Namaste! Welcome. Thanks for stopping by. I'm Emma - founder, teacher and coach at Jala Yoga & Coaching based in the beautiful Byron Shire of Northern NSW.
Yoga is my passion, my support, the lens through which I see the world. I have practised this ancient tradition for close to 20 years and LOVE sharing it with others as I desire them to experience the benefits in body, mind and spirit that I have.
I am a certified Beautiful You Life Coach and quite simply adore working with women to reclaim presence & ease to balance their busy lives. It's the perfect complement to yoga.
I am a 200-hr trained Akhanda yoga teacher - discovering this holistic and authentic yoga practice 3 years ago after 12 years of dedication to Iyengar Yoga. I have travelled to India a number of times including 2 months with Pankaj Sharma in Rishikesh, in 2003 and spent many years under the guidance of teacher Susan Stackhouse in her Iyengar studio on Sydney's Northern Beaches. I spent some time teaching beginner classes there under her mentorship in 2004.
I have also been a primary school teacher for 15 years and I continue to teach in Byron Bay. I am an experienced surfer having travelled to many surf destinations around the world including 8 months at Samoana Surf Camp, Samoa as a yoga leader. I am also a wife to Josh and a mum to my 8 year old daughter Mali. I returned to yoga teaching in 2015 after many years focused on my work as a primary educator and mother during which time I allowed my daily practice to take effect.
Last year I began teaching on the highly regarded 200hr Yoga Teacher Training program at Krishna Village an Eco Yoga Community in Northern NSW. My love of sacred Sanskrit mantra has intensified since I began there and my students love the harmonium and chanting that I do at the end of every class.
I hope to meet you soon!
How I got here:
In my 20s and early 30s my life appeared perfectly lovely from the outside but I was disintegrating internally and many times felt like I was hanging by a thread.
My nervous system was so overstimulated by my surroundings (despite a daily yoga practice from the age of 23) that by the time I became a mother at 32 I was a ticking time bomb of nervous energy. Having a highly sensitive nature and a killer internal slave-driver lead me to depression, terribly low self-esteem and eventually postnatal anxiety. Even the joy of motherhood eluded me for those first excruciating months.
On top of this I went back to work as a school teacher 3 days a week from when my daughter was 8 months old and I was highly accomplished at pushing through tiredness and putting everyone else’s needs before my own - that inner slave-driver just kept cracking the whip. A perfectionist and stressaholic (yes it's a thing) I was beyond depleted and very close to breakdown.
Even when I made time for things I loved I wasn't truly present. Focusing all too much on my duties and surviving each day.
The Turning Point
In 2014 in the gorgeous town of Byron Bay (where I had moved 6 years earlier as I sensed it held the key to my healing) a beautiful, older male colleague who knew a thing or two about what was important in life asked me the golden question
“Are you ok Em?”
That question was my unraveling. My complete undoing. But also my acknowledging. I was not ok.
Gifted with the time to rest and reflect I knew things had to change and I was the only one who could change it. A vegetarian since the age of 15, daily yoga practitioner and non-drinker meant to others I appeared the epitome of health and physically, I was.
But my true wellbeing came not from anything external - it came from journeying inward. My yoga practice was preparing me well - it gave me the courage to face it.
It is the struggles that I overcame using the tools and practices of yoga and meditation that have fueled my passion to support other mothers - knowing the change that can arise from simple shifts in routines and habits and a daily spiritual practice. My desire to become a coach to support other women in their journey back home arose from my own healing.
Head to my yoga page to find out about classes in the Northern Rivers or to my coaching page to see how I can support you.
I hope to connect with you soon whatever challenges you are facing & wherever you are in the world x