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04 Feb
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Feel like a fraud when you teach yoga? You're not alone

'I'm not an authentic yoga teacher'

 

Have you ever worried that your students will find out you aren’t the real deal and desert you? Have you wondered if they'd still come to your classes if they knew what you were really like behind the mask? If you’ve ever felt like this, you’re not alone.

 

A frightening number of yoga teachers live with 'imposter syndrome' every day. And I, my friend, am no stranger to it.

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24 Jan
Posted by Nikola Ellis

What could be more important in yoga therapy than yoga?

 

 When it comes to helping people heal with yoga, there are tonnes of effective techniques. You'll study them all in a yoga therapy training - asana, pranayama, mudra, meditation, Ayurveda and more. But what is the MOST important technique? Turns out, it might not be yoga at all.

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10 Jul
Posted by Nikola Ellis

7 WAYS TO teach ACCESSIBLE yoga for ALL BODIES.

I received an email recently from a woman called Michelle asking if yoga could help her with insomnia. When I called her to explain how yoga can help manage sleep disorders, she replied “That's great! I've got a couple of kilos to lose and then I’ll sign up.”

Happily, I managed to persuade Michelle that fitness levels and body weight have nothing to do with being able to practice yoga and she started enjoying the benefits of yoga straight away. Michelle is not alone in thinking that yoga is only for fit, slim, bendy people – that’s certainly how it often appears in the media. One of the problems with media images of super flexible yogis doing advanced poses is that many people think “I’ll try yoga when I’m thinner/fitter” or even worse, “yoga’s not for me”.

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15 Apr
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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09 Jan
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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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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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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