Orla Punch is one of Ireland’s most highly respected teachers and her love of yoga is an inspiration. Through her practice of Iyengar yoga, her relationships with fellow teachers and students and her desire to enhance the standard of yoga, Orla has become pivotal to yoga life in this country. Her students find her clear Iyengar yoga demonstration, experience and contagious enthusiasm empowers them to find new strength in their body and gain a deeper understanding of their possibilities.
Orla teaches people of all ages and from all walks of life, from kids to pensioners; her students include athletes, business people, people with injuries or disabilities, musicians and actors. Her qualifications includes a senior grade in Iyengar yoga and an accumulation of 22 years of continuous study, exams and commitment to teaching yoga at the highest level in Ireland and internationally. Orla’s love of yoga began at the age of three practicing with her mother. Other formative experiences include her competing as a gymnast and studying to be a fitness trainer and Pilates teacher. She has also completed certificates in the therapeutic use of Mindfulness, Stress Management and Autogenics Training.
Elena has been practicing yoga for over 15 years and has been teaching since 2009. Her first mentors were Orla Punch and Greg Walsh who introduced her to the beauty, precision, and rigour of the Iyengar lineage. Driven by her love for movement, rhythm, and fluid forms, she started to practice Vinyasa Flow under the expert guidance of Rohan Hennessy and immediately fell in love with the freedom, dynamism, and simple elegance of this style. In 2009 she completed the Vinyasa Flow teacher training programme run by David Curtis and Ruth Walshe; since then she has continued to further her knowledge, training in mindfulness meditation, anatomy, addiction studies, trauma sensitive yoga, and yin yoga.
Elena’s teaching style centres on slowing down postural sequences to foster the integration of natural breath and movement; on balancing and supporting flexibility with stability, and on approaching the physical forms as a framework for reflective, embodied awareness. She encourages her students to view their yoga practice as an expression of their uniqueness; to use modifications that may best suit their needs and specific anatomies; and to allow space for playful exploration.
Elena trained and worked for years as an academic researcher focusing on migration, anti-racism, and grassroots activism; her commitment to social justice and creating communities of care thoroughly informs her teaching. She is very passionate about making yoga accessible to everyone and has taught children with special needs, teenagers, seniors, and people recovering from substance abuse. When she’s not practicing, teaching, or managing the Little Bird studio in Dublin, she likes to spend time outdoor with her dog (who has taught her a lot about movement and relaxation), walk along the beach, read novels by the fire, and cook her mother’s recipes.