Welcome to the newest series from Hot Tea, Travel, and Thyme: The Interview Series.
Today’s interview is with Nick Flatman, founder of Macarthur Yoga and Macarthur Yoga Therapy.
What first attracted you to yoga, and what led you to make the decision to become a yoga instructor?
I first practiced yoga after experiencing a lower back injury. It was suggested by my doctor. I have now been practicing yoga for 23 years and teaching for 11 of those years. As the years pass my practice and interest has deepened considerably. It has become a life journey. To become an instructor I completed a Diploma in Yoga Instruction and Tuition from the International Yoga Teachers Association (IYTA).
Tell me more about Macarthur Yoga.
Macarthur Yoga was established in 2004 and it caters for beginners as well as more advanced or experienced clients. My focus is on adapting every class to suit the individual, and we work on breathing techniques, core strength, and back care, as well as relaxation.
Classes are held at Campbelltown Arts Centre, in Campbelltown, NSW. I have also been the workshop tutor for Campbelltown Council for the past six years. A private home studio in Elderslie (near Camden, NSW) will be ready in early March of 2015.
How has yoga helped your body recover from injury?
I had five herniated discs in my lower lumbar spine last year. It was an old injury that flared up again. It happened mid-year and I had to have a week off work. I used yoga for recovery. The usual recovery time is six months, but using my yoga practice I was better within six weeks. I found this amazing, as did my osteopath!
I am actually pleased that I experienced the injury once again. Not only did it reconnect me back to my yoga study and practice, it now allows me to relate to my clients who have back pain, injury, and discomfort.
Yoga definitely helped me with the shoulder reconstruction surgery I had to go through as well.
What sort of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying yoga for the very first time?
Persistence is the key when it comes to enjoying the many wonderful benefits yoga has to offer. And remember to consult your doctor before commencing physical activity of any kind.
What does the present and future hold for your yoga business?
I’ve just graduated from a Post Graduate Advanced Diploma in Yoga Therapy. Further study has helped me create and develop a holistic Hatha yoga style that promotes strength, health, and vitality. Becoming a yoga therapist allows my clients’ specific needs to be met and individualized programs to be created.
This year I’m going to pursue yoga full-time and I will continue to develop programs for teacher training, especially in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
I have been collecting data as part of my own ‘action research’ whilst working for Autism Spectrum Australia. I have been developing a program specific for students with autism and have been using it as a tool and strategy to improve social, communication, and behavioral outcomes. The plan is to instruct teachers and to implement these programs into the school curriculum for all students.
Exciting times ahead!
Thank you so much for sharing your yoga journey here with us at HTT&T!
For more information please contact Nick at:
Email: [email protected]
~ End Note: The Road to Recovery with Hot Tea, Travel, and Thyme ~
The very first yoga class I attended was back in 2002. I clearly remember my teacher advising that rest was as important as exercise, because I had a lot of pain at the time from years as a classical musician and also from long periods of sitting in front of a computer studying and writing. I have now been attending yoga classes (and practicing at home or in private lessons) for about thirteen years, and I know for sure it is something I will be doing for the rest of my life.
Some say their favourite thing about yoga is the relaxation and mental health benefits; for others it is the physical challenges and feel-good stretching that keeps them coming back for more. It is the combination of all these things that makes yoga an excellent form of (both) exercise and relaxation. It is incredible for both physical and emotional health and wellbeing, and I highly recommend giving it a try if you haven’t already! If I don’t attend a class at least once a week I really feel it. With a lifestyle that involves a lot of travel, I find if I can participate in some yoga stretching even just for a few minutes in a hotel room or at the park it really enhances my overall wellbeing and decreases my general pain levels.
Yoga has become a huge part of my everyday life and has helped me manage conditions such as fibromyalgia, scoliosis, and repetitive strain injury (RSI). It also played a huge role in helping with my recovery from c-section surgery in 2013. It is gentle enough that I could very slowly start to incorporate some simple stretches into a daily practice (but as always please see your doctor regarding your individual circumstances, especially if you have had surgery or have an injury).
Yoga is the type of exercise that can be taken at any level of fitness and at any stage of life. It is great for increasing strength, flexibility, overall body awareness, and for reducing stress. I am thankful every day that yoga is a part of my life.
Stay tuned for upcoming featured topics in The Interview Series, including music, psychology, travel, and more.
Thanks for stopping by,