My name is Emma Hawthorne and I am the founder of Omunay, a website dedicated to the sharing of yoga, dance, meditation, music, travel, and life!
For the past 14 years I have been performing professionally in musical theatre in Australasian productions including Mamma Mia, Wicked, Annie, West Side Story, Dr Zhivago and Fiddler on the Roof. During this time I have also taught a variety of dance styles including contemporary, lyrical, jazz, ballet, tap, and musical theatre. Yet my passion for music and movement started at a very early age where I would sing and dance absolutely everywhere – down grocery store aisles, in the playground, walking down the street, on the netball court – wherever! I was blissfully unaware that anyone was watching or that this was not in fact ‘normal’. I choose to teach dance because it blows my mind that music and dance have become artistic expressions only for a select few when music and movement feels so inherently natural and essential in the expression of life.
Yoga came to me a little later in life when I was studying at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia in 2004. Here, yoga asana (the physical postures) were taught as a tool for centring and calming the mind prior to performance. In 2012, following some personal losses, I suffered from anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. Feeling lost, I decided to go on a yoga teacher training retreat in Byron Bay. Here I was introduced to other aspects of yoga including meditation, pranayama, and yogic literature. Almost magically I started to feel the weight of my sadness and anxieties lift as I deepened the connection to myself, others, and the world. This led me to participate in two more yoga teacher trainings (500hr and Certificate IV) and attend countless retreats and festivals around the world. Yoga has and continues to inspire me to live a more courageous, peaceful, loving and adventurous life and I am grateful for the gifts it has to offer.
I have met so many people over the years who have expressed their desires to learn to dance, sing, learn yoga, or meditate but are too scared to start. With Omunay I hope to encourage everyone to just start and if fear arises, don’t fight it, but instead dance with it!
So, I welcome you to breathe, move, and inspire yourself!
What does Omunay mean?
The word OMUNAY (OH- moo – nay) is essentially a combination of two words. The first part ‘Om’ comes from the yogic tradition and is thought to be the sound of creation that the entire Universe has stemmed from. ‘Munay’ is a word from the Quechua language of Peru. It has no exact English translation but loosely describes a love that is universal and unconditional. So, combined together ‘Omunay’ represents the Universal love that flows through all beings and connects us all together. I hope the resources in this website help to connect us all a little more to this Universal love.