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leslie nikole
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22/F/MTL.

leslie.nikole at icloud dot com

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THE YOGA CHALLENGE
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(hydrating with a cup of organic lemon myrtle tea from davidstea with a slice of lemon for an extra kick before class)

Tomorrow is day two of my yoga challenge. Day two was supposed to be two days ago, but life consistently is getting in the way. Between bad decisions and frustrating mess-ups, June is really not off to a good start. Mercury’s retrograde is next week and all I’m trying to do is stay out of its war path. Yoga helps. I started getting more interested into yoga in my second year of nursing school, and unfortunately didn’t cling to it the way I probably should have after my nervous breakdown.

Now that I’m restarting my practice, even though I’ve only done one class, my mind frame is completely different. My practice is for me, an hour to an hour in a half that I can spend centring myself. Personally I like hot yoga, I’m big on heat being a summer heatwave baby. Every happy memory I have, be it playing on the sand as a kid in Barbados to playing max in New York, has basically taken place in a warm environment. I’m simply a happier person in summer, and if you’ve already got that frame of mind you’re set up to go further with a practice that’s supposed to soothe you.

I love ensō. It’s downtown, like everything else more or less in my life, and is a beautiful environment. From super friendly people to an atmosphere that welcomes anyone, ensō studio is my favourite place out of all the studios I’ve been to around the world. Best part about it? I now work with them.

Well, that’s not true. I volunteer. ensō has this amazing program where you trade in volunteer time (three hours a week per month) and in return get a month of free yoga! If you do the math, paying each volunteer minimum wage for three hours a week per month would basically equal the same as a regular membership, but volunteering is much more fun. Cleaning around the studio for three hours is nothing compared to my actual job, and is actually quite a good workout. Speaking of cleaning, if there’s anything that ensō stands apart in, it’s cleanliness. I have honestly never seen a cleaner studio anywhere than I have here. Cleaning teams of three to four people (sometimes even a few more!) clean the studios, mats, and locker rooms after every single class. If that isn’t clean, I don’t know what is.

Also, as I'm finishing up Haruki Murakami's latest, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage, I've also got a few more books in rotation for pre-yoga mind-framing. I definitely suggest these three if you're looking on getting grounded in all aspects of your life, not just your practice.
(all about love: new visions bell hooks - bringing yoga to life donna farhi - mindful yoga, mindful life charlotte bell

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