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Celebrating The Law Society’s Psychological Support Services

Law Society Gazette: November 2019

PPC1 Trainees taking part in ‘Pop-up yoga’ as part of Mental Health Week

Solicitors deal with such an amount of emotional and psychological complexity in their day-to-day work with clients that, without robust internal scaffolding, the personal price can be huge.

Antoinette Moriarity, psycho-therapist and manager of the Law School’s psychological services explains: “A large part of the work of a solicitor is dealing with people in crisis of one form or another. Crucially, solicitors operate without any of the training other front-line professionals, such as social workers or indeed psycho-therapists receive.”

The Law School has introduced a module — called ‘Shrink Me’ — that aims to plug this gap, emphasising psychological well-being, analysing the psychology of a lawyer, and carefully unpacking of the psychology of a law firm. 

“The module is, in some ways, like a good therapy session.” observes Moriarty. “It goes under the bonnet of professional life, normalising and brining relief — and humour — to the less spoken-about side effects of being a high-achiever.”

While ’Shrink Me’ tackles some tough topics, there is a conscious emphasis on trainees’ well-being, their leadership potential, and the importance of creating careers that generate success without jeopardising personal happiness.

’Shrink Me’ is an integral part of the Professional Practice course, forming a third pillar of professional education alongside core legal subjects and skills. “This positioning is both deliberate and unique” says Moriarty. “Including psychology on the core legal curriculum has been a game-changer, giving us the edge over other professions that are slow to respond to the changing values, needs and goals of this generation. Integrating psychological development within professional training is an area in which the Law School is now leading internationally.”

This is just one innovative aspect of the Law School’s professional training that is setting it apart from other educational bodies. Perhaps, most importantly, it is creating a sense of belonging among the future of the legal profession.

The curves of the spine

The shape of the lumbar & cervical vertebrae & angle of the articulating joints support movement in almost every plane. 

  • Flexibility
  • Most mobile
  • Instability
  • Areas most prone to problems & injury

The curves of the spine help to absorb shock, support the head, align head over pelvis, stability of structure, flexibility. 

Primary curve develops in utero, kyphotic 

During vaginal delivery the first secondary curve appears, lordotic. 

The cervical curve continues to develop, baby lifting the head

Lumbar curve develops (straightens) to bring weight over feet

Lumbar spine starts kyphotic 6-8 years

After 10 years the lumbar curve is fully adult. 

The lumbar vertebrae support rib cage & chest. 

Cervical vertebrae support the head 

Our inward curves support us. 

Thich Nath Hanh – The Miracle of Mindfulness

The Buddha usually teaches that one should use one’s breath in order to achieve concentration. 

Be conscious of each breath, each movement, every thought & feeling, everything which has any relation to ourselves. 

Mindfulness = keeping one’s consciousness alive to the present reality 

Machine thinking is the opposite of mindfulness i.e. repeating one thought

Mindfulness is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves – it is the miracle which we can call back in a flash our dispersed mind and restore it to wholeness to live each minute = practice mindfulness in daily life. 

Mindfulness is a means to an end, seed & fruit.

Practice to build up concentration, mindfulness is the seed, mindfulness is the life of awareness Presence of mindfulness = presence of life, therefore mindfulness is also the fruit. 

Mindfulness enables us to live fully 

Breath is the bridge which connects lift to consciousness, unites your body to your thoughts. When your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again. 

Breathe in lightly – I am breathing in a light breath, I am breathing in a long breath, full, whole body. Breathe out. 

In a noisy environment think, the noise will continue, I can hear it but I will continue in mindfulness, aware of the noise, I can watch my breath as well. 

Chataranga – Four limbed pose

Press forward, gaze forward, lower down leading with the chest. 

Downdog – Chataranga – Upward Dog – Chataranga 

From plank pose exhale and lower the body pinning the elbows to the side body

Inhale, bring shoulders & tops of thighs up & away from the floor, tailbone goes to the floor

As you are moving forward bend the elbows but maintain elbows over wrists (note here it may be better for some to have the elbows slightly behind the wrists, encourage students to play around feel what’s right for them without comprising the shoulders or causing collapse)

Synchronise the forward movement with bending the elbows

Exhale, bend the elbows but keep the wrists drawn in & slowly lower 

Inhale, push forward slightly & roll the shoulders back, come to the top of the feet into Upward Dog

Lengthen the neck, create space, open the heart & gaze forward 

It’s really important you maintain stability in the shoulders, do not let them drop. 

3 muscles being worked here, 2 rotator cuffs & back portion of the deltoids 

To try Chataranga lying down – 

Lie on your back, engage arms & legs as above, push through the toes, engage the core, arms at 90 degrees, shoulders down, feel elongation through the back body while pushing through palms 

Modifications – 

Feeling tired, lower the knees

Wrist issues- come onto forearms. 

7pm Wind-down Class

Set your mat out, light your candle, turn on your playlist and let’s begin. 
Bringing balance, peace & soothing gentleness 
Arcturus, sending beams of light energy to us tonight. 

Aura cleanse – 

  • I cleanse & let go of all that feels heavy on my soul
  • I am shedding
  • I am letting go of all that no longer needs to cling to me 
  • I separate myself from my attachments, my judgements & my inner voice of doubt & settle into my truth, my soul & my highest alignment 

Vajrasana or Sukhasana

Warm ups, especially focusing on the neck, shoulders, wrists & hips. 

Bhujangasana, Adho Mukha Savasana, plank, Bhujangasana * 5 

Journey into Ustrasana – reach the arms forward, hands shoulder width apart, crawl fingertips forward, lengthen the spine on both sides, exhale & release the tailbone to the heels to anchor your child’s pose

Ustrasana variations

Supine Twist Right & Left

Knees lifted into chest, circle the hips right & left

Stretch arms behind on the inhale, open the mouth exhale and allow the body to sink to the floor. 

Put back on any layers you may have taken off, wrap yourself in your blanket, invite stillness & calmness into your body. 

Lie in Savasana for 10 minutes. 


I was so sad and sorry when my last yoga teacher decided to move home to Italy. I thought I would never find a better teacher & then… I found Chris. She delivers a wonderfully unique class which is a marriage of movement and breath. Her class delivers a complete workout for whatever level you’re at, whilst being easy on the body and calming the mind. I look forward to every class and have never felt stronger or better.

C. Horgan

Christine conveys an immense passion for yoga. Her energy is palpable. She also has a discerning understanding of how the body works when practicing yoga. I really enjoy her classes which leave me feeling full of positivity!

D. O’Reilly

Christine is a great yoga teacher and I recommend you give her a go.  She is very spiritual but her love of family and her surroundings come through clearly in her teaching - I have wished so many times to be with her in Dublin on the beach, in the studio, in the park! I have loved her classes via Zoom and her early morning Rise and Shine class has been a fantastic start to my day.  She is very knowledgeable and clearly puts a lot into planning each month and each week. Her classes are well prepared and she takes time to explain positions with variations too so that it is suitable for many levels. Having practised with her for 6 months, she keeps her practice interesting with different themes so that no 2 classes are completely the same.  I am loving my yoga journey with her and look forward to it continuing for many years.

N. Roberts

Absolutely love Chris’s yoga classes. It has become a staple part of my week to keep my mind clear and my body right. Chris is a fantastic teacher and I especially enjoy her meditation and reflections during class. Chris herself is such a fantastic person both inside and out and her light is infectious! 

S. Foley



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