Derval Dunford and Mick Hogan
Derval’s interest in mindfulness and yoga nidra was inspired by her life challenges. She suffered from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in early adulthood, chronic fatigue and MCS (multiple Chemical Sensitivity) in her thirties.
Being someone who has a busy mind, is creative, likes to be productive and dislikes wasting time, Derval, not naturally a ‘zen’ type, has come to realise, that the only way she can be her ‘busy’ self, and yet flourish, is to balance the busyness with a smattering of stillness and calm, balancing the 'doing' with a little 'non-doing'.
Having learned the hard way (on many occasions) Derval has a real passion for sharing the simplicity, common sense approach and ease of mindfulness, breathwork and Yoga Nidra with others. She has been practising Yoga Nidra and breathwork on and off, for well over twenty years, and consistently practising mindfulness for twelve years.
Derval is a qualified MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and Yoga Nidra teacher, HeartMath Coach, BreathMastery teacher, Stress Management Coach and Breath-Body-Mind teacher. She has also studied Hypnotherapy, Aromatherapy, Counselling Skills. She is co-founder of ‘Mindfulness Matters’, and has trained thousands of Irish primary school teachers and children in mindfulness, relaxation, and well-being.
Derval has been facilitating Mindfulness and Relaxation workshops and courses for many years, has worked with a variety of organisations including regular workshops and courses with the HSE, INTO, and Mayo Education Centre, she speaks regularly at related conferences.
What Derval LOVES about yoga nidra is the fact that it is practised lying down! After years of running around, and feeling like lying down was a waste of time, she now relishes her daily practice and recognises that it is actually lying down for twenty minutes, that enables her to keep going! Derval describes Yoga Nidra as recharging.... everything that is not needed is washed away, then the battery feels full and ready to go again. It is probably the most productive way to use twenty minutes during your day, because you are full of energy, enthusiasm, and more focused after the practice. Practising Yoga Nidra is A Slice of Time invested very wisely.
What Derval LOVES about mindfulness practice is that is can be woven into daily life. A daily practice can make life… not just more tolerable, but actually more enjoyable and purposeful. Mindfulness practice grounds you so that you can interact with your inner and outer world, with more wisdom and ease. Investing A short Slice of Time in sitting practice creates the habit of weaving mindful moments into daily life. We show up for our lives, learn to be ourselves, and as a result live life to the full.
What Derval LOVES about breathwork is that it is so simple and yet so powerful. It is an inbuilt self-regulation tool than anyone can learn to use. Certain breath practices create a scientifically measurable state characterized by increased order and harmony in mind, emotions and body.
It is Derval’s belief that ‘simplicity is the key’. Her presentations, workshops and courses are down to earth, and she likes to bring a sense of enthusiasm and craic to her work. Above all she emphasises that mindfulness, Yoga Nidra and HeartMath don’t have to be taken too seriously. You don’t need to strive, to do your best, to be perfect, to be enlightened! You just need to sit or lie down, explore, and repeat. Everyone’s experience is different, which is the way it should be, no two people will ever be the same....no two practices will be ever the same.
Derval’s work has been endorsed by medical and health-care professionals both nationally and internationally. Her previous CD called ‘Sui’ continues to send people to sleep (intentionally!) and guide them through grounding mindfulness practices. Her co-produced kid’s CDs are a huge hit at home and in schools. Check out www.mindfulnessmatters.ie for more details.
Mick is passionate about working with his hands, and being creative, he particularly loves working with fine quality wood. He loves connecting, or re-connecting people with nature in whatever way possible, drawing them out of the virtual world and into the here and now. This is the essence of Suí stools, they are literally A Slice of Time, taken from something that was grounded deep into the earth. Not only do Mick’s meditation stools offer a comfortable and solid foundation for sitting practice, but they also re-connect you with the earth, and a sense of being grounded.
Mick’s other passion is for nature and wildlife, he specializes in bird survey work. He has travelled extensively, and experienced a wide variety of environments. Mick is a GMIT qualified Marine and Countryside Guide, and was recently appointed Control Ambassador in Mayo. Mick’s past work in this area includes guided walks and camping trips with teenagers, teaching simple survival skills. His present work in this area includes nature workshops, walks and talks with adults and children. Mick’s irrepressible enthusiasm for the wonder of nature is infectious.
Where does Suí come from?
The Celts had an outdoor spirituality. The essence of Celtic spirituality was presence. Natural rhythm was honoured. There was a deep connection with the earth.
The word Suí is the Irish word for ‘sit’. The title was inspired by the ‘down to earth’, yet creative nature of the Irish language, the simplicity of Derval’s practices, and the effortless good posture facilitated by Mick’s meditation stools. A combination that invites perfect presence.
Suí Mindfulness & Yoga Nidra is a very small business based (just Derval and Mick) in the beautiful town of Westport, Co. Mayo, part of the Wild Atlantic Way, on the west coast of Ireland.
Inspiration for Suí comes directly from the local area, mossy woodlands, expansive sandy beaches, rolling waves, rugged cliffs, rock formations and green fields. With Westport town sitting in the shadow of Croagh Patrick, Irleand's famous holy mountain, Suí products have a real sense of connection with nature, freedom, and a strong sense of being grounded.
Derval creates and narrates the Suí Mindfulness & Yoga Nidra tracks, Mick designs and makes the Suí stools. Stephen McHale, Derval’s son, composes and performs the sublime background music for the tracks.
Sui products are created, designed, and recorded in Ireland.
‘Time and time again we miss out on the great treasures in our lives because we are so restless. In our minds we are always elsewhere. We are seldom in the place where we stand and the time that is now.’
John O’ Donohue