How yoga changed my life: The Story of Nicole Jones

Tell us a little about your body art?

Every piece of art that I’ve put on my body has a deep meaning. Each artistic creation represents a piece of my puzzle of life. They all hold a meaning that is dear to my heart. I’ll share the significance of the butterfly on my right forearm. I got the butterfly a few years back right after I completed my first vipassana meditation course in Montebello. On day 3 and 6 I was completely utterly defeated. I sat outside in the gardens and wept… and wept some more, desperate to escape it all. A beautiful butterfly landed right beside me and caught my attention. The exact same thing happened on day 6. Vipassana means "to see things as they really are. It is a logical process of mental purification through self-observation.” The course is 10 days of silent meditation that takes place off the grid where you aren’t permitted to talk, make eye contact, read, write, listen to music or use technology. You are left on your own to sort through every sensation, feeling and emotion that bubbles to the surface. You meditate on average 10 hours a day.

This beautiful butterfly is my reminder that the process is not easy, growth is a struggle but it is so needed for true transformation to occur.

How has yoga impacted your life?

Yoga has transformed all aspects of my life. Yoga for me is the gateway to self-discovery. The postures are means of accessing what’s going on underneath the surface. My yoga practice is truly my greatest teacher. Although the lessons aren’t easy, they are always exactly what I need for my growth.

“My yoga practice is truly my greatest teacher. Although the lessons aren’t easy, they are always exactly what I need for my growth.”

What does karma mean to you?

Karma to me is like an energetic circle that doesn’t have a timeline. Whatever energetically goes around, comes around. Sometimes, we’ll look at this statement solely from a negative standpoint ex: eventually they’ll get what they deserve. BUT I see this as a beautiful karmic circle in terms of the love, energy, support, and positivity you put out into the world. I think it’s important to trust that all you authentically share from the goodness of your heart will return to you in some beautiful way. Your karma is determined truly by how you show up in the world, in all areas of your life.

What is the most valuable lesson this journey has taught you?

That everything happens for a reason and that having control is an illusion. The more I learn to surrender, the more ease I bring into my life.

What do you think it would take for us to move forward as a collective?

A tremendous amount of dedication, passion, drive and determination. We also need leaders who are open, compassionate, empathetic and kind to lead the way. The collective must have similar values at their core and all actions must be rooted in love, for real change to transpire.

What do you want to create with your teachings?

I teach only what I practice in my own body and life. Therefore the two go hand in hand. When I teach my intention is always to create a space where people can move, breathe and find freedom in their bodies. I believe that self-love is required for our foundation to be strong. Yoga allows us the opportunity to connect to our heart, mind, body, soul and spirit. The practice has taught me how to connect to all that’s happening within, which ultimately has taught me how to love myself more. Only when we love ourselves completely can we show up fully for others and the world.

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