June 2014 - Davy Nichols

What first brought you to yoga and how long have you been practicing?

My good friend, Lisa Shultz, encouraged me to try it out.  I had done some yoga years ago while in college, but never really took it seriously.  I’ve been practicing under Susan’s instruction for about one year now.

What is/are your intention(s) for your yoga practice?

Preventive body maintenance!  I say this both jokingly and seriously.  I remember when I first began coming to IOY, I would wake up every morning with low back pain.  I was convinced it was my mattress, car seat, or something external.  After a couple of yoga sessions, away went the back pain!  I’m in my mid 30’s and am feeling aches in pains in new places every year.  Practicing yoga has made a huge difference to my physical (and emotional) well being.  I like to think of it as squirting a little oil into the joints that are so often neglected. 

What is your favorite pose and why?

Pigeon pose.  This pose does wonders for my hips.   I like pigeon pose because it is relatively effortless, since you are using your own body weight to add pressure.  Also, you can literally feel the stretch get deeper as your body sinks lower.  Instant reward!  Has anyone else ever thought that after one of Susan’s classes you walk out of the building a solid inch taller?  I’m convinced all of this emphasis on length is making me stand up straighter and slouch less.

What is your favorite class at InsideOut Yoga?

That is like choosing your favorite child!  Honestly, I like them all.  Basics gives me time to fully understand poses.  Mellow Flow gives me time to understand the flows.  Breathe & Stretch is the ultimate therapy if I’m feeling tight.  Steady Flow and Power Flow are full on work-outs!!  All are rewarding and make me a better yogi, each in their own way.

How has the practice of yoga influenced your life?

Yoga has helped me escape the binds of life.  It is the one time of day I can completely ignore my cell phone.  Yoga gives me time to appreciate life and view the world from outside my body.  In this crazy society of information overload and the constant go-go-go attitude, if you don’t carve out time to slow down and just listen, before you know it you’ll be back in the rut of daily routine.  Next thing you know 10 years have slipped by!  Yoga allows my mind to relax and recharge, which then allows me to be more receptive and ready for the day’s challenges. 

What advice would you have for a beginning yoga student?

Don’t overdo it.  Enjoy each moment.  Yoga is not a competition.  Most importantly, you don’t always have to do what Susan says…;)  Childs pose is an option at any given moment!

What is your occupation?

I am a commercial pilot and have my own company that contracts with a few medical facilities, one of which is on Tangier Island.  I consider myself very lucky to be able to fly for a living, while helping in the medical community. 

What activities do you enjoy?

I truly enjoy flying.  Any chance to see the beautiful Northern Neck from a few thousand feet up is an opportunity not to be wasted.  I’m an avid golfer (something yoga has helped me with immensely!).   My wife, Ivana, and I enjoy taking our dog, Gizmo, on long walks around the neighborhood.  Additionally, boating, travelling, drumming, cooking, visiting family and sneaking away to the Outer Banks all top my list. 

What is your favorite thing about living in the Northern Neck?

The pace.  Traffic?  Never heard of it.  Maybe boat traffic!  I love the water, all four seasons, the people, and the fact that we have to drive an hour to get to a decent sized city!  Don’t get me wrong—growing up in this lazy old town, all I wanted to do was get away ASAP!  Like many of my friends, I did get away and lived in Raleigh for nearly a year before remembering just how nice things were in the good ole Northern Neck!  Sometimes you have to leave to fully appreciate what we have.

Is there anything you want to add?

Kudos to Susan who is a remarkable instructor and friend.  What an unbelievably calming voice she has and to show up every day (sometimes twice!) with the same enthusiasm no matter how small the class.  I know we all secretly look forward to the end of class when she silently walks around to each of us and adds a bit of length!  Susan, I hope you keep doing this for many more years!!  Sincere thanks to you.