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

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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