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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

12 Jun
Posted by Nikola Ellis

beauty and the yogi

 

There’s been a backlash lately against the images of perfectly toned bodies that are used to represent yoga in the media. This is important– yoga is for everybody and people of all ages, sizes, ethnicities and sexual identities should see themselves reflected in yoga imagery. But are we at risk of replacing the idolization of one body type (young, skinny, white) with the objectification of all yoga bodies?

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05 Jun
Posted by Nikola Ellis

FEELING ANGER, RESENTMENT, DISGUST? THAT’S OK.

 

Here are some things students have said to me this week:

 

“I’m ashamed that I still feel resentment towards my ex-partner. That’s not very yogic, is it?”

 

“Anger is corrosive. It keeps bubbling up and I hate myself for it.”

 

“ I’m a yoga teacher but I hate my body. I’m such a fraud.”

 

At the heart of these statements lies the conviction that feeling anger, resentment, disgust and any other ‘negative’ emotion is a bad thing. It’s un-yogic. Where did so many of us get that idea? How did we come to believe that being a yoga practitioner means vanquishing all emotions except that elusive ‘bliss’ state that we see in the dreamy expressions of Instagram yogis meditating on the beach?

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29 May
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Can yoga change the world?

Can yoga change the world? Or is it just a fitness fad that sells a lot of brightly patterned tights? Some days I wonder. But then I watch something wonderful happening in a yoga room and know the answer is great big, unambiguous YES. Yoga can change the world. Here’s how.

 

This morning I walked into the cancer support facility at a large Sydney hospital. The women in the room were slightly nervous. Many of them hadn’t done yoga before and, given that yoga is often presented as a form of exercise for young, bendy people, they weren’t sure if they were going to be able to keep up. But, nevertheless, they’d turned up in the hope that yoga had something to offer them as they recovered from cancer.

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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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