|Posted by nicoluceyoga on March 9, 2016 at 4:00 PM||comments (1)|
I met with Nico while he was in India leading a shared retreat with his beautiful wife Chloe. I immediately knew why students are so drawn to him as a teacher as he was so forthcoming and honest in sharing who he is as a person. Connecting was easy so I could easily understand his reason for teaching, and his total commitment to an authentic practice, and upholding that for his students. This, to me, explains his decision to lead retreats instead of teaching a regular hourly class in Lausanne where he now lives with his family. For him, retreats offer a format for teaching classes with people who want to go deeper with their practice and to study with him, versus attending an individual class with a random teacher. Perhaps in a one hour class Asana is developed quickly, but Nico feels his students get more from retreat as the depth of yoga can only come with time. He enjoys this intimacy with a group because it allows him to see what isn’t seen at first sight… students can get somewhere with the practice and get specific individually. Here students actually have the chance to connect with something deeper because over time the practice begins to test boundaries (“testing without pushing those boundaries”, as he wisely specified the difference).
Nico is honest about the reality that an authentic yoga practice means facing personal demons. And he totally stands by the fact that if the teacher is scared to meet this within himself, then that teacher is not capable of meeting his students there when they reach that place within themselves. As he says, getting close to those boundaries is scary because of fears and beliefs, but he feels it’s his job is to encourage students to face that, especially when he can see that a student wants to but is scared. Most people are scared of this level of self-honesty, but for Nico this means being ready for it. “Readiness comes when it’s ready, it’s within the collective group but it’s a personal decision; that readiness has to mature in the student, it can’t be forced”. A process like this is magical as it allows for the reshaping of the mind, of perceptions, which is what yoga is…becoming more of who we are by reshaping the mind. Nico holds this space to look at your demons and face them.
As a teacher Nico feels it is so important to ask, was I there with them? He feels that sharing in what the group is doing together is a powerful connection. This is why (though considered taboo in the teaching world) he will at some point during the retreat, participate in the class with the students. He loves the intimacy this brings, of everyone being connected to the same experience. This is how generous and transparent Nico is when having the opportunity to speak about something meaningful to him. I really picked up on how much it means to him to get beyond the mask, where there is connection between people.
Clearly he is far from fearing the truth. His honest approach to his asana practice means he can admit that his body goes through stages, sometimes open hips and a tight back, sometimes an easier backbend for a while, but it doesn’t frustrate him…it comes and goes with the practice. So he doesn’t struggle, as he says “struggle” goes against what is happening. He is also honest about his yoga off the mat, aware that he’s not always in line with what he teaches…the daily challenges of life still happen, but yoga is what makes him able to be more forgiving and more honest with himself…the reminder that he’s still learning. As he says, “if you don’t experience and feel your own suffering you won’t be able to feel the suffering of someone else”. Nico feels it’s about making space to be ok with the pain of others, having that relationship between equals, being able to say “OK, I get it”.
|Posted by nicoluceyoga on November 25, 2015 at 3:10 PM||comments (0)|
Blog from Monique Dupre
My favorite yoga teacher was holding a workshop in Lausanne where I live. I had signed up for his class months before. I was very excited!
The workshop was on arm balancing, something I love to do. But over the 10 years I have been doing yoga, I have never been able to get up in a hand stand. I come very close, but being fully upside down just scares me for some silly reason.
Well, I was determined to do a hand stand in this class with world renowned yoga teacher, Nico Luce.
Nico beautifully wove throughout the 2 hour class a spiritual story of facing fears, I was so ready to do this hand stand!
The room was dimly lit full of sweaty yogini's.
I was upside down on my mat trying very hard to get into a hand stand. I was so close, centimeters away from getting my legs straight up by myself, (I can do it with a bit of help).
But I never did.
At first I was very tempted to be seriously discouraged. But then at the very end of class Nico reminded us to just accept this present moment as it was and let go of any expectations we had had.
Yes. I sighed a deep breath and relaxed. It was ok that I did not get up into a hand stand. I will try again (and again and again if necessary).
Many times we place upon ourselves expectations and then when things don't turn out as we had hoped we get depressed, upset or even angry at ourselves (or blame others).
But what if instead we just let go. We say, it is ok, and we move on (with a smile!)
I think of little children learning to ride a bike. Sometimes it takes many, many attempts, but they always figure it out and usually with much joy throughout the process. They fall off and they get back on, no big deal.
As I walked home in the rain that evening after the workshop, I felt so peaceful, although a handstand was not in the cards for me that night, I learned an important lesson and for that I am so very grateful.
|Posted by nicoluceyoga on August 2, 2014 at 12:15 AM||comments (6)|
There are no righteous wars,
There are no righteous killings.
There are no holy wars,
There is only holy Peace.
The holy land is right beneath our feet, anywhere we are.
God is one and this land was promised to all regardless of how we pray.
No to violence, no to domination, no to segregation, no to weapons, no to non-sense.
Tear down the wall, tear down your limitations, tear down your belief that the other is separate from you.
No excuses, no justifications., if you condone violence, you are part of the problem.
Violent thoughts lead to violent words, and these in turn lead to violent actions.
If you want to change the world, change your mind.
Yes to Israel, Yes to Palestine, Yes to Israel & Palestine, Yes to Palestine & Israel.
It's simple, and although is not easy, it can be done. Look around, it's happening everywhere else.
One country, many religions.
One government, many races.
One place, many dreams.
One life, precious to all.
|Posted by nicoluceyoga on July 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM||comments (1)|
I haven't seen you in a while, my dear student,
and there are so many things I would like to ask you.
I wonder if the time you spent in cultivating your body
has allowed you to accept its natural limitations.
I need to find out if the countless hours dedicated to meditation
have made it more comfortable for you to be alone.
I want to know if reciting the mantras
has created a deeper silence within yourself.
I'm yearning to hear if the precise techniques applied to following the breath
have led you towards finding its source.
I'm curious to learn if this deeper connection with yourself
has made it easier for you to relate to others.
I hesitate to inquire if the power you've gained through your diligent practice
has made you more humble.
I'm eager to see if you have let go of who you were when you started this journey
to become someone new.
For all this, please come my guru, and let me drink from the fountain of your experience
to quench this thirst of the yoga that is so precious to our hearts.