Stop scratching on the surface. Let's go deep!

Today I turn 36! That makes me a strong, stubborn Taurus. Although a friend would argue that, according to NASA, there’s actually 13 constellations and that everyone is actually a different astrology sign then they believe… This got us on the discussion of what influences us to be Us. How the moon/planet/stars were aligned when we are born? Or (and) the influence of what happens to us pre and post natal, during our upbringing, our experiences and our environment? How much do each (or all) of these things influence who we are?

Ever since I was introduced to neuroplasticity through The Feldenkrais Method® I’ve been intrigued by how the brain can change itself. Much of what we do is a developed pattern that we have the ability to refine or even change with a bit of curiosity and learning. Feldenkrais® addresses this on a physical level through the inquiry of our movements to discover ways to be more efficient and find greater ease and potency in our actions. 

For the last 10 years I’ve been exploring this only to realize there’s so much more to it.

Our movements are unique to all of us. You can see this when you recognize a friend walking off in the distance, or in their surfing/skiing/biking style. These movements can be refined so that we can move with greater power and flow and live with less pain.

    But what about our personality? 
    What about our actions and reactions? 
    Or how we communicate? 
    And how we handle stress? 

Can we evolve or reshape our mental and behavioural ways?

Over the last couple of years I’ve been looking more into this which has led me to study Somatic Experiencing®(SE). SE focuses on the impact of trauma on the nervous system and how trauma influences our actions and reactions to daily stimuli.

What I’m learning is BLOWING MY MIND! To me it is the missing link—it makes so much sense!

I still have so much to learn and I am loving how all the studying, reading, and training is influencing my view on how we can build our capacity to be more than we allow ourselves to be. With time my practice is transitioning and I’m feeling super inspired to share things with you in the near future.

To continue learning I must practice. This is where I would love to work with YOU!

You know life can be good. Sometimes great. But you don’t always (or maybe often) feel that way. 

Instead: 
       The littlest things stresses you out.
       You get anxious often.
       You don't sleep well.

       You suffer from depression.
       You have chronic pain.
       You’ve lost a sense of who you are. 

You’ve tried meditating. Changing your diet. Exercising. Breathing. Thinking positively. Maybe even seen councillors or therapists. You’ve had some success. But things often get difficult again and you fall back into your regular patterns. You’re trying to make a change but feel like you’re only scratching the surface of something that’s much deeper. 

So let’s go deeper. 

Let’s work with your nervous system!

HOW?

I’m currently accepting a handful of people who want to commit to finding better regulation and flow in their nervous system. Cost is $50CAD/session. Space is limited. Get in touch if you're interested!

We will work one on one together chatting on Skype or in person. 

What’s different with this work compared to many other modalities is the focus is on learning the language of your nervous system and how we can shift the activation from past trauma and stress that’s stored in the body and throwing you out of whack. 

Here's an example. Let's pretend today is YOUR birthday. As soon as you imagine this what comes up? Excitement? You have big plans and you're looking forward to celebrating and you know it'll be a good time!?  Or is there a bit (or a lot) of uncertainty? Doubt. No one really cares. No one's going to do anything for me. People won't remember. Deep down you kind of hate this day. You don't really feel like it's worth celebrating. Sit with this for a moment, pretending it's your birthday and notice how do you feel this in your body? Do you notice any sensations? Are there thoughts that come to mind? A memory? An urge?

If you've had a positive experience with past birthdays, this may seem like no big deal to you. But if your birthday has caused you stress and there's a negative association to it then your experience will be much different. 

An over activated nervous system is often the underlying cause of many of our self limiting beliefs and actions, and our mental instabilities. The key is to begin to fully process and resolve the trauma and stress that is stored in our body to shift our limitations.

Intrigued? Let’s do this!  Space is REALLY limited.

Warning. This shit goes deep, takes time, and works on a totally different level than most modalities. If you’re sick of overriding and pretending everything is awesome then SIGN UP NOW! :)


Sign up for my newsletter and stay tuned to learn more about your nervous system in a future post! 

'Twas the night before Christmas...

I remember as a kid getting excited about the Christmas cards and packages that would arrive in the mail filled with good wishes, updates, presents and (of course) chocolate from near and far. Now a days we send emails or connect on Facebook. But it's not the same. If I had all your addresses I would send you a card! (My address is Box 684 Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 in case you want to send me anything...!) For now this will have to do.

