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22 Sep
Posted by Nikola Ellis

3 great news stories for yoga teachers who lost work because of Covid

Are you one of the many thousands of yoga teachers who have had their classes destroyed or dramatically reduced since March 2020? Covid-19 has certainly been tough on yoga teachers. But three pieces of news this week got me excited about the future of yoga.

 

Less booze, more yoga

When Covid-19 first hit, people's spending patterns changed dramatically. Spending on services screeched to a halt. From yoga classes to restaurants, service providers shut their doors while spending on groceries and alcohol soared. But that's all changing.

Western Australia and the Northern Territory have, compared to other states, weathered the Covid-19 storm. And spending on services has roared back. Arts, recreation and leisure have all seen an increase in spending in recent weeks. 

That's good news for everyone. As lock-down rules ease across the country, people are coming back to their usual activities like yoga.

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15 Sep
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Feeling Isolated? Yoga teaching can be a lonely business....

Even before Covid-19, quarantine and online classes, many yoga teachers were pretty much out their on their own. No supervisor, no colleagues to chat to in the lunch room. Just you, taking yoga to the world. While that might be OK for a while, in long term, that’s bad news for both you and your students.

 

Why? Because you are not as resilient, impartial, skilled or well balanced as you think you are. Nobody is. That’s why most professionals working in the ‘helping’ industries have mandatory mentoring or other mechanisms for looking after themselves and their clients.

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08 Sep
Posted by Nikola Ellis

How COVID-19 restrictions help you to help the most vulnerable yoga students

At first (and second) glance, COVID-19 looks like a disaster for yoga teachers and students. With studios closing, social distancing rules making yoga-as-usual impossible and a million new barriers to sharing yoga, it’s been challenging. And the situation isn’t going to change any time soon in many places. 

 

But COVID-19 restrictions have also brought new opportunities for yoga teachers and students, especially the most vulnerable. At Adore Yoga, we offer yoga therapy classes in cancer centres, hospitals and other clinical environments for students with health issues. When COVID-19 arrived, all our group classes shut down overnight - these are vulnerable, immunocompromised students. Teachers and students were devastated. But then something marvellous happened. 

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25 Aug
Posted by Nikola Ellis

How to teach yoga for eating disorders

 

Does yoga help people with eating disorders? What kind of yoga is best? Can yoga actually be harmful? These are some of the questions I wanted to answer when I embarked on a research project about yoga therapy for eating disorders, working with young people in the adolescent medicine unit at Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney. 

 

When I presented that research at the Yoga Australia conference in Melbourne, I realised I'm not the only one asking those questions. Yoga teachers, psychologists, parents and teachers are all interested in how to harness the benefits of yoga to support people struggling with eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of all mental health issues and those working and living with people with anorexia want to be sure that the yoga practices they introduce to their clients and family members are safe and effective. 

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18 Aug
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Why yoga teachers need to understand Googling is NOT research

 

As a yoga teacher, your students look to you for advice. You may not feel like an expert, but your students trust you. That trust often extends to areas of knowledge outside your expertise and training. For example, a student may ask you for help with their anxiety or shoulder pain. What do you do if you haven’t undertaken specialised training in these areas? 

 

If you’re like most yoga teachers you head to Guru Google to do some ‘research’. Here’s the thing. Googling something is NOT research. The internet is full of yoga ‘experts’ (I’ve written about this before) and it’s easy to believe what you read online, especially if it comes from a source you think you can trust, such as a well known teacher. 

 

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that there are plenty of people out there sharing half truths and misinformation - many are doing so with the very best of intentions. So how do you know if the pranayama practice that popped up when you Googled ‘yoga for anxiety’ is going to help - and not harm - your student? How do you know if the asana sequence you’re teaching your student with scoliosis is going to offer long-term benefits?

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10 Aug
Posted by Nikola Ellis

THE TOP 3 REASONS YOGA TEACHERS TRAIN TO BECOME YOGA THERAPISTS

Remember the buzz when you started your first yoga teacher training? The pure joy of doing something truly meaningful with a group of like-minded people? Then there was the excitement of taking your first steps as a yoga teacher – scary but oh so rewarding. 

But somewhere down the line, thoughtful yoga teachers begin to wonder what more they can offer the world beyond teaching 60 minute group classes. They notice that many students struggle with the poses or ask for help with injuries and realize that the ‘group-fitness’ model of teaching yoga isn’t working for lots of people. Including them. 

Those forward thinking yoga teachers have also realised that COVID-19 has changed everything. There were already lots of yoga teachers looking for work in an environment where yoga studios and gyms battle it out for survival, paying teachers less and expecting more for free. And now the internet is flooded with free classes. Sounds familiar? Here's an idea....

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04 Aug
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Teaching yoga to elderly students

I was SO EXCITED this week to share a Facebook Live conversation with a wonderful yoga therapist who specialises in working with elderly students. If you work with older students or want to know how to approach teaching frail and elderly people, read on - you'll want to know what Nana Chresta has to say (plus there's a FREE 'yoga for older adults' class plan for you!)

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28 Jul
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Teaching pranayama to students with anxiety? Read this now.

 

Are you teaching pranayama to students with anxiety? Stop! There may be a better way to help them.

 

Learning how to breathe deeply and smoothly will help people with anxiety, right? Not necessarily. For many anxious students, focusing on the breath triggers more anxiety. On paper, teaching pranayama to your shallow-breathing, anxious students seems to make sense. But for some students, it can be unbearable. I know, because I was that student freaking out during a pranayama session.

 

I have long history of anxiety and panic attacks. It's what brought me to yoga in the first place. When I first heard about pranayama, I decided it was just what I needed. It made perfect sense - regulating the breath would calm my nervous system and prevent anxiety. But that's not how it worked in practice...

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21 Jul
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Why ALL your students will benefit from trauma sensitive yoga

 

"Trauma sensitive yoga is for people with PTSD? Why do I need to learn it if I'm teaching regular classes?"

 

That's a good question. But who is attending your 'regular' yoga classes? Do traumatised people only show up in yoga classes designed especially for them? Do people who are affected by trauma but don't meet the clinical threshold for PTSD benefit from trauma sensitive yoga?

 

And what if ALL of your students benefited from trauma sensitive yoga?

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14 Jul
Posted by Nikola Ellis

Three ways Ayurveda makes planning your yoga classes easy

Do you spend a lot of time coming up with class plans? 

Do you struggle to find new and exciting themes for your yoga classes? 

Here are three reasons why Ayurveda has the answer to your class planning prayers (PLUS your free Ayurveda and Meditation & Mantra cheat sheet!):

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