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Nikola Ellis

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.
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Recent Posts

17 May
Posted by Nikola Ellis

How to teach yoga for eating disorders

 

Does yoga help people with eating disorders? What kind of yoga is best? Can yoga actually be harmful? These are some of the questions I wanted to answer when I embarked on a research project about yoga therapy for eating disorders, working with young people in the adolescent medicine unit at Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney. 

 

I recently presented that research at the Yoga Australia conference in Melbourne, where I realised I'm not the only one asking those questions. Yoga teachers, psychologists, parents and teachers are all interested in how to harness the benefits of yoga to support people struggling with eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of all mental health issues and those working and living with people with anorexia want to be sure that the yoga practices they introduce to their clients and family members are safe and effective. 

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30 Apr
Posted by Nikola Ellis

WHY YOUR YOGA TEACHER TRAINING DIDN’T TEACH YOU ONE SKILL YOU REALLY NEED.


 

What’s the single most important skill you need to be a good yoga teacher? Proficiency at Asana? Expert knowledge of yoga philosophy? Great sequencing?

 

Well, all those things are helpful, but you can be the most flexible, knowledgeable person on the planet and still be a rotten teacher. Because teaching isn’t about how good you are at something. It’s about how well you can connect, listen and communicate with others. Let me just define communication here. I’m not talking about the clarity of your verbal cues, or your body language, or your tone of voice. I’m talking about a way of being with others that fosters deep connection, trust and hope.

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26 Apr
Posted by Nikola Ellis

PATANJALI, PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT (AND HAIR STRAIGHTENERS)

Towards the end of a yoga retreat in India I was facilitating, three apparently unconnected events intertwined to give me a deeper insight into both myself and many of my students.

 

Firstly, a fellow traveller asked me “How do you travel overseas for nearly a month with just one small piece of cabin baggage?” as she pointed to the three hefty bags she’d brought along for her 10 day yoga break.

 

Secondly, when I got to my emails, I (politely) turned down an invitation to speak at an ‘empowering women’ themed event in Sydney.

 

Thirdly, I flicked into Facebook and shared a post that read “Mother Theresa didn’t walk around complaining about her thighs. She did shit.”
 

What have these three things got in common? Look closely and you’ll discover a powerful illustration of the forces that stop many of us from fulfilling our potential.

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23 Apr
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Hey Yoga Teacher! Get your hands off me.

I’m about 20 minutes into a yoga class. The large male teacher appears from nowhere and puts his hands on me while I'm in three legged dog. He hasn't asked for consent. He hasn't asked about injuries. He hasn't even made eye contact during the class. I flinch involuntarily. He says "Whoa". I say " please don't adjust me" he says, "What?", still with his hands on me. "Don't adjust me please" I repeat more loudly.

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10 Apr
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Yoga and meditation at Lake Inle in Myanmar

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts about the Myanmar Yoga Adventure. Read more and WHY we're taking a yoga retreat to Myanmar with our students here.  

 

We leave the golden Pagodas of Bagan to travel to our third destination on the Adore Myanmar Yoga Adventure - Inle Lake. Set in the gorgeous Shan Hills, Inle Lake is a cooler, fresher environment than Ngapali or Bagan.  Inle Lake was designated one of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO in 2015 and, with a surface area of 116 square kilometers and 880m elevation, the air feels much fresher than either Ngapali or Bagan.

 

There are so many reasons to love Inle Lake. Take a boat ride through the town’s network of canals (it’s kind of the Venice of Asia!), then sail into the lake itself where you’ll see local fishermen catching fish and harvesting water weed in the same traditional way as generations of their forefathers.

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10 Apr
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Buddhas, Balloons and deep meditation in Myanmar

Can you imagine what it would be like to meditate in an ancient Buddhist pagoda? That's one of the most memorable experiences at our second destination on the Adore Myanmar Yoga Adventure. 

Read about our first destination and WHY we're taking a yoga retreat to Myanmar with our students here.  

 

We fly from the tropical beaches of Ngapali to the 'dry zone' at Bagan. It’s hard to describe this majestic and visually stunning place. Think Angkor Wat without all the tourists and you’re getting close. The ancient city of Bagan has over 2,000 ancient Buddhist pagodas and is set in a beautiful natural location in a bend in the mighty Irrawaddy river.

 

We’ll be visiting some of these extraordinary pagodas and practicing traditional meditation techniques in and around the temple compounds – it’s a very spiritual and inspiring experience.


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10 Apr
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Yoga and MeditaTion Retreat in Myanmar 

 

This is the second in a series of blog posts about the Adore Myanmar Yoga Adventure (Nov 2018) and how this exciting trip to Myanmar is supporting local communities as well as inspiring our students. Read the first post here.

 

On the very first day in Myanmar, you'll experience two sides of this land of extreme contrasts. We meet in Yangon, a busy, bustling and rapidly modernising Asian city with a population of over 5 million. Then we fly 1hr north west to Thandwe, the gateway airport to one of the most stunning stretches of unspoiled beaches in Asia, Ngapali Beach. This is where the pace changes – radically!

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07 Apr
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Why run a yoga retreat in myanmar of all places...?

 

Myanmar (or Burma as it was known until recently) isn't at the top of many people's yoga travel bucket list. You'll find yoga retreats and adventures pretty much everywhere, especially in Bali, Fiji, India, Sri Lanka and Central and South America. But Myanmar has dropped off the radar.

 

To be honest, we nearly didn't go there ourselves. We had LONG wanted to visit Myanmar - we'd heard so much about the natural beauty, friendly people and that special feeling of arriving somewhere totally new - something that's hard to find in an era of globalisation (no Starbucks in Burma!) We booked our flights in the hope that we'd find an exciting new world to bring our students and guests to - imagine meditating in those ancient Buddhist temples and doing yoga on the banks of the mighty Irrawaddy River! Then we heard the news last year about the Rohingya crisis.

 

We decided to cancel our visit. Then we decided to go. Then we decided to cancel. This went on for several days, during which time I did some research on Myanmar and contacted Aussie friends who'd worked there to get first hand insights. What I learned from this research made it clear that we should go and see for ourselves what was happening in this fascinating and complex country.

 

What we found was beyond anything we had ever imagined - from the landscapes to the culture to the people to the political situation. Myanmar blew our minds.

 

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20 Mar
Posted by Nikola Ellis

When yoga teachers should stop teaching Yoga (and do something more useful).

So, yoga changed your life. It shook you down, cleared your head and turned your whole life around. Naturally, you want to share that with the world, so you decide to become a yoga teacher. Now you’re qualified help others experience the mind-blowing power of yoga that has given you so much. Excellent!

 

But is more yoga what the world needs?

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15 Mar
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Ayurvedic food and healing in india

 

One of the most frequently asked questions about coming on retreat to India is ‘What’s the food like?’ Lots of people worry that the food will be too spicy or that they’ll have trouble meeting their dietary needs, such as avoiding gluten, dairy, nuts and other allergens. Others have read about high levels of pesticides in fruit and vegetables in India and worry about food quality. This blog post describes the flavours, ingredients and quality of the food that we enjoy during our retreats and trainings in India.

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