A little poem from me to you!
All the best over the holidays. Maybe see you in El Salvador!?

I honor you.
Nicole


‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

Gifts under the tree wrapped in cloth bags and twine,
This year’s savings donated to charities online.
With a fridge full of food to meet everyone’s needs.
No one here will go hungry. That is a guarantee.
 
With everyone together from north, south, east and west.
Having celebrated all night, we are ready to rest.
Lying cozy under the covers, feeling grateful for bed.
Knowing not all are as lucky to have a roof overhead.
 
With a startle and a shake, I woke from a dream.
A dream that was reality, or at least so it seemed.
People were inspired and excited for change.
Taking action on things with effects of long range.
 
Let’s face it. Us humans do only what we know how to do.
But our potential is potent. If only we knew.
The world is in a place with so much distress.
Imagine us in a place inspired to do only our best.
 
Life can be damn amazing, spontaneous and carefree.
But it can also be stressful, sad and lonely.
We’re in this together, all for one and one for all.
Come on world get ready for a big overhaul.
 
As I doze back to sleep, feeling encouraged and happy,
I reflect on my dream and what is important to me.
Family. Friends. Opportunity. And choice.
Feeling loved, appreciated and knowing I have a voice. 
 
I hope that you too would like your voice to be heard.
That you will no longer let your potential be deferred.
May this next year be one of growth, inspiration and fight.
Happy holidays to all and to all a good night.

xo Nicole Lohse

I've got something to admit.

Sometimes you just gotta express yourself. You know!?

Sometimes you just gotta express yourself. You know!?

Back when I did my yoga teacher training in 2005, I was so excited to call myself a yoga teacher. I loved how the practice made me feel, was enjoying being part of the community and, to be honest, thought it would be a really cool ‘job’ that I could travel the world with.

At the time I had no real idea what teaching entailed. I didn’t know that it was much more than a physical practice. Or that yoga would influence me into becoming something more then just flexible and strong. I only knew it was something I enjoyed and that it was going to lead me in a new direction.

But as I got more and more into it something didn’t feel right. I was teaching something that was all about connecting the ‘body’, ‘mind’ and ‘spirit’ but instead was feeling doubt, uncertainty and like I wasn’t being true to myself.

I started to feel uncomfortable and ashamed to call myself a yoga teacher. I slowly became less excited, less involved and unsure if yoga was for me.

I’ve sat with this for a long time. Trying to understand. I’ve come to terms with the fact that:

Yoga. It’s not you.

It’s this.

I hear people say "I should do yoga but… I’m not flexible enough. Yoga classes intimidate me. I’m gonna suck and people will judge me."

I’ll admit, I myself often feel overwhelmed by the ‘yoga scene’. I feel like I don’t fit in and need to be on overdrive to keep up. I don’t feel comfortable.

Lets face it. Us Westerners have taken what we like best about yoga and have done a damn good job of Americanizing it. Labeling it. Marketing and social media’ing the shit out of it. Creating an image out of it. At least it’s getting people interested. And it’s changing lives. But is the practice being lost?

It seems like people are focusing on BEING SOMETHING instead of being themselves. That there’s this search and desire to act a certain way. To fit in to a certain image. To live a certain lifestyle. To "Let go." "Be present". And that "Everything is awesome".

Is this really what yoga is teaching us?

What would it be like if we all practiced in a way which invited curiosity within our own process. If we took time to explore the experience instead of getting lost in the idea. If we took the time to evolve in our own way as we are ready.

Are you willing?

There are currently so many modalities out there opening people’s eyes, bodies and minds to explore something that they were unaware of before. Whatever technique. People are learning. People are becoming curious. People are starting to change.

And that I find inspiring.

As I continue to practice the different modalities that I am intrigued in, I am amazed at the naturally growth and development. Yoga has opened me up to getting a glimpse on who I am. Feldenkrais is changing my approach on how my body moves, expanding my awareness into something I never thought possible. Somatic Experiencing is teaching me the language of the nervous system where I am discovering the unprocessed shit that resides within me. Life allows me to put it all into practice. It all ties in. It's quite fascinating if you ask me.

Intrigued? Interested? I hope so.

May the curiosity be with you.

Nicole

Stretching is Overrated!!

We've been led to believe that stretching will help us recover from injury, improve our performance and generally make us more flexible and mobile. But what if we have it all wrong!?

For a while now, I've been wanting to get the message that stretching is overrated out there.

