This month, our spotlight is on Nichola Stuart, mum of two boys, teacher, and life coach. Nichola joined 3118 Yoga several months ago and views her regular Tuesday evening Yoga for Relaxation class as an opportunity to reconnect and recharge.
How long have you been practising yoga?
I have been practising yoga now for over 18 years, on and off. After I had my first child 5.5 years ago I had committed to more regular practice.
How were you first introduced to yoga?
I started my yoga journey back in the UK when I joined a Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates fusion class at my local gym. I had just graduated and started my teaching career, so the class was an absolute blessing. I actually became quite addicted to it, as it was my only time to build calm, relaxation, and spiritual presence into my life. As a teacher and parent, I am always thinking, reflecting and planning in my head. My regular yoga practice has been a bit of a lifesaver in that way.
What styles of yoga do you enjoy most, and why?
It is difficult to decide! I have had lots of favourite styles, depending on where I have been in my life. My top two would be prenatal and Yin & Restore / Yoga for Relaxation. I absolutely loved prenatal sessions, as they were specific to what my body needed. What’s more, both my boys and I had shared some beautiful moments of connection thanks to yoga.
I am in my element in Katia’s Yoga for Relaxation (Yin & Restore) class. The deep relaxing movements bring me into the present moment, allowing me to become at one with my body and breath. I am a busy working mum, so having this session at the end of my day supports my biochemistry and allows my body to restore and relax. This is my way to nurture myself.
What challenges has yoga presented to you or continues to present to you?
For the first 15-20 minutes of the session, I really struggle to get out of my head and stop thinking of all the things I need to do for my work and at home. Thankfully, I get there and can remain present as I build my flow and focus on my breath. I often practise mindfulness in my day and yoga, along with meditation, brings me to a much deeper state of presence.
What keeps you inspired in your practice? What keeps bringing you back to your yoga mat?
Since I began a regular practice, my body craves it more and more. I love the energy I feel and how strong and flexible my body becomes. It is so refreshing to have such a stunning environment and passionate, professional teachers at 3118 Yoga. I have developed beautiful relationships here. It Is calming, cosy, and so warming!
It’s such a pleasure having you as part of our Yoga family, Nichola! Thank you for your time and heartfelt responses.