People are at the very heart of Prana Yoga Retreats. We are a family run business and along with our core team below you will often find other family members who are eager to make your retreat experience a special one. If you are lucky our friendly little dog Rupee will also be in residence!
Claire Dunniece – Co-Founder & Lead Yoga Teacher
A yoga practitioner for over a decade, Claire is truly passionate about sharing yoga lifestyle and teaching the value of true rest. She began her initial yoga journey as a teen by teaching herself with the aid of a small book, later she would join weekly classes that would set her on a life changing path.
Always having had a great energy for living to the full, Claire experienced a major burnout in her late twenties that resulted in her suffering from chronic pain and anxiety for over three years. This led her to the decision, despite years of dedicated study as a Certified Chartered Accountant to leave a stress filled accounting career. Following a desire to understand more about yoga, she travelled to India in 2015. Claire had found that it was her dedication to yoga that has supported her throughout the darkest parts of her burnout and knew that it was the answer to once and forall eliminate the pain and allow her to find the balance that would allow her to live with ease. She fell in love with teaching immeditately and knew she had found her path!.
Located in Cork, Ireland, Claire is now co-founder of Essential Wellness Centre, a thriving studio and therapy centre in the heart of her community. Claire has a large student base with whom she shares her weekly teachings of gentle yoga, vinyasa yoga, restorative yoga, yoga nidra and meditation. She also works one on one with clients and provides coportate wellbeing sessions for local businesses. If you are interested in Claire’s local teaching you can visit her website here
Claire’s students love her calm and reassuring teaching style, offering a gentle approach which enables both beginners and experienced students to feel comfortable in her classes.
Claire is a previous student of Yogacharya Lalit Kumar whose lineage includes Swami Veda, B.K.S Iyengar and Sri Krishnamacharya. She has spent time studying Ashtanga and Hatha in both Goa and Kerala, India and completed her 200hr Teacher Training with Lalit at the Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre Goa. She has also practiced with internationally renowned teachers Kathryn Budig and Tara Stiles. Most recently Claire has studied Yoga Nidra with Uma Dinsmore Tuli and in 2018 completed her Relax and Renew® certification with restorative yoga expert, Judith Hanson Lassater.
Claire is a firm believer that yoga should be made accessible for every individual regardless of age, size, strength or perceived flexibility. She also feels that our society has become disconnected with our bodies and in a world which is increasingly reliant on technology and medication it is particularly important to make yoga available as a tool for life. She is passionate that the practice of yoga can help us return to our natural state where we feel more balanced, our bodies function better and we live with ease.
Claire Dunniece is a registered teacher with Yoga Alliance Professionals. This accreditation demonstrates excellent standards as set by Yoga Alliance Professionals.
Piotr Walkowski – Co-founder, Retreat Chef & Activity Co-ordinator
Piotr has a passion for yoga and travel. He holds a degree in Food Technology and has over a decade of experience in the Hospitality industry having held senior managerial positions in prestigious hotels and restaurants. He is an expert at customer service and greatly enjoys hosting guests and being able to provide an unforgettable retreat for them. He believes everyone should take the time to step back from their day to day lives and experience a yoga retreat which can reignite their vitality for life.
He began his yoga journey in 2010 dabbling in both Ashtanga and Hatha styles. He enjoys the dynamic flow and movement with the breath that yoga offers. Piotr has spent time at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala, India deepening his practice and his knowledge of yoga lifestyle and Ayurveda.
Piotr has spent much time traveling around Europe, India and Indonesia and loves to share his joy for food and fine wine which he applies when designing menus for our retreats. He regularly teaches us that vegetarian food can be delicious and easy to make through his cooking workshops.
As co- founder of Prana Yoga Retreats he has found the perfect way to blend all of his skills, knowledge and passion to provide the ultimate retreat experience for all guests.
Aine Dunniece – Retreat Assistant & Social Media Guru
Aine is a regular smiley presence on our retreats in Ireland and Spain You will usually find her in the kitchen assisting Piotr or baking up her amazing chia biscuits. She ensures that your every need is catered for during your stay and very importantly she keeps the herbal tea flowing!
When she has spare time Aine also runs our facebook, instagram and snapchat accounts and keeps us on our toes when it comes to technology.
A budding yogi, she has been practicing vinyasa flow and restorative styles for two years. She is also a big fan Aine particularly loves the benefits that yoga provides her in coping with exam stress and is grateful for having gained these skills at such a young age.
Rupee – Retreat Assistant, Chief Snuggler & Yoga Nidra Addict
Rupee is an important member of our team! He is a friendly and lovable little cavachon. He has grown up surrounded by yoga and as a result is a gentle and calm soul. He teaches us that life is all about balance. Happiest when either snuggling by the fire or running through the woods catching sticks at our Irish retreats. He has a fondness for restorative yoga and yoga nidra and makes friends with all our guests! Rupee has even made the trip to Spain and Poland for a number of retreats, much to the delight of everyone.
Our perfect little companion is hypo allergenic and doesn’t shed so very safe to be around for those with sensitive noses.