Finally here's an easy explanation on why!

Watch the video and tell me your thoughts! Can you relate? Do you disagree? Are you curious!?

I honor you.
Nicole


PS. If you agree with what I've got to say, please share and spread the word!


Interested in trying something that will help you with your flexibility, mobility, balance and coordination that's NOT stretching?? Try out this 20 minute video!

Get on it!!! Tomorrow...

Is it too late to wish you a Happy New Year!? Yes. I’m a bit behind in sending out the typical New Years hurrah... The intention was there to send out a little something to you over the holidays, but an intention doesn’t always lead to action. I’m sure you can relate!

I, (probably) like you, don’t always get around do doing the things I want to do. We can find excuses and justify all we want but that doesn’t change the outcome.

I’ll admit that I believe things unfold in a way that we have no control over. It seems fitting to use my favorite Arabic word In sha'Allah, which means if god wills it.

Things may happen when they’re meant to happen, BUT ultimately we have control of our actions, reactions and the choices we make. We put ourselves out there. The results happen as they happen.

I challenge you to become more aware of your actions, reactions and ability to choose because the outcome may lead to some pretty amazing opportunities!

Lots of love! Nicole

This session taps into strength. Not too intense, but will get you planking for sure. Filmed amongst the painted rocks in Tafraout, Morocco. A place well worth a visit!! Watch out for the video bombers....

Enjoy!

Appreciating fall explorations.

This fall is the first time I haven't gone off to explore and work somewhere tropical in a really long time. And it feels good. The sun might not be as strong, but it still shines. The water might not be warm, but it's more than surfable. There are plenty of adventures to go on, parties to go to and people to see. Plus, it's kind of nice sleeping under a thick duvet while the fresh, brisk air blows in through my slightly cracked window. Winters coming. And soon I will be heading to warmer places. But for now, I enjoy being home, appreciating what this amazing place has to offer.

This months video was filmed at one of my favorite spots, and one I only recently really explored. A 2 km hike along a moss infested board walk, over trickling streams and through dense rainforest, spits you out into paradise. When the tide is low you can walk for hours from cove to cove, taking in the beauty of the rugged rock formations, sand dunes and endless beach.

Come visit. I'll take you there.

This session is all about getting a sense of yourself in space. Feeling yourself in 3 detentions as you move through your practice. Not too chill. Not too much work.

Turns out I placed my mat at an interesting angle... I seem to have a thing with bending over and having stuff beam out of my ass! In the Hamburg video it was a fountain. Here it's the sun. There you have it. The sun shines out of my ass. Haha!

Enjoy. Love Nicole

Thanks for... making a difference.

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada - known as the day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. It's the opportunity to get together, feast, and celebrate life. There are many things that I am thankful for - too many to actually list. Life is pretty damn good.

Around the world shit's going down. The war against ISIS. Ebola in Western Africa. Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons destroying villages, towns, cities and lives. Lack of food and water. Lack of good health care. The list goes on.

But what I've come to realize is that no matter where we are in the world, no matter what's going on in our life, there is one thing worth celebrating and being grateful for. Always. Because without it life would be pretty empty.

EACH OTHER.

It's friends, family - even strangers that make the difference.

So I thank you. Friend, family, stranger. For teaching me, guiding me, supporting me, loving me, challenging me... because it's our influences on one another that can make the real difference.

Love Nicole

I was camping down on the Washington coast a couple weeks back and while lying in my tent 'moving around' thought "Hey. I should film a yoga video in my tent!". But the backdrop there was too beautiful! So I still created a little series that could be done while in a tent, or in bed for that matter, but filmed the video with a view. It's mellow. Gets in all the right areas, and leaves you feeling mobile and ready for what's ahead.

Enjoy!

When you're too busy to think, and all you want is a nap...

Summer is more less over. The busy times have come to an end for us in Tofino, which means us locals can resurface for air, come back out to play and recover from the chaos.

I often forget what it's like to really be busy. To work (over) full time hours. To run from one job to the next. To barely have time to think. To come home to a massive 'to do list' waiting for me, when all I really want to do is watch movies and take naps...

But now that I've had the time to reflect on it all, I realize that it was well worth the insanity.

I spend my time sharing my love for yoga and surfing and get to playing in the outdoors. I work with the 20+ rad, gorgeous girls who are all solid friends. My project are all on things I'm passionate about. And I get to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Chaos can be chaotic. And often we are the ones that create it. A balance is key. If we can realize it's temporary and step back and see what's important to us then maybe we all won't be so 'crazy'!!?

