Registered in London, England and bringing you classes and private sessions from North Swindon, Wiltshire. Aurora Mind and Body is a small business run by two dedicated fitness and wellbeing professionals, Nick and Nat Young. Nat launched Aurora in 2015 with Hypnotherapy and as the years have passed, we’ve grown to offer more options to help you take care of both your physical and mental wellbeing. As of 2020, all our sessions are available online, meaning location is no longer a barrier. By booking sessions with us, you’re supporting a small local business, not a large corporate or chain.
What’s in a name?
We agonised over what to name Aurora and the crunch point came when we were on holiday on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. We were ‘aurora chasing’ and managed to see a beautiful purple and green aurora while looking out over the sea. Auroras are only seen when atmospheric conditions are balanced and as optimal health involves a balance of both mind and body fitness, it seemed fitting. Aurora was also the name of the princess in the Disney film, Sleeping Beauty and as the ‘hypno’ in ‘hypnotherapy’ literally translates to ‘sleep therapy’, we knew the name was perfect!
Read on to find out about the Aurora Mind and Body philosophy and our personal journeys into the world of mind and body fitness…
Aurora Mind and Body: Bringing you Yoga, Pilates, Personal Training, Life Coaching, Hypnobirthing and Hypnotherapy in Swindon and online
At Aurora, we’re all about balance. That means not just focusing on physical fitness, but also mind fitness. So many issues in the body crop up when our minds aren’t healthy and our minds also suffer when our bodies aren’t healthy. Taking a holistic approach to mind and body fitness, we provide a number of different wellbeing services to help you #getmindandbodyfit.
Nat is an experienced Yoga and Pilates Teacher and Fitness Instructor, and has all the skills required to get you fitter, stronger, and more flexible. For many people, getting into the right headspace to show up on your mat regularly or even having the confidence to get started with exercise full stop are the hardest parts of getting fit. As an experienced Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist, Nat can help you overcome this with hypnotherapy, whether you need help with relaxation to reduce stress, or have more complex issues to resolve. Nat is also a Certified Hypnotic Birth Practitioner and Pre/Postnatal Fitness Instructor so if you’re pregnant or thinking about pregnancy, she can help you #getmindandbodyfit ready for birth.
Nick is a 20+ year veteran of the IT industry, and Nat is a highly experienced technical project manager with experience in the financial services industry. Together we have many years experience in coaching, leadership and simply getting things done. Nick is a highly qualified Personal Trainer, Indoor Cycling Instructor and Life Coach, with a personal focus to help you identify your goals. Delivering private and small group sessions, his specialty is in designing circuits that can be done in a home environment with minimal or no extra equipment. Check out Nick’s mini workout with a common household object – no gym, no problem! Nick can also offer nutrition evaluations in line with healthy-eating guidelines to help you understand your diet better.
These skills gained in industry help us in our real passion – helping others to enjoy exercise (and life) in the same way we do.
We understand that for many people, getting started on your fitness journey can be difficult and intimidating, and gyms can be scary. We understand that not everyone wants or needs to be super-muscley or able to run hundreds of kilometres a day. Many people simply want to improve their overall health and fitness, and keep mobile as they get older. We’re able to offer a number of different services to help you, and can offer packages with as few or as many of the services we offer as needed. Why not get in touch and ask us to come up with an individual plan for you?
Of course, it’s also important to choose someone you can trust, who’s well-qualified and will listen to you. Therapists, Personal Trainers, and Yoga and Pilates Teachers are as individual as you are. We all have different personalities and styles. As mind and body wellbeing specialists at Aurora, we’re obviously passionate about fitness and mental wellbeing is hugely important to us. But these things aside, we’ve also been where you might be now. Between the two of us, we’ve experienced generalised anxiety, had problems with self-confidence, experienced insomnia and stress as a result of burning ourselves out at the office and longed to feel fitter and stronger but not known where to start. Having worked through these issues ourselves, we can empathise with what you may be going through and we’re therefore well placed to help you find your way.
