At Eternal Health Yoga we embrace yoga as more than just physical exercise. It is a spiritual practice and a holistic way of living. I had a lovely conversation with 500 hour registered yoga teacher Nicole Sharp about what living a yoga practice means to her.
Hi Nicole! please tell me about the class you teach at Eternal Health Yoga!
I teach the 9:15 Monday morning Hatha class. My classes are focused on Deep breathing and meditation. I offer a nurturing touch and aid in relaxation. I believe when we allow our minds and bodies rest we can begin healing. Although an asana may seem intense for a moment, it will be followed by a complimentary pose to help counter that muscle group.
What made you decide to become a yoga teacher?
The 8 limbs of yoga have become my guide to life. It helps me to remember that loving myself is just as important as loving others. I teach yoga because it holds me accountable to follow these guidelines the best that I can, so that I may set a good example for my students. I feel called to teach.
What is your favorite part of being a yoga teacher?
At the end of class all of the students are in savasana. You can feel peace in the room, is my absolute favorite. I feel like my job is done.
You have been a part of the Eternal Health Yoga community for a long time. Would you like to share a bit about how that came to be? Would you like to also share a bit about what EHY means to you?
I had never entered a yoga studio before EHY. I simply walked in one day and signed up for teacher training. I had been meditating alone in my room or backyard for months. I began reading spiritual books and practicing mindfulness with every breath I took. I had a moment of deep clarification and felt the Universe in a way I had never felt before. It was very lovely and euphoric. It was as if I was in some vortex and I allowed it to lead me to my destination. Long story short, this Southern Indiana girl living in Charlestown, made her way to Frankfort Ave and into EHY. I had no idea what I was doing but I knew it was something I HAD to do. I have decided to teach again at EHY because I wanted to give back to a studio that has done so much for me. I will always be grateful to my EHY family.
You completed your 200 and 300 hour teacher training programs with EHY. What made you decide to do those trainings? What were those experiences like for you? Was it different experiencing the 200 and the 300 hour teacher trainings?
My 200 hour was unbelievable! I was exposed to so many new things and I loved it. As we began studying the philosophy of yoga I found words to describe feelings I never knew how to express. Finding these words helped me to ground into my own spirituality and begin to find my own identity. The practice itself healed many of my physical issues, but most importantly I felt I finally began to know Me.
My 300 hour was very difficult. My life was much busier at this time. It was hard to be away from my family. It challenged me a lot! I learned that it is OK to be uncomfortable and feel challenged, that’s how we persevere. I had to go even deeper than I expected with myself and sometimes that can hurt. I couldn’t just fix or heal some of my medical issues. Instead, I learned about surrendering and acceptance. I learned I wasn’t in control. These are difficult lessons, but again, yogic philosophy helped guide me the entire way. I always go back to the 8 limbs or the Yoga Sutras when I feel lost. By the end of my 300 hour training I felt strong and accomplished. I finally knew what I stood for. Because of the skills learned in my advanced training, I was able to incorporate a yoga studio into my business as a hairdresser. I felt prepared and supported by EHY as I began this journey.
You have mentioned that approaching yoga as a lifestyle is very important to you. Can you tell me a bit about that? How does one “live” his or her yoga?
Living “your” yoga can be done in many ways. It is the most inclusive practice of which I have taken part. The way I choose to live it is by using the 8 limbs. The physical isn’t enough for me (or sometimes I am unable to do the physical). Some days living my yoga means I was able to practice some breathing techniques and perhaps smile at a homeless person. Maybe I donated to a charity or just listened to a complete stranger spill their guts. By remembering that yoga is a practice of peace and love, I use it to fill myself up so I may spread peace and love all around me.
Can you tell me a bit about how you incorporate yoga as a lifestyle? Are there any challenges you face in doing so? How do you face those challenges?
I have a yoga room in my house that helps me with my home practice. It can be challenging because my life is not a routine, and it probably never will be! A routine is helpful, but somedays a few sun salutations in my bedroom is as far as I get, but I’m happy with that. I also have a studio at work so I may practice in between clients. This is very special for me. I spend a lot of time at work and I need an outlet. There will always be challenges we face. Sometimes we need compassion, strength, courage, or forgiveness. Yoga helps give us awareness to what we need for each situation. Most importantly, each day is a new day, and we can always begin again. It is never too late. I have learned to forgive and move on and continue my practice no matter what place in life I am at.
Finally, is there a “fun fact” you would like to share about yourself? Something not many people know about you?
I love to paint on pieces of wood. There is always a story to tell!
Interested in learning more? Join Nicole Monday mornings at 9:15 for Hatha yoga!