Towards the end of 2009 my beloved husband Ashley and I moved to a modest rental home in Jan Juc on the Surf Coast of Victoria with our 2 year old son. With the intention to bring calm, peace, vitality, good health and wholesome wellness into our lives we sought the clean, coastal, quiet, bush environment that Jan Juc offers. As we settled into this incredible place on earth I felt an inner urge to pursue peace, wellness, physical strength and stability on a deeper level and therefore began to open and clear my energy channels through meditation, running, surfing, walking and mindfulness that allowed my chakras to cleanse and clear in light of new beginnings.
Since a very young child I have felt a strong connection to Mother Earth and have been blessed to receive subtle and powerful Devine energies through prayer, meditation, and nature. I have always felt connected, aware, open and devoted to God raised in a loving home nurturing a faith sprung from Christianity. I grew up thriving in nature’s outdoor elements and became consciously present with God and Mother Earth. I have felt and continue to experience a strong desire to explore universal energy through dance, yoga, music, and prayer. With a love of outdoors and Mother Earth and her elements, at age 17 I developed an intense interest in connecting energy systems and the ‘Science of Life’ whereby I gained a degree in Agricultural Science. I received a scholarship to travel across South Australia and learn the role of an agronomist, which sought to primarily assist farmers in the field of broad acre cropping, viticulture, farm management, animal health and rural finance.
Under confronting and challenging circumstances I continued to follow my inner voice which channelled me to leave my role as a worker in the rural Agricultural sector, flee my maternal family and home town and undertake a solo journey in pursuit of a deeper, more enlightened and liberated self. On this journey I fled to the Surf Coast consciously letting go of most material possessions, disconnected with family and friends, purged myself of attachments, challenged Western conventional living, experienced pain, hardship, loss and sorrow but with this experience I grew in grand proportions. I experienced metamorphic personal growth in light of discovering and learning to love the true, unburdened, authentic inner self. At this point I aimed to fulfil a desire to commence a career in teaching children.
Becoming a Teacher
During this time of emotional unravelling, healing, solitude, contemplation and deep forgiveness I commenced my teaching studies. Whilst studying, I received more channelled insight, met my now loving husband Ashley and commenced working with the underprivileged and disadvantaged to become a teacher of students with special needs. I continue to teach in this field and am currently completing a Masters in Education (Special Needs) as my core work is bringing rich, deep, life-long, inspiring, peaceful, engaging and meaningful learning experiences to children less able and a lot less fortunate.
My husband Ashley and I both continue to work in a school for students with special needs. Our student demographic is largely very-low to low socio-economic backgrounds, we have a large proportion of students living on the poverty line, many have experienced displacement and are families are often dependent on welfare systems. A lot of the student population experience intense emotional and social anxieties, low self esteem and poor motor co-ordination as a result of their disabilities. There are a large proportion of students diagnosed with Autism, ADHD/ADD, Sensory and Motor deficits, and disturbing emotional disorders.
In July 2007 we birthed our first son, Jack, via emergency caesarean in traumatic and enduring circumstances but blessed with his good health. During this time we experienced a lot of fear, emotional distress and lingering unstable mental health but remained committed to returning to a state of wholesome wellness. We continued to pray, meditate, relax, eat well, exercise and celebrate life in true mindfulness.
Coupled with our own family challenges on a mental, emotional and physical level I felt an inner urge to unravel and explore how I could reach and teach my children and the school children a lot less fortunate. I sought to teach compassion, peace, happiness, love, emotional understanding, healing, positive state of mind, and wellness through physical activity, mindfulness, sensory awareness and immersion with the environment and the universe.
So began my ever evolving Yoga Journey!
Who is your favourite Yoga Teacher and how did they inspire me?
My Inspiration: In 2009 I discovered a pamphlet in a local cafe about Yoga classes in Jan Juc and commenced a six week training course in Ashtanga Yoga with Sally Louise at Sanctuary Yoga Studio. During this time I absorbed great energy and continued to learn how the physical body, the mind and the breath are all interconnected. I began to practice the poses and stretch at home. I also introduced these and regular meditations into my teenage Dance, homeroom and literacy classes at school; we were all learning awareness, strength, mindfulness and flow together. We were sharing and deepening our connection to the self and the universe by consciously improving our sense of self and ultimate wellbeing.
With regular twice weekly practice in Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga, we conceived our second child, Jedd and we were able to continue practicing Yoga right up until we birthed him in a calm, natural, safe, un-intervened, totally beautiful, blissful experience in January 2011.
