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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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21 May
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Out of my mind

This week I mislaid my bank card, burned the dinner and forgot a promise to a friend. But I just can't help it. I’m busy. The phone rang. I was running late. The kids were playing up. I’m a bad cook. I’m a rotten friend. I .… STOP!


Have you had days, weeks or even years that look like this? Constantly running from one emergency to the next with voices in your head telling you you’re not good enough and you’ve got to try harder? You’re not alone. Most of us are constantly bombarded by feelings of inadequacy that propel us into a frenzy of activity. Secretly feel your mothering skills aren’t up to the job? Smother those thoughts with a flurry of craft projects, baking healthy snacks and online shopping for educational toys. Feel like a fraud in your job? Stay back late, get in early, check your phone in the toilet and take work home at the weekend.

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11 Apr
Posted by Nikola Ellis

WHAT TO EXPECT ON A Meditation, YOGA & AYURVEDA Training IN INDIA – PART 2

What to expect from your Ayurvedic Consultations and Treatments

 

Ayurveda is India’s traditional system of medicine, with roots that date back over 4,000 years. The word Ayurveda means ‘Science of Life’ in Sanskrit and this ancient healing tradition embraces an holistic approach to health, emphasizing preventative medicine as well as offering plenty of healing treatments. The Ayurvedic toolkit includes yoga and meditation, marma puncture (similar to acupuncture), massage, cleansing techniques, dietary recommendations and medicinal herbs.

 

While Ayurveda has become increasingly popular in the West, the difference between visiting an Ayurveda practitioner in the West and consulting an Ayurvedic doctor in India is significant. Most Western practitioners have studies short courses of just a few weeks or months. However, Ayurvedic doctors in India undertake 5-7yrs of training, with a minimum 5yr degree in Ayurvedic Medicine. When you find a good Ayurvedic doctor, you’re in safe and knowledgeable hands.

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09 Apr
Posted by Nikola Ellis

What to expect on a Meditation, Yoga & Ayurveda TRAINING in India – Part 1

Travelling In South India

 

This blog post is the first of a three-part series about the sights, sounds and sensations of travelling to South India. India is just too epic for a single blog! I’ll be covering the three aspects of the Adore Yoga India retreats and trainings that most people ask about:

 

  1. Travelling in India
  2. Ayurvedic Consultations and Treatments
  3. Yogic and Ayurvedic Food

 

In this first post, we’ll be discovering what it’s like to travel to and around India. While transportation in India has changed since I first visited 20 years ago, travelling in India is still an adventure.

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02 Apr
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Three yoga basics to master BEFORE you do Yoga Teacher Training

Once upon a time, prospective yoga teachers practiced and studied under master teachers for several years before becoming teachers themselves. Today, may yoga teacher training courses will accept students with little or no experience of yoga. Which is best?

 

While I don’t believe it’s necessary to have decades of advanced practice under your belt before becoming a yoga teacher, there are three yoga basics that I’d recommend you refine prior to jumping in to yoga teacher training.


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25 Mar
Posted by Nikola Ellis

3 Ways yoga helps asthma

My daughter is one of the 2 million Australians with asthma. She was just three years old when she was diagnosed and we were gob-smacked. None of the usual contributing factors applied to Ruby and we didn't know how to help her beyond ensuring she took her medication correctly. Fortunately her condition is now stable, but for many people asthma is a serious condition that has a major impact on quality of life (not to mention scaring the pants off anxious loved ones).

 

As a yoga teacher, I knew instinctively that yoga could help my daughter’s asthma. Her diagnosis set me off on a path of discovery and now, over a decade later, I teach many asthmatics the simple techniques that can help them manage their condition. There are many yoga tools that can make a big difference to asthma sufferers - here are just three ways that yoga can help.

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