• Nicky waters

    Yoga and Massage Therapy

    I am a certified yoga teacher (300 hours in Ashtanga yoga) and a certified Thai and Ayurvedic Massage and Reflexology Therapist.

     

    I found my calling as a teacher and therapist while living in India, where I spent four years teaching and studying yoga and massage.

     

    My sessions

     

    I take lead from actively listening to my clients to understand their needs, interests and boundaries. I aim to adapt sessions that feel safe and enriching  and to support clients to feel relaxed and ready to explore both yoga and massage with playful curiosity.

     

     

     

  • My experience

    Training

    • 300hr Teacher Training in Ashtanga Yoga from Indea Yoga, Mysore, with Yoga Alliance accredited certification (2018)
    • Yoga Teacher Training in Iyengar Yoga from Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharamshala (2017)
    • Level 1 and 2 training in Thai Massage from Chiang Mai School of Massage (2017)​

    Where I teach...

     

    I am based in Newcastle, UK, and teach in-centre yoga classes at Shanti Bee studio in Byker.


    I teach online classes on Instagram from Jogashala Virtual Studio (@jogashala), as well as leading Zoom classes for private clients. 


    I work in schools and currently teach primary school children in Heaton.


    I also volunteer my services as a Yoga teacher to asylum seekers and other  marginalised groups. 

     


  • Private classes

    Group Session: Wednesdays and Fridays 5.30- 6.30pm

    They range from pacey and energising to slow and controlled, and support physical awareness and mindfulness. Classes incorporate yoga postures, alignment techniques and mobility training exercises, alongside breathing techniques and relaxation.

     

    You don't need to have practiced yoga before. I can adapt a practice which is suited to your ability level.

     

    Free consultation

     

    Before your class you can book a free consultation with me. This is an opportunity for you to explain any conditions, physical or mental, which you'd like me to be aware of. You can also state any goals you would like to work towards, or the type of class, energising or relaxing, that you'd most prefer.

     

    Contact me about prices and packages.

     
  • Yoga for schools

    I offer classes to children in primary and secondary education.
     
    I have seen that yoga can be an empowering and fun practice for school children. It supports children to relax and stay calm. It can increase physical confidence. It can deepen children’s understanding of how to manage emotions and how to make positive choices about their behaviour.
     
    Classes can be adapted according to the needs and age group of the children.
     
     
  • Corporate yoga

    I offer yoga classes and massage treatments in the form of Wellness Days to businesses.

     

    Building a sense of care within any business can help increase staff engagement and morale. Wellness Days can add value to your business while addressing workplace challenges such as stress, fatigue and shoulder, neck and back pain.

     

    Contact me about prices and packages.

  • Massage therapy

    Thai Massage

     

    Thai massage is practiced on the floor and involves firm pressure and assisted stretching. Thai massage therapists use all parts of their body to apply pressure; thumbs, elbows and knees. It can help relieve headaches, reduce stress, provide lymphatic drainage, and boost energy levels.

     

    Indian Head Massage

     

    Indian head massage is energising and uplifting. Vigorous strokes around the area of the head and neck to work to relieve headache, overcome fatigue and improve skin condition and blood flow in these areas. Medicated oils are often used to increase the nourishing effects of the massage, though this is optional.

     

    Reflexology

     

    In foot reflexology, pressure directed to specific points around the feet helps to improve organ function, boost blood flow and support deep relaxation.

     

    Contact me about prices and packages.

     
  • Contact

    Get in touch for information about pricing and packages, along with any other questions you might have.

  • BLOG

    Projects and Reflections 

    Yoga for Asylum Seekers


    I have been reflecting over the past few months about the accessibility of yoga in the UK and who might be without access who could most benefit from it.  


    I got in touch with Action Foundation, a charity who work with aslyum seekers upon arrival in the UK supporting them with an English language school and housing project.

     

    I asked if they would be interested in Yoga classes as a service which I could offer voluntarily to their clients seeking asylum. They responded enthusiastically and told me about a group of men, 160 in number, who are staying between two hotels on the outskirts of the city


    They put me in touch with MEARS am organisation who provide accommodation and basic services for asylum seekers. They are working closely with these men. 



    The men have been at the hotel for the past three months and are being held there according to restrictions put in place due Covid-19. They are not allowed to leave the site. They have meals provided for them but have no financial support. At the hotel there are no activities for recreation. It sounds as though there is a real need for light relief in what I imagine must feel like a very claustrophobic and oppressive environment.


    After a recent visit to the hotel to see the space where I will be teaching I am due to attend a focus group in which I will meet with some of the men to describe the classes more fully.


    ...


    Subsequent to this I had been in touch with Tools for Inner Peace a group of yoga teachers and psychotherapists, former frontline professionals, social workers, and media hands who are working to share yoga with asylum seekers and refugees. 


    I had asked them for any resources they might be able to share about Trauma Sensitive Yoga. To my surprise they responded immediately with an offer to fund a purchase of yoga mats and props to use during the class. 


    I am really motivated by the support I have received to do this work. It makes me realise that there is support to make this kind of project happen if the initiative is there.


    I am committed to making the classes as accessible as they can be so the participants might experience some of the benefits I know Yoga can offer. I have started course in Trauma Senstitive Yoga, which I will talk about in my next post. 


    Trauma Sensitive Yoga

    Studying Trauma Sensitive Yoga has been key in developing an approach which is suitable for and sensitive to the men I will be working with. I do not know the lived experience of these men, or what journey they have taken to arrive here in Newcastle. There’s every likelihood that what feels comfortable and safe in my body might feel unfamiliar and unsafe in theirs.
    I have been studying with Sally Roach, who specializes in Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TSY) to learn more about this field of study.

    In her classes I have understood how trauma is not the stressful event itself, but how the stressful event  affects and is perpetuated through the nervous system. Whether it is through living in stressful conditions, experiencing a shock, accident or natural disaster, or from an experience in childhood, sustained periods of stress can cause the nervous system to get ‘stuck'. 

    This can either manifest in a sympathetic response- known as ‘fight or flight'- recognized by excessive tension in the muscles and joints and increased heart rate, or parasympathetic response- know as ‘freeze'- recognized by an inability to take action and a decrease in heart rate. In both cases social connection suffers and maintaining a sense of trust, connection and compassion can be affected. It can become hard to stay present in the body and connected to its sensations. 

    Yoga can help to anchor oneself in the body, so that the ruminating activity of the mind, characteristic of trauma response is lessened, and a sense of familiarity and eventual safety can be felt.

    One element of the TSY is orienting the body in space, which is often hard to do in a state of hyper arousal. Here the senses of sight, touch and hearing are used to recognize ones surroundings and judge whether they are safe. Another tool is grounding in which attention is brought to the hands and feet and sometime gentle massage is given to start to understand how the body responds to light stimulus. 

    Understanding ones resources is also key. A resource could be an object, person, place or activity which brings a sense of safety. It can be real or imagined the important thing is that it brings about as feeling of safety in the body. 

    The way instruction is given in in TSY is quite specific. To create a sense of trust and safety it is important the instruction is given as suggestion or invitation, with room for alternative ways of engaging. The individual practicing should be guided into building curiosity as to how the body is responding to any given activity and to judge for themselves whether it feels manageable or too much, giving them the agency to adapt the activity accordingly. 

    This study has felt really enriching. It helps me a lot when thinking about how to structure and guide the classes I teach to understand how differently we all experience our bodies and safety, depending on life events. I am really fascinated by this field of study and continue to explore with curiosity.

    You can find out more about Sally's work here:

    https://www.yogaisforlife.co.uk/about-sally/