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26 Apr
Posted by Nikola Ellis

PATANJALI, PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT (AND HAIR STRAIGHTENERS)

Towards the end of a yoga retreat in India I was facilitating, three apparently unconnected events intertwined to give me a deeper insight into both myself and many of my students.

 

Firstly, a fellow traveller asked me “How do you travel overseas for nearly a month with just one small piece of cabin baggage?” as she pointed to the three hefty bags she’d brought along for her 10 day yoga break.

 

Secondly, when I got to my emails, I (politely) turned down an invitation to speak at an ‘empowering women’ themed event in Sydney.

 

Thirdly, I flicked into Facebook and shared a post that read “Mother Theresa didn’t walk around complaining about her thighs. She did shit.”
 

What have these three things got in common? Look closely and you’ll discover a powerful illustration of the forces that stop many of us from fulfilling our potential.

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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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21 Feb
Posted by Nikola Ellis

5 Things You're Doing Wrong In Private Yoga Classes

How are your private yoga classes going? Are students breaking down your door to enjoy quality one-on-one time with you? Teaching private yoga lessons is a great way to offer extra value to your students and build a new source of income. But if your students aren’t returning for regular, ongoing private classes, you're probably doing it all wrong.

 

Teaching successful and ongoing private classes requires a very different skill set to teaching group yoga classes. So how do you serve your private students in a way that turns them into delighted, repeat customers? Take a look at the top 5 mistakes yoga teachers are making in private classes and see what you can change.

 

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15 Jan
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Yoga Therapy for Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder Bursitis is a common injury that we see in many people visiting the Adore Yoga Therapy Clinic. It’s painful and, if left untreated, can lead to restricted mobility and ongoing shoulder pain. Yoga Therapy can be a very helpful adjunctive treatment - here’s a primer on working with students with shoulder bursitis.

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08 Jan
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Cool Yoga for Hot times

I get cranky when it’s too hot. It starts off with tiredness and feeling like everything’s too hard. Then something flips my switch and I’m off. Raging. Every day occurences suddenly becomes an unbearable provocation 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 is there anything I can do to keep calm? The answers can be found in Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science.

 

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31 Oct
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Revolutionary yoga is here - why aren't you doing it?

Yoga is the ultimate disruptive technology. The ancient sages teach us that suffering is caused by the dysfunctional patterns and paradigms that we (often unconsciously) cling to. We can change those messed up patterns in our bodies, minds and energy systems by practicing the Eight Limbs of yoga.

 

Patanjali's Eight Limbs form a manifesto for radical living that delivers the holy grail of every good revolutionary – Liberation (Moksha). So why is yoga, with all it’s revolutionary potential, being used to encourage 21st century practitioners to conform to harmful attitudes and ideologies?
 
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31 Oct
Posted by Nikola Ellis

finding your purpose (it isn't where you're looking....)

 

Are you searching for your life’s purpose? Wondering what your ‘dharma’ is? You’re not alone. From life coaches to self help books, there’s a huge industry dedicated to helping people find their purpose. But what exactly does that mean? And where do you start looking?

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24 Oct
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Why we need to put the breath first in yoga

  

 

The ancient sage Patanjali defined yoga as a state of mind in which all our conscious and unconscious patterns of belief quieten down. It’s the process of letting go of all the things you think (or subconsciously believe) about the world so that you can see things as they truly are.

 

That’s not something most of us can do at the drop of a hat, which is why Patanjali gives us an 8-step program for moving towards that state of absolute clarity – the Eight Limbs of Yoga.

 

The first two steps, Yama and Niyama, are guidelines for living a good life with clean living and healthy relationships at the top of the agenda. Next, Patanjali tells us to practice the aspects of yoga that are most familiar to Western students– asana (poses) and pranayama (breathing techniques). We're then asked to switch off from external distractions and move through the three stages of meditation, ending in Samadhi – the state of blissful awareness that we experience when all the mental noise and habits stop.

 

The first seven steps are all preparation for that final state of transcendent bliss, but we often don’t approach our yoga practice in that way. Asana becomes a form of exercise, novelty or distraction rather than preparation for a practice that promises to deliver the peace and clarity that we’re craving. So how do we approach asana in a way that makes it an effective part of our journey towards Samadhi? By putting the breath at the very heart of every 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 Sep
Posted by Nikola Ellis

I'm no guru (and that's a good thing)

I’ve been practicing yoga for over 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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