Now, to decide what to do this fall/winter... Baja to start. Need some down time!? Join me!

Love Nicole

This is August's video. In September. For obvious chaotic reasons.

For when your minds just a little bit 'crazy'. Yoga Nidra. A guided meditation that will leave you refreshed and ready for ANYTHING! A great alternative to napping. Hopefully you manage to stay awake through it all... Enjoy!

** Sorry if the sound is bad. I am no pro videographer and seriously need better recording devices...

Stretching in a Dynamic sort of way.

Summer's here in Tofino!!! And with that comes endless hours of daylight to play in! My rooms a disaster, I'm avoiding sitting on my computer and my hand tan from being in my wetsuit on all these sunny days is getting pretty awesome. I love summer!!

Though we are now into July, here is Junes video.

I seem to be on a Feldenkrais kick. This month is all about gaining mobility - in a 'dynamic stretching' sort of way. If you know me and my teaching, you know that I think 'stretching is overrated'. (I will go into more detail regarding this soon). This video is a great example of how it's not about sitting there and forcefully trying to touch your toes for minutes on end to lengthen your hamstrings. Often people comment that they're hamstrings got longer after doing this lesson then after years and years of 'stretching'!

Be sure to play with finding ease and smoothness within the quality of your movements. Do less if you are holding your breath or feeling like you're forcing the movement. Be curious. Take rests as often as you need. And of course enjoy!

Love Nicole

Disconnect to Connect.

Earlier this month I went on a birthday adventure up to the remote northern tip of Vancouver Island. There were many aspects of the trip that made it memorable. The canoe journey down the tidal river (not to be done on a low tide – we learned the hard way…) The expected rain. Welcoming the warm, spring sun. Seeing the northern lights. Being stared down by a pack of wolves. The long days filled with surf, lazing on the beach and being with good friends. Its trips like this that remind me how amazing it is to step away from routines, to-do lists and the reliance of‘being connected’ to the internet. Nothing beats spending time out in the open air with nothing to do, nowhere to be and all the time in the world to sit back and simply enjoy.

I’m finding, though, that now a days so many of us are becoming less connected with what’s going on around us and are instead sucked into a world that can be hard to call a reality.

Don’t get me wrong. The invention of the internet has changed our world and has created so many amazing opportunities. But our reliance and addiction to it is what’s becoming worrying. Are we becoming totally disconnected to reality?

I challenge you to put your phones away more often. To sit in front of your computers a little less, and to take in and be present with the people and things that surround you.

Connect with friends afar, but when you’re with your friends that are near, give them your full attention. Take a picture, but then put down your phone and take in everything your camera missed. When you have nothing to do and are waiting, wait and take in the show that is playing out in front of your eyes.

When you drive, drive. When you walk, walk. When you talk, talk. When you eat, eat. Be present with what’s going on around you. Set time aside for your computer and phone and when you’re on them be present and attentive to the tasks at hand. (How many times have you gone on Facebook to do one thing, only to realize half an hour later that you don’t even remember what that thing was…).

Curious to know if you’re addicted?

Common signs and symptoms of having an addiction.

People who consistently use their smart phone continue to do so because it makes them feel good. It makes them feel like they’re part of something. It stops them from feeling lonely. Alone. Bored. In many cases, however, there is a fine line between regular use and addiction. Very few addicts are able to recognize when they’ve crossed that line.

  • You grab your phone to avoid silence, time alone or to because you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms. If you find yourself waiting alone, or go too long without checking email, Facebook, instagram, twitter etc, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety. The only way to feel relief is to get on your phone.
  • You’ve lost control over your phone use. You often are on it more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t. Just one more scroll. One more video. One more game… You may want to stop using. You know you could spend your time doing other productive things. But you feel powerless and you give in.
  • Your life revolves around having your phone on you. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about being on your phone. You figure out ways to check your phone even when it’s not appropriate to see if you’re missing anything. While you cross the road. While you’re driving, while you’re with friends. While sitting on the toilet.
  • You’ve built up a tolerance and are dependent. You no longer think for yourself. You’re on it all the time. You rely on your phone to prove useless facts, to do simple math, to be told how much to tip and to tell you what time the bus is coming. In the past you used your phone for emergencies or the odd phone call or text. Now you need it on you at all times and know everything at any given time. You have this access to information at your finger tips and can’t imagine anything different.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because being on your phone takes up all your time.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, maybe it’s time for you to make a change in your life. Try a dose of Nature. I hear that shit does wonders.

