Ana Davis - Bliss Baby Blog

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in yoga for women

Ana Davis 2017 1 LROur Bliss Baby Yoga Assistant and Social Networking Manager, Sophie Duncan, asked our Director Ana some incisive questions to uncover some things about Ana you may not have known. 

What first attracted you to yoga?

Ana:
My mother used to do yoga when I was a child and I’d tag along to classes and retreats with her. So in some shape or form, I’ve been doing yoga since I was a child. My mother used to take us through Yoga Nidra practices to help relax us. So I Iearned about the power of relaxation from a young age. 


When I was in high school, I studied dancing, so I was naturally attracted to moving and stretching my body. I used to practise some yoga poses from a book when I was a teenager. And, then at university, I started going regularly to yoga classes that were offered at the student gym. That’s when I was hooked! I loved how yoga helped bring me into my body and out of my head. It was a great complement to the academic path I was on.

So how did you then get interested in yoga for women and then end up training women to teach in this specialized area?

Ana:
Ah! Good question! Even from my university days I’ve always been interested in feminist issues. I did my Honours Degree in Japanese, and my thesis topic was: “Images of Women in the Japanese Media” – a cross-cultural, feminist analysis! I went on to score a PhD scholarship which involved studying female Japanese authors. As part of my background research I took some (Western) feminist-sociology subjects at university and my eyes were opened to the history of feminism. Even back then, the feminine-sensibility piqued my interest! 


As you can see, as part of this journey with women’s issues there was an intersect with Japanese history and culture. So, when I look back, it’s really no surprise that about 11 years after I’d left university to explore ‘the real world’, I found myself in Japan teaching prenatal yoga and natural birth to Japanese women! I loved working with the Japanese women (still do!); there is something so sweet and feminine yet strong about them. And I love to share ‘feminist’ ideas around empowered, woman-based birth, and honouring menstruation and women’s cycles, with them. 

Ana Davis 2017 3 LRTracking back to when I was pregnant with my son (about 4 years before I found myself in Japan offering Bliss Baby Yoga trainings), was when I was first captured by the idea of adapting yoga for women’s specific needs. The reading and self-practice I did during my pregnancy and in the early postnatal period blew my mind about the potential of yoga to support a woman physically, emotionally and spiritually during these key, uniquely feminine life transitions.  From there I offered prenatal and postnatal yoga classes at my studio in Sydney at the time and the classes became immensely popular.  I tend to think that where your interest and passion goes that’s what grows and what others pick up on - and you can’t help but be successful! 

A few years after I sold my yoga studio in Sydney and moved up to Byron Bay on Australia’s north coast, I re-started prenatal and postnatal classes out of my home yoga studio here and also wrote a number of articles about yoga for women (as well as general yoga topics) that were published in national yoga and wellbeing magazines. From this exposure, women started asking me to train them in this specialized art of pre/postnatal yoga and it just naturally grew from there – Bliss Baby Yoga was born! Again, I truly believe when you are following your ‘dharma’ - your true life’s path, your ‘bliss’ -  success and fulfillment flow easily and opportunities come effortlessly your way. 

Ana Davis 2017 4 LRWhat is your favourite self care ritual?

Ana:
It’s yoga, of course! Without yoga I think I would go insane! I tend to do something yogically-nurturing for myself everyday. If I'm busy that might just be a single restorative pose - Legs up the Wall or Constructive Rest Position - or, a rejuvenating Yoga Nidra or some simple pranayama or yoga san-calpa (positive affirmations). 


The transformative, alchemical qualities of yoga never cease to fill me with deep gratitude for this lifetime practice that accompanies me through good and bad times. It is a practice to celebrate me when I'm feeling strong and energetic with dynamic 'full moon' practises; likewise it is a nourishing practice to support me when I'm feeling stressed, overwhelmed, grumpy, premenstrual or menstrual; or, when I'm recovering from illness as I am now after a particularly bad case of the flu - with 'dark moon' practises. 

I always finish my yoga self-care sessions with a 'gratitude practice' in which I contemplate one or several things in my life for which I feel deep gratitude. And so often it is yoga that bubbles to the surface as a self-care technique for which I feel eternally grateful to have discovered and harnessed for my individual needs. Bliss!

