Limerick Yogi brings worldly experience to the Treaty

Rachel Dineen, of Libra Yoga.

TUCKED away in a studio above Angel Times on Shannon Street is where you’ll most likely find Raheen native Rachel Dineen, imparting her worldly knowledge of yoga, meditation, and breathwork.

The former air hostess is no stranger to world travel, and has picked up a number of skills and qualifications in Bali and India in the hopes of taking them home to Limerick.

The result is Libra Yoga, a little hub of peace and tranquility right in the heart of Limerick City.

Rachel’s love of yoga began during a class on a beach in Dubai, but would later reveal itself as her purpose when she spent a couple of months in Sidemen in east Bali, undertaking a 200-hour yoga teacher training course.

“I fell in love with yoga there because it was so traditional. The Balinese people would leave incense on our doors and we had to stay in silence every morning until our first practise. I just fell in love with the discipline of it and how present they were,” she explains.

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Later, Rachel would find herself expanding her knowledge and skills spending several months in Rishikesh, India, studying Vinyasa yoga. She says the discipline allowed her to incorporate more of her personality into her practice.

“What I really like about it, and it ties in with the psychotherapy, is regulating yourself. You could rock up to a class and feel really anxious and then step onto the mat and do an hour and leave a completely different person. It was my first experience of finding something that could regulate you and make you feel more in your body.”

A woman who wears many hats, Rachel studied psychotherapy at Munster Technological University, which she believes goes hand-in-hand with her yoga practice.

“Psychotherapy really taught me more about self-regulation. It’s kind of the foundation of everything. If you could be in your body and track your own emotions and what’s going on for you, it bleeds into everything else. It changed everything for me. I saw the deeper meaning behind it and how to utilise yoga a little more.

Libra Yoga so far has been a grassroots affair for Rachel. She doesn’t advertise online or on social media, instead preferring her students to tell their friends and family about the experience, leaving the proof truly in the pudding.

She explains that each week’s class has a flow to it, starting with meditation and breathwork aimed at grounding the participants. Rachel emphasises the importance of this practice as it allows her students to release the tensions of the day, tune into their bodies, and take a moment to assess their inner state. Classes incorporates various techniques, such as meditation and body scans, but breathwork holds particular importance.

The primary focus, Rachel says, is on teaching the participants Ujjayi breath, a constant deep breathing technique, introduced gradually throughout the sessions. She believes this breathwork plays a pivotal role in the practice: “I often say, we could do whatever movements we want in the class but as long as you’re breathing properly, you’ll leave feeling amazing.”

Honouring the ancient practice, Rachel says she avoids marketing phrases or buzzwords to attract students to her classes and steers away from making any exaggerated promises about yoga’s effects. She believes in the genuine benefits she experiences first hand.

“Yoga is not mine. I can’t sell it. It speaks for itself. It’s thousands of years old. I love the spirituality behind it, I didn’t fall in love with it because of how it would make me look.”

Yoga, to Rachel, brings a sense of exhilaration as she explores her body’s capabilities and stretches into various postures. She emphasises that yoga is an internal journey, and while it won’t solve all problems, it offers her a profound sense of wellbeing and connection with her body.

“There’s a saying that if you practice yoga once a week, it’ll change your body, but if you practice every day, it’ll change your mind,” she says sereenly

A member of Limerick’s LGBTQ+ community, Rachel wants anyone considering attending her classes to know that all are welcome through the doors of her studio.

“It’s an inclusive space. Every single class looks completely different. I think it’s a reflection of what the world looks like.”

August event

This month, the Raheen woman is aiming to bring a Balinese and Indian-inspired escape to her Angel Times studio.

On August 19, from 2pm until 5pm, the studio will welcome all interested for a tailored retreat experience, starting with a cacao ceremony, and followed by meditation, breathwork, and various styles of yoga, including Vinyasa, Yin, and traditional Hatha yoga.

“I just want to give people a little glimpse of how I fell in love with it. I want it to be a day of unplugging. People stepping in off the busy street and just finding a little bit of community and a little bit of space.”

Bookings or more information on Rachel and Libra Toga can be found on Instagram (@rachel_dineen_yoga) or by phone on 085 125 5770.