I honor you.

Nicole


I filmed this while up on my camping/surf/bday adventure. We came across this little cave while strolling the beaches just as the rain started the day before. I didn't set the best camera angle so I am a little lost in the darkness, but it doesn't matter because there is little to be seen in this video anyways! The sound may be a little off to as I recorded the voice over with my phone in the woods... How to make it happen in the middle of no where!

This months video is a feldenkrais lesson all about exploring the movement in your pelvis. When we learn to find more mobility in our pelvis we find more comfort in our low back and hips. Keep your movements simple and small. Play with finding easy and smoothness in the movements. Be curious. And most importantly enjoy!

Honey, I'm home! Let's do some yoga in the rain.

I've traveled a lot over the last 3 1/2 years. Morocco (x2), France (x2), Italy, Germany, The Baja (x2), Hawaii (x3), Costa Rica (x2)... I've had some amazing adventures, met some of the most important people in my life and learned so much about my values and who I am. But there's always been one thing missing. I had gotten good at feeling 'at home' wherever I was, but I never was 'home'.

I lived in Whistler on and off for 13 years. A world class mountain town filled with endless outdoor opportunities, inspiring people and some of my most favorite restaurants in the world... but it was never 'home'.

A year ago I officially left. I emptied my storage unit, changed my phone number and moved to a small surf town on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Tofino. It's here that I've found what I've been missing.

Here I am part of a community filled with people who have similar values as myself. I get to live the small town life surrounded by endless, stunning wilderness. And I get to surf.

But most importantly, it's here that I've found that feeling of 'home'. Something words can't describe.

Now don't get me wrong. I will still continue to travel and work abroad - Tofino gets pretty dark and wet in the winter. But I can't wait to appreciate and share what this place has to offer for at least the next 6 months!

Hopefully I get to share it with you.

I honor you.

Love Nicole

This is a mellow session. A little bit of randomness really. Some yoga. Some feldenkrais. Mainly all about exploring range of motion in your wrists and shoulders.

I hope you enjoy it!

Ah Crap! I forgot my passport! Good thing it worked out. A yoga video from Hawaii.

AH! Crap! I forgot my passport! Yup. That was me. At work. In Whistler. 24 hours before my flight was leaving. My passport a 7 hour car/ferry ride away. My heart going a mile a minute, inappropriate words flooding out of my mouth. Shit. I’ll admit. I was stressed.

But like always. It worked out. A friend of mine who just happened to see my emergency freak-out post on Facebook was flying Tofino to Vancouver the next day. She arrived at 230pm. I flew at 530pm. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

The thing is if it wouldn’t have worked out that way, something else would have come together. Because it always does.

Can you relate? When things don’t go as planned do you get anxious, overwhelmed and freak out or are you able to recognize that ‘It’s going to work out.’. Bob Marley said it best. “Don't worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright”.

It’s all about your prospective. It’s about how you deal with the situation and how you react to the stresses in your life.

The purpose of stress is to kick you into reacting – fight or flight. Make shit happen. This is the good type of stress. The one you need to survive.

The bigger the stress/situation, the more your body prepares to survive. When your life is threatened your body responds but before long, when you know we are safe again, your body calms down and you no longer feel stressed.

It's obvious you’re under stress in these types of situations, but what about everyday small stuff.

It's the continuing pressure from work, home, family, relationships, money and even your environment that can cause a build up of stress that you are often unaware of. You create your own stress by over analyzing, from fear, worrying, rushing, assuming or not communicating. It's these types of stressors and the hurried, tense lifestyle that comes with them that you can easily get caught up in and even get addicted to. It can get to the point where you start looking for stressful situations or feeling stress about things that aren't stressful.

These long-term situations are hard on you mentally and physically. The nervous system senses continued pressure and may remain slightly activated and continue to pump out extra stress hormones over an extended period. This can wear out you body's reserves, leave you feeling depleted or overwhelmed, weaken your body's immune system, and cause other problems.

It's these situations that you need to become aware of. With that awareness you can learn to change the situation, change how you handle them or change your attitude towards them.

Doing things like forgetting your passport and getting stressed is healthy. Natural. Important. Part of life. But watch out for the everyday stresses in your life.

