“Dear Said,

I started this email and it was an essay – I had so much to say about alignment and its importance and the importance of doing the “work.” But I could have written for days.

So…….

Nicky will always say – “if it hurts you are doing it wrong” – and I have seen it in action. A student came to class, not wanting to do a pose, because the day before it was hurting their back. Nicky got the student to do the pose the way they did it the day before and looked at the pose… she then corrected the alignment, “activate this, ground that” and then asked the student if there was pain.

The student with an amazed look on her face said “there is none” and Nicky said “yes, that is because when there is pain it is never the pose, it is always a lack of alignment and something that we are not doing that we should be doing.” A metaphor for life.

Yoga does require that we work. Yoga is training for living, training for life. Life is not going to tell you that life should be a “moving meditation”. Life is hard and full of suffering. Yoga shows us another way for living, a way out of suffering.

Yoga becomes a moving meditation only after the initial struggle. In the same way that beginners struggle even with the alignment of standing in Mountain Pose. Why do teachers mention advanced concepts to their students, such as moving meditation? Would you teach a student a handstand before they have mastered Mountain Pose?

Nicky encourages, Nicky does not force or push. Although at times, that encouragement will seem forceful.

Nicky will demand alignment – and it is wisdom that demands it. More than 40 years of working with students of all capabilities and unique challenges and assisting people overcome those challenges has developed that wisdom. Iyengar demands alignment and again it is wisdom that demands it (although from what I hear, his approach to students does leave a lot to be desired.)

I have never met a teacher who understands yoga and people as thoroughly as Nicky.

Put aside your fears Said, and just do it, you will be so grateful that you did. I have attended three teacher training’s with Nicky… I would not have returned if she were as harsh as people imagine her to be. Nicky has never forced or pushed me beyond what I am capable of. She listens and watches and assists. The work and the breakthroughs that come from that are yours. Nicky cares enough to help you find them.

On a final note Said, embrace your personality. Why do want something that will not fit it? Your personality is what will make a difference in this world, find what fits it and then express it. You do not need to be concerned that Nicky’s manner will fit you too well, after all, personalities evolve.

Just do it. Seriously.

Namaste,

Steven Golding.”