Nicole Cronin

I grew up in an active household, playing year-round sports and looking to physical activity to calm my busy mind. As a young adult, I frequented the gym, ran for miles and took every fitness class you can imagine (you can even find me in some old Tae Bo kick-boxing videos). It was in 2007, in my mid twenties, when I first fell in love with the practice of yoga.  

I was operating a busy, night-life oriented restaurant/bar in San Francisco. Yoga was the one part of my life that brought peace and clarity to my high-energy lifestyle. I began with an Ashtanga practice and then fell in love with the freedom of dynamic movement experienced in a well-sequenced Vinyasa & Hatha Flow.  I grew hungry to learn as much as I could about the practice- attending workshops, going on retreats, reading blogs and books. Yoga soon became far more than a physical activity– it was a new, fully integrated way of living and being. For me, yoga had a way of dynamically approaching all of my greatest challenges and questions.

In 2012, I was in a serious car accident where I lost my beloved fiance and broke my back. I found myself in a wheel chair, with nothing to focus on but healing. During this healing process, I realized that we are so much more than our bodies or our minds.  It’s hard to explain in words, but I began to see that we are souls, here in these bodies, on a journey to find our truth, our purpose; to love and to surrender. More than anything else, this is what yoga has taught me: to accept and find peace in what is and to see every opportunity as a chance to learn and grow.  While I believe we're all here to become the most masterful and skillful versions of ourselves, I also practice less attachment to the "fruits of our labor"- and both loving kindness and fierce compassion, along the way.

After the accident, something clicked inside of me- I realized I had been refining a set of tools that would greatly support me at this time in my life.  I became so grateful to have knowledge of the power of conscious breath, and to a physical practice that deepened my capacity to embody presence (and re-build some core strength to support my back injury and a future C-Section).  It was exactly nine months after the accident and the deep loss I experienced that I headed to “The Present Moment Retreat” in Troncones Beach, Mexico to get certified to teach Vinyasa and Hatha yoga.

There are many things that contribute to my style of teaching- first, a deep respect for the historical roots of yoga, and an intention to honor proper physical alignment in the postures. In addition, a background of athletics and dance, an appreciation for groovy music, my prior career in nightlife- hosting and creating experiences for others, and an awareness of the body and how it reacts to both external and internal stressors, gathered from my study and practice of both the Alexander Technique and Somatics (during a life-changing Leadership program I completed in 2013 called The Art of Leadership Mastery at The Institute of Embodied Wisdom in Ojai, Ca).

My experience is that practicing yoga is an opportunity to use the physical body and the breath to reintegrate and to feel whole; to remember our true nature– perfect and right where we’re supposed to be.  The more I practice, the more inspired I am to share the gift of yoga, in all it's many expressions.

Currently, I'm in Janet Stone's 500 Hour Training, and finding much enjoyment playing the role of both student and teacher, mother and partner.