An innovative and inclusive fitness and wellbeing event is taking place this Saturday, 5 May in the Red Cow Moran Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin. Encouraging people of all abilities and disabilities to try out yoga and fitness classes, the Got Your Back Ireland event includes classes which are specifically aimed at those with cancer, chronic illnesses and/or mobility issues.
Organised by Denise Coughlan, from Resolute Pilates & Wellness, the all day event will host classes run by fitness instructors and yoga teachers experienced in dealing with people at various stages of illness and recovery. “I got the idea to do this because I think there aren’t enough inclusive fitness classes and by inclusive, I don’t just mean people with disabilities but also older people and people with illnesses,” explains Coughlan.
Coughlan, who is also a cardiac rehabilitation instructor, will host a pilates class for all levels of fitness and ability on the day. She also hopes the event will help spread the word about instructors who are already hosting inclusive classes.
Connie Walsh is a registered nurse and yoga therapist who will offer yoga for cancer patients and chronic conditions at the event. “Some people who get cancer are scared to go back to yoga. They feel like their body has let them down and it can be the hardest thing to lie down and relax in a yoga class again,” she says.
Walsh says that there is no right time to return to movement classes following cancer treatment. “For example, Ashtanga yoga may no longer be suitable for someone after cancer. It’s a balance between challenging yourself and knowing when not to challenge yourself. It’s about finding a new normal. I often suggest people attend a few of my classes to learn how to tweak postures and then go back to their own class,” explains Walsh. She also recommends people avail of cancer support services affiliated to the Irish Cancer Society and organisations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Arthritis Ireland, all of which share information and advice on tailored exercise classes.
Advanced booking for Saturday’s classes is advised (€10/€15 per class), by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling Denise Coughlan on 085 288 6110, or going to gotyourbackireland.weebly.com. All instructors are giving their time for free, and proceeds from the event will be donated to the charities Spinal Injuries Ireland and Straight Ahead Ireland.