(Pictured, Ann talks about Slieve Gullion mountain and Northern Ireland)
For me, the spirituality of Slieve Gullion Mountain mirrors the giant spirit of Northern Ireland in terms of its breath-taking beauty, people, and culture.
I have traveled all around the world and the authentic open-heartedness of the people of Northern Ireland is in a class of its own. The Ring of Gullion is like a big hug in the landscape which reflects the unique warmth of the people here.
My mother was born on Slieve Gullion amongst the sacred sites of Killeavy. I feel very blessed to have inherited her giant spirit – a deep love of nature and an appreciation for the simple things in life.
After practicing meditation for over 20 years, six years ago I decided I wanted to share the wonderful benefits of the practice and so I became an accredited Meditation Teacher with the British School of Meditation.
It was perfect synergy as I trained as an Ambassador & Tour-guide for the Ring of Gullion around the same time. I founded Xhale and began my journey developing courses and immersive experiences using the gifts of meditation and nature.
I was fascinated by Shinrin Yoku/forest bathing and the amazing benefits of forest medicine. Forest bathing is an evidence-based wellness practice that originated in Japan in the 1980s as a stress prevention intervention. Two hours in the forest boosts your immunity for up to 10 days.
I have since trained as a Forest Therapy Practitioner with the Forest Therapy Institute. My Granda (mum’s father) was a fiddler, farmer, and forester, and I just recently made this connection, a great family endorsement of my work in forest therapy.
I host events that revolve around the Celtic calendar where I support people to connect to the present moment, the seasons, and the cycle of life.
I love to say ‘the forest is for rest’ and during my experience ‘Awakening your Senses’ you will rest, reconnect and re-energize during a forest bathing immersion, where you will be held in the arms of the mythological sleeping giant of Slieve Gullion Mountain.
This is a real opportunity to slow down and switch off. It is followed by a nurturing, local, seasonal, sensory three-course lunch in my cosy cabin. We gently end the day with a guided meditation and advice on how you can integrate the practice of mindfulness into your everyday life.
This experience is a real opportunity for a digital detox, a chance to Xhale, taking the gift of mindfulness and recipes home with you.
I look forward to seeing you in my ‘neck of the woods’ soon!