Monthly Archives: October 2017

Yoga for athletes | meet Nicky

Nicky

Today, Yoga has become one of the most popular choices in fitness regimes. It not only improves physical and mental health, but it also comes with numerous other health benefits that far surpass the advantages of your regular aerobic workout. And most fitness enthusiasts that practice yoga regularly also prefer to include some form of cardio exercise in their fitness regime – be it running, circuit training, swimming or cycling.

And with that in mind, we are excited to introduce you to the newest addition to The Hundred Wellness team- Nicky Rinks. Nicky is a vinyasa flow Yoga Alliance certified & RYT 200 registered yoga teacher who has been practicing for 12 years, and teaching for over 5 years, in London and Dubai.

In Nicky’s classes you can expect intense verbal cues, in a dynamic high-energy vinyasa, or a slower pace for her restorative Hatha style sessions. All of her classes are built around creative and coherent sequences, in a supportive environment. With a style that integrates all the lineages that she’s learned from in the exploration of physical movement; the multitude of yoga traditions including flow, dharma, Hatha, Bikram and rocket, combined with her love of active sports including running (training, racing and marathons), wake-boarding, surfing, snowboarding, cycling and dancing.

Nicky’s yoga is a practice that is very physical yet equally breath balanced, that in turn teaches the importance of yoga to counterbalance any other sports you are practicing – from running, to cycling, climbing, swimming, wake-boarding, surfing and everything in-between including daily living!!

We sat down with Nicky to get to know more about her and her Yoga classes:

 

Hi Nicky! Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and how you first got interested in yoga?

I first tried yoga 12 years ago, whilst on a traveling stint through Thailand. From then on, I increasingly included yoga in my daily routine back in London. At the start I attended yoga classes for the physical ‘activity’, but as my practice evolved I increasingly found myself at a session desperately seeking the only hour of ‘calm’ in my hectic London lifestyle.

I’ve always combined yoga with my other sport passions – including running, cycling and snowboarding. But after my first marathon 5 years ago which left me with runner’s knee and unable to run for a few months, I started to focus on yoga more seriously than ever. At this time, I was due to head off for a snowboarding season on sabbatical in California. Whilst there, for 3 months my daily routine consisted of snowboarding all day, and yoga every morning/evening. I felt great.

On my return to London, I decided to take the next step and embark upon my yoga teacher training. I did my yoga teacher training with a brilliant London based yoga school called Stretch yoga, in partnership with Frog Lotus Yoga International, based out in Seville, Andalusia. I completed my 200 RYT Yoga Alliance Certified training 3 months later, training every weekend Friday evening through to Sunday whilst working a full-time job. I then embarked upon setting up my own business, Rinky Dink Yoga, in London. I taught weekly classes around the city in various unique locations, including at a Skate Shop, and at the UK’s first co-working space Headspace.

I moved to Dubai in February of this year, and re-launched my yoga business as SoulFlex – working with clients including Adidas and a range of private students. I’m excited to be joining The Hundred Wellness Centre, to bring more yoga to the centre and to continue pass on my passion, and the benefits I’ve experienced from the practice to others.

What was the first asana (yoga pose) you tried?

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose). This is still one of my favourite poses, even today! It’s the pose you come back to again and again during a practice. It’s brilliant for me as a runner, as it stretches out the hamstrings, always much needed after a long marathon training run. It also stretches out the chest and lengthens the spine, and energizes you –providing additional blood flow to the head.

What do you love most about teaching yoga? And what advice do you have for people who have never tried yoga?

I love the realization that my students experience after heading along to their first few yoga classes – that moment when they understand that yoga is an utterly brilliant way for anyone, with any level of physical ability, to feel better in their body and feel better in their mind. There’s a saying that I love, ‘I bend so that I don’t break’, and it’s so very very true. The body and mind need to flex, strengthen stretch and bend to enable you to achieve.

If you spend one hour flipping yourself upside down, bending in half, stretching out parts of your body you’ve probably barely considered in your life, whilst focusing on your breath, it’s impossible not come away with a different physical and mental set of feelings and realizations. This is my ‘why’ for teaching yoga.

 

You lead a very busy life – what are your 5 musts, and 5 non-negotiables?

These crossover, my musts are my non-negotiables, so I’ve included more than 5— all of the below I have to weave into my daily life:

  • Daily yoga
  • Daily running
  • Daily laughter
  • Daily time spent outdoors
  • Daily 7-8 hours sleep where possible (the older I get, the more I value my sleep)
  • Daily fresh, healthy, often raw, vegetarian foods
  • Daily reading, even as little as 30 mins, at the start of the day after my run/yoga where possible – of whichever book I’m currently fixated on (currently ‘Malcom Gladwell, Outliers’)
  • A daily drive to achieve new dreams, I love making lists of all the things – short term, and long term – that I want to achieve (and ticking them off!). Dream and drive towards those dreams, daily.

What other mindfulness practices are important to you?

Meditation. I always include meditation at the start of my yoga practice. This usually consists of 5-10mins of stillness, breathing, and focus on the breath and being present. I use it to clear the busy chattering mind of my to-dos in the day and week to come and to focus – the mind, body and soul as one. I find this helps in both my practice, and my daily life. I am calmer and able to deal with the inevitable trials and tribulations and stressful times of everyday living much, much better.

I often try to apply this meditative practice whilst running, running at a comfortable pace in my training where I’m at home with myself I’m able to meditate. Or running through the agonizing highs and lows of the marathon race, where I focus on transcending the pain – becoming mind, body and soul as one.

What words do you live by? (or favourite quotes)

Here are some of my current favourites:

“Life is the greatest experiment. Each of us is an experiment of one-observer and subject- making choices, living with them, recording the effects.” {Dr George Sheehan}

“I will not last forever. But I am absolutely going to know I have been here.” {Dr George Sheehan}

“Energy is eternal delight” {William Blake}

 

Thank you so much, Nicky! If you have been wanting to try Yoga, or wanted to try something different from what you have been doing, don’t miss out on Nicky’s classes! For more info on her schedule, you can check here, or call us on +971 4344 7333

See you on the mat!


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