Nat Young MBPsS, BSc(hons) Psych (Open), DHP(NC), Cert Health Sciences (Open), MHS(Accred), NSTT, CHBP, CIMSPA
Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist, Certified Hypnobirthing Practitioner, Yoga and Pilates Teacher & Fitness Professional
Hi! My name’s Nat and here’s my story about how I gained the skills to launch Aurora Mind and Body…
I’ve spent over 20 years in the corporate world, many of them as a software development Project Manager. As well as technical knowledge, I’ve also gained many transferable skills in leadership, coaching and problem solving. When you work in an office for over 20 years, it’s hard not to! While I enjoy the challenge of corporate life, I’d always known I wanted to do something else with the skills I’d gained and use them to help others. I’ve been interested in what makes people tick for as long as I can remember and this interest led to a journey of self-discovery. I embarked upon my honours degree in Psychology in the early 2000s, alongside working full time, and graduated with a 2:1. This meant I could achieve my graduate basis for chartership with the British Psychological Society and use the letters MBPsS after my name. This is one of my proudest professional achievements. Of course, this was just the beginning of my journey as I then had to figure out what I would do with my newfound knowledge…
Qualifying in hypno-psychotherapy and yoga
Following my Psychology degree, I had considered becoming a counsellor but ended up choosing a masters level Diploma in Hypno-Psychotherapy instead. Psychotherapy is a little different to counselling in that you can work with deeper issues. The ability to learn hypnotherapy, working with the unconscious mind and deep relaxation techniques was also intriguing. While I was practicing as a trainee, it never ceased to amaze me how the relaxed state of hypnosis could give me respite from my lifelong anxiety. I’d always feel so much better afterwards. If I could teach self-hypnosis to myself, I could certainly teach it to others! After 2 years of further study with the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy in Oxford, I qualified as a Hypno-Psychotherapist, gaining a distinction on my diploma.
Rewind back a bit, at around the same time as I was doing my psychology degree, I was trying to get fitter after the birth of our youngest son. Someone suggested that yoga would be a great way to get back in shape so I dragged Nick along with me to a yoga class at our local gym. We both ached afterwards and presumed it had done its job! Little did I know, there was so much more to yoga than just exercise. We carried on going to yoga while also taking up the offer of personal training sessions at the gym. I loved my personal training sessions but my real passion remained with yoga. As the years went by, and many yoga practices later, I began to see many similarities between my hypnotherapy relaxations and yoga meditation. Perhaps this was the reason I enjoyed yoga so much. I never used to believe in having a set path in life but as time went on, I began to see that I’d found mine. I became a bit of a yoga fanatic, attending as many classes as I could with some wonderful teachers, and resolved to understand more about the psychological benefits of yoga. This is where the links between psychology and yoga started to became apparent to me…
Fast forward about 10 years from my first yoga class and I have my Psychology degree and my Hypno-Psychotherapy Diploma. I’m completely bought into the benefits of yoga as a way to keep fit and protect my mental state. What’s the next logical step for me? Training as a Yoga Teacher of course! A good Yoga Teacher Training isn’t the work of five minutes. There’s so much more to yoga than just a form of exercise so you can’t spend a week in a classroom and hey presto, you’re qualified. Like psychotherapy, there’s a lot of soul searching and journaling as you get to grips with yogic philosophy and how different yoga practices make you feel. This bit takes time. Of course, there’s a lot to learn about the poses and anatomy too as this is the element of yoga that most people will experience in a class environment. After 2 years of study, I earned my 350-hour Diploma in Teaching Yoga with Train Fitness in London and have now been teaching for several years. In early 2020, I also embraced online teaching and it has become such an important part of my life. I have found my place in the world as a teacher (this bit takes time too!) and have learned to embrace my individuality. As Dr Seuss once said, “There is no-one alive who is youer than you,” and I live by this as a therapist and yoga teacher. I bring my whole self to work and as a result, elements of psychology creep into my classes to ensure you not only leave class feeling physically strong, but also mentally strong. A surprisingly high percentage of fitness is all about the mind, afterall…
Since obtaining my yoga diploma, I have continued to study and increase my knowledge, completing my Fitness Instructor (Gym) qualification, Pre and Postnatal Exercise certificate and my Yoga Shred, Indoor Group Cycling, Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga certifications. These have enabled me to offer additional services to my private clients and run some different class types. Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga are particular features of my Hypno Yoga class and private sessions. I also incorporate Yoga Nidra into some of my hypnotherapy sessions as it’s so good for relaxation!
Pilates and Exercise Referral
In 2019, I added a Pilates Diploma to my skill set. I enjoy teaching creative pilates classes which challenge the mind and body in a fun way. I also use a lot of different music in my classes to keep them upbeat and interesting. Pilates is often lumped in with yoga when talking about mind and body forms of exercise but it’s actually quite different to yoga. You’ll therefore notice a marked difference between my yoga and pilates classes. I also offer pilates as a private session and enjoy designing pilates prescriptions to help my clients reach their posture and strength goals. In 2021, I also gained my Diploma in Exercise Referral, enabling me to design personalised exercise prescriptions for people with a variety of different health conditions including mechanical lower back pain, stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, stroke and arthritis. I can now also join Nick in providing nutritional evaluations in line with healthy eating guidelines, so if you’re after some help with your diet, get in touch.
