Emma is a graduate of several Byron Yoga Centre courses and has emma-james-300wcontributed to other student’s trainings through her participant in
our graduate program and through her own classes. She gained her 800 hour Certificate IV at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre in February 2011 and then went on to do the pre and post natal training with Bliss Baby the following year. Emma joined the graduate program in Bali in June 2012 and Swami Pujan’s trip to India in January 2013. She also co-ran an independent 10 day women’s retreat in Bali in September 2013. Emma is now planning to expand her knowledge of Yoga Therapy.

1. How did your yoga journey start?
When I was about 8 my aunt was widowed and started yoga classes. She talked about what she did in class and I started to walk about in full lotus on my knees! Then, when I was about 18 and discovered a yoga class nearby, I joined!

2. What has been a highlight of your yoga teacher training?
To discover myself again. To delve into my inner knowing and be humbled by how little I know. To be constantly excited by how much more there is to know and seeing my possibilities progress. Seeing my students improve in their flexibility, their confidence and their emotional wellbeing.

3. Who has been an inspiration to you on your path.
Well, many people, but I can say John Ogilvie, after he shared his story of overcoming arthritis, caused by his motorbike accident. I love Leslie Kaminoff. I always find his weekly video highly inspiring and went to a 2 day workshop in Melbourne earlier in 2015. My own yoga teacher Judi McVea, who has run her own studio for close to 40 years now as well as being a single woman who brought up 3 boys on her own (while running her studio).

4. How would you describe your approach to teaching yoga?
I am passionate about yoga and wellbeing, but I’m also a realist and a mature aged woman. I run my classes in a way that everyone feels comfortable, able to have confidence in their abilities and although my classes can be lighthearted, everyone knows that as I teach they are able to enter into their own space and receive whatever it is they need that day. My approach therefore is that yoga is available for everyone and in my classes you are in a space that is caring, safe and authentic!

5. What are the next steps for you on your yoga journey?
I’m in process of building a house with a yoga studio… very exciting. I am also in the beginning of a 12 month graduate certificate in yoga therapy, which started in July. I’m very excited to be doing this as I love to know what is happening in both the emotional and physical body. I feel yoga is only going to become more beneficial in world and be given a different view from how the majority presently view it. I say this as there is so much medical approach to illness and injury right now, but also a spreading awareness to the alternative approach.
The more us yogi’s understand about ways to heal ourselves and each other, the more benefit there will be for all beings and the earth.

6. In what sentence, what is you philosophy for life?
hmm….. I have struggled to find myself for many years and finally found myself and my philosophy through teaching yoga and by finding my sankalpa in yoga nidra during my Certificate IV. I have since used my words at the end of each class I teach as a blessing:

“May you find your inner wisdom
May you speak your truth
May your heart be filled with love and peace”.