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YAA Interview: Nicki Friedlein

February 10, 2012

1. Name:

Nicki Friedlein

2. DOB:

23 May 1970

3. What style of yoga do you teach?

Vinyasa flow

4. Where do you teach?

Lotus Studio

5. How long have you been practicing yoga?

On and off since I was 21. Regularly for the last 7 years.

6. How long have you been teaching yoga?

5 years

7. Who have you trained with and where?

I did my teacher training with Maria from Yoga Africa in St Francis Bay. Over the years I have also attended a number of workshops with other yoga teachers like Seane Corn, David Jacobs, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Brett Wearne, Viktor van der Kleij and Patrick Oancia.

8. What lead you to teaching yoga and at what point did you decide that you wanted to teach?

There are two reasons. The first reason I started teaching was because I wanted to share the benefits I felt for myself of having practiced yoga regularly and secondly, after moving to Knysna, I yearned for a centre where people could gather and practice yoga. I decided it was my “ethical responsibility” to open Lotus Studio and create a space for teaching and studying yoga here in Knysna! 🙂

9. What do you love most about teaching?

I love seeing people benefit from their yoga practice and feeling good about change in themselves, be it physical or emotional – seeing how they grow from their practice.

10. Is there a focus in your teaching style?

There are two things, working with the breath instead of working without it or against it and secondly offering students the opportunity to discover a way to feel better without strain.

11. What do you love most about yoga?

The stillness and introspection gained by practising.

12. What is the greatest challenge you have overcome with the help of yoga?

Believing in myself and trusting myself as well as others. That I can still make mistakes and be wrong , that it is OK and that I then learn from them.

13. What advice do you have for people who have never tried yoga?

Try it!

14. Do you have a regular practice?

Yes, daily – my practice changes on a daily basis, sometimes I just practice pranayama, on other days a stronger, more physical practice. I trust the way I am feeling will direct me to what I should be practising on any given day.

15. Favourite Asana?

This also changes daily – but I consistently find newness in Downward Facing Dog, (Adho Mukha Svanasana). There is so much to explore within that posture.

16. Strongest Asana?

Gomukhasana, (Cow Face Posture), continues to provide me with new and healthy challenges!

17. Any religious affiliations?

No

18. What are your other interests?

I love creative pursuits, from drawing to creating a skirt to living a creative life! [YAA’s editors’ note: evidence of this is in Nicki’s awesome awesome range of Rich & Creamy clothing and yoga goodies check it out at www.richandcreamy.co.za]

I love my dogs, love travelling and experiencing other cultures. Yoga definitely comes into travel because when we travel we meet a whole range of different people, what I’ve realised is that while the “outer trimmings” are different, everyone wants the same thing, we all want to live a peaceful and happy life.

19. Any thank yous?

To all the yoga teachers whose classes I’ve been to, I thank you all as I have learnt something valuable and unique from each and every one of you.

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