This months video took me over 2 weeks to do. It took 3 tries – round one the light was crap. Round two my camera batteries died. Thank goodness round three was successful. It took me a lot longer to get everything edited and uploaded due to poor internet and transferring issues. I could have let it stress me out. But instead I took my time and I enjoyed being on holidays in Hawaii with family and friends. And now it's ready and I am happily relaxed and enjoying life on the Hawaiian Islands.

I encourage you to really consider what in life is worth stressing over? Start living a happier, more easy going life already!

I honor you.

Love Nicole

A little flow amongst the palm trees on the Big Island of Hawaii. Modify as you need to and always make sure you’re breathing!

I hope you enjoy it!

Something NEW! Why not right!? The Feldenkrais Method.

This is my 19th video. Crazy, right!? Man time flies! For this month I thought I would try something NEW! This is a Feldenkrais lesson. In many of my other videos I amalgamate various Feldenkrais goodies into the sessions but I have yet to do a pure, 100% Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lesson.

So... Ta Da! Here you have it!

Now. What in the world is Feldenkrais.

The Feldenkrais Method (no - it's not a cult or religion) is named after a genius of a man named Moshe Feldenkrais who was a nuclear physicist, and the first European to get his black belt in Judo back in the 30's. He created the method due to endless hours of self-rehabilitation to avoid a major surgery.

The method is about working with your brain and body to break apart your patterns and habits, and discover new, more efficient ways of moving.

Ultimately it's about learning how to learn.

It can be used to recover from injuries, improver performance, deal with constant pain and discomfort, improve motor skills due to brain injury or underdevelopment... really, if you have a brain and you are willing and wanting to improve yourself, Feldenkrais will help you.

You will rediscover the balance, flexibility, and coordination that exist within you, all while enhancing your mental and physical being. Pretty sweet eh!

To start to understand the Feldenkrais® Method one must experience it. So do the video below! Or come hang out with me and do a class,workshop,holiday or one on one!

The method can be explored either in a guided class setting called 'Awareness Through Movement' lesson (like the video below) or through 'Functional Integration'; a one on one, hands on method. The learning process is ongoing and the experience is unique to the individual since we all have different shit going on!

The importance lies on the attention brought to your movements. It's all about experimenting and trial and error. Not about getting a six pack. Or forcing a stretch. Or pushing till it hurts. By exploring your habits and patterns, breaking them down into small, controlled, slow movements and better understanding how the body can move more efficiently and effectively you will discover how you are capable of so much more!

Questions? Curious? Contact me! I'd love to chat.

A few things about this video.

1. I am sitting on something that is just a bit too high for this lesson. I didn't realize the bench was that high until I went there to film. I would suggest sitting on your average kitchen chair or stool. Something where your knees are either in line with your hip creases or your knees are slightly lower then your hip creases.

2. Remember that less is more. Seriously. STOP USING EFFORT and let go of the end result. Be curious in the process. This is not an exercise. It's the opportunity for you to explore and discover the what and how.

3. My camera has a scratch in the lens and I just happen to stand myself in front of it for the whole video! Ha! Oh well. Realistically you shouldn't be watching the video anyways. You should just be listening to my sweet voice and following the steps I give you. Not copying me!

Enjoy!

I honor you. Love Nicole

Surfing the Pacific North West. And yoga in a wetsuit...

I dodge the last couple potholes on the dirt road and finally pull into the parking lot. According to the swell report and the amount of cars around, there are waves. I decide to suit up without having a look. I'm here after all. And I know I want to surf. Whatever the conditions are I'm ready to tackle them.

I slide into my wetsuit which is like putting on a fuzzy pair of pajamas. I'm grateful for my new Ripcurl Flashbomb on days like these. When you can see your breath, wearing a fleece lined wetsuit just seems so right. There's a darkness that welcomes me as I enter the trail. With the dense forest looming overhead not much of this winter light is getting in. There's a mist filtering its way through the trees and I can hear the roar of the ocean off in the distance. I dance my way around the mud puddles and slippery roots, excited to get in the water.

As I approach the sea I notice it's scattered with eager surfers warming up next to their beach fires. Black heads bob off in the distance and as a clean set rolls in they come to life, gliding across the face of the wave in their neoprene tuxedos. The waves look fun and there are only a few people out. I pull up my hood, pry on my gloves and wade over the slippery rocks into the cold water.

