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Meet Your Costa Rican Yoga Guide and Goddess, Nikita!

I first met Nikita when I was on my own retreat in Costa Rica in 2016. I was drawn to her classes because she offered a perfect balance of firm and grounded, yet light and playful in each session. She herself is a beautiful manifestation of these traits.

And my gosh, look and read more at the powerful goddess displayed both in thought and in image below. She's fierce, guys. I can't wait for you to be held in her space.

You're in for a real treat, ladies...

1. What led you to the practice of yoga?

I stumbled upon this practice to heal injury from years of competitive soccer and running. I was also coaxed by a friend to try "hot" yoga. I was hooked, physically it was a great challenge that also started to pry open my stiff muscles. Eventually I tried all different styles, learning so much from each and it created balance within.

2. What has your practice taught you?

Yoga has taught me so much. Yoga Asana allows me to feel my body in the most raw way. Raw form. I can feel in the most intimate and familiar sense. I realize that this life long journey of Yoga is not only a physical tool, but a deep inquiry into the Self. Seeing things as they really are. Experience unfolding moment to moment. I am realizing the powerful potency of this sacred practice as a means to teach me anything I need at any given time of devotion (focus), to learn anything in this life. This concept, to me, means Spirit. And so the lessons are energetic gifts and support offered to me on and off my mat. It has taught me that every experience, every moment is a new opportunity to learn. To expand. To absorb more of each moment on a multi-dimensional level. Not only through thought cognition, but also the way things feel, emotional development through deep listening to the sensational teacher; the body. It has taught me the most humbling gratitude and compassion.

3. How does your yoga influence your daily life?

Yoga is a daily practice for me. Whether its a 2-3 hour intense asana or a quick 30 mins of breathing meditation and light postures, it always brings me into a state of focused awareness, like coming home to myself. It's never structured, (that isn't how I operate or thrive for anything in my life), so it could be a home practice or I sometimes attend other teachers' classes. I'm never hard on myself about getting to my mat, its a daily priority because I know that it is always going to shift me in some way that grows me.

She won't make you do this one, I swear.

4. What does your next year look like?

Wow, my next year? Currently I am in Bali, Indonesia going deeper into my practice, taking small breaks from teaching. I am always open to teaching where ever I am in the world because it isn't a taxing type of work, it fills me. Bali for 2 months will be a mysterious adventure of being open to all that flows. I will be in NYC in November for a week, visiting some friends and taking a 3 day workshop in NJ. Home to Nosara, Costa Rica mid November to lead a retreat. I will also be teaching public classes in and around town for the high season at Patitos, Harmony Hotel & Nalu. And more retreats in the works for 2018. I don't like to plan too far ahead so I will not look farther than 6 months ahead.

5. What is your dream?

I have many dreams. Dreams can seem so finite, and so for me, the process of it all with its malleable nature to switch gears, is where life exists with the dream. I love concocting vegan chocolates and peanut butter fudge and all sorts of magical tastes. I dream to one day have a big Garden where I grow all my food and am surrounded by a family. My dream is also to travel the world teaching yoga and maybe one day writing a YTT Manual and teaching trainings globally. So as soon as I master a way to infuse vegan chocolate coated yoga classes with a transportable Globe-trotting permaculture garden with a family in tow, the dream will be reality.

I love this, such a great image! Can't wait to see it unfold for you..

6. What/who inspires you?

I am inspired by Nature. Pachamama teaches me the most lessons outside of my yoga practice. I am inspired by other peoples' vibrant energy. I am inspired by my peers and some of my first influencial yoga teachers, Don & Amba Stapleton, Meghan Currie, Sjannie McInnis, Dustin Fruson to name a few.

7. What is the most difficult decision you've had to make to pursue your destiny?

That is a big one. I had to decide to leave a long and beautiful relationship to go beyond the confounds of what already existed in my world. To venture out into the unknown. Whether it is a decision to leave a partner, or a place, or a job or anything, there is always that fear of making the wrong choice. But to never know, to never make the best or worst decision is the fear that I think is more valid. To never look over the edge builds resentment and regret. You know what is behind you, not what it possibly in front of you.

8. What advice would you give your younger self?

I always hear about women, specifically, looking back on old photos of themselves saying, "Wow! I was so beautiful then and remember that day this photo took place, feeling insecure, self-conscious about my body or how I looked." So it is programmed in us to see the least desirable parts of ourselves in present time. Like we are not good enough as we are, like something must change or be improved upon. When we get pulled into the stories that are outside of our current state, whether striving for a look or weight or status, we revoke our innate privilege of being the divine perfection from which we came. Confidence and beauty is something that comes from inside, and is felt first, then seen by others. A lot of it is based on how you treat yourself. No amount of wrinkle cream, makeup or diet pills will cover up the mistreatment or abuse to ourselves whether mental or physical. Nor would wild unkept hair, mismatched outfits hide vibrant being that loves themselves. I would suggest to my younger self to focus on how I feel, because those good feelings are what leads to looking and feeling good in your own skin. Confidence is built by choosing not to dwell on any "so called flaws". Focusing on what lights you up. I would tell my younger self, simply, "Whatever you focus on Expands".

LOVE this, Nikita. Thanks so much. Can't wait for these women to get to experience you in action. They're in for a real gift. Thanks and love. xo

Nosara, Costa Rica

February 10-17, 2018

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