Nicole began exploring meditation in 1999, tentatively at first, looking for relief from the anxiety brought on by her hectic urban life. She began reading books on Buddhism, some poetry by Thich Nat Hanh. It took some time, but she finally became able to sit down, grow quiet, and begin to study herself. Yoga followed quite serendipitously just a few years later. As she stood on the mat in her very first class feeling the four points of each foot pressing down in Mountain Pose she felt new awe at her connection to the Earth. She discovered how to wield the breath moving through those first Sun Salutations and found her meditation brought to life. More than just her posture fell into alignment. In 2005, hoping to understand and intelligently cultivate her budding at-home practice, Nicole completed her 250-Hour Vinyasa Yoga Certification at Wake Up Yoga under the guidance of Corina Benner and Jill Manning. As her practice deepened, the call to teach unfolded naturally. Upon receiving her AYA Certification, she began sharing her experience of yoga in classes in and around Philadelphia. In 2006, Nicole relocated from Philadelphia to Costa Rica seeking sunshine, adventure, and a freer way of life. Pacific Yoga was born in a little town called Manuel Antonio, on the South Pacific Coast, where she opened a small studio above the local TEFL school. Students from all over the world learning to teach English abroad, students learning Spanish through immersion in Latin culture, ex-pats, tourists and travelers, and even local Ticos united in Pacific Yoga’s tiny tropical nook to learn the practice of yoga, the culture of being present. Nicole’s approach to yoga practice: simple, steady, light and lively, coincided perfectly with the local pura vida vibe. This recipe, in regular doses, helped ease the transition from ‘the real world’ to the slow pace of paradise. In 2009, Pacific Yoga found a new home further south, in Argentina, where Nicole continued teaching the fullness of simplicity from her home studio in Buenos Aires. Again, Pacific Yoga was a hub for travelers and locals alike, this time for those looking for a place to ground themselves amid the bustle of porteño life. It was here that Pacific Yoga became bi-lingual, challenged to offer instruction in both English and Nicole’s developing Spanish. It was here, too, that Nicole discovered that paradise and pura vida are states of being and not merely geographical points on a map. In July 2010, Nicole returned home to Philadelphia, where she’s happily rerooted in her native soil. She has since taken intensives in Pranayama, Prenatal Yoga, and Yoga for Chronic Pain, and practiced with esteemed teachers such as Yoganand Michael Carroll, Marlysa Sullivan, and Meghan Currie. Pacific Yoga has its current address in Fishtown, where Nicole lives with her son Jack. Through the journey of motherhood, Nicole has developed a passion for teaching yoga to families with children, and especially new mothers. Her practice of simplicity and presence continues to steady her through all the movements and cycles of life. Her teaching shines light on the seemingly insignificant, the tiniest particles of life, to reveal the big picture of universal interconnection.
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Sitting with mother
after all these years smiling
turquoise beautiful Riwo Chöga