Thursday, December 19, 2013


Change is inevitable.  As much as I love my blog here on Blogspot, it is time to evolve.  I'm officially moving to my new website:

All of my previous posts have been transferred to the new site.  I even recorded a new video to describe my current projects and offerings.  Watch it here:

Thank you, Blogspot, for providing me a place to write, reflect and be creative all of these years.  It's time to move on and embrace the new.


Monday, November 25, 2013

The Yoga Lodge

Sometimes a girl just has to get away.  I had a day off recently and decided to maximize that time by taking a solo trip to The Yoga Lodge on Whidbey Island.  A picture of the Yoga Lodge has been posted on my vision board for months.  It was written up in Seattle magazine and the picture of lush green trees, a calm pond and welcoming wooden chair just called my name. 

On a whim, I called Wendy Dion (the owner).  Since it's November, she gave me the winter rate of only $65 a night.  There was no reason not to go!

From our first phone conversation, I was impressed with Wendy's honesty and kindness.  She told me about a retreat group and a few kids that would be at the lodge on Saturday night.  Instead of trying to make a few extra bucks, she truly wanted to ensure the best experience for me.  I decided to stay for just Sunday night.  That was the perfect decision because I had the entire place to myself and could really make the experience my own.

The drive to Mukilteo was easy and the ferry ride was beautiful.  Crossing the water creates the illusion of entering a different world.  While I was on the ferry, I scheduled a massage for later that night at the Yoga Lodge.  Talk about accomodating!  My self-care mini-getaway just kept getting better and better.  Once on the island, I had a Dim Sum brunch at a local restaurant called the Basil Cafe.  I saw another woman dining alone and invited her to join me.  She was a local and taught me so much about life on the island.  Only when traveling alone do these magical, unexpected friendships pop up.  Life stories are bound to be shared!

The Yoga Lodge itself is beautiful with natural wooden banisters, tall ceilings and a community-living feel.  The yoga studio is located on the bottom floor of the lodge.  While I was practicing, a deer walked by the huge windows and peaked inside.  THAT definitely doesn't happen in the city! Wendy also prepared a lovely vegetarian breakfast tray for me with granola, almond milk, eggs, fruit, homemade sprouted bread, almond butter, tea and coffee.  I ate some with my dinner and some for breakfast. The generous portions and large kitchen allowed me to make myself right at home.

Both days on the island, I visited a magical place called the Earth Sactuary.  I didn't know much about it, but I could instantly sense that this place was special.  The entire park was filled with sacred relics, prayer wheels, stone stacks and trails.  I felt tingles when I walked into the huge Stone Circle and saw the altar on the ground.  After some research, I've learned that a man named Chuck Pettis is responsible for the awesomeness that is the Earth Sactuary.  He has dedicated his life to making the world a better place by creating sacred spaces.  I definitely value his work and spending time in this amazing park.

I went for long walks in the woods both days.  As a city dweller, I forget how rejuvenating it is to tromp around in the woods with the moss, animals, mushrooms and quiet.  Those long muddy hikes were exactly what I needed to recharge my soul.  I would absolutely recommend the Yoga Lodge to anyone needing a peaceful, meditative getaway.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What is Ayurvedic Health Coaching?

"You do yoga in there?"  This question came from a naturopath at Glow on Saturday.  This question made me realize that there are a lot of people (including people I work with) that do not understand what I do.  This got me thinking... maybe I should explain it.  Duhr.

My clients learn to correct imbalances through Ayurveda and yoga.  Whether they want to lose weight, clear skin, improve digestion or reduce stress, Ayurveda and yoga provide so many natural ways to make that happen.  I am an Ayurvedic Health Coach and Hatha Yoga Teacher.  Many people understand the yoga part and think that I teach group classes at a yoga studio.  I do some of that at the Hatha Yoga Center in the summers, but mostly I work with individuals.  Why individuals, you may ask?  Often yoga classes can not address all the varying needs of all the different students including injuries, tightness and emotional issues that may come up.  I work with people one-on-one and design our sessions based on their dosha, the season and what they need that day.  I have a gorgeous room at Glow with a big window and enough space for us to meet and practice yoga.

Based on client needs, I design a 6 session package.  This way we can see growth and change over time.  Although plans vary from person to person, here is a typical 6 session package for Ayurvedic Health Coaching:

First sessionDosha constitution assessment (that means we determine your unique mind/body type).  We discuss simple lifestyle and nutrition tips that can make a big difference in digestion.
Second session: We discuss an Ayurvedic seasonal routine, and I provided recipes based on your dosha.
Third session: Learn pranayama (breathing) techniques and meditation for stress reduction and weight loss. 
Fourth session:  Practice yoga and pranayama techniques together.  We discuss issues related to work and how to create life balance.   I also teach mantras for mental focus.
Fifth session: We practice more pranayama and yoga together. 
Sixth session:  To conclude the package, we celebrate successes. I lead a guided meditation for healing after yoga practice.  At this point, we decide if more sessions are necessary to reach goals.  Some clients see me on a weekly, bi-weekly or seasonal basis.   
Client testimonials:
“Coming here is a very peaceful experience. I am learning so much and seeing results. My digestion has improved so much along with my red bumps on my skin.”
“(I gained) common sense explanations of what can be challenging/new concepts and great recipes.  Enjoyed the yoga practice as part of the sessions.”
“ is important to have an accountability partner and support system.  Nicole is a great energy and health coach.”
How can I start?
 If you're ready to lose weight, reduce stress, clear skin and/or improve digestion, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Nicole by calling 206.568.7545.
Skype and home consultations also available.  Email Nicole at

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Intersection Between Acceptance and Change

Letting go of the outcome is one of my biggest challenges on the spiritual path.  Here's the idea: You put your time, energy and effort into a project and then release the results to the Universe.  You do not get to decide what ultimately happens.  You trust that the Universe will take care of you and give you the best outcome, even if it's not what you thought you wanted.  In this way a delay or a change can turn into a gift.  However, it only works if we release our grip on one certain outcome.

