life

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!

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!

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!

Needing vs Wanting.

Picture 13

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

Going Exploring and Some Side Plank Yoga Action!

I have to admit. I've been here just over 2 months now and I have done little exploring. I go to the beach to work or surf. I come home and I nap in the sun or chill with friends.When I went to film this months video I found myself wondering down trails in areas I have yet to set foot in - even though it's more less my backyard. My venture through this new discovered pocket of Tofino reminded me how easy it is to get caught up in the routine of life and forget to step outside and go explore! No matter where you live, chances are your area has a little gem sitting there waiting to be appreciated. So take some time and instead of  sitting on the couch, watching tv or wasting time on your computer, get out there and go explore the beauty that's lying all around you!

As for this months video there's a fair amount done on your hands. So those of you with wrists that bug you be gentle. Feel free to be on your forearms instead. Enjoy!

Love Nicole.

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Life is short. Celebrate it!

Anton loving life

I wasn’t going to write a post this month. I played with a number of topics and got stuck on every single one. The words just weren’t coming to me. Yesterday I decided to just leave it. To wait it out. Then this morning I woke to some sad news. A friend had passed away. This guy is a legend, and it makes me sad to know that his positive vibes, his brilliant stories and his big heart won’t reach out to more beings. What made me smile was remembering how much he loved life. How he took in every moment as if it was his last and lived and loved to his greatest potential.

Sometimes it takes a death to remind us how important life is. Because life is short.

If you died today (and had the ability to reflect) would you be able to say you were happy with how you lived your life? With what you accomplished? With who you were as a person? Would you have regrets? Would you have done things differently?

Take a moment and step back to reflect on your life. You can’t change what happened in the past, but you can choose to let go and learn to be present with what you have now. Recognize the opportunities and choices that you’re given everyday. How can you choose to live to your greatest potential!?

Life is short. Live with greatness. Love a lot. Smile. Laugh. Cry. Hug and kiss. Love what you do. Do what you love. Follow your passions and desires. Tell people how you feel. Let go. Live with no regrets. Be present.

Yes, death sucks. And it will happen to all of us sooner then later. But if you’re reading this you’re lucky to still be alive. Celebrate that!

Thank you Anton, for reminding me how short life is and encouraging and showing so many of us how to enjoy it.

Love Nicole