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Meet the teacher: Nicola Muir

We’re super excited to have Nicola Muir join the Yoga West team from October. She’s a super smart, super friendly, super experienced advanced-certificate Jivamukti teacher and teacher mentor. We’ve wanted her to teach at Yoga West for some time and are delighted she’s agreed to join our community.

On Sunday 8 October Nicola will start the following weekly classes

  • Restorative yoga level 1: 2-315pm
  • Jivamukti yoga level 1-2: 3:30-4:45pm

On Tuesday 24 October Nicola will start these classes:

  • Vinyasa yoga level 2: 9:30-10:45am
  • Jivamukti yoga level 1-2 (community class): 12:05-1:05pm

Before Nicola starts we thought it would be good to ask her a bit about how she became a yoga teacher. 

How did you get into yoga?

My mum bought me a yoga book when I was 12 years old, and I started practising the sequences in that book on my own in my bedroom. I then joined my aunt attending yoga classes at my old school hall, as well as practising a video (VHS) yoga class at home. Suffice to say I was intrigued with yoga as a teen, but I wasn’t totally smitten… yet. Whilst studying at Oxford University I taught aerobics and yoga classes, then living in Dublin I began an Ashtanga practice. It wasn’t until I moved to London aged 24 when I found Jivamukti Yoga and properly fell in love.

Was there a moment when you realised that you wanted to pursue yoga seriously?

Yes! I was practising a Jivamukti Yoga class in Battersea and was in Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend) when I thought “this is it! I want to do this everyday for the rest of my life!”

How has yoga changed you?

I think it’s helped me be in one place, and not tear around so much – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

What is your approach to teaching?

I feel lucky to (just about) make a living from teaching yoga. Anytime I feel tired, I remind myself yoga is a special gift to share and spend my life hours talking and thinking about; I think this attitude infuses my classes. I consciously try to make my classes compassionate yet challenging, with a good dose of humour (well, I think my jokes are funny!).

What advice would you give to people who are considering taking up yoga?

Stop considering, and just do it! I sound like a Nike advert – but honestly, don’t overthink it. If your first class doesn’t feel meteoric, stick with it – or maybe try a different style. It took me 10 years to find Jivamukti, which suits me down to my yogi toes. Prior to that, I practised Iyengar, Hatha, Ashtanga, Kundalini… all felt good, and still do, but Jivamukti is my lifeblood. I think once you’ve found a style that works for you, it naturally takes over and you won’t look back (you’ve be warned!).

Do you have a favourite yoga quote?

I very often like to remind yogis that the sign of a ‘good’ practitioner of yoga is not so much what they can/ can’t do with their body; physical dexterity comes and goes depending on, for example, injuries or the time of day/ month. What’s more important is how steady your breath is throughout the class, and how much you can let it all go at the end in shavasana.

Is there anything outside your yoga that people should know?

Should? I don’t think there’s anything people should know about me… no skeletons in my closet, well, maybe just one or two!

Jokes aside (see, I told you they were bad!), I love Radio 4, sewing yoga bags and lavender eye pillows, making hats, and cooking a feast.

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