If we are feeling angry, frustrated, impatient or disappointed, then we are probably attached to the outcome.  Of course it's not bad to feel these things, and these emotions can be signs that we need to practice surrender, the art of letting go.  Every day I find new opportunities to forgive and let go.  For example, today I have an important meeting with a team of 8 people.  I know that I am attached to a certain outcome (medical testing for a student) and I am trying to stay open to other possibilities and other solutions.  My practice this week has been to speak my truth in a calm way and then step back.  By stepping back and letting go of the need to control or manipulate, the Universe can do her thing and send all of the help/answers/solutions that we need.  If we are completely locked in to only one right answer, then we will be angered and frustrated by any other solution.  Today my intention is to stay open.  I'm doing everything I can and now I get to let go.  I know that I am taken care of.  This situation will work out in divine timing and order.  It feels so good to let myself off the hook.  Now is time to live in faith and surrender.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book Club: A Return to Love

The right people and the right books always have a way of finding their way into our lives.  Recently I have been connecting with some amazing women through the networking site,  Gabrielle Bernstein created this site for women to find new connections and mentors based on shared interests.  The networking groups have themes and are called Power Posses.  I have also made two dear friendships through the Seattle Power Posse.  We have started a book club to share books, spark conversation and connect with like-minded people.  This month we are discussing Marianne Williamson's book, A Return to Love.

Reading this book feels like meditation.  Marianne has such a beautiful way of explaining how to choose love instead of fear in our daily lives.  After reading for a few minutes, I can feel my mind relax and absorb her ideas.  She writes,
 "We have the free will to think whatever we want to think, but no thoughts are neutral.  There is no such thing as an idle thought.  All thought creates form on some level." 

If you would like to join us for book club, we are meeting on Tuesday, November 12th at 7:00pm.  Email Amelia at to confirm.

If you would like to join our efforts in bringing Gabrielle Bernstein to lecture in Seattle on her next book tour, join our Facebook group.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hatha Yoga Center Tribute Video

"A sweet short tribute documentary my fellow yoga student and teacher Nicole Perriella made last year when our beloved Hatha Yoga Center was forced to move after 32 years of operating in the oldest church in the University District. The video features my teachers Bob Smith and Ki Mcgraw, as well as myself and other students and teachers discussing the history of the HYC and what it has meant to us. I am so fortunate to have walked in that one evening for class many years changed my life."
-Chris List, author of

For more information about classes at the Hatha Yoga Center click here.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Ayurvedic Apothecary

As I dive deeper into the world of Ayurveda, I'm constantly discovering other amazing Ayurvedic practitioners and yoga teachers.  This alternative approach to health attracts many creative, interesting and talented people.  Cue Sarah Louisignau.

Sarah is the founder and developer of Ayurvedic Apothecary.  I discovered her by reading her blog post about How 12 Design Principles of Permaculture Apply to the Business of Yoga and Ayurveda.  Sarah is a master of finding links between her various interests.  By combining her passions for Ayurveda and Aromatherapy, she creates a beautiful line of oils designed to balance the 3 doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha).  I knew I had to try them!  When the package arrived in the mail, the little bottles reminded me more of precious perfumes than the big bottles of Ayurvedic oil I usually buy.  These bottles are about the size of a lipstick tube and easily fit in a purse.

My favorite is the Vata blend because of its musky and sweet/spicy smell.  It's intense at first, but the scent evolves and becomes more subtle within a few minutes.  The best part about these oils is that they are working to balance your body.  She uses base oils that are tridoshic and nutritional for the skin, without the use of any alcohol.  Sarah explains further:

"For example: Clove Bud Oil is known for it's carminative and it's analgesic properties - so by putting this oil in my Vata blend, I help the person using it medicinally with the prevention of flatulence and with mild pain relief in achy dry joints.  Ayurvedicly, it is warming and sweet, which will take the chill out of the Vata body and add an aphrodisiac quality to ease anxiety!"

Since Autumn is Vata season, now is the perfect time to start using this oil.  I even took Vata blend on the plane with me during my trip to India.  The roller tip makes application easy and mess-free.  It's fun to experiment and play, applying them to the third eye, neck, wrists, inner elbows, back of the knees and even feet soles.  Soon Sarah will be launching a new line of body massage oils, designed for daily Abhyanga massage, and for massage therapists working with Ayurveda. 

In addition to teaching yoga retreats and running her business, Sarah recently became part Yoga Prosperity Program as a Program Host and Yoga Business Coach.  Her unique passions include pelvic empowerment through yoga, Ayurveda, the fusion of yoga and paddleboarding, acro yoga and asana as a therapeutic tool for athletes.  To learn more about Sarah and Ayuvedic Apothecary, visit