walks and sights.

Working in harmony with the harvest season they have also invited the wonderful Bridget Healy, co founder of Cafe Paradiso, Cork to cook for the occasion. Produce will be mostly from her nearby garden.

Having met in San Francisco in 1999, Deirdre and Susan’s yoga journeys brought them both to settle and teach in rural locations. “Our collaborative approach has been supportive and lots of fun. It has opened new doors, given us the opportunity to refine the combination of our teachings and the space to draw attention to all the details that make a retreat a restful, harmonious and nurturing experience,” they both explain.

Fifteen years ago Deirdre discovered both yoga and her husband in San Francisco; they now have two little energetic, fun girls and she teaches yoga in her home village of Crosshaven.

“My yoga practice and my teaching has been an organic and intuitive progress. I now teach all ages from seven years to 70. For me, the joy of yoga is the balance and ease it has brought me and that I can continue learning, exploring and making connections throughout my life. I can let go of the sense of urgency and learn to embrace authentic engagement.”

Susan has been teaching yoga for 10 years, in between having her three children Stella, Jake and Beau, and is a practicing visual artist. “Both practices inform each other and keep me grounded. To give up one would be like losing an arm. I sometimes used to feel as though I had to choose between them, but through becoming a mother and sustaining both practices, I’ve learned the art of balance and that each practice enriches the other — the crossovers are myriad.”

Susan teaches Vinyasa Flow, Pregnancy and Kids yoga and Active Birth preparation classes. She will be an artist in residence from July 25 – August 8 at ‘Uillinn’ West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen, where she also works as an Early Years Art Educator.

This retreat is open to residential and non-residential guests and all levels of yoga experience. For details visit

Or Facebook ‘Crosshaven yoga’ and ‘Lotusroomyoga’.

Elemental Yoga has a selection of respected guest teachers and ‘features’ lined up for 2015/6 retreats, check website for updates.

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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at or text at 086/0476124.
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