Meet the...Hawaiian Massage Therapist, Casey Adams

Meet the... is a new series of interviews I am going to conduct with awesome people in this town who are providing a healing/health-focused service that I personally believe in. I get asked a lot where I go for massages/naturopathy/healing etc and I have personally benefited from some long relationships with healers/health professionals in this town. Newcastle has an amazing community of conscious folk who are beating the drum of a balanced life well-lived, and I thought, hey, why not profile some of these awesome people on the blog? Most of the people here also practice yoga; many at Yoga for All. It's so lovely to have, in our Newcastle community, this amazing and inspiring bunch of humans around. If you know someone who is an amazing healer/health professional, please share their details. It's for the greater good of us all. :)

First up is Casey Adams. She is Hawaiian (Kahuna) massage therapist, and damn, she is amazing. Watching her work is like watching a person dance with the energy before them; she is present and powerful and I highly recommend her.

I'm going to profile a couple of hands-on therapies first up because I truly believe we all need healing touch; our hands carry healing energy, chi, prana, whatever you want to call it, carried through from our hearts. Casey is no exception, her hands are magic. She gave me an incredible treatment in Kahuna massage; I was absolutely astonished at how relaxed, free and calm I felt after a session with her. I went home and slept like a baby that night! Kahuna isn't that common in Australia, but it should be! Based on the traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian massage techniques, it works across the whole body in these long, amazing strokes that just carry tension away, like a beautiful wave. So good. Here's Casey's interview, and her contact details are below in case you want to book in with her. Please note that I only recommend people I absolutely trust and would see myself, and I get no financial gain out of this, I just really believe in sharing the love. We all gotta find the things that make our hearts and bodies sing!

What inspired you to become a Kahuna/Hawaiian massage therapist? Why did you choose to pursue massage?

I had always been interested in massage and fascinated by the depths of the body. When originally thinking about studying massage, I contemplated remedial first, however, my parents (who also practice the Hawaiian style) directed me towards Mette's Institute where I trained and never looked back. I ended up living and working at the massage training retreat on the Sunshine Coast for 6 months, co-facilitating courses at the lower levels. Although I am just about to complete my Certificate IV in Massage Therapy, plan to complete my Diploma of Remedial therapy and continuously further my studies and knowledge of massage and the anatomy, I believe Hawaiian massage will remain the base of all my treatments as it is beautifully holistic and exactly what I was looking for.

What would a yogi get out of a Hawaiian massage?

Similar to Yoga, Hawaiian massage works by stimulating the natural flow of energy within the body in order to bring about changes in the physical and emotional areas. Stress and tension is released so that energy can flow freely once more.
Hawaiian massage is deeply relaxing and rejuvenating and is good for the following:

stress, depression and exhaustion
detoxification and waste removal
improving the immune system
increased range of movement and flexibility
stimulating lymphatic, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems
releasing muscle tension

Favourite yoga asana and why?
Shavasana! …because the most satisfying feeling is when every inch of my body tingling with gratitude, absorbing and integrating a strong practice.

Can't live without?
...Water, Yoga, Massage, Nature, my Health, Family/Friends, Love...

Life philosophy…?
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind :)

Casey Adams
Hawaiian Healing, Cooks Hill
Ph: 0422 758 494
Web: Hawaiian Healing

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Meet Tamara...

Tamara wandered into my class at Yoga for All and we just clicked. I knew I wanted her to teach here, to share her passion, and when the chance came to get her on the timetable, I jumped at it. As far as we know, Tamara is the only Hridaya Hatha Yoga teacher in Australia; I'm so excited to offer this less-well known style of yoga here in Newcastle and beyond delighted that the beautiful Tamara is the one sharing it with us. If you haven't made it to a Thursday night class yet, I highly recommend it! The Heart Space Meditation that follows is powerful and intended to connect you deeply to your true Self...if you're new to meditation it's a wonderful introduction, and if you're more experienced, the dynamic group energy can be profound. Give it a try!

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
I am passionate about a human being's ability to know how to be resilient, independent and find their truth. I think what inspired me to be a yoga teacher is being able to help facilitate and empower people to become the best person they can be. Yoga is powerful tool that anyone can have access to that can address the multitude of issues we each face in our life journeys. By using the physical body to express how we are feeling internally and learn how to relax, that's where the healing and transformations occur.
To me it is my service, an honour and a gift ... to truly share from the heart and not just to teach but to learn always.

Why teach at Yoga for All?
Yoga for All is an incredible community that allows equality and freedom. By taking away the challenge of a monetary value, individuals have access to Yoga and dive deeper into their own practice. It is genuine and authentic for both the teacher & the student. I also love being supported and surrounded by beautiful teachers that truly teach from the heart.

