Sandra Hayes

Murphy’s Barn is on the left hand side about six miles from Wexford on the Newline Rd. (aka the Duncannon Line). This tastefully modernized and beautifully situated traditional farm building is now used for social occasions as well as classes and workshops. On several days during the week Murphy’s Barn is home to Sunshine Yoga, the brainchild of yoga teacher Sandra Hayes who teaches all aspects of yoga both physical and mental/spiritual to adults and children.

Tonight I joined one of Sandra’s ‘Deep Relaxation and Meditation’ classes which currently take place on Wednesday evenings from 7.00pm to 8.30pm. It’s obvious from the start that Sandra’s knowledge of the yogic way of life, a belief system which has been followed for thousands of years, is deep as a result of much study informed by her own practice. Her classes will appeal to anyone looking for the solid foundation that Sandra’s knowledge of classical Vedanta philosophy which is the basis of Yoga practice, imparts to her teaching. Sandra gives her students not only the method but the philosophy behind the method.
The class starts with exercises in Pranayama, yogic breathing techniques designed to effect the body’s subtle energies. As she leads us through them Sandra explains how they effect us and how they can be used in daily life.

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Next comes the part I’ve been looking forward to, Yoga Nidra (Sleep Yoga). During this deep relaxation practice where we lie on a mat covered in a light blanket with a small scented eye cushion over our eyes while Sandra’s gentle voice leads us to direct our attention to one body part after an other culminating in a total awareness of body and senses physical and subtler. Tonight Sandra chose to allow this to lead into a guided exercise in opening up and connecting with each of the chakras or centers of vitality in the body by concentrating on their physical locations with appropriate visualizations for each. I found it genuinely hard to come back from a place of such deep relaxation!
The class then ended with the meditation proper when we spent about fifteen minutes in the classic meditation posture, or in my case, in my best approximation of it, observing our own thoughts and sensations while trying not to identify with them. Physical discomfort was a problem and a distraction for me but Sandra assured me that anyone can meditate, some of her students choose to prop themselves against a wall for strength or to meditate in a chair!
If you don’t live as a hermit modern life is stressful and prolonged stress isn’t good for us. Worry, frustration and depression can result. Meditation is a way to deny stress a hold in our lives by connecting with the level of self that is unaffected by it!
I took a look at the Sunshine Yoga Wexford Facebook page and found a quotation from Zen monk and teacher Shunryu Suzuki which I liked very much and which perhaps sums up the ultimate aim of the practice of meditation. He said ‘Leave your front door and your back door open. Allow your thoughts to come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.’

Find more detail at or contact Sandra on 086 1594508.

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