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23 Jul
Posted by Nikola Ellis

How Yoga boosts your immune system and beats inflammation

Want to stay healthy this Winter? Get on your yoga mat! New research published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine shows that yoga can boost your immune system, helping you fight off the winter bugs. What’s more, yoga has also been shown to decrease inflammation. That’s a big deal when you consider that inflammation is associated with many health conditions, including depression, auto-immune diseases, cancer, IBS and heart disease.

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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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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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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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20 Mar
Posted by Nikola Ellis

When yoga teachers should stop teaching Yoga (and do something more useful).

So, yoga changed your life. It shook you down, cleared your head and turned your whole life around. Naturally, you want to share that with the world, so you decide to become a yoga teacher. Now you’re qualified help others experience the mind-blowing power of yoga that has given you so much. Excellent!

 

But is more yoga what the world needs?

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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 Feb
Posted by Nikola Ellis

THE BARRIERS TO ADVANCED YOGA TEACHER TRAINING

I’m deeply committed to high quality yoga teaching. It’s been my life, my passion, and my reason for getting up in the morning for over 25yrs. But I’ve been listening to a number of yoga teachers in recent months who would love to undertake advanced teacher training, but find the barriers insurmountable.

 

Good yoga teachers never, ever stop learning, but high quality yoga teacher training isn’t accessible to everybody. That’s a problem for both the yoga teachers who are deprived of the opportunity for professional development and their students – everybody deserves access to a well trained yoga teacher. So why isn’t it happening? I've identified four key barriers to quality yoga teacher training:

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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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