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06 Jan
Posted by Nikola Ellis

two yoga myths that are giving you back pain

Got lower back pain? You’re not alone. Over 80% of us live with lower back pain*, most of which is not caused by disc injury or serious illness. But if you’ve been trying to relieve the pain with some serious stretching, you might be making it worse.

 

The most common cause of back pain that we see in our Yoga Therapy Clinic is poor postural habits. If you spend a lot of time sitting or driving, it’s going to take more than a general work out to keep you pain free. And going for the burn with some killer back stretches could be compounding your woes. Here are two back pain myths that could be preventing you from living pain-free.

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03 Jan
Posted by Nikola Ellis

WHY YOGA TEACHERS NEVER STOP LEARNING

I've been training yoga teachers for fifteen years, and I can guarantee one thing. About two thirds of the way through their  yoga teacher training, most students have an ‘I’ll never be good enough to teach!’ moment. In fact, I worry about the ones who don’t. 

Teaching yoga is a big responsibility – students trust their yoga teachers with their bodies and their minds so it’s no wonder new teachers can feel a little overwhelmed.

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26 Dec
Posted by Nikola Ellis

5 things you need to know before you enrol for yoga teacher training.

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the plunge and become a yoga teacher. With new yoga teacher trainings popping up each year, all you have to do is sit back and choose the right course for you, right? But hang on a minute. Do you really know what you’re getting yourself into? It’s time to get behind the marketing hype and discover some home truths about becoming a yoga teacher. Here are 5 things you need to know before you sign up.

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16 Dec
Posted by Nikola Ellis

3 Yoga Strategies for Coping at Christmas (PLUS free guided meditation)


I’ve got friends who LOVE Christmas. Lucky them. Christmas has always been a struggle for me. Growing up in the UK, Christmas was a time of conflict and I spent many Christmas Day afternoons in bed with one of my mystery tummy aches – a toxic combination of sugar and anxiety.

Volatile at the best of times, my family wasn't at its best when faced with the large quantities of alcohol, close physical proximity and ridiculously high expectations that seemed to be part and parcel of the festive season. I developed stomach cramps by mid morning, tears by lunchtime and retreated to bed some time in the early afternoon.

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21 Nov
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Yoga for teens with eating disorders

I never intended to teach yoga to teens with eating disorders. Until a couple of years ago, I didn’t know much about either teenagers or eating disorders, but my limited experience had taught me that both could be challenging.


But then I volunteered as the training co-ordinator with A Sound Life, a charity that brings yoga to people in hospitals and care facilities. One of the first facilities we visited was Westmead Children’s Hospital where psychologists in the Adolescent Mental Health Unit were keen to add yoga to their program for kids with eating disorders.


Having seen recent studies that demonstrate the benefits ofyoga for people with eating disorders, the lead psychologists wanted to explore how it could be integrated into their pioneering Intensive Family and Adolescent Eating Disorder Day Program (IFAED) program.

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03 Nov
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Is modern yoga run by monkeys?

Monkeys are great at climbing trees. Their strong, flexible bodies are perfect for racing up and down the branches where they find food, shelter and companionship. From high up in the tree-tops the monkeys look down on the elephant.

 

The elephant is possessed of great strength and calm. Her sensitive, flexible trunk allows her to perform tasks of amazing dexterity. She is smart, loyal and looks after the other members of her community. But she's hopeless at climbing trees.

 

Naturally the monkeys place a high value on tree climbing – it offers so many benefits and it feels fantastic. Everybody should do it! Some of them look down on elephant and simply ignore her – she looks all wrong and will never be any good at climbing trees.

 

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27 Oct
Posted by Nikola Ellis

the performing yogi

 

What would my body look like if I didn’t do yoga? I know I wouldn’t feel so good. But would I actually look any different? I ask the question because the imagery of modern yoga directly equates yoga practice with physical attractiveness. While anybody who’s done more than a couple of classes will tell you it’s all about what’s happening on the inside, the external representation of yoga increasingly mirrors the wider cultural obsession with perfecting and then displaying the body.

Yoga is rapidly evolving into a performance art in which the physical form trumps the internal experience. The yoga body has become an object of display and the practice of yoga is no longer a vehicle for exploring our internal, embodied experiences. Instead, it has become yet another arena for creating and broadcasting our idealized selves.

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05 Oct
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Lighten up!

I kick start many of my morning yoga classes in Spring with Kapalabhati. Kapalabhati is an uplifting, detoxifying and energising practise that is often confused with pranayama. Yes, it works with the breath, but it's actually a kriya - a cleansing practice. It's English translation is "skull shining breath" and it really feels like you've cleansed your frontal lobes after a session of Kapalabhati! 

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03 Oct
Posted by Nikola Ellis

yoga for eating disorders


Nearly one million Australians suffer from an eating disorder. Around 9% of adolescent girls have, or have had, an eating disorder. Eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating, can have devastating effects on the people living with the disorder as well as their close family and friends. A 2012 study found that 1800 Australians had died from an eating disorder in that year – higher than the annual road toll.
Yoga can help, and there are some encouraging research findings to back up the theory.
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08 Sep
Posted by Nikola Ellis

I’M NO YOGA GURU. AND THAT’S A GOOD THING.

I’ve been practicing yoga for 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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