A DESIRE to introduce her own variety of creative therapies to the Mid North Coast was the catalyst for Old Bar-raised Phoebe Kirkwood to return home this year.
It's been a busy few years for Phoebe, who left Old Bar five years ago after finishing school to travel and study.
During this time she completed a creative writing and cultural studies degree at the University of Technology Sydney, a kids yoga teacher training course at bodymindlife in Sydney, a dance therapy workshop at the International Dance Therapy Institute of Australia, and worked as a dance teacher while regularly practising yoga.
Yoga is a passion that started at the tender age of 15 for Phoebe when she was influenced by an America-based aunty.
This year she followed her passion and undertook a three week, 200 hour yoga teacher training course at Canggu in Bali through the Santosha yoga academy.
Phoebe said the training camp was an "awesome" experience.
"Every day was very intense. We practiced from 6am to 7pm every day," Phoebe said.
Phoebe also undertook standup paddle board yoga teacher training, something she'd be interested in introducing here as well.
According to Phoebe there are a range of benefits to yoga - the style she practices is hatha vinyasa- ranging from physical well-being to stress management.
"If somebody finds themselves in a stressful situation, the ability to focus, with a clear mind, can help them to identify what exactly is happening and what they can actually control," Phoebe said.
"With yoga you're really allowing yourself to be present. You can ground yourself and check in with your senses."Phoebe Kirkwood
"There are a lot of physical benefits, like improving core stability, weight maintenance and encouraging a healthy level of self care."
With people leading increasingly busy, stressful lives, Phoebe reasoned that yoga was an important tool in self-management.
"With yoga you're really allowing yourself to be present," Phoebe explained.
"You can ground yourself and check in with your senses."
The social side of the classes was also a benefit, Phoebe said.
"In one class you have a mixture of people from their 20s to their 60s, which welcomes a unique community vibe," she said.
Through her new initiative, Nectar Creative Therapies, Phoebe is already offering yoga classes around the Manning Valley.
She soon plans to branch into dance workshops and creative writing workshops, offering a range of creative therapies that she felt the people of the Mid North Coast would enjoy.
"For me I felt like there was a bit of an opening there," she said.
"I love the lifestyle here too."
Phoebe said she was looking to constantly improve the range of therapies she offers and is happy to field suggestions.
"I'm still taking expressions of interest and I'm open to feedback, so if anyone has any suggestions about future classes, I'm happy to hear them," she said.
For more information visit Nectar Creative Therapies on Facebook.