I returned to Yoga class when Jedd was 6weeks old after allowing my body to heal and adjust to feeding, caring, nurturing a newborn baby and supporting my family through this transition. As each class concluded I became more drawn to the Yoga experience and continued to see profound benefits in not only my own emotional, physical and mental health but my family too. This conscious and practiced state flowed through in my parenting methods, my relationship with my family and with the students I have returned to teaching at school. We seem to collectively experience improved health, greater enthusiasm, deeper connections of love, faith and trust in each other, and experience more positive, vibrant energy, carried with a deep sense of calm and composure.
I felt a deeper, stronger more concentrated connection to Sally, my teacher, and thus the students, my family, my children, the earth and environment seemed all the more inter-related. I continued to take some individual sessions with Sally to advance my personal growth to clear and heal some past emotions. Our connection became one of teacher and student modelled around an unspoken commitment of trust, love, compassion and guidance expressed beautifully in Yoga practice.
Sally Louise is a remarkable woman, teacher, mother, friend, confidant, mentor and guide. Her teaching is of love, stimulating positive energy, pure devotion and commitment to Yoga in all its dynamic forms. Sally has evoked deep personal growth for me and lead me to the continued spiritual, physical, mental and emotional journey manifesting as deep happiness, gratitude and love for all of life and its wonderful experiences.
I feel a deep sense of gratitude for Sally’s work. She conducts her classes with eloquence, grace, strength, and pure devotion. She holds an inner beauty, great wisdom and knowledge that resonates and permeates her students during her teaching. She continues to study, share and intrigue me with her own journey. With her direction, faith and guidance I completed my Rainbow Kids Yoga Training with Gopala Amir Yaffe and am now teaching Yoga to kids at Sancturay Yoga Studio and conduct a weekly class of Yoga at school with special needs children.
Rainbow Kids Yoga completely transformed my life and embedded its philosophies and teachings deep within my core. This program was the most delightfully intense, engaging, uplifting, deeply transforming personal and professional development I have ever experienced.
The more we practice, the more we learn, the more we grow in complete happiness to experience fulfilling, deep love and universal peace. My practice has become a lifestyle choice; a state of being, growing and evolving that promotes health, wellness, happiness, love, connection and peace. I am more deeply connected to universal energies and feel intensely motivated to bring the practice of Yoga to children; especially the underprivileged and less able kids with special needs.
Sally Louise has inspired and continues to gently encourage a wonderful richness and depth in my Yoga journey, and recently encouraged me to undertake training in Qi Goong. Both elements continue to open, extend, and strengthen my whole self to become centred, guided, intentional, deeply loving, forever compassionate and more uniquely authentic in my life choices, especially as a role of mother, wife and teacher. As a daily, loving experience I continue to pray, meditate, practice Yoga and Qi Goong as a conscious healthy living being.
My learning and development with Sally Louise that was deepened by the Rainbow Kids Yoga training allowed me to discover my purposeful teaching method, Yoga! I weave Yoga poses and philosophies, music, dance, games, relaxation, meditation, Qi Goong, storytelling, reading, and sharing into classes with children to cater to all learning styles and all abilities with respect to socio-cultural class and backgrounds.
Yandara Yoga Institute stood out in my preliminary research. As I explored the website the Yandara philosophies, teachings and teaching team resonated most deeply with me. I also considered the timing and location of which both are important factors when considering overseas travel with my husband and two sons. We are intensely drawn to the ocean and nature, I also feel invigorated and energised by the sun as I spent many years growing up in a rural desert location, and so all elements of Baja are very inviting to me. If voted as a successful applicant I would intend to take the 16 day training from December 28 to Jan 12, 2012.
With sincere and loving intention my devotion is to children, babies, families and learning communities, with particular interest in working with the underprivileged. Recently I received affirming and great insight after a powerful meditation that spoke to me in volumes. I must continue and advance my teaching and learning by bringing the philosophies and practice of Yoga to students with special needs. I aim to continue to weave my prior and current teaching knowledge into my classes that foster and promote unity, happiness, fun, personal growth, emotional understanding and healing, resilience, strength, love and light into the traditional mainstream curriculum.
I embrace and seek challenges like others seek air to breathe. I will always pursue teaching and learning that is tailored to fit individual student needs and incorporates the complete development of the self emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. As a mother, wife, teacher and life- long learner my commitment and devotion is to supporting, nurturing, giving, teaching and learning from and with children, families and communities across the globe. We aim to travel, explore and discover cultural difference and practices worldwide in pursuit of globally educating ourselves and our children.
My personal mission is to continue to bring the practice of Yoga into the lives of children, babies, mothers, fathers, families, partners, schools, learning centres, and communities to ultimately witness the current and forthcoming generations grow with love, peace, and trust with Yoga practice embedded deeply within their hearts. I have a special interest in pursuing pre-natal, birthing and post natal Yoga for mums, dads, babies, families and communities of the disadvantaged and underprivileged.
I want to co-create, co-exist, see, feel, live and be the change I want to see in the world!
2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay
By: Rebecca Collins
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