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Indian Yoga comes to Ireland

Are you passionate about yoga? Have you always wanted to study yoga in India? Fancy a relaxed but spiritual retreat to deepen your knowledge and improve your practice?

WREn – Wellbeing in a Rural Environment will be providing a spiritual oasis in the material and technological desert of the 21st century with a chance to gain an exclusive experience without the long distance journey and need for a visa.

In April 2017 I was very fortunate to have won a yoga trip of a lifetime, where I had the privilege to be taught by the top yoga master Shambhu Kumar. It is with great delight that I now have the opportunity to welcome him to my homeland and introduce him to yoga enthusiasts over here.

For his first time touring outside India, yoga master Shambhu Kumar will travel to Northern Ireland to teach the traditional approach to yoga, which is often missing in many yoga practices. Many yoga students are not getting the benefit of the essence of yoga, which should bring a balance and improvement in human nature. This goes beyond the physical, offering a means to still the body, liberate the energy (Prana), silence the senses, explore the mind and expand the consciousness.
It is time to dive a little deeper. Sincere yoga aspirants who wish to make progress towards harmony, balance and equanimity in their life will find that a balanced and harmonious personality has the capability to conquer negativity and enhance positivity.
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Shri Shambhu, a Yoga Teacher and founder of YogamFit – the holistic yoga centre, has a very deep understanding of the Bihar School of Yoga and Satyanada Yoga traditions. He started his yoga journey in 2003 as a seeker and later on as a postgraduate student of Applied Yogic Science in Bihar Yoga Bharti (the World’s first University of Yoga). In 2015, he was appointed the Manager of Yoga for the world-leading Ananda Spa – in the Himalayas. He played a vital role in redeveloping the yoga brand offered at Ananda.
Yoga is very much part of his life due to his native place of Munger and continuous interaction with Yogashram. He has been teaching yoga professionally since 2005 and has conducted extensive workshops for several leading Indian corporate organizations such as IIM Lucknow, LIC, Indian Railways, Service Tax Dept., Panjab National Bank, Vodafone, Sahara India, Yash air and many more top businesses in Lucknow, Ujjain, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, etc.
Currently settled in Lucknow and spreading the knowledge of Yoga throughout India, he has redefined yoga by continuous self-development, gaining experience during the course of time.
Under the guidance of Swami Niranjananand Saraswati, Shri Shambhu specializes in
Hatha Yoga,
Asana (yoga postures)
Pranayama (breathing techniques),
Ashtanga/Raj Yoga,
Karma Yoga,
Kundalini Yoga,
Dhyaan (meditation).
His areas of expertise also include Stress Management, Counselling, Kids Yoga, Pregnancy Yoga and Therapeutic Yoga. Besides all this, he also specialises in Corporate Workshops & Training and Staff Counselling.
The Venueeoceanic_portaferry_strangford_lough_county_down_ireland_Portaferry 8490 EDIT.jpgPortaferry has been known for healing and spirituality since the early centuries of saints and scholars. Today, this quaint coastal town on the shores of Strangford Lough is the perfect place to soothe your spirit. Although only an hour’s drive from Belfast, it feels like an escape to much further parts. Its fresh sea air and healthy, natural environment revive the weariest of souls and nature lovers will delight in the wealth of wildlife to enjoy.

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The Narrows guesthouse has been recently refurbished and offers comfortable accommodation overlooking the waters between Portaferry and Strangford. It has the perfect yoga studio overlooking the soothing waters of Strangford Lough as well as a more secluded space overlooking the garden in The WREn’s Nest.Claire_retreat_Portaferry_autumn_day.jpg

Details of a yoga event featuring Shambhu’s teaching are still being developed, so watch out for more details coming soon.

On Balance – a healthy life isn’t always what you do or don’t.

Organising a new event in an unfamiliar area, without help and in a very short timespan, isn’t to be recommended for health! However, now that the weekend’s Ostara Festival of Natural Health and Well-being is behind us it is time to breathe and reflect on what is good in life and find some balance.

A quick search brought up a very fitting definition of balance: “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady”. Work-Life balance, balanced diet, balanced weight are terms we are generally all too familiar with. Perhaps many of you wrestle with them on a daily basis. So what do we all really need to find natural health and well-being?apples From childhood we are advised to be “early to bed, early to rise”, to “not burn the candle at both ends” and that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”- though heaven knows why poor Jack was singled out! Wise words and endless blog articles give conflicting views on what we should or should not eat, which exercise fad is best and all accompanied by Instagram-able images of airbrushed perfection.

