Dara’s Path to Yoga
Before having children, I enjoyed going to yoga classes. After I had my first baby, going to classes was pushed to the back burner, as were many things. My first born child suffered a severe lack of oxygen during his delivery which caused permanent profound brain damage. Dealing with his seizures, feeding difficulties, and other problems, created tension, worry anxiety, and depression. I was somehow able to create a routine of putting my baby down for his morning nap and then doing what I remembered of a sun salutation in my bedroom. This practice became like a moving prayer, repeating positive statements to myself with each posture within the sun salutation (saying things to myself like “I am open”, “I surrender,” “I am ready,” “I am strong,” “I am steady.” etc.) Then I sat quietly, and asked a question my son’s doctors were unable to answer, opening up to receiving an answer. This process slowly brought me peace. It also brought answers to help my son.
Eventually, as things improved emotionally, this practice subsided. Finally, after having two more children, I started going to yoga classes again. One evening after my very first class at World Peace Yoga, my first born son (then age 7) was awake and crying for unknown reasons in the middle of the night. Whenever he woke in the night, I’d feel very stressed and anxious because he cannot speak to tell me what is wrong. But this night, I remembered what my teacher had said about life putting us in difficult positions, just like the yoga postures can put us into some difficult positions. I remembered to focus on my breath as my son cried out. I suddenly got it. I found peace amidst the chaos by my own choosing. I began to feel how my life was my practice, and the beautiful journey began.
Dara O’Loughlin’s passion for yoga stems from the powerful benefits of focusing on the breath and having conscious intention both on and off of the mat. Dara believes that incorporating the philosophy of yoga into real life challenges assists in raising mindful children, experiencing peaceful relationships, making the laundry worth folding, and enjoying a healthy body.