What is currently your favourite scent?

Ana:
Frankincense. I don't wear commercial perfumes anymore. Consequently I am more and more attracted to the purity, beauty and therapeutic qualities of natural essential oils. My naturopath recently prescribed frankincense to support my hormonal health and to balance symptoms of stress-overwhelm.  It really helped. In the busy, stressful lead up to my wedding, I carried a tiny, precious bottle of this nectar in my handbag and sniffed it when I started to feel anxious and wore it on my pulse points on the big day. A divine scent!

I have also been enjoying good old lavender to help me sleep at night when my mind and nervous system is overactive. 

Can you tell me one of the most life changing books you have ever read?

Ana:
Oh there have been sooo many! Being a total bibliophile of both fiction as well as non-fiction, yoga / spiritual books, I'm not sure where to start! I can't limit it to just one I'm afraid! So here are my top four, all-time, life-changing, non-fiction books:

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Nicole Koop Bliss Baby Yoga LRGraduate of our Bliss Baby Yoga 80 hour Women’s Yoga Teacher Training and self-confessed ‘Bed Yogi’, Nicole Koop, shares her story of how embracing a feminine approach to yoga has benefited her and the other women that she works with.

As the busy mother of three children, Nicole’s body, mind and soul were bearing the brunt of the many challenges that women can face on their mothering journey.

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Womb space hands LR

This month our Bliss Baby Yoga Fertility Yoga specialist, Tanya Neate, shares the benefits of yoga in supporting women on their journey to conceive.

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Kneeling lunge

Did you know there’s a new wave in yoga?  

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Sound Bowl LRThroughout our Bliss Baby Yoga teacher training courses, a question that is often asked is "what is that beautiful song you played during...". In response to these requests, we have asked our Bliss Baby Yoga teaching team to share their favourite songs for yoga (in particular, gentle women's yoga classes, including prenatal yoga).

So get ready to top up your iTunes account and get searching for these gems:

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Lucy LRLucy Roberts graduated from the Bliss Baby Yoga 100 hr Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training in March last year. She has since been teaching prenatal yoga, during her own pregnancy, and in April this year gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Rose. This is Lucys story about how yoga helped her during her pregnancy as well as those women with whom she shared this powerful practice. 

After 16 years of teaching Yoga, and more than a decade as a Teacher Trainer with international yoga school Yoga Arts, last March I enrolled as a student in Bliss Baby Yogas 100 hour Prenatal & Postnatal Training in my recently-returned-to home of Byron Bay.

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Ana Davis YogaThis month our Bliss Baby Yoga Director and Founder Ana Davis shares her passion and knowledge on a feminine approach to yoga - for all ages and stages of a woman's life.

“When we're in our flow, all we have to do is walk across a room to be mesmerizing. We feel confident in ourselves because we’re connected to the earth and in harmony with her rhythms, cycles, and moods.”
– Gabrielle Roth

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Bliss Baby Summer Reading

Looking for some holiday reading to help you unwind? We have compiled a juicy list of recommended favourites from our Bliss Baby Yoga team. Enjoy!

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"I really enjoyed the Bliss Baby Yoga teacher training online course because it was flexible, allowing me to do the work and practices at a convenient time....especially helpful for mothers with babies."  Helen Santamaria Popescu

“I found it so convenient as a new mum, working three different jobs I was able to also do the course without feeling overwhelmed. I enjoyed listening to the lectures during my drives and was sad when they came to an end  _ I might have to re-listen.” Leah Gencheff, Newcastle

"This was an absolutely amazing course.  Full of practical, useful information and inspiring teachers."  Lee 

 

 

 

Calendar of training dates in Australia and overseas

Online Courses - study from anywhere in the world

Fertility Workshops 

International training

Bliss Women's Yoga Retreats

Teaching resources: Ana’s Prenatal & Mums 'n Bubs DVDs

Yoga of Motherhood

Find a Bliss Baby Certified Yoga Teacher in your area

Ana’s Blog – facts and musings on yoga for women

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