Namaste! Welcome to the YogaSphere website.
YogaSphere (originally “Enageist Yoga”) was established in Port Stephens in 2004 after I moved from Sydney to Port Stephens a year or so after the birth of my son. I am proud to say that YogaSphere is the longest running, dedicated yoga business in The Bay and I am now one of Australia’s most experienced yoga teachers, having committed to yoga study and practice in 1997. Once upon a time, classes were taught from local community halls in the area, but a few years ago, we fitted out a gorgeous home studio, located close to the beach and surrounding bushland at 18 Melaleuca Drive, One Mile. It has a beautiful and peaceful outlook – but yet is only around six minutes drive from Nelson Bay, Salamander Shopping Centre and Anna Bay. Scroll down for testimonials.
What’s Different about YogaSphere?
For as long as I can remember I have been interested in movement, health, mindfulness, fitness and nutrition. I used to be a regular at the gym, walked or ran everywhere and dabbled in yoga classes, latin dancing and swimming for fun and extra fitness. When I met my teacher, long-term yogi, (scientist and physiotherapist,) Simon Borg-Olivier, in 1997, I quickly became committed to the practice. The benefits I experienced – physically and mentally – were tenfold compared to a a life of gym visits, weight-lifting and pounding pavements. Very quickly, I became fitter, stronger and more flexible. I was calmer, happier and sleeping well for the first time ever. (*see my personal bio)
YogaSphere Vinyasa Sequences Create Somatic Intelligence & Awareness..
Essentially, what we learn and practise is “movement therapy“. Vinyasa means “flow” or “fluidity” or even simply “dynamic exercise”. The fact is, that even if we are relatively still, there there is always physiological activity happening within our body. But how aware of it are we? This is what we aim to build on with our sequence practises.
For example, even if we are holding a posture in relative stillness, there are – or ought to be – subtle applications of “resistance” or “mudra” or “bandha” . Sometimes we just observe – whether on physical sensation, emotional reaction or even simply a “drishti” point (a particular spot for the eyes to gaze upon). Subtle concentration on particular body areas will build heat and improve blood flow.
It’s fair to say that many of us have lost our ability to connect with subtle physical sensation. We just don’t know our own body and have no idea how to tune in on a deeper level. Sometimes we end up sick or in lots of pain seemingly out of the blue. Chances are though, that perhaps we’ve simply ignored the many subtle signals we’ve received and/ or we’ve missed them completely. Generally speaking, movement patterns and somatic awareness have been completely challenged due to lifestyle, stress and tension and many of us are paying the price.
YogaSphere sequences take the limitations and structural issues of most 21st century bodies into account by incorporating proper warm-up techniques and offering modifications where necessary. All students are encouraged to let go of that natural ingrained desire to compete – with themselves or others. Our sequences and warm-ups are developed not only to include principles of modern-day exercise physiology, but to counter habitual postural and movement patterning. Participants are continually reminded to work at their chosen level, be it restful, dynamic or somewhere in between.
The invitation is always to inquire within; to engage the “feeling” brain (Enteric NS). This way, we find ourselves flowing intelligently through a sequence in a way that will nurture and rest the mind while strengthening the body. This is a much more complete and integrated way of moving. It increases range of movement and flexibility without over-stretching. The benefits of this become apparent immediately. Vinyasa-Krama translates to mean something along the lines of “intelligent steps towards a goal”.
It’s a Process, Stick With It…
Regular yoga practise becomes so much more than exercise over time. Yoga becomes an anchor during many of life’s trying situations. It is a system of mindfulness which helps us become much better at managing stress, anxiety and fear. It helps keep us fitter, stronger and healthier than before. There is ample evidence of this these days. Yogis are trimmer, less prone to diabetes and other age-onset illnesses such as high blood pressure and osteoporosis. They tend to have DHEA levels (an age-hormone) of people around 12 years younger, are supple, strong and have an increased range of movement. And, as if that wasn’t enough, yogis seem to live longer and enjoy much better overall mind and body health and fitness as they age than the general population. If you enjoy sports and/or dancing, guaranteed you will enjoy these things for a lot longer if you add a bit of yoga as well. If you are in your twenties, thirties, forties or fifties and in pain while you work at your desk or work generally (and even if you are not in pain…yet…), you will discover that all things are far more easily managed once you have yoga in your life.
Yogasphere is based in Port Stephens, close to Nelson Bay. Our gorgeous dedicated yoga space is located at 18 Melaleuca Drive, One Mile.
Private or Specialist Sessions – by Appointment
Nikki Shilling has an Advanced Diploma Health (Yoga) and has studied yoga and movement therapy, Ayurvedic lifestyle processes, Anatomy and Physiology, Nutrition and Holistic counselling.
Private sessions, yoga and Ayurvedic lifestyle programs, Yoga & Movement Therapy, Somatic Awareness, Life Coaching, counselling and general tuition are available by appointment. One-on-one sessions can be an extremely useful tool for the beginning student and/or for those suffering from particular injuries, conditions or simply feeling a little stuck.
Learning how to manage your health is empowering and saves you $$ in the long run!
Some Feedback & Testimony…
“It’s incredible – your cues are amazing! When I listen, it makes so much sense. I think, wow, when I do it that way it feels so much easier …! Why have I not being doing that?”
“Sometimes, in all honesty I’m not really sure I understand everything, but I totally trust you because when I listen and I do something in the way you are explaining, it always feels right. It makes sense then because it works and my body feels so much better..” Mary
“I just wanted to thank you for my year of yoga. We arrived here not knowing anyone. Finding you was a true blessing for me. In the course of the year I learned; to stick my stomach out (the first person to tell me that in my 41 years); to focus on the present, as I do not remember the past as well as I think, nor can I predict the future as accurately as I imagine and, best of all, that even if I cannot totally empty my mind of thoughts, I can still meditate. Thank you for all of this as well as your humour and warmth“. Madeline.
“I really did enjoy your yoga class…it was probably the best class I have ever attended..” Krystal.
“Nikki, I would like to thank you! I am absolutely loving having yoga as part of my life now. I have noticed such a difference in my stress levels, my way of thinking and my sleeping. I really enjoy the classes and would like to thank you for being such a great inspiration…I was diagnosed with post natal depression and really did not want to take medication. It wasn’t the answer for me. When I found out about your yoga it felt like it was meant to be, a divine intervention! So thank you for helping me and teaching me to relax, breathe differently and even change my attitude towards exercise and well-being..” Kellie
“All in all I want to say thanks for all the yoga classes. I’m so glad that mum convinced me to start just over a year ago now. I have built up so much strength physically and mental. I always look forward to class. Thanks for everything. You are an amazing instructor” CR
“I needed to change my training mindset. I played competitive basketball, and even now, when I go to the gym, it’s all about competing and beating the guy next to you! Nikki introduced me to the idea of balance – something between “ effort and surrender”. I like that analogy, it resonates with me. The yoga class is peaceful, neutral and encouraging“. BR
“Yoga has helped me manage and prevent lower back injury. It also keeps me flexible, fit and, importantly – for me – keeps me surfing. It is also a great de-stressor. Nikki has a great sense of humour which makes it fun to participate” Ian