The Yogi Next to You

Meet NICOLE FELICIANO!

What’s your yoga story? How did you find Mala?

I started practicing at an intensely Eastern ashram in St. Louis. I felt stifled by the conservative relationship I was in and was looking for something that was going to shake up my world-view. This studio did the trick…the yogi practiced in a loincloth and had us run through a freezing shower midway through the practice and there was a real fire pit in the middle of the room. It was intense and exactly what I needed. Oh, and I was also starting to get chronic running injuries and yoga quickly put an end to all that.

What pose do you want to do all day? What pose could you never do again?

If I could do headstands all day I would. I love seeing the world in a new way and I love the total concentration it takes to stay vertical. I have seriously tight running legs, so the reverse triangle is my nemesis.

What are your biggest yoga obstacles and how do you overcome them?

Time and interest in too many other things. I’ve run marathons and participated in triathlons. My physical pursuits leave me running away from the yoga mat at times. But the calming, restorative influence of yoga always calls me back.

What was the last Dharma talk that resonated with you?

I’m usually a bit rushed to the mat and often find my mind racing once class begins. I remember Angela once giving us a chat that said something to the effect of, “you are going to be a better, mom, partner, friend” by giving yourself this time. I try to remember that and keep my mind on yoga not my long list of things to do.

Where is your favorite place to get coffee, or a drink post yoga?

While you can’t beat Starbucks for convenience, I still pick Tazza for a favorite spot to sip tea.

If you could practice yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I was fortunate to take all of 2004 off to travel and see a lot of Asia and Africa. Of all the lands I’ve been, Bali (near Abud) has to be the most restorative and breathtaking spot. Perfect for a retreat or a recharge.

How has practicing shifted other aspects of your life?

I’ve learned a measure of patience from yoga that has served me well, and I am continually humbled by yoga. Humility is often looked upon in a derogatory way, but I appreciate that which I don’t know and can’t master. Yoga has brought me new goals to work towards and new gurus to guide me.

We’re thrilled to bring you the stories of Mala yogis in their own words.  Maybe you know them, maybe you’ve never seen them before, maybe they look familiar, maybe you once knew their name, but forgot.  Whatever the case may be, here is the chance to learn a little more about the person practicing on the mat next to you.  Click here to read about other yogis.

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About The Mala Yoga Blog

We are a Brooklyn-based studio that focuses on alignment, balance and community. Have a read, try one of our Practice Podcasts, or come in and say "hi" in person!
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