I grew up in an active household, playing sports and looking to physical activity to calm my busy mind. As an adult, I frequented the gym, ran for miles and took every fitness class you can imagine.
It was in 2007, in my mid twenties, when I first fell in love with the practice of yoga.
I was operating a busy, night-life oriented restaurant/bar in San Francisco. Yoga was the one part of my life that brought peace and clarity to my frantic, high-energy lifestyle. I grew hungry to learn as much as I could about the practice. I started attending workshops, going on retreats and bootcamps, reading blogs and books. Yoga soon became far more than a physical activity– it was a new, fully integrated way of living and being. For me, yoga had a way of dynamically approaching anything that came my way.
In 2012, I was in a serious car accident where I lost my beloved fiance and broke my back. I found myself in a wheel chair, with nothing to focus on but healing. During this healing process, I realized that we are so much more than our bodies or our minds. It’s hard to explain in words, but I began to see that we are souls, here in these bodies, meant to grow and find our truth; to love and to surrender. More than anything else, this is what yoga has taught me: to accept and find peace in what is and to see every opportunity as a chance to learn and experience something new.
After the accident, something clicked inside of me- I realized I had been refining a set of tools that would greatly help me at this time in my life. I became so grateful to have a connection to my breath, and to a practice that deepened my capacity to drop into the present moment- a true benefit of a regular yoga practice. It was exactly nine months after the accident and the deep loss I experienced that I headed to “The Present Moment Retreat” in Troncones Beach, Mexico to get certified to teach Vinyasa and Hatha yoga.
There are many things that contribute to my style of teaching- first, a deep respect for the historical roots of yoga, and an intention to honor proper physical alignment in the postures. In addition, a background of athletics and dance, an appreciation for groovy music, my prior career in nightlife- hosting and creating experiences for others, and an awareness of the body and how it reacts to both external and internal stressors, gathered from my study and practice of both the Alexander Technique and Somatics (a life-changing program I completed called The Art of Leadership Mastery at The Institute of Embodied Wisdom in Ojai, Ca).
My experience is that practicing yoga is an opportunity to use the physical body and the breath to reintegrate and to feel whole; to remember our true nature– perfectly right where we’re supposed to be. The more I practice, the more inspired I am to share yoga with others.
Check out Nicole’s Schedule at The Pad!