Nicole grew up in sunny South Florida where she went to Florida Atlantic University and received a BFA in Studio Art Painting and a BA in Theatrical Set Design. Throughout college, she had her own mural business, painting popular seascapes inside homes and local businesses. In school, she worked on designing theatrical sets, giving her the experience to do large scale artwork. For the past 20 years, she has worked on city, county and local projects to beautify the community
After college she became interested in yoga and received her 200 hour RYT on the Big Island of Hawaii. She has been teaching for over 11 years now, to a wide variety of clients. Everything from Crossfitters, to NBA professional basketball players, to yogis wanting to enrich their practice.
You can find Nicole in the studio at Red Diamond Yoga in Los Angeles or you can check out her artwork and murals on her website.
I was never planning on becoming a yoga instructor, but after a few years of practicing, I really loved it and realized that there was so much more to yoga than the poses. It was a journey into healing emotionally and physically for me, especially since being diagnosed with scoliosis as a young teen. The yoga kept my scoliosis in check. I built up my physical strength and I was becoming more confident about sharing my experience, guiding others to use yoga in a helpful way. That confidence also made me less fearful of showing my art, which is surprisingly personal.
One day, while guiding a meditation practice for a student and keeping track of time, I started doodling on a piece of paper. The doodle turned into a compete piece of this woman, with swirly long hair. I didn’t really realize what I was doing because I was meditating at the same time. After that, that doodle became the focal point of a lot of my art pieces. It was at that point I noticed the connection between meditation and art. I was spontaneously drawing from a state of calm and relaxation and decided that would be a great workshop to offer to my students. Having an outlet to see what transpires from a meditative state is exciting because you never know what’s going to come up. Sometimes pushing paint around on canvas is enough to release those pent up emotions, long suppressed.
As most women, I have dealt with hormonal acne, but learned that a healthy diet and physical fitness keep my hormones balanced and my stress under control. Also, drinking lots of water is key to a good skin care routine.
I have always had so many interests growing up, but I think it’s important to have different outlets, so you don’t get burnt out on one thing. And it’s also nice to try different things to see what sparks joy. It keeps things exciting and forces me to use my brain in different ways. Yoga is such an outward energy release and painting allows me to go inward to take time for myself. I’ve also added surfing to my interests. It’s been the most humbling of them all because you’re not in control and the ocean is.