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13 Feb
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Self love for valentines day

Looks like Valentines Day is on the way again.  Are you hoping for flowers and romance?

 

While it’s nice to be adored, it’s a truism that we have to love ourselves first. No matter how much attention is showered on us by friends and lovers, if we don’t love ourselves enough to truly believe we’re worth all the effort, we can remain curiously unsatisfied (and even anxious– “What if they find out I’m really not that nice/pretty after all and abandon me?!”)

 

If you can’t offer yourself love and compassion, it’s hard to believe you deserve it from somebody else. And the worst culprits for neglecting to appreciate and care for themselves?  Women who spend a lot of time caring for others. OK, disclosure time. That’s me too.

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11 Feb
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Bedtime meditation for kids

What does the word ‘Bed-time’ conjure up for you? Images of fluffy pillows and crisp white sheets? Maybe a glass of warm milk and a good book? If you’re the parent of a young child, chances are the images in your head are not quite so tranquil!

Bed time is often the most challenging part of the day. 

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06 Feb
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Meditation? I'd love to but I don't have time...

Yeah, that was me. I'd spent years thinking about meditating, reading articles about it and telling my friends how good it was. I even bought a meditation cushion. But I never got around to actually meditating. I tried to concentrate on those breathing exercises at the end of my yoga classes, but my mind kept wandering off to domestic tasks, jobs left undone, shopping lists to write etc. etc. etc.

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02 Feb
Posted by Nikola Ellis

The day i lost my yoga students

 

At first, I thought it was the weather – a wet week often sees student numbers drop at the yoga studio. Then the sun came out, but the students didn’t return.

 

In my heart of hearts, I knew why my students had gone. I was a rotten teacher. I hadn’t started off that way. My passion for sharing the healing magic of yoga had seen my classes numbers build, with many students coming back term after term.

 

But things had changed and I knew I wasn’t giving my students what they needed. I couldn’t. I had nothing left to give.

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18 Jan
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Yoga for back pain? NO deep forward bends. Please.

Stretching can feel great when your back muscles are tight. But deep forward bends are not the way to tackle chronic back pain. In fact, it can make things worse.

An increasing number of yoga teachers are recommending long, deep forward bends for lower back pain. Ask most new-ish yoga teachers how to help a sore lower back and they’re likely to pick a forward bend to 'release' the back. That’s a problem. Especially if there are bulging intervertebral discs involved. Worse still is the emphasis placed on holding the forward bend and the lack of focus on moving safely out of it. Injuries are much more likely to occur during the transition into and, especially after a deep forward bend, out of a position, rather than while holding the posture itself.

So how can yoga help somebody with lower back pain and bulging discs? There are two key steps:

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17 Jan
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Cooling yoga for hot days

Are you feeling the heat? I love hanging out at the beach with my kids in summer, but take me away from the cooling sea breeze and I get a bit hot under the collar (translation: grumpy). Maybe it's something to do with being English, but when the temperature soars, I need to cool down quickly!

Yoga offers some great tools to beat the heat, from cooling breathing techniques to diet and lifestyle changes. I've been practicing Sitali this week, a cooling pranayama (breathing technique) that never fails to beat the heat. If you feel irritable, drowsy or hot and bothered in summer, you can use Sitali throughout the day to take the heat out of things and leave you feeling calm, cool and in control. This video will show you how with a simple, step by step guide!

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16 Jan
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Yoga for cooling pitta dosha on hot days

I get cranky when it’s hot. At first, I just feel tired and everything seems too hard. Then something flips my switch and I’m off. Raging. Every day niggles suddenly becomes unbearable provocations and I find myself giving my son a roasting for the terrible crime of spilling pencil shavings on the rug. So what happens to me when the temperature rises? And what can do to keep calm? The answers can be found in Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science (Ayurveda = ‘Science of Life”). Ayurveda tells us about the three doshas or 'constitutions' - Pitta, Vata and Kapha.

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12 Jan
Posted by Nikola Ellis

a room of one's own for meditation

Virginia Woolf famously wrote that a woman needs a room of her own. She was talking about having a space in which to write fiction, but any woman who’s brain is scrambled by the demands of family and work will understand the appeal of a tranquil space in which to relax the body and calm the mind.

I’m on holiday with my family, and, after a week of 24/7 exposure to my very active children, I’m longing for a room of my own! I love my kids. I love my work. But I go mad if I don’t have the time to retreat into my own space and restore my inner balance.

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10 Jan
Posted by Nikola Ellis

3 reasons why you should become a yoga therapist

Remember the buzz when you started your first yoga teacher training? The pure joy of doing something truly meaningful with a group of like-minded people? Then there was the excitement of taking your first steps as a yoga teacher – scary but oh so rewarding. 

But somewhere down the line, thoughtful yoga teachers begin to wonder what more they can offer the world beyond teaching 60 minute group classes. They notice that many students struggle with the poses or ask for help with injuries and realize that the ‘group-fitness’ model of teaching yoga isn’t working for lots of people. Including them.

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09 Jan
Posted by Nikola Ellis

how to become a yoga therapist

Yoga Therapy is a rapidly growing discipline with hospitals, clinics and other healthcare environments across the world employing qualified Yoga Therapists. Yoga Therapy training provides the skills and confidence to work safely and effectively with people living with a broad range of physical, emotional and psychological issues.

 

What is Yoga Therapy? Find out here.

 

But what does that training involve? And what are the pathways to accreditation as a Yoga Therapist? Here’s an easy step-by-step guide.

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