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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

03 Oct
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Don't learn this pose (and many others) at Adore yoga

 

What's wrong with this pose? Nothing. Nothing at all if you are super flexible. But there are many people for whom practicing this pose is unhelpful (and, depending on your spinal health, dangerous). That's why we don't include this pose (it's called Kurmasana) in our 200hr yoga teacher program. We don't teach it in our studio classes either. 

 

So what DO we teach?

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03 Oct
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Karma and the urban yogi

Ever been to an ashram in India?  Many westerners are surprised to find that, far from being tranquil retreats where frazzled city dwellers find their inner zen, they are bustling community centres.

Ashrams provide the schooling, food, medical assistance and social safety-net that their communities would otherwise lack. I’m not idealizing the ashram system and I’m well aware of the unsavoury side of some of them. But the idea of yoga as central to a network of social projects that benefit the community resonates strongly with my personal philosophy.

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26 Sep
Posted by Nikola Ellis

MAKE YOUR STUDENT THE TEACHER

It's tough teaching general yoga classes. Have you ever watched new students struggling while wondering if the more experienced students were bored? Perhaps you've felt bad at the end of class because you didn't get around to offering an adjustment or modification to every student who would have benefited from one.


If that’s a familiar scenario, it’s time to change your approach to teaching open group classes and learn how to put your students at the very heart of the practice.

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18 Sep
Posted by Nikola Ellis

5 Ways to teach yoga from the heart

I recently ran into Joanne, an old friend and an experienced yoga teacher. She wasn’t feeling very yogic.  “Why can’t yoga teachers just teach from what they know?” she said, exasperated. “If one more teacher quotes Rumi at me, I’ll scream!”

 

Now, Joanne wasn’t suggesting that we have nothing to learn from Rumi or that yoga teachers shouldn’t find inspiration in spiritual texts. That’s clearly not true. Her problem, as she explained, was the use of cookie-cutter scripts in yoga classes.

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13 Sep
Posted by Nikola Ellis

I'm no guru (and that's a good thing)

I’ve been practicing yoga for over 25 years and teaching for 15 years. And I’m a long way from being a guru.

 

I’ve got plenty of diplomas, degrees and postgraduate qualifications as well as many thousands of hours of experience. But the gaps in my knowledge are as wide as the ocean.

 

And that’s a good thing. For two reasons...

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28 Aug
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Yoga, Karma and Social Justice

 

Something happened to me after I’d been practicing yoga for a few months. I started to feel connected to the world around me in ways I’d never experienced before.

 

I first came to yoga as a way to manage crippling panic attacks and find some peace of mind at a difficult time in my life. While yoga certainly helped me deal with my own problems, it also opened up a new awareness of the ways in which my thoughts, feelings and actions were intricately bound up with the lives of others. Bit by bit, I began to move from feeling isolated in my own struggles to appreciating the interconnectedness between myself and the wider world.

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17 Aug
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Why yoga needs a fact-check

Many of us in the field of yoga and other complementary therapies are guided by our hearts. That’s one of the great strengths of natural therapies – being able to connect with clients on an intuitive level and offering more than a formulaic treatment plan. We are also our own favourite guinea pigs – talk to any yoga teacher or complementary therapist and you’re likely to find a personal story of overcoming health problems by using the techniques that they now offer to others. Again, that’s a great strength, giving practitioners deep insight and empathy for clients who are tackling their own health challenges.

 

However it’s important to recognise that just because something works for you (or your kids or somebody else you know), it doesn’t necessarily make it effective for everybody else. Whether it’s a yoga pose or a natural remedy, we cannot assume that something works just because it feels good. If it works for you, AWESOME! Keep going. But if you’re selling your treatment to a client, it’s important to understand the evidence base for what you’re giving them.

 

As the director of an accredited Yoga Therapy training program, I place a strong emphasis on encouraging yoga teachers to develop their understanding and appreciation of the evidence base for what they're learning. There are a lot of claims made in the name of yoga, but some of those claims need a fact-check.

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10 Aug
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Yoga for panic disorder

When I had my first panic attack, I thought I was going mad. The feelings were so frightening and intense, I was convinced that my mind had somehow broken and couldn’t be fixed. 

 

Panic attacks feel like the end of the world, and they’re not ‘all in the mind.’  The whole body is affected by the terror, with symptoms ranging from shaking, sweating and nausea through to chest pain, difficulty breathing and a pounding heart that feels like it’s going to explode. While panic attacks don’t actually cause the heart attack that a sufferer may think is imminent, the experience is no less terrifying. 

 

After months of mis-diagnosis and daily anguish, I was very fortunate to meet an experienced yoga teacher who understood what was happening to me. Thanks to his careful support, I began to heal and my lifelong respect and passion for therapeutic yoga began.

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04 Aug
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Yoga and Eating Disorders – What works?

 

Can yoga help people with eating disorders? A number of studies suggest that it can, but what exactly have those studies been measuring? What do they tell us about how and why yoga can help?  

 

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25 Jun
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Mudras - yoga for airplanes

I just got back from a trip to the USA. 7 glorious days in California, soaking up the sun and sharing my passion for Yoga Therapy with some of the most talented practitioners in the business at the Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR).

 

The only downside was the travel – 14 hour flights each way, plus some pretty hectic freeway action on the way from LA to Newport Beach (it's not far, but that whole driving on the other side of the road thing is tricky when you’re sleep deprived…) So how does a yogi stay sane and healthy on long international journeys? Mudras, of course.

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