Name: Nicole Moyes
Years teaching: 3 years
Years practicing: 8 years
Studio owner: Raw Yoga for 3 weeks
Favourite yoga style: Power Vinyasa (for myself) and Acro Yoga (to play)

What was your very first yoga class and what drew you back for more?
My best friend took me to The Loft in the city because of the awesome free dinner! I was confused and intrigued by yoga – it was much harder than I thought, and I could not believe how hard I found it to lay still at the end. Without me having any idea something deep within me started to stir and wake up. It was several years until yoga became a very regular practice, yet from that first class I had this strange respect for the art.

Do you have a favourite spot in the studio to practice?
Yes! Wherever I have been practicing I always tend to have my ‘spot’. I find this so funny about humans and yet it really tends to add to my practice, going to this same space every day. If ever I’m finding it hard to get on my mat I change up the scenery. Maybe in a way I’m trying to trick myself… ‘cause I know I’m gonna love it!

Favourite asana at the moment:
Ohhhh just one?! My favourite pose never really seems to change. I love, love headstand – there is something so special, so calming in this posture. It took me such a long time to understand my body and it [headstand] still brings me great joy and stillness when I get up there.

Do you have a favourite asana to teach?
I love teaching Trikonasana. I find it such an elegant pose and one that is a very different journey for each person. There is so much depth to this pose which I love going into when teaching.

What inspired you to open a new studio?
So many things really… Two years ago I met a good friend (who is now my Acro Yoga partner), we both had a similar dream and it was to open this space. It has been a pretty magical time of co-creation to bring it all together. I feel truly inspired to share my love for yoga and people in a safe and playful space!

What was your previous profession?
When I first left school I worked mainly in bars and cafes (yes, I make an awesome flat white!). I then spent about fours years overseas playing and doing any odd jobs I could find. I also trained as an Early Childhood Teacher, before yoga became my full time LOVE!

Is Acro Yoga difficult to teach? Do you want to leap in and catch everyone?
What if people have trust issues…?
It is super fun to teach, as it is such an amazing chance to play! In a class, once the ground rules are set around safety and what we are doing, things generally flow pretty well. The more I do it the easier it seems. Acro Yoga is very different than teaching normal yoga as you are very much involved. There is a tendency to want to jump in and fly everyone to support the experience, but I feel that may only be my own EGO getting in the way! Ha 🙂

Trust issues come up all the time. I know them well as I think everyone does who starts this practice. It is such a beautiful opportunity to support someone in breaking these barriers down!

Biggest learning curve in owning a studio:
Letting go of any ideas, staying true to why I am here every day and allowing the rest to unfold in its own time. I am definitely learning the fine art of balance; owning a studio is my biggest yoga practice.

What are you most proud of as a studio owner so far?
That I have stayed true to my vision – I am completely in love with everything that has been created so far and feel very proud to share that with the people who choose to walk through the door.

What do you look for in your teachers?
People who practice and live yoga, people who are RAW (authentic and true to themselves and others), and most of all teachers who see each student in front of them as someone amazing, who holds a strong intention to share and empower themselves and their students.

What makes you leave a class you’ve taught with a smile?
During a great class I lose space and time, I feel as if I am in a dance (my own creative process) I feel myself and the room flow together. It’s the best feeling in the world, and always leaves a huge smile across my face!

Any cravings during practice? Is there anything you have to eat or drink after
Haha I love this question! So real! When I first started my full-time yoga practice I would have to have a green kiwifruit, including the skin, after each session!

What’s the best thing about your corner of Auckland?
I was born and raised in St Heliers, a beautiful part of Auckland, and then last year made the huge move and came over the bridge! Magical Milford is now my home and where the studio is based. For some reason I just knew this was where I was meant to be. Milford is great and I am in between two bodies of water which really nourishes the mermaid within me!

Share something about yourself that your students and teachers might be
surprised to know:
I used to think Pilates was more awesome than yoga!

How has your passion for yoga changed your life?
I became the best version of myself. My passion for yoga has given me my passion for life; my passion to move, play and explore in a whole new way. I feel freedom, as freedom can only come from within.

Would you like to be a Featured Yogi? We’d love to know more about you! Or is there someone you’d like to nominate? Get in touch!

©The Yoga Connection 2014

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