In Her Own Words: Nicole
While I have been teaching Group Fitness at Goodlife Fitness for the last 7 years my body was beginning to start to fail me. I have practiced Yoga in various formats, if you had asked me 10 years ago if I would be doing Yoga I would have laughed at you. Fast forward to winter of 2016.
I have been a police officer with the Ottawa Police Service for 15 years. During that time I have been exposed to unimaginable & horrific events. In January 2016 I was diagnosed with PTSD, Depression & Anxiety. I was ordered off work for a week (I refused to be off longer) & started seeing a psychologist immediately. I have continued to see her every week for the last 8 months. During that time I was told to learn to find a way to relax. Memory loss is a big part of my condition as is Flashbacks, teaching programs where I had to remember choreography was a problem. The only thing that could slow my brain down was Yoga. That is the only place I felt safe outside my home & where I could completely submit. During this time I was also diagnosed with 3 bulging discs in my lumbar spine. Again Yoga gave me relief from the pain I was experiencing.
In March I requested a meeting with my GFM Andrea Laporte. I explained to her what I was going through & that it was best that I give up teaching pump for the reasons listed above. I told her I was really enjoying Yoga & that perhaps I could take a certification to teach it. She agreed, was super supportive & showed me YogaFit’s website & even contacted Tracy Glennon to see if there was availability in the April Level 1. Andrea also showed me the Warrior Program, I was hooked. When they say things happen for a reason I truly believe.
I had a great weekend of training with Tracy in April as she was amazing & started my Community Hours at the Ottawa Police Service. I have had so many people attend & explain what has led them to Yoga. I have had seriously injured officers in my class, officers with PTSD including dispatchers. I have recently put our recruit class through a class before they are heading off to their 3 months of training in Western Ontario.
Participating in Yoga is one thing, leading people through Yoga is magical. I feel like I am saving lives in a new way. In September I will be heading to Montreal for the beginning of Warrior training. One day I would love to be an ambassador for the program. While my dark struggle is far from over I believe I am a Warrior & Yoga has helped me fight. I will be teaching my own class at GoodLife starting this month & continue to teach for my colleagues for free at Ottawa Police. I want to pay it forward.
I am Yoga’s biggest Cheerleader because I think it has helped pull me out of a very dark place & for that I say thank you.
One very thankful Cop-Yogi