I am a graduate of Shiva Rea's renowned Prana Flow teacher training program.    I have been studying directly with her since 2006 and am honoured to assist her on international retreats and teacher trainings.   Along with extensive studies in the Prana Flow lineage, I have completed thousands of hours of teacher training in the practice of Ashtanga, Prana Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, Yin, Therapeutics, Anatomy, Philosophy, Mantra and Chanting, Mahayana Meditation, Ayurveda, Kalarippayat martial arts, Pre and Post Natal, and Kids Yoga.  I am registered at the highest level (E-RYT500) with the Yoga Alliance.   I work as a Birth Doula (certified through DONA) , and offer services as a Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner (certified through Lotus Palm School in Toronto).

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Aotearoa- Land of the Long White Cloud

I grew up in beautiful New Zealand, with a loving family.   My mother took me to ballet classes, and my father took me to rugby games.  I spent my summers running free on a farm at the beach.  

I went to University and completed post graduate studies in fluvial geomorphology ('flow').    In hindsight, this was an interesting choice, as I now study the ecosystems of the body, and am endlessly fascinated with finding states of flow through movement practice. 

The Asia Diaries

By 21, after many years of reading old copies of National Geographic, I travelled to Nepal and India to spend time in the Himalaya. This trip 'evolved' somewhat, and I ended up calling this part of the world home for the greater part of my adult life - almost a decade.

My shameless attempts to learn several languages at once, and insatiable curiosity to understand all that I saw around me, landed me a job as a tour guide for an Australian company. Based in Saigon, Vietnam, I led adventure tours for small groups throughout South East Asia and China visiting sacred places, bustling cities, and areas of unspoilt natural beauty for three years. This was a dream job for a nomadic 23 year old with an incurable appetite for adventure.

I had a daily ashtanga vinyasa yoga, and mahayana (tibetan) meditation practice as a university student in New Zealand. But my practice really deepened whilst travelling on the road,  as it was the only constant thing I had in my life.   I travelled and stayed at holy pilgrimage sites, and temples throughout Asia, developing a broader living awareness of Eastern Philosophy and culture.    

I completed my first teacher training in Bali in 2004 and opened my small studio Breathing Room Yoga, in Saigon, Vietnam. This was not due to any false notions of expertise in the field, but because no one else was around to teach.  

This was the beginning of a path that I will never truly master, or fully understand. And I  think that this is a very good place to be. In a world saturated with quick fix solutions for everything, and pseudo-experts everywhere, it is wonderful to be at ease with being a curious and dedicated beginner in this ancient and sacred lineage of teachings.  

My small-scale yoga experiment served both the expatriate and Vietnamese population.  It grew from a very small home based studio, into a thriving community with daily classes under frangipani trees on the banks of the Saigon River. I hosted yoga retreats at beautiful coastal locations, and international teachers to come and offer teacher trainings and workshops.  With small classes, I cultivated deep relationships with every student.  We all drank fresh coconuts  in the sun after class. People who could afford to pay me, did so. Local University students gave me 30 cents per class.   Breathing Room Yoga had a heavy focus on karma yoga and service initiatives in our local community. It was completely free from all the commercialism and hype that surrounds the western yoga industry today. 

The Great White North

In 2009, I moved with my family to Toronto.  I had never experienced North American yoga culture before, and it was eye opening to say the least. But I recognised the great benefits that would come from teaching in a city with endless opportunities to refine my practice of yoga.  

I was welcomed  into my new home base at 889 Yoga, and stepped into a busy role as Yoga Community Leader, I oversaw the programming and operations of three beautiful studio locations, and managed a schedule with over 120 classes per week, and a roster of 25 teachers.  In 2011 I designed and launched the Living Yoga Program, a 200 hour teachers certification program that I headed until early 2017. 

I've been lucky enough to travel and immerse myself in deep periods of study with many of the worlds best teachers.  Im very grateful for the incredible Toronto based teachers who who nurture me and know me on a  more personal level, and support me on a regular basis through asana practice, mentorship and guidance. Most of the teachers I love are not so well known,  just quietly teaching and living the practice without drawing much attention to themselves. Currently I teach at Yoga Space, Downward Dog and Octopus Garden and am faculty on the Yoga Detour teacher training program.

It's a blessing to be fortunate enough to share the teachings of yoga to people around the world, one that I do not take for granted.  Love and light to each and every one of you on your unique path...

Nicky