Favourite asana and why?
Chakrasana ~ The Wheel Pose.
Why? I love love the opening of the heart in this asana. I feel inner strength and freedom! I love the enthusiasm & the energetic rush of activating Manipura (navel) and Anahata (heart) chakras. But most of all I love the post-asana awareness. The body feels open, radiant & full of light!

Can't live without?
Coconut! In any form... fresh, oil, milk or water. I use it for absolutely everything!
( And I can't live without love )

Life philosophy?
"Only if one knows the truth of love, which is the real nature of Self, will the strong entangled knot of life be untied. Only if one attains the height of love will liberation be attained. Such is the heart of all religions. The experience of Self is only love, which is seeing only love, hearing only love, feeling only love, tasting only love and smelling only love, which is bliss". - Ramana Maharshi

This quote is by one of my beloved teachers. Knowing that the essence of who we all really are is love is ultimate freedom. The possibilities are endless:)

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Meet Nat...

The magical Nat Brazil is the next Y4A teacher we're featuring; Nat is a prenatal yoga teacher extraordinaire, as well as a Purna Yoga-trained Hatha yoga teacher and mama to two very cute short people. So much talent; so many skills! Here it is...Nat's interview.

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?

After practicing yoga on and off for about 8 years, I began to notice a transformative change in my actual being. Initially this was purely very physical but gradually I noticed other positive benefits. I felt a deep yearning to incorporate it more completely into my life. Yoga is amazing because it accessible to everyone on all levels. One of the greatest misconceptions of yoga is that you have to be flexible to go to a class! I want to share my love of yoga!

Why teach at Yoga for All?

Yoga for All is a beautiful studio with a great ethic – it makes yoga financially accessible to everyone and has a great variety of different classes available from 6am til 7pm. What more could you ask for?

Favourite asana and why?

Trikonasana = Triangle pose. Love this asana because it is so simple but there is so much going on from the base, all the way up to the tips of the fingers. The balance of a triangle is beautiful and I like to imagine that I am suspended between the sky and the earth, being pulled in two different directions.

Can't live without?

Lemon and ginger tea first thing in the morning!

Life philosophy?

You never know what is just around the corner.

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A daily yoga practice...?

Ah, today is a little bit crazy for me, 5:00 am wake up and the day won't end til 6 or 7 pm. Not ideal, but it got me thinking, as I snuck away for an hour to eat and grab my own dose of yoga, about the idea of a daily yoga practice. We all know the benefits, but fitting it in is hard!

I remember when I was younger, I told myself if I didn't do a full 90 min practice/class every day that I was a total failure and it would put me in this cycle of not showing up on my mat because what's the point, I already missed three practices this week...blah blah blah.

We've all been there!

As I have matured (!), I've found the benefits if even a short practice on my day, and now I grab what I can - today for example, my practice has been three 5 min yin poses (caterpillar, saddle, butterfly with twist) and a ten minute meditation. That's it. But I feel 100% more grounded, relaxed, and ready for the rest of my day. I guess my point is a little is better than nothing at all, and it doesn't need to be complicated.

Do you get into that cycle? Do you have a mini-practice that you like to do daily, or when time is poor? Let me know in the comments. I'm curious!! If you're interested in starting a daily yoga habit let me know below, too, maybe we can put together a few short home practices for you guys to try?

Meet Tess...

Hey guys - we've been running our brand new timetable for nearly a month now, and I know many of you are really enjoying the new classes and teachers, so we thought we'd better help you get to know them a little better...first up is Tess. Tess and I met at the old Hot Power Yoga studio; she's a totally lovely human and an absolutely incredible and dedicated teacher. Her Friday morning restorative class at 9:30 am is my absolute favourite!

Here's her interview...

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
I originally did my teacher training not knowing what would come of it. After enjoying yoga for many years I wanted to explore it more. I remember being in the Kimberley, WA for 4 months in 2009 isolated from yoga classes and having to form my own practice. I fumbled around with asanas that I could remember from classes at home but essentially I wanted to understand what it is I was doing and why. I loved the idea of learning more about yoga for myself but was also inspired to be able to learn and spread the 'yoga drug' around to others.

Why teach at Yoga for All?
For many reasons. Most of all I love the way I feel when I practice at Yoga For All, so I knew I would love teaching there. Tahnee & Lyra have created a space that carries a gentle, non-judgement and supportive feel. I like that there are no mirrors, the classes are smaller and that people can access yoga more readily through the 'by donation' philosophy. Plus all the teachers are pretty special people!

Favourite asana and why?
I have many of course but I particularly love Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose) followed by Savasana to enjoy the effects. I feel a sense of calm after that deep stretch into the side body. It targets opening in both the lower and upper body so you receive that full body experience.

Can't live without?
A great pot of Tea ...it solves everything!

Life philosophy?
I can't pick one ....
Treat others in the same way you would want them to treat you.
Listen carefully to yourself, you usually know the answers already.
You want to do something ...get in & start working towards it!

Make sure you say hi to Tess if you see her around, and check out her classes.

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