Nevertheless, our inner child usually stamps its tiny feet, tosses its curls and rebels, ignoring the sages and indulging in exactly what it shouldn’t, as often and as much as possible. Many of us get away with this behaviour for years, refusing to grow up or listen to our bodies. We sigh at the lycra-clad goddesses and tell ourselves we’ll start next week, after the party or holiday or sometime soon.

Unfortunately, as some of you will know all too well, most of us can only get away with this petulant behaviour for so long, before our unhealthy chickens come home to roost. Stress, anxiety, obesity and chronic illness are rampaging through the modern world scything all before them. For so many, the only answer appears to come from a chemical concoction from the pharmacy.

As a rebel in life, whose body finally went ping a few years ago, after I’d ignored what it was screaming at me for some time, I hope you won’t mind me sharing my personal philosophy. That is, that we should ignore all the don’t eat this or that brigade, the special diets and prescriptive regimes ( unless you are allergic or addicted of course). Life is way too short but will seem incredibly long if we can’t have some fun or the occasional naughty treat.treats.jpg

Balance is the answer. So after a hectic week at work or a wild weekend (lucky you!), stop, sit down and give yourself some respite. That paperwork, pile of laundry or string of emails are not going anywhere and it’s unlikely that anyone will die if you attend to them in a day or two. Your health and well-being are much more important.

If you’ve eaten vegan/sugar-free/ non-alcoholic all week but are really craving that bacon sandwich/chocolate brownie/glass of wine the planet will thank you and forgive the small indulgence. Your craving will disappear, you will have had a reward for the former “good behaviour” and you will feel virtuous about continuing with your healthy choices.

If you’ve been in a windowless basement conference room, an air-conditioned office block or simply driving in traffic most of the week, step outside. Immerse yourself in nature, breath some fresh air and engage your senses. Smell those flowers, delight in the patterns of fungi on the trees, hear the birdsong all around and feel the wind in your hair. Forget the Negative Ninnies who have plagued your week and give thanks for the good guys who made you smile. Think of the small things that give pleasure. They don’t have to be expensive or fancy.elbeths card

As I walked in my local woodland this morning the previous manic weeks melted away and I returned home refreshed and inspired. You may have a different favourite place but going there and being mindful of what you see and hear will undo your stress and allow your body and mind to repair. I hope you will share what little things gave you balance recently and look forward to hearing them.

Take care xviolet

A fledgeling prepares to fly.


Well, what a crazy couple of months its been since a New Year’s resolution turned into reality. WREn began as a simple idea to get like minds together, support those with an interest in natural health and mental wellbeing and develop an alliance which could be promoted as a group. Within a  few weeks, it was registered as a community interest company, had a small management board selected from around the local area and was ready to go!

Two and a half months later and I’ve met so many wonderful people in the area, all passionate about the same things. Some of these boys and girls are right at the beginning of their training, others have practised for years and have a devout following. But what has blown me away has been their love of all things natural, enthusiasm for helping others and eagerness to join up with the many kindred spirits coming out of the woodwork!

In less than two weeks our first event will test the water and gauge whether there really is an appetite for what we hope to offer in the Strangford Lough and Portaferry area. Classes, workshops, walks and a marketplace of goodies will be on offer over the weekend of March 23rd and 24th. The programme and booking links are available on the events page.

If you are unable to get to the festival, maybe you can help us with our survey This half dozen questions only takes a few minutes to answer but will help us decide on the way forward for the company. Your help will be very much appreciated – and not only that, but emails will be entered into a prize draw for a gift basket of natural goodies.

As you will see from the rest of the website we’re not short of ideas! However, we want to get it right and make sure we do the best for our friends and the local community. I’ll report back to you all after the festival is over and the survey is complete – in the meantime, if you want to know more or have any suggestions or comments to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!


The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

There is lots of excitement surrounding the development of the WREn alliance of natural health practitioners, teachers, therapists and producers of organic goods.

As this site is developed and the tribe expands, please check in regularly to find out what we’re up to – or even better sign up for our news via the link below.

If you are looking for something in particular just get in touch – we’d love to hear from you. This is a registered Community Interest Company, which means it is working ethically for the good of the wider community, not to line an individual’s pockets!

Thanks for looking  in on us – hope to see you again 😉 xx


Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton