Hi, I'm Emmie
I’m a Sydney based yoga teacher and I can’t imagine doing anything else. But that wasn’t always the plan.
When I was eighteen I moved from a sleepy coastal town to Sydney, to study writing at University and to write and write and write. You can find my work in places like the Lifted Brow, Voiceworks, Elephant Journal and Award Winning Australian Writing. I produced poetry chapbooks, talked on panels at writers festivals and even started (what we believed to be) Sydney’s first poetry reading night (for people who hate poetry.) Now, I'm writing a newsletter.
Then yoga happened. As yoga tends to do, it swept me completely off my feet and here I am. I divide the types of yoga I teach into three categories.
Dynamic: Hatha / Vinyasa: if you want to be challenged. If you have an existing practice. If you want forearm planks and inversions AND always a proper savasana at the end.
Gentle: Gentle Hatha / Beginners: if you are new to yoga. If you are older. If you have lots of injuries or limited mobility. If going to a yoga class makes you anxious because what if everyone is a 21 year old ballet dancer in a crop top? If you want to go back to basics. These are slower paced classes, but not ‘fluffy’ – the fundamentals done right are not always easy.
Inward: Yin / Restorative: if you are an alive human person. If you live in a city. If you’ve ever been stressed. If you feel like you don’t have enough time. If you’re inflexible. If you want to know yourself on a deeper level. If you’re reading this.
Over the past few years I have been studying, practicing and teaching a lot of Restorative Yoga. Why? Because I think it is a genuinely magical practice. Because people often see it as as “too easy” or “lazy” and imagine their great grandmothers flopped over a pile of bolsters. Restorative Yoga is a lot of things but it’s not this. And its something everyone can benefit from – yogi or not.
If I’m not teaching or writing (or talking about teaching and writing ) I’m practicing Jivamukti yoga and thinking about my next coffee / trip to Japan / super cute ethically made outfit.
If you have questions about classes, workshops or where to eat the best vegan food in Tokyo, say hi.
What is Restorative Yoga?
A path to deep relaxation through supported yoga asana
The measurable benefits - reduction of blood pressure, insomnia, adrenal and general fatigue; improved immune function, digestion and fertility, are in and of themselves enough reason to add restorative yoga to your weekly routine. However, through my own practice and feedback a few main themes have come through.
Clarity: Many students report an increase in clarity at the end of the class / session or during the asanas themselves. Particularly in terms of creative work, ideas or insight into current life situations.
Intuition: Restorative yoga allows for a deep and compassionate connection with the body, breath, emotions and mind. Leading to an ongoing experience of heightened intuition and comfort in your own skin.
Beauty: It's no secret a dynamic asana practice will tone your body on the way to enlightenment (or love, wholeness – however you see it) and restorative has surface level benefits too.
Most skin issues take root in stress - acne, excema, roasecea, you name it. Managing stress is often the first step in solving skin issues, and while you learn to drop into the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system, the practice may reveal to you the exact cause of this stress.
During times of stress, cortisol is released into the bloodsteam, encouraging a process called glycation; an effect on the skin that damages collagen, hardening it, increasing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Deep relaxation is essential in keeping the skin soft, supple and smooth. Leaving class can feel like leaving a day spa - and you might look like it too!
HOW IT WORKS
Restorative Yoga is the practice of holding specific yoga asana (postures) for an extended period of time with the use of props like bolsters, blankets, blocks and straps to support, cushion and cradle the body. Low light, warmth and appropriate soundtracks are used to deepen the relaxation experience.
HOW IT FEELS
It all depends. On the asanas in the sequence, the day or week you've had and the regularity with which you practice. Often in the beginning the mind will wander or even panic in extended periods of stillness without stimulation. A lot may come up. You may feel emotional. You may fall asleep. Over time, the ability to rest in that space between wakefulness and sleep develops. You learn to effortlessly activate your inbuilt relaxation response. You feel held, supported, floating or nurtured. You feel the weight of anxiety, stress and muscular tension release.
The experience you have within the practice itself will vary. In many ways, Restorative Yoga is simply the art of getting out of your own way, giving permission for any response to unfold and allowing the natural intelligence of the body to take over and facilitate healing on a very deep level.