As I paddle out I reminisce about my recent warm water encounters. It always takes me a bit to get use to surfing in a wetsuit again. I tend to trip over my booties. My pop ups are slow. And when I paddle it seriously doesn't feel like I'm moving. But I couldn't be happier then I am right now. Surfing the Pacific North west is truly magical. And I feel blessed to call this home.

Here we live in rubber boots, puffies, plaid and toques. We don't complain about the cold. We just dress warmer. The men have beards not because they're cool, but because it's an extra layer. And the women are unicorns (fricking awesome and the real deal). Come see it for yourself.

There's something about being in these remote waters that is nothing like anything I've experienced. Maybe it's the fresh air. The empty breaks, or the friendliness of the community. Whatever it is, I know it's where I want to be.

I filmed this months yoga video just before going for a surf. A little wetsuit yoga action. I suggest doing this video in the comfort of your comfy clothes. You'll be able to move your arms a little easier then when in a wetsuit! There's lots of arms overhead and side bending that goes down. Enjoy!

I honor you. Love Nicole

Find all my past videos here!

Peace, Love and Yoga.

Here you have it! A little holiday yoga video for you. Though it gives off more of a 'being on holiday' feel then it does a 'holiday season' kind of feel...

This yoga video is all about exploring flexion in your torso which is one of my favorite things to practice. So many of us carry so much tone in our back muscles. Society may lead you to believe that to balance out back issues you have to strengthen your core. I call bull shit. I can rant on this topic for hours, but that I'm saving for a future video. Don't worry. You'll get a taste of it in this one...

The movements in this video can commonly be confused with doing a core work out or sit ups but it's not. Please please please drop any concepts you have of doing this to get a six pack or strengthening your core, and instead explore this video with curiosity. Instead of worrying about engaging your 'core', think about how you can change your organization and involve more of yourself into the movement so that it begins to become easier and more accessible for you. How can you find more mobility in your pelvis, ribs, spine, head and eyes so that your back muscles (extensors) can learn to lengthen and your front torso muscles (flexors) can learn to engage when required. Very heavily feldenkrais influenced and I know personally my back always feels a ton better after I do this kind of work.

If you come across questions or have some comments don't hesitate to share them with me!

All the best over the holiday time. May it be filled with delicious food, good company, love and many laughs.

I honor you. With love. Nicole

Find all my past videos here!

Needing vs Wanting.

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I find myself, yet again down in the tropics over the holidays. And it's not at all 'beginning to look a lot like Christmas'!

Since October I've been skipping out on the cold rainy west coast weather and have been living out of my backpack in warm wonderful places.It's thanks to traveling that I am reminded of how little I need and discover what's important to me in my life. Now don't get me wrong. I could make a HUGE list of the things I want right now. A new computer. A video camera. A new engine for my van. Some eggnog... But what I need? I can't think of one thing. And for that I feel lucky.

The holiday time is a great time to consider 'What do we really need in our life?'. Many of us make the effort to give and receive around this time of the year. And being part of that process can be so rewarding. But have we lost track of our needs and gotten absorbed in what we want? Sometimes it's nice to be reminded that less can be more, and as lucky as many of us are to have the ability to give, is what we're giving necessary?

Here is an article I wrote a couple years back covering my thoughts on needing vs wanting. I invite you to be aware of this over the coming weeks leading up to the holidays. And maybe instead of giving the unnecessary, tune into the necessities.

Enjoy! Love Nicole

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By definition, to 'need' is when something is essential or when something is required in order to have success and achieve something. To 'want' is to feel a desire to have or do something.

Food, water, clothing, and shelter are the few things that humans need to survive in life. Beyond these simple needs, we have the opportunity to have much more, but what's really necessary? It's very easy to get caught up in the things we want due to the influence of our environment, beliefs, our hobbies, and what social groups we (want to) belong to. A 'want' usually stems from a thought (conscious or not) as we seek a sense of self-enhancement, and fulfillment believing that getting what we want will give us satisfaction and make us happy.

You can ask yourself 'Are you are sheltered from the weather? Can you pay for the basics of life in society and still eat, be clothed, and provide for those important to you? Can you find enjoyment in the things you do with little cost involved?' If the answer is 'yes', then consider that you have enough.  Maybe you have more than enough!

Materialistically.

It's quite easy to notice our wants when it comes to materialistic things. We want because we deserve it, because it's fashionable, because it's on sale, because it looks good, because the one we have is old... we can justify and find many reasons why we should get what we want. But maybe we can begin to ask ourselves 'Is this essential and required for my well being, or is this to satisfy a desire. Do I currently have enough?' With that awareness, we recognize our wantsand make it a conscious choice.

