Back at home, soccer hardman Roy Keane, rugby legend Paul O’Connell, and GAA All-Star Michael Darragh Macauley have all been doing their bit to transform its image from girly to burly.

“When I started off about 20 years ago, there certainly was not that many men doing yoga,” recalls band manager-turned-yogi Walsh, who first went along to a class because he was suffering from back pain, “but I’ve really noticed a change in the last few years.

We are getting a lot more men coming to classes, which is really encouraging. You’re getting GAA, rugby players, and soccer players realising that they can prolong their careers and protect themselves from injury

“Yoga is a nice, sustainable exercise,” continues the instructor, whose classes include pilates, Ashtanga, and restorative yoga. “It’s not weight-bearing and opens you up slowly, so it’s a very good companion to other forms of exercise like triathlons.

“It’s a much more relaxing pursuit, in my opinion, than being in loud, fluorescent-lit gym with people shouting at you. But we also have hot yoga for men who feel like they really want a workout and to get deeper into postures by using heat and stretching.

“Conor McGregor has made barefoot fitness of all types more acceptable for men,” he reckons. “It’s no longer just about putting on your runners and running for miles.

“The main thing I’d recommend is to mix styles, and not just to look for the physical challenges — remember there are also rewards from restorative yoga.”

After setting up Yoga for Hardy Bucks (, using stand-up comedy to encourage men to get their ‘om’ on, today Eoin Kelly is flat to the mat teaching Vinyasa flow yoga, Yin yoga, and restorative yoga, among other forms, to fellow blokey blokes, as well as women.

“My classes would be about 50:50 lads to women now, and sometimes maybe more lads than women,” says the former office worker. “I think more people are becoming aware of the fact that you need to stretch the muscles out, especially people who are doing CrossFit and that type of Olympic lifting.

“My plan originally was to help people like me, so when I see a younger version of me coming into my class, where I ran into all that trouble with sickness, I just think it’s great.

“It was bad decisions that got me on a trolley. It wasn’t bad luck, or anything like that. It was not eating right, not taking stock of stress, not taking ownership of my own life and being grateful for it.

“By practising yoga and meditation, it’s helped me cultivate all those types of things. I’m back playing rugby as well. I played six senior games last year, and I’m planning on playing a full season next year.

“Chemo broke me,” says Eoin, “but yoga helped me rise from the ashes.”