My Journey Into Health and Wellness
through doing blood work for a medical check to acquire my work visa in New Zealand. This news threw my life off balance, especially being in a foreign country with no family support close by. With finding this out I became scared for my life and the internet escalated that feeling as all I read was the worst case scenario of being put on to dialysis for the rest of my life.
Things changed when a friend had given me a book called Eating Alive by Dr Jonn Masten N.D. This was my first insight on how food can affect your body. This book gave me the starting point and courage to change my food choices and get back into the gym and creating an active lifestyle.
From the encouragement of my trainer at the gym I accomplished two mini triathlons which was a great physical achievement for myself. This then led me to my starting point of my yoga journey.
Within that first year and a half I changed some eating habits, got active in the gym and in my life and got on a yoga mat. I had lost 18kg. After noticing the difference in how well my clothes fit, feeling the change in my physical body, there was a positive flow-on in my way of thinking, which led me to a career change to help others on their journey into a healthier lifestyle. From that moment on I have been on this amazing path not just to help others but myself, too!
This ultimately led me to a career change where I was able to help others on their journey into a healthier lifestyle.
How Yoga Came Into My Life
My Yoga Training
While I was searching for a change in career path that would also impact a lifestyle change, I came across a one year yoga teacher training course that said, “If you’re going to talk the talk you should be able to do the walk.” This meant getting on the mat five to six days a week for 12 months. This caught my attention and I was in. So, I moved to Auckland to complete a one year Ashtanga yoga teacher training course at the Auckland Yoga Academy. This comprised of 900 hours of rich, intensive training in a classroom environment with real students, culminating in a YA200 Certificate with the Yoga Alliance USA (www.yogaalliance.org). Along with that I had also done Pregnancy Yoga, Hatha Yoga (Iyengar base) teacher training and have grown an ongoing passion to learn different styles like yin and flow, with my strong passion for ongoing learning with a love of sharing my knowledge and experience of what I learned on and off the mat with my students. My views about yoga is working with the style of yoga that suits your body (bio-individuality). Yoga has shown me by getting on the mat either for meditation or an asana (yoga) practice, it has helped me deepen myself compassion, love and openness to life and all that it brings to enrich a balanced lifestyle that suits my (bio-individuality).
My Health Coaching Training
After being on the yoga path for four years I started looking for something to help me and my students in a different form yet complemented my yoga journey. When I was on the path of research I came across the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) course. After speaking to a few people I found online who had done the course again I was convinced this course was for me.
I graduated from the IIN where I learned innovative coaching methods, practical lifestyle management techniques and over 100 dietary theories – Ayurveda, gluten free, Paleo, raw, vegan, macrobiotics, and everything in between.
My education has equipped me with extensive, cutting-edge knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching and prevention. Drawing on my expertise, I work with my clients to help make lifestyle changes and choose health-promoting ways that produce real and lasting results. You will develop a deeper understanding of food and lifestyle choices that work best for you, improving your energy, balance, health and happiness.
Each session will leave you feeling inspired and motivated. We will talk about things beyond food, seeking to bring balance to important elements of your life such as love and relationships as well as career and money. I will personally and carefully guide you to make simple, effective changes that transform your life into your bio-individual self.
I studied with the world’s top health and wellness experts including:
- Joshua Roseenthal, MScEd, founder and director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
- Deepak Chopra, MD leader in the field of mind-body medicine
- David Katz, MD, MPH, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center
- Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, chair of nutrition at Harvard University
- Andrew Weil, MD, director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
- Gabrielle Bernstein, bestselling author and life coach
- Susan Blum, MD, MPH, assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine
- Mark Hyman, MD, founder of The UltraWellness Center
- Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating
- David Wolfe, raw food leader and nutrition expert
- Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, professor at New York University’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health
- Mark Bittman, food writer for The New York Times and bestselling author
- Joel Fuhrman, MD, family physician and leading expert on nutritional healing
What Was Next
My Journey Into Personal Training (PT)
With teaching yoga since 2012 and offering my Health Coaching services since 2016 I was in the search for the next layer to my pillars. I had learned through my own injuries and working with a physio how I was not engaging my core or my glutes. This was an eye opener as I started to implement some other form of exercise along with yoga where I started to teach some yogalates classes at a gym. From here this is were I started to talk to the Gym manager about Personal Training courses. This sat with me for about year, thinking and talking about it, well processing it all in my head.
I have always been an active person since I was young. I competed in figure skating from the age of 4 to 14 years old. I started with T-ball into softball until the age of 16 years old. The first time my parents put me on skis for some downhill skiing was at the age of 4. I was a junior ski patrol for two years from the age of 15-17 and when I was 17 I had taken a ski instructor course and I was a ski instructor for a few seasons. In adulthood I created some fitness goals like run a half marathon, 10km run and in my mid thirties I had done two mini triathlons. For fun and something I do with my partner is mountain biking and I have dabbled in a little indoor rock climbing. By the age of 33 I had started my journey with yoga doing my teacher training.
When I learned of my kidney disease is when my journey started into health and wellness. It started with yoga and then into health coaching and this is where I had learned there are layers with health and wellness and the next layer was the fitness part. With creating strength within my muscles, which a lot of people think – and even I thought this at first – that muscle strength is just about bulking. As a female, I was not looking to bulk up but there are different layers to it than creating strength which is not BULKING up. There is building strength for other parts of the body to help daily function like the muscles from the deep inner core, muscles like your TVA muscle to help support the lower back to the little muscles that create the rotator cuff.
From personal experiences I had learned this has been a vital part to support my yoga practice, but this also builds the strength we need in our daily life, for example, like picking up a box or your child, to do chores around the house. The other part of that fitness which most of us struggle with is cardiovascular. The cardiovascular fitness has been an eye opener on how this has helped control the water retention that I would get from kidney disease.
As I enjoy growing and learning, this is where my next step would fall into as a Personal Trainer. I have always had a passion for helping people in general and this became a no brainier to add another layer – not just for myself but to help those who are seeking help. It felt like a natural fit with yoga and health coaching.
Through my research via internet and speaking to many people in the industry, I undertook an intense six-month personal trainer course with NZIHF. I finished this course in August 2019, but the learning doesn’t stop there as, like anything in life, I will keep growing and learning through my own experience and with continuing education and courses.