Niki

Home » Archives for Niki

About Niki

Niki is a qualified yoga instructor and has practiced yoga for the last ten years. She is passionate about teaching yoga and aerial yoga to both adults and teens. Niki’s classes are a fusion of traditional yoga and aerial yoga with a focus on flexibility, balance, strength, mobility and breath work. Benefits include decompression of the spine and tight joints, core strengthening and muscular tension release. Niki teaches private and group adult classes and after-school teen classes. UprightCare is one of the only physiotherapy clinics using aerial yoga as an adjunct to treatment. Check out our aerial yoga web page for class timetable. Fun fact: Niki loves hanging upside down and doing the Bondi to Bronte walk. Qualifications: Certified Yoga Teacher and Kids Yoga Teacher, AntiGravity Instructor, 1st Class Honours in Industrial Design and First Aid, CPR, Asthma and Anaphylaxis Certificates.
4 09, 2016

4 benefits for stretching – for yogis and non-yogis!

By |2016-09-22T15:36:58+10:00September 4th, 2016|Physiotherapy Blog|0 Comments

The 4 main benefits of stretching:

1.  Stretching helps you keep your full range of movement

By stretching regularly your muscles stay flexible and limber, allowing you to have full range of movement through your joints.

2. Stretching regularly keeps your nerves happy

Stretching loosens the muscles which allows your nerves to glide more easily through them. This helps prevent and relieve symptoms such as sciatica. 

3. Stretching helps you connect to your body

A good stretch helps to calm you down and focus on how your body feels and what it needs.

4. Stretching makes you feel good and helps you relax

When you stretch you should do it gently for the sake of both your body and your mind. If you practice your sretching correctly it will have a calming effect on your body and on your mind – making it a perfect activity to do just before bedtime. Stretching before you go to sleep will help you to relax and help you sleep more easily.

Remember: You don’t need to be an expert yogi to stretch, everyone is at a different level and has different muscles that are a little tighter or more flexible. You don’t need to be able to turn yourself into a human pretzel or wrap your feet around your head – but maintaining full range of movement in your joints is a great way to keep flexible and mobile throughout your life. 

Ready to stretch? Try one of our gentle aerial yoga classes! 

5 07, 2016

Restorative aerial yoga

By |2016-07-05T14:27:48+10:00July 5th, 2016|Physiotherapy Blog|0 Comments

Since starting to work in a physio practice teaching yoga, my knowledge of the spine has grown vastly. I am so honoured to be a part of Yoga Australia’s quarterly publication Yoga Today where I have written an article about restorative aerial yoga and it’s positive effects for painful backs.

Check out my article on page 16. 

1 06, 2016

5 tips for mindfulness on the go

By |2016-06-07T22:31:27+10:00June 1st, 2016|Physiotherapy Blog|0 Comments

I am often asked what mindfulness is and what it means to be mindful. As a yoga teacher I always encourage my students to be mindful both in and out the studio. Practicing mindfulness helps you become more aware of your body and your mind, helps you become calm, relaxed and allows you to think more clearly.

So what is mindfulness? And what does it mean to be mindful? Mindfulness is bringing awareness to what you do and how you do it. By going a little slower and being aware of what you are doing you can think more clearly, make better decisions, feel calmer, have stronger relationships with others, and feel better in your own body.

I teach mindfulness to kids, teens and adults in yoga and aerial yoga and I find the best place to start is always the breath. By becoming aware of your breathing and how you breathe you can begin to control your breath and still the mind.

ONE: Lengthen your exhale

Need a moment of peace and quiet? You can practice this breathing exercise at your desk, in a supermarket aisle or at school drop off. Close your eyes (if possible!) and start to focus on your breath. Breath in and out through your nose. If you lose concentration, bring your mind back to your breath. When you are ready, start to extend and lengthen your exhale. Taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and then slow, long breaths all the way out your nose. Try focus on your breath for a couple of minutes and then notice how you are feeling. Perhaps a little more relaxed and self-aware?

TWO: Belly breaths

This is a great way to feel your breath and create breath and body awareness. Stand, sit or lie down and place your hands on your belly. Close your eyes and start to feel your breath coming in and out though your nose. Feel your belly rise and fall as you breathe deeply down into your tummy and slowly out through your nose.

THREE: Focus on your senses

This is a great one to practice when you are at home or out and about. You can do it after a run, when you are stuck in traffic or when you have a moment of quiet to yourself. I find it easiest when I am in nature – in a park, by the ocean or in my garden. Start by sitting, standing or lying down. Close your eyes and begin to breath in and out through your nose. The next step is to begin to focus on one of your senses, such as feeling the wind on your skin, smelling freshly cut grass or hearing waves crash onto the sand. By focussing on one sense at a time you are able to create awareness of your body, you are able to concentrate and focus on your surroundings and you are able to become mindful of how you are feeling.

FOUR: Body awareness

Do you exercise listening to music? Here is a mini challenge: next time you go for a run do it WITHOUT music. Try focus on what your body is doing and what your mind is doing as you run. Notice how your body moves in space, which muscles are be strengthened, stretched and lengthened and notice how it makes you feel. This is a great way to create connection with your body.

FIVE: Go tech-free and forget the time

I recently went on a meditation retreat where we were encouraged to turn our smartphones off for the weekend. I quickly realised how often I pick up and look at my smartphone to check the time, look at messages, check my social media accounts as well as my emails. It confirmed my what I have recently been thinking, just how much time I, and I am sure others, waste by procrastinating and using my smartphone without thinking. One of the most influential lessons this experience reminded me of, was how important it is to switch off technology and focus on the now.

Need a moment of peace and quiet? Need to focus on yourself and no one else?

Put down your phone, turn it off, and have some tech-free time in nature. Try go for a slow walk around the block to your local park, beach or nature reserve. Perhaps take off your shoes, smell the trees or the ocean and take a few deep breaths! Allow yourself the freedom and the time to just be you.

So what are you waiting for!? I dare you to try practice being mindful next time you are out and about.