When yoga comes to mind, some might imagine a yogi balancing in a headstand on the tip of a mountain, intense daily regimens and 110 degree yoga studios determined to desiccate its devotees. For Nicole Christianson, instructor and owner of Live True Yoga, the practice of yoga and meditation is far simpler than the Instagram influencers make it seem, and, in the midst of a pandemic, there are many ways we can implement mindfulness in our lives through these practices—on and off the mat.
Christianson discovered her love for yoga back in 2007, finding strength in the practice allowed her to overcome her battle with an eating disorder. Eight years later, she founded Live True Yoga. With the core principle of her studio being “yoga for everyone,” Christianson prides her business as being welcoming and inclusive—no matter one’s experience level, body type or age.
With a new Plymouth location that opened in June, Live True Yoga offers an abundance of yoga, barre and Pilates fusion classes. Recently, it began offering virtual classes to its students through Zoom in tandem with its socially distanced, in-studio classes. Although the Zoom classes are “a different dynamic,” Christianson sees her students coming back for two primary reasons: the community connection and the sense of mindful clarity the practice provides.
“Yoga is meditation and a physical approach to keep us present,” Christianson says. “In a crazy time of the pandemic, people come to yoga to feel that community, that connection, but also to feel that presence.”
To maintain the presence that yoga provides, even after the class concludes, Christianson dispensed some pandemic-related suggestions to keep ourselves level-headed and healthy during stressful times.
Christianson begins her day with meditation, focusing on breathing and mindfulness and using meditation apps like Insight Timer to guide her. Refraining from answering emails or mindlessly scrolling through social media has helped her to stay present as she begins her day.
After meditation, she drinks 16 ounces of lemon water, followed by a cup of coffee and a nutritional shake. Christianson is a fruit, veggie and protein proponent (“If you can grow it, I want to eat it.”) and avoids heavier and unnatural carbohydrates, including bread and pasta.
Christianson treats her own fitness routine in the same manner that she treats the classes she teaches: with comfort and accommodation. You won’t find any cross fit routines in her personal workouts in the same way that you won’t find any crazy yoga poses in her classes. “You aren’t going to come into the studio and start doing headstands,” she says. “What yoga is about is that mind-body connection. Many of my students talk about what they thought yoga was, and it’s based on social media, and when they come in [to the studio], it isn’t what they thought it would be. I watch my students grow and transform on a personal level. That is what really fulfills me, teaching students what yoga is really about.”