In 2021, I undertook an in-depth training to become an Easibirthing® certified hypnobirthing practitioner. Having experienced three traumatic births which ended in emergency caesarean, I only wish I had discovered hypnobirthing techniques back then. If nothing else, giving birth could have been a much calmer experience. I’m passionate about working with women and men to ease birth anxiety and empowering them to have the calm birth they want, whether that’s at home or in a hospital setting. Hypnobirthing sessions with me involve birth education; knowing what to expect can ease ‘fear of the unknown’ and help empower you to ask for the birth you want. We can also work together on coping mechanisms for if things don’t go to plan, tokophobia, turning a breech baby and having a calm planned caesarean.
Learning for a lifetime
As you’ve probably gathered, I strongly believe that you never stop learning! I enjoy expanding my ‘toolbox’ of knowledge with courses and I read a lot to keep my skills current. I also maintain professional memberships with the British Psychological Society (BPS), National Hypnotherapy Society, the National Society of Talking Therapies (NSTT) and of course the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). I’m also trained in Mental Health First Aid. You can therefore be sure you’re seeing an up-to-date, highly trained and ethical practitioner.
I absolutely love what I do and I look forward to helping you discover your own uniqueness and achieve your mind and body goals.
Nick Young, cimspa
Personal Trainer, Indoor Cycling Instructor & Life Coach
My name’s Nick and here’s my story about how I became a Personal Trainer, Indoor Cycling Instructor and Life Coach…
Looking back to my younger days, I was quite an active child growing up but at the age of 16 while studying for GCSE exams, I began experiencing some worrying symptoms which would change my life forever. With numerous trips to and from the hospital to see specialists for tests, I was eventually diagnosed with a condition called Ulcerative Colitis. This condition is one of the main forms of inflammatory bowel disease and is often referred to as a condition that causes ulceration and bleeding of the lining of rectum and colon. However, as with many other autoimmune disorders it can also affect the body in other ways, such as fatigue, pain, diarrhoea, weight loss and anaemia. I have experienced all of these symptoms. While there is no cure, the symptoms can often be managed with medication although for many, surgery can be the end result. In my case, at the age of 17 I’d had so much time off through ill health and hospital stays that I left college early. When my symptoms were more under control through an extensive cocktail of drugs, I entered the world of full time work.
Fast forwarding a few years, I started a career in the IT industry, where I remain today. This is a varied and interesting job with many facets and what I’ve learned over the years has prepared me for handling the technology side of Aurora as well. Many hours of my day are spent sitting in front of computer screens looking at data, writing software, building and testing computer code and helping with customer queries. But one of the mainstays is that it’s quite a sedentary job and as I have to travel many miles to work, I also spend a lot of time in the car. Many years of doing this on top of medication and a lack of physical activity, had all taken its toll on my body. Now into my thirties, I had done no strenuous activity for many years. At the age of 35, my elder son was a strong swimmer having learned at school, and my younger son wanted to learn but the school no longer offered swimming lessons. So I overcame my fear of the water and we learned together in the baby pool at the Oasis in Swindon!
Realising I needed to become stronger to be a better swimmer and to better support (and keep up with!) our boys, Nat and I joined the whole family up at a local gym which also offered a nice swimming pool. Having never set foot in a gym before and not knowing what to do, we took up the opportunity of a gym induction and signed up for some personal training sessions with an amazing personal trainer. She taught us how to use the gym equipment safely and would later go on to transform my relationship with exercise. I remember that first training session well… I’ll never forget it. Ego and a brain that thought I was still 20 took over. I did everything that was asked of me and then some. And then the session was over and I realised that the gym was upstairs, and I needed to walk downstairs! I suffered with muscle soreness for days afterwards. This was the point when something changed in me, as I had a stark realisation of just how unfit I had become. I needed to get fitter and stronger to set a good example for the kids, and to make sure I could carry on doing the things I enjoy into later life. Most importantly, I wanted to keep up with the boys as they grew up.
Some years later, I still wouldn’t say I’m the well-oiled fitness machine that some people seem to be. But for the first time I’m actually OK with that. We don’t all have to be elite athletes to enjoy life, to improve ourselves and our mental and physical wellbeing, all of which are closely linked. For many people (me included), the world of fitness can be quite intimidating, especially as a newcomer. When you don’t know what you’re doing, the advice and support of a caring and knowledgeable professional can make all the difference. I’m lucky that in my case I had lots of support from my personal trainer and from my family. This realisation was the reason I decided to become a personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor and life coach myself. To ‘pay it forward’ so I can help others with their own mind and body fitness journeys. I look forward to working with you.