Ann talks about Giant Spirit of Northern Ireland

(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!

From a feature on the Discover NI website.

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