Hola everyone! If you haven’t met me, my name is Lisa Nicol and I am so honored to be the Yogi Transformer for the month of April! Nikki and Kate couldn’t have asked me at a more perfect time. April 2018 marks one year since I began my practice at Yoga Squared. I had done some yoga before; I had taken a yoga course in college as one of my physical education credits and attended a few classes here and there around town. However, it was not until I found Yoga Squared that I became consistent with my practice. I always loved yoga and knew it needed a place in my life, but it wasn’t until Yoga Squared that I felt fully connected to my mat. I took Nikki’s beginning yoga series in March 2017.
I was at work with a former colleague of mine and she asked if I wanted to take a beginning yoga course at a new local studio – Yoga Squared. It was a four-week course to “learn beginning skills and broaden your horizons!” Of course, I said YES!! I had seen advertisements for Yoga Squared on Facebook and was really interested in checking out the studio, but I just hadn’t had the push I needed until then. I took Nikki’s course with two of my other colleagues and immediately fell in love with the practice of yoga once again, as well as with the studio. I hadn’t even come to a regular class yet, but I felt a special bond as soon as I walked into the studio. I placed my new mat on the ground and took a deep breath.
At this time, I was dating a man that lived in Guatemala. Sounds crazy? It was! Guatemala is so far away, but it worked for us at the time. We met when I was in Guatemala during the summer of 2016 doing mission work. I am a Spanish teacher and I love everything about the Spanish language and the different Hispanic cultures. I thought that when I met this man he was everything that I ever dreamed of. I’ve dreamed of marrying someone from another culture and raising my kids to be bilingual and have multicultural viewpoints (Wanderlust should be my middle name because I love nothing more than traveling and exploring new places). He fit the bill and I thought that I was so happy. I traveled to Guatemala April 2017 for my Spring break to visit, and let’s just say it did not go as planned. I ended up coming home two days early. I was unable to deal with the wave of emotions that I was unexpectedly faced with. I had been in a relationship with a man previously (apparently, we had different ideas on what our relationship actually meant and the path it was going to take – it didn’t end well). Needless to say, these suppressed emotions were brought to the forefront during my trip to Guatemala. When I was down there I was unable to eat, my anxiety was through the roof (something I’ve always struggled with), I was constantly panicking, and I couldn’t stop shaking. I finally made the decision that I needed to come home. This really hurt my boyfriend and I felt so bad because he had actually done nothing wrong.
When I finally made it back to the States, my friends and family were clearly concerned about me. Melissa - whom I had taken Nikki’s beginning yoga series with- texted me and said I think that we should go to yoga the day after I came home. I thought that sounded perfect, so I signed up! Melissa and I went to the noon class that Kate was teaching. I really can’t state this enough – that class changed my life. Everything that Kate said and did spoke to me. It was like she could see into my soul, and knew exactly what I needed. At the end of class I told her how amazing it felt and she hugged me. I was so overwhelmed at that point in my life that tears just fell. Kate didn’t ask any questions, she just held me and that is exactly what I needed. Ever since then I have felt a deep connection with her and I will be forever thankful.
Fast forward a little… I broke up with my boyfriend, started going to therapy, and coming to Yoga Squared on a regular basis. In May 2017 I took Cortney Martinelli’s 4-week reiki course and that enhanced my life further. Cortney has become my Reiki Master, my mentor, my work partner, yoga buddy, but most of all my friend. I ended up taking Reiki 1 & 2 with her, and I will be completing my Reiki Master Course with her at the end of this month. She has given me so much and I am so grateful to her.
Practicing yoga has given me my life back. Yoga has opened up my eyes to so many possibilities and pathways. I have become very interested in Holistic Health – something that I had always been intrigued by but was unsure about how to fit it into my life. Yoga Squared has offered so many workshops that have allowed me to pursue and expand this passion. I now use essential oils for everything, I sell doTERRA Essential Oils, I am on my way to becoming a Reiki Master, I am studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach, I work with Cortney at SHINE, and I will be completing my Yoga Teacher Training starting in October at the only place I could imagine – Yoga Squared. Everything in my life right now is pointing me in the direction that I have always wanted to go and I am SO EXCITED!!
Practicing at Yoga Squared truly changed who I am as a person and it has been the most amazing change of my life. I get to go to the studio and practice with my best friends Alex and Elena, whom I got to start coming to yoga, receive the best classes from the best teachers, and the studio is in best location of Akron, in my personal opinion! ☺ I just bought a condo nearby because I love living in the West Akron/Highland Square area so much! According to my friend Aubrey, it’s going to be dubbed ‘The Palace of Zen’!
Thank you to Yoga Squared, all of the instructors, and wonderful individuals whom I have met there that have helped me on my journey. Thank you to my friends and family who have supported me through everything. I am truly so grateful.