Natalie - Founder & Co-owner Well Aligned Body
I believe I must have healthy living and movement as an ingrained part of my DNA. The lingering memories of my maternal grandfather are those of him tending to his abundant backyard of fruits and vegetables, grinding his own flour, travelling north every winter and living about six months of the year in his Volkswagen Beetle to escape the cold of winter. Finally, when he came to visit us would often lie down on his back, lift his legs into the air and “bicycle” (maybe I just remember this last one as all of his change would fall out of his pockets and we would be gathering it all up – to keep of course). Sadly he is no longer with us – hasn’t been for quite some time. I think I would definitely value spending time with him a lot more now than I ever did as a child. At the time, he seemed a bit “strange”.
My mum insisted that her three children were always very healthy – “that’s because we eat salad every day” and I don’t recall every really being sick. There were just those few days we would pretend to be ill to have a day off school. I sprained my ankle once and was devastated that I couldn’t bounce on the trampoline for a couple of weeks.
We were never really involved in team sports as kids as we were often away for the weekend water skiing in summer and snow skiing in the winter months. We had a holiday unit at Bonnie Doon which helped facilitate these activities and when not skiing we would be riding our bikes or walking through the countryside.
When my mum retired, two days later she was on a flight to Beijing, China where she spent the next two years studying Tai Chi at the Sports University. Seems she also inherited that gene. These days in her 70s she is still travelling around Melbourne daily to teach her classes.
Somewhere along the line I formed my own needs around moving. For years I was a tour guide and spent a lot of time sitting in busses. So I began to take walks in the mornings (not so much) and after evening meals. This translated to a gym membership once I was no longer on the road. The gym is where I discovered yoga.
Yoga is a path to discovering more about myself. It is a way of becoming more embodied, getting out of my head and all of the incessant chatter. It’s about taking personal responsibility and opened up the path to further my love of learning. The longer we are on this path, the more we realise that we have to learn (and how little we really know). This constant discovery lends itself to a greater understanding not just of ourselves but also of others.
My yoga journey began on an extended trip to India. I found myself studying to be a yoga teacher in Bangalore, with M. S. Viswanath, the nephew of the esteemed Pattabhi Jois who is acknowledged as this generation’s master of Ashtanga yoga. Back home and over the next ten years, this was followed with studies and practice in Shiatsu therapy, Kundalini yoga and Pilates and the teaching of yoga and Pilates.
Finally I discovered Restorative ExerciseTM - a whole body program developed by American Biomechanical Scientist Katy Bowman. I qualified as an accredited Restorative Exercise practitioner at the Restorative Exercise Institute in the USA. Recently on the Big Island of Hawaii I did advanced training in Restorative Exercise to deepen my understanding of alignment and natural movement.
My desire to work out how to integrate movement into our lives to achieve personal transformation has led me to further questions and research. This includes completing a Graduate Diploma in Integrative and Transformative Studies at the OASES Graduate School. This course focuses on the organic integration of the aesthetic, social, ecological and spiritual to achieve transformation.
My major goal is to help you achieve health and wellbeing through integrating alignment and natural movement into your daily life. This is why I have founded the Richmond Well Aligned Studio and I look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your health and wellness goals.
Key Qualifications and Experience
- Graduate Diploma in Integrative and Transformative Studies, OASES Graduate School
- Diploma of Pilates Instruction 650 hours
- Certificate of Yoga Instruction 370hours
- Certificate of Kundalini Yoga 200 hours
- Graduate Certificate Pilates Studies
- Restorative Exercise Specialist – CPT
- Certified Personal Trainer – Level 4
- Master Instructor Barefoot Training
- Master Instructor Fascial Fitness
- Certificate Kettlebells – level 1
- Certified Barre Attack Instructor
- Certificate 4 Disability Studies
- Diploma Shiatsu and Oriental Therapies
- Over 15 years experience teaching yoga and Pilates
- Over 5 years experience teaching Restorative Exercise including 2 day Move Your DNA Workshop
- Extensive travel industry experience.