YOGA POW­ERS ATH­LETES

A SHORT FUSE, A BRO­KEN HEART AND A BAD BACK LED TAMMY WIL­LIAMS FROM NURS­ING TO YOGA. NOW THE BOWEN-BORN TEACHER TRAINER IS HEADED HOMEWARDS TO SHARE HER SOUGHT-AF­TER EX­PER­TISE, AND SPOKE WITH

The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Cover Story -

From the town af­fec­tion­ately known as “Bowen­wood”, yoga teacher trainer Tammy Wil­liams is tak­ing the yoga world by storm by em­pow­er­ing peo­ple to take con­trol over their bod­ies and min­imise their self­im­posed suf­fer­ing through move­ment and breath. Tammy ed­u­cates peo­ple from all ages on how to live a healthy life­style, and her stu­dents range from elite ath­letes, to grand­moth­ers, busi­ness peo­ple, stu­dents, to the fa­mous and the not so fa­mous and ev­ery­one in be­tween.

Now liv­ing on the Sun­shine Coast, the girl from Bowen still calls North Queens­land home, and trav­els up to Mis­sion Beach, Townsville and Mackay for teacher train­ing to bring yoga to the re­gions and make it more ac­ces­si­ble to those liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas.

Ta­mara Wil­liams (nee Pas­coe) left her home town of Bowen to the big smoke of Townsville to pur­sue a ca­reer in nurs­ing at James Cook Univer­sity.

When she de­vel­oped “nurse’s back”, she be­gan to dab­ble in yoga, but the turn­ing point hap­pened when Tammy was har­bour­ing a bro­ken heart and de­cided to learn to surf while trav­el­ling over­seas.

She had such a short fuse and was so frus­trated with her­self, in the end her surf in­struc­tor po­litely sug­gested she take up yoga.

Yoga worked and, voila, the seed was planted. It helped with fitness and keep­ing a cool head for her ath­letic pur­suits.

On the Sun­shine Coast, she be­gan teach­ing yoga on Mof­fat Beach once a week. Peo­ple started to ask for more classes and even­tu­ally she had to cut back on nurs­ing to fit it all in.

Her busi­ness, Yoga NRG, was the first to of­fer Power yoga in Queens­land, and her work evolved nat­u­rally from the hum­ble be­gin­nings on the beach to be­com­ing the trav­el­ling yoga teacher trainer she is to­day.

Now, Wil­liams helps a wide scope of ath­letes from pro surfers to triath­letes, Par­a­lympians, the Victorian swim team, and pro­fes­sional bas­ket­baller Si­mon Kerle, who went on to open his own yoga stu­dios in Bris­bane.

“As you deepen your aware­ness and un­der­stand­ing of yoga, peo­ple see mas­sive changes in their bod­ies, get an un­der­stand­ing of them­selves they never thought pos­si­ble and learn how their bod­ies work,” Wil­liams ex­plains.

“Apart from the fitness as­pect of yoga, the mind­ful­ness as­pect of yoga helps with con­cen­tra­tion in what peo­ple are do­ing mo­ment by mo­ment aware­ness.

“Ath­letes put so much pres­sure on them­selves. Mind­ful­ness helps ath­letes come out from their prime ca­reer.

“Yoga helps them deal with the now, the non-striv­ing mind­set, health and well­ness. Ath­letes are con­di­tioned to be top of their game so yoga re­ally helps.

“Know­ing when to back off, mind­ful­ness is so much bet­ter and fo­cus­ing on the breath.

“Self-com­pas­sion is prob­a­bly the hard­est part of the prac­tice.”

Wil­liams gives this ad­vice to any­one new to yoga: “Don’t stop at one class.”

“Try dif­fer­ent teach­ers and styles. Go to a class where you con­nect with the teacher, so you will at­tend more reg­u­larly. There is no such thing as the right way. Find some­thing that en­cour­ages you to be­come own teacher.”

A 72-year-old was the old­est teacher-trainer stu­dent Wil­liams has had, the youngest 21 years old.

“Yoga doesn’t dis­crim­i­nate. Yoga pro­vides an even play­ing field for all peo­ple in all walks of life, and abil­i­ties,” Wil­liams says.

Tammy will be vis­it­ing Mis­sion Beach in May for a mind­ful­ness train­ing get­away re­treat.

This is an op­por­tu­nity for those want­ing to gain a deeper un­der­stand­ing of yoga for per­sonal devel­op­ment or to be­gin the process of be­com­ing a qual­i­fied teacher.

FOR MORE IN­FOR­MA­TION, CON­TACT YOGA-NRG.COM OR CALL 0439 418 571.

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