"A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”   ― From Graham Greene

If you would have asked me three years ago if I would be teaching yoga, I would have thought you were absurd because I couldn’t even touch my toes.* Also, I had only practiced yoga a handful of times! And yet, here I am! Teaching, learning, loving yoga (almost) everyday.  

So how did that happen, you ask? Well, to tell you that, we have to start from where it all began.

It was a warm summers eve in the 80s when two newlyweds concei... KIDDING!

I had first come across yoga well into my undergrad at the University of Western Ontario. The on-campus gym had several drop-in classes as part of their fitness offering and I attended a few, you know, because fitness is good? And because yoga and the related stretching/relaxation seemed appropriate at the time (hint: it still is). Also, because I worked at the gym and thus was already within 20 meters of said yoga and #noexcuses. Anyways, I did a few classes here and there and enjoyed it but then graduated and didn’t do yoga for another couple years. Not for any real reason other than I had other things going on and #excuses.

After graduating I lived and worked in Europe for a couple years and yoga crept in every now and again as Groupons made it affordable and/or convenient. Again, I enjoyed it but did it more to compensate for the pints of beer I was putting back like the early-twenty-something I was.  

Flash forward to me moving back to Toronto only to move back in with my parents (hard at the time, extremely grateful for them now), taking the only job I was offered after six months of intensive job searching.

Turns out, the job was brutal. Soul-crushingly brutal. For me at least. Anyone who has worked in corporate law may be able to relate.

After a year of working in a toxic environment, and after waking up one morning only to cry silently over my bowl of breakfast cereal as I stared out my window at the high rise office building that had reduced me to a shell of myself, I knew I needed a change.

After a good girl-hang sesh’ with one of my nearest and dearest, a Costa Rican yoga retreat emerged as that change. Why? Who knows. How did I decide? Google search decided for me. Did it work? One hundred per cent to infinity and beyond.

For one week I lounged in a stunning house overlooking the ocean and the jungle. I practiced yoga twice a day (well, fumbled my way through yoga), ate delicious whole foods and removed myself from the life that was making me miserable. In that time I came to experience the wonderful effects of tuning in to what the body is telling you, and responding appropriately. I noticed that as soon as I was able to listen to what my body and my heart was telling me, I was able to find and follow the things in life that have brought me true happiness. The trip was nothing short of transformational.

I returned home with a new sense of self, and a new passion for yoga. Oh and a new desk job that pleases me.

Looking back, it was easy to make the change: all it took was the willingness to change (easier said than done) and the drive to do something about it (only found once willingness is there).

I spent the next year practicing yoga relentlessly – because I wanted to. Not because I thought I should, but because I couldn’t not practice. Coming to my mat was what I looked forward to each day, and experiencing all the changes that were happening to my body, my headspace and my life were an added bonus. In January 2014 I took my practice to the next level by enrolling in a 200-hour teacher-training program, and began teaching almost immediately following graduation. I am now certified to teach hatha and vinyasa yoga and have already raked in nearly 100 teaching hours, including a stint as a visiting instructor at a 5-star resort in Jamaica. That was cool.

So there you have it. The story of how yoga brought happiness, strength, peace and fun into my life. It is my hope that I can bring all those qualities and more to your life through teaching.

What was a moment that changed your life? Share in the comments below!

Namaste.

*Editor’s note: By the way, i still can’t touch my toes comfortably... but we’ll get to that another day.

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Nicole

Nicole is an adventurer, a dreamer, a sister, a daughter, a wife and a friend. She lives in Hamilton, has two cats named Cello and Edi, and is a registered yoga teacher.


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