Financially.

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No matter how much or how little money we have chances are we feel we don't have enough. We can spend our whole life working, trying to make money for the future and always wanting more, but than we easily loose focus of what we presently have. If we begin to recognize that what we have is all we need, than our attitude towards money can change. We can learn to trust that 'I have enough now, and I will have enough later.'

Relationships.

When it comes to money and materialistic things, we can make choices to affect what we have in the future. In relationships we can communicate what we want from our partners, friends and family, but we have little control over what we get from them. Love from others cannot be found or forced. The only thing we have control over is the love for ourselves and the love that  we share. It's through that love that we can influence our relationships with others, becoming more excepting and wanting less from those in our lives.

It's not that we shouldn't want, because wanting allows us to set goals and intentions for the future and allows us to recognize what we need in order to get what we want. When we learn  to control our wants and our urges to change from what we presently are or have, we can learn to live more in the present and less in the want of the future, discovering fulfillment, satisfaction and happiness with what we already are and have.

Seasonal Changes. And flowing with the Maui waterfalls

The seasons are a changing. The leaves are falling. Whistler/Blackcomb is open. The town of Tofino is empty. And most who migrate south hit the road a while ago. This is a time of transition. And one of the many times out of the year where us seasonal workers find ourselves wondering - 'What's next?' - 'Where should I go.' - 'What am I doing with my life?'.

I have to admit I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have a steady job and a set income. Something I have never experienced. I wonder what it would be like to go home to my partner and kids and to have a house that I own – or at least to own more then what fits into my van. I think that comfort is comforting. That stability makes us feel stable. And for many the uncertainty of not knowing what's next can be stressful.

But do we ever know what’s going to happen next?

The more I live this nomad lifestyle, the more I feel free and unattached to the outcome of the unknown. The more I learn to trust and be open to the endless possibilities.

How often do you hear about the full time banker who quit her job because she was offered work teaching yoga in Mexico? Not often. But when that full time banker quits her job because she realizes it's not who she is and not what makes her happy she has opened herself up to a whole new world of opportunities.

I’m a firm believer in doing what you love, and loving what you do. Whether it’s working towards or in the career you dreamed of. Marrying, raising children and creating a family. Traveling. Studying. Or maybe becoming a gypsy. Do so with an open mind and trust that if you are following what feels right and do what you want to be doing incredible things will happen from there.

Questions of - 'What's next?' - 'Where should I go.' - 'What am I doing with my life?' become exciting. It becomes less about the answers and more about the journey along the way.

So go. Put yourself out there, trust and become available to do the things you dream of doing. From there magic happens. And somehow it always works out.

This months yoga video was filmed at one of the many stunning waterfalls up the Hana Hwy on Maui. I showed up midday and had the place to myself. The peacefulness and the energy was amazing and I was able to film the video, go for a skinny dip and bask in the beauty of it all for well over an hour. Just as I was packing up three people arrived and on my hike back out I passed another seven. Gotta love the magic of Maui.

Enjoy!

I honor you. Love Nicole

Giving thanks. For movement, travel, surf and love.

Ok. Thanksgiving in Canada has past. So you may say I'm late on giving thanks. But American Thanksgiving is still a month away. So you could also say I'm early! Really it doesn't matter. Because it's not about being thankful for just one weekend of the year. It's about being grateful all the time.

I often find I have those magical moments. That 'F*$k life is so good' feeling that comes out of no where. And to me nothing beats that. Everything so right and so amazing. Life is good and it's thanks to the opportunities I've been given, the choices I've made, the attitude I have and the people I surround myself with that makes me grateful for where I am, who I am and what I have. I am thankful that I can share that fortune and love with everyone in my life.

I invite you to bring awareness to what makes you feel good and what you are grateful for. Acknowledge, be thankful and share that amazingness with others. A little love and gratitude goes a long way.

This months yoga video was filmed in Vancouver BC over looking downtown and the docks close to Granville Island. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities. Surrounded by ocean and mountains, this place is packed with adventurous sport fanatics. If only it had a consistent wave...

Be warned you'll have to work a little in this video. But you'll get to chill some too.

Enjoy!

I honor you. Love Nicole

p.s. Join me in the Baja. Nov 23-30th!