Yoga Therapy

Prenatal Yoga: Promoting a healthy and joyful 9 months

Prenatal Yoga has become a sought-after, niche area. Trained prenatal yoga teachers find that their classes are overflowing with eager expectant mothers looking to enhance their pregnancy with yoga. In this article, Ana Davis explores some of the countless benefits of prenatal yoga.

Before a baby is even born, his/her senses are developing and being stimulated as he moves and stretches in his watery home, attached to the mother by his life-supporting umbilical cord. He can hear her heartbeat and external sounds – responding to the tone of his mother’s and father’s voices.

A baby in utero can feel the warm amniotic fluid on his skin and sense his mother rubbing her belly. He can distinguish tastes, and even sense changes in light through his closed eyelids.

There have even studies been done to show that a mother’s thoughts and emotions have an impact on the future personality of the baby!


The Healing Power Of Yoga

by Nadine Fawell

By the time I first stepped onto a yoga mat, I was crawling out of my skin.

I’d run out of strategies for dulling my feelings. Starving myself hadn’t worked. Nor had eating too much. The door-locking, the hand-washing, the counting, the compulsive scratching at my face. I was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the anxiety, fear and self-loathing that went along with it.

I felt like I was going to explode. Then, quite randomly, I went to a yoga class, and, for sixty minutes, got some relief from myself. That feeling of lightness actually lasted for several hours after the class: it was the longest stretch of time I had felt at peace since I was eight years old.

That was my first inkling that yoga might help me deal with the trauma of my past. Research is now showing that yoga and meditation can activate the brain’s ability to make new synaptic connections (neuroplasticity) and can also reactivate old (healthy) pathways. Research conducted by The Trauma Centers in Masachusetts has shown that a 60 minute yoga class once a week in a 10 week session begins to reduce PTSD symptoms.


Yoga’s Sweetest Nectar: Yoga Nidra

Written by Ana Davis

My first memory of Yoga Nidra is as a child when I would a tag along with my mother to her local yoga class, and I’d find myself aimlessly wandering among the ‘sleeping’ bodies in a darkened room.  From my restless child’s perspective this seemingly boring practice didn’t mean a whole lot to me at first.  However, as my mother began to introduce her own adapted version of this practice into the family home, I began to understand the joys of guided relaxation.  As an adult, I now treasure this legacy of Yoga Nidra as a profoundly rejuvenating practice that supports me through stressful and overwhelming times.

To explain Yoga Nidra to the uninitiated is like trying to describe the taste of chocolate to someone who has never sampled its particular delights. It really is a practice that needs to be experienced in order to comprehend its many benefits.   Still, a deeper understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of this classical practice can enhance our experience when we are ready to taste its nectar.


Finding your Niche

By Ana Davis

Once you’ve completed your 200 or 500 hour training, you become in yoga-terms, a bit like the equivalent of a General Practitioner. You are qualified to teach a general class with students of mixed abilities, backgrounds, and, to a limited degree, special needs.

However, to become a ‘yoga specialist’ and to offer your own yoga therapy, pregnancy yoga, ‘mums n bubs’, or kids yoga classes, you’ll need to take further training. Many yoga teachers find that they embark upon a rewarding yoga path by taking the time to specialize and develop the skills to help them find their niche.

Byron Yoga Centre Certificate IV in Yoga Teaching Graduate, Ronai Stitt, originally enrolled in the Prenatal Yoga Teacher weekend with Byron Yoga Centre teacher, Ana Davis, in June 2010, for “personal growth” reasons.  On returning to her home turf of Fremantle, Perth, Ronai found that she was offered a number of prenatal classes.  What started out as an interest, has turned into her full-time occupation.


The path to healing: Mark Breadner’s Story

Written by Pete Jackson

With a yoga teaching career spanning more than 20 years, including a solid reputation for working one on one, Sydney based teacher, Mark Breadner, has been invited to Byron Bay to share his knowledge at the upcoming Yoga Therapy Teacher Training Course at Byron Yoga Centre in July.  
His long history of yoga and passion for sport has seen Mark  combine his two loves to work with some of Australia’s top athletes, applying the ancient tools of yoga therapy to help them realise their ‘hidden’ potential.  Mark himself is a keen surfer, and in July, when not sharing his passion for yoga therapy, he’ll no doubt be enjoying some of Byron Bay’s famous surfing spots.   


Yoga elder learns to walk again

Written by Brook McCarthy

A double-hip replacement in February, candidly recorded in her blog, and a willingness to examine her own situation makes Eve Grzybowski uniquely qualified to teach on the Byron Yoga Centre yoga therapy teacher training. Oh, and three decades of teaching experience.

For most, a single-hip replacement is an ordeal. But Eve states matter-of-factly, “Undergoing bi-lateral surgery means there’s just one surgeon, one general anesthetic, one rehab.”

She dismisses the suggestion that she is brave for having such radical double surgery, saying, “having my hips done sequentially – recovering from one lot of surgery and returning some months later for more – now that would be brave.”


Star’s Story: a journey through the darkness

Written by Star Rumble

Byron Yoga teacher Star Rumble has adapted her yoga practice to help her heal from a perplexing and distressing illness. Her story is an inspiring account of how her illness actually provided unexpected gifts, including introducing her to the path of yoga therapy.


Yoga for indigestion


Written by Ana Davis

During the festive season it’s almost inevitable that we end up indulging in too much rich Christmas fare. The price we may pay is feeling bloated, sluggish and gassy. You could reach for the antacids, or you can turn to yoga for a natural solution. This sequence of postures is designed to massage and tone the abdominal organs, facilitating digestion and balancing your metabolism, leaving you feeling lighter and ready to face the further digestive challenges of New Years’!


Feel-good Mamma: restorative yoga for mums-to-be

praspadwallchair.jpgWritten by Ana Davis

Pregnancy is the perfect time to indulge in some all important self-love. Whether it’s soaking in the tub, getting a massage, or practising restorative yoga, you’ll not only revive your energy and spirits, but you can also feel good about the fact that your baby-in-utero will be reaping the benefits!


Restoring your inner child

child-pose-supported-2.jpgWritten by Ana Davis

In the days when I used to juggle a demanding television production career with part-time yoga teaching, every Friday afternoon I would struggle through Sydney’s rush hour traffic to prepare to teach my beginners class. One time I arrived at the yoga studio with 30 minutes to spare before class began. I gratefully collapsed, exhausted onto a bolster into a supported child pose and promptly fell asleep - half an hour later I awoke, refreshed and ready to teach my class!


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