My morning yoga practice used to be quite elaborate. Then I had kids. These days I enjoy 20 minutes gentle stretching followed by 10 minutes meditation - just enough to get me on track for the day. And, of course, even that's subject to the unpredictable schedules of the rest of the family...
Ruby (11yrs) and Eddie (8yrs) join me for a few down dogs (which usually ends up being more of an all-in wrestling session on the yoga mat) before breakfast followed by the school run.
Private clinic. In my one-on-one consultations I design personalised yoga practice to help students with specific issues. I specialise in yoga for cancer and eating disorders but I also work with people experiencing other conditions, including back pain and anxiety. From yoga poses to chanting to deep relaxation, everything we do in these consultations is designed to meet the needs of the individual student. Teaching therapeutic yoga one on one is a very effective and rewarding way to work.
Lunch. I try to make lunch an opportunity to practise yoga, choosing nourishing food and taking the time to chew each mouthful carefully. But it doesn't always work out that way.... Sometimes I just heat up last night's left overs and catch up with my emails as I eat. My golden rule for eating is that there should be no golden rules. There are a lot of food fads in the yoga community and many of the restrictive diets doing the rounds are unnecessary and potentially harmful. Just eat regularly and eat well, with as few dietary exclusions as you can manage.
School run. Another question I’m often asked is “Do your kids do yoga?” The answer is, mostly, no. I teach them specific techniques to help them manage the challenges presented by their growing bodies, school-work, social lives and every day stresses. They often 'self medicate' with guided meditations and Ruby enjoys coming to yoga classes with me on the weekend. But Ed's happier on the basketball court....
When the children are in bed and the general level of family chaos has reduced, I focus on my admin. With 12 yoga instructors teaching weekly yoga classes at the Mosman Adore Yoga, plus workshops,teacher trainings and retreats, there’s always some office work to catch up on.
STOP! I turn everything off, unroll my mat and (try to) let go of the busy-ness of the day. There’s no need to do hours of sweaty yoga to enjoy the benefits. A short daily practice is much more effective at keeping you calm and balanced. My 10 minute evening routine usually involves plenty of pranayama (breathing exercises).
Lights out (unless I'm immersed in a really juicy book...!)
Nikola Ellis is the founder of Adore Yoga, yoga therapist, counsellor and teacher trainer. She conducts regular trainings that help people of all ages, shapes and abilities enjoy the benefits of yoga and meditation, including Meditation Facilitator Certificate Trainings; Level 1 200hr Teacher Training and Post Graduate Yoga Teacher Training in Mental Health, Adaptive Asana and the Foundations of Yoga Therapy and a highly regarded professional 650hr Graduate Certificate of Yoga Therapy.