Q&A with a Vibe Member : Nicole Love

This week, Vibe sat down (virtually) with longtime member and yoga student, Nicole Love, and we quickly found out that “love” is not just in her name...it’s in all that she does! Nicole works at New Outlook Counseling Center as a Social Worker. Check out our conversation below, and learn about how Nicole values self-love and compassion for herself and her community!

V: What does yoga mean to you?

N: Yoga has many meanings for humans….doesn’t it?  The practice of yoga has supported and invited me to develop a deeper relationship with myself, become my own best friend, and practice compassion for those parts of myself that are unbecoming - you know; those parts of yourself you wish would stop showing up!

V: What does your practice look like these days? Do you practice with a loved one or with family?

N: My practice has SLOWED down and transformed.  Before the sequestering, I’d gotten myself in the habit of going to some 6am classes and noticed I enjoyed that experience of practicing first thing in the morning; and the ENERGY I had access to the remainder of the day.  NOW- I’m unable to do anything more than a 20-30 minute slow flow.  Practicing at home.well...for someone who struggles with executive function skills, I do best with routine and practicing AT the VIBE studio.  I get easily distracted practicing at home but have found that if I take my mat outside and leave all electronics in the house then the only distraction I have is Rizzo!

V: Is there a principle or lesson of yoga philosophy that has stuck with you while in quarantine? If so, what and why?

N: I have to be honest and say that I’m still very much a student of yoga and I don’t know about the principles/philosophies.  A thought I notice in this brain of mine when I’m feeling lonely or sad is “I have the tools to sit with this. I can handle this.”  I’ve learned enough from my teachers at Vibe to practice at home. 

V: What has quarantine/social distancing taught you?

N: I was asked this question by my therapist just last week.  I told her that I didn’t realize how much I valued the Vibe community. People don’t usually believe that I’m a true introvert at heart so I spend quite a bit of time by myself. I crave solitude. However, I deeply miss the Vibe community. I get teary-eyed thinking about the studio and the HUMANS that makeup the community. I don’t even know a lot of people’s names but I know their faces and I miss the banter/fellowship the studio provides us.  

V: What has been your go-to hobby while self-isolating?

N: Because I don’t have energy to really MOVE the way I used to like in a vinyasa class; I started a kundalini yoga practice about a week into sequestering. I LOVE it; but it’s a challenge. I think the breath work is keeping me sane, grounded, and effective in helping me manage my depression and anxiety. I must give a shout out to my baby boy Rizzo Ernest Love, my almost five year old goldendoodle. He is my pride and joy. I am so grateful and appreciative of our relationship. He keeps me laughing and moving with walks and we’ve been to Brown County to hike several times to get out of the house and be in the GREEN/NATURE. I’ve been able to take him to work with me a few times a week since we are seeing clients using telehealth. It’s been so comforting to have him by my side.  

V: Do you have a quarantine book recommendation?

N: Yesterday the sweet mail lady delivered a big haul from Amazon (that I ordered a month ago) and the book Essential Kundalini Yoga by Karena Virginia and Dharm Khalsa. I’d been using it as a guide on my Kindle App but I like the feel of a book - so I ordered both versions. The illustrations are lovely and I’m quite interested in deepening my understanding with breath of fire, chanting, mantra, power of sound, and prana.  

My other go to is The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kristen Neff, PhD and Christopher Germer, PhD. I use this almost daily in my social work practice with clients.  NOW is the time to develop a mindful self-compassion practice. You're with yourself all the time. You kind of owe it to yourself to be your own best friend. I learned that from this workbook.  

V: Do you have a favorite song that has been helping you in quarantine?

N: I LOVE music. From time to time I will send Erin T. a song I think she might like so it’s nice to have that connection with her. Right now, some of my favorites are Slime and B (Breezy and Young Thug), Will (Joyner Lucas and Will Smith), Kundalini Chill Out by: Liquid Mantra Remixes by Krishan, Bonobo Essentials, Agnes Obel, Doggystyle-Snoop Dogg, The Chronic- Dr. Dre.  I listen to a lot of podcasts: Tara Brach, Catherine Ingram, The Yogi Show, Arm Chair Expert, Metta Hour, Suze Orman Women and Money, The Punies- by Kobe Bryant, and a few more. 

V: Do you have a favorite yoga pose? If so, what and why?

N: Savasana is my favorite. Life prior to sequestering was so fast paced. Savasana invites you to stop, rest, restore, and look deep inside to self-reflect. Sometimes I call it getting “blissed-out.” 

V: Do you have any advice for those who are struggling with isolation right now/Have you received any advice that has helped you during isolation?

N: I heard a wise human say "honor each moment." If you're sad, honor the experience of sadness; If you're lonely, honor the experience of loneliness.  Be kind to yourself in each moment even if it's a difficult moment. #selflove #selfkindness 

V: What do you most look forward to once we all can safely come together/end social distancing?

N: Practicing at Vibe Yoga studio. I am looking forward to finally being able to meet Ellis and Emerson Ruthenburg, fraternal twins, who are now five months old. These lovely humans belong to my close friends Lauren and Katie Ruthenburg who live in Evansville.    I’ve only been able to see them on FaceTime thus far. I miss my family in Illinois too; I haven’t seen them since Thanksgiving.