Ciara Cunningham

Finding Balance is a critical element of my personal practice on and off the mat — exploring the dichotomy between active and passive, yin and yang, samadhi and samsara. You’ll see that attitude reflected in my teaching style: expect a variety of surya namaskar-based flow in my classes mixed with longer slower holds, playing the need to move off the necessity to relax, renew and restore.

My partner was unexpectedly diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2014. As he went through surgery, chemo and radiation, discovering the tradition of Ashtanga yoga preserved my sanity: giving my life structure that was missing at the time, driving home how much of life can be impacted by the combination of movement and nutrition — foundational truths that continued to guide me as I began my own journey with a rare, chronic disease after receiving a diagnosis in 2020. I've now been practicing yoga for over 16 years, completed my 200hr teacher training with O Yoga and the Boston Yoga School in 2017, and have continued my studies with teachers to include Ame Wren, Josh Summers and Jason Crandell.

Off my mat I am an ambassador for Lululemon Syracuse. I have a keen interest in neuroscience and brain health, am certified to teach TBI-accessible yoga with LoveYourBrain, and have taught trauma-informed yoga with Connected Warriors at the Syracuse VA. The joy my practice brings me is something I want to spread in my community, and I'm committed to facilitating identity-affirming spaces for others — in particular for members of traditionally marginalized groups. The thing I missed most during the pandemic was the opportunity to dance along with live music, but the best thing that resulted was the addition of a puppy to my family. I use she/they pronouns, and pronounce my name like Keira Knightly does.