Hi, I’m Nici! Steve’s partner in life and work. I started my healing journey in 2010 when a lower back injury left me devastated with chronic pain. It was the pain that awoke me to the reality that I hadn’t been taking very good care of myself…
Like most of us, I was sitting and staring at a computer screen too much. I had very little insight into my body, my inner life and how those were connected.
Trying to heal my body led me to the ancient practice of yoga. Trust me, I tried a lot of different things, saw all sorts of specialists and experts, but doing yoga was the only thing that gave me some relief and made me feel like I was taking charge of my health and recovery.
I practiced on my own for a long time before I found a home at The House of Yoga (HOYO) here in Toronto in 2014, the only Ganja yoga studio in the city. Classes were hours long (Friday night’s cannabis-assisted class would go on for 5 hours!). The focus was not just on postures but also on breathwork and meditation, the space was beautiful and so were the people in the community. I practiced, studied and taught at HOYO until its closing in 2018. Here, I had the chance to experiment and explore a variety of plant medicines combined with my practice and ceremony. I also learned the invaluable, healing touch skill of Thai Yoga massage. As my body became stronger, so did my mind. I was less anxious, more confident, calm and simply able to be myself. My asthma disappeared after a lifetime of having to use an inhaler.
Oh, I’m also a trained social worker, and took the academic route from 2012-2017. My motivation has always been to work with people in a loving, genuine and helpful manner. In reality, I was mostly put off, disappointed and shocked by the coercion, medicalization, bureaucracy and focus on pathology in this field. I often felt like I was doing more harm than good. That said, I have done lots of work with community organizations that are invaluable to folks who are struggling and have met the most amazing helpers, healers and mentors.
I gave birth to my daughter in 2019 and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I had learned about the Wim Hof method through my yoga training but could never imagine myself in the cold. Like most, I had been conditioned since childhood that the cold was bad, dangerous and would make me sick. After birthing for 12 hours in a tub in my living room, I figured that I could handle a cold shower. I was right!
Once I started going into the cold, I was hooked. I loved the energy and invigorating feelings I would get, and after a few months of daily cold showers and breath work, I started to notice a whole array of unexpected side effects, like perfect hair and skin and a newfound inner strength and calm.
After House of Yoga closed I deeply missed my practice community and being a new Mom was often a lonely experience. I joined the Wim Hof Toronto group on Facebook and soon discovered Steve’s weekly meetup group down at the lake. I joined for the first time in December 2020 and knew right away I had found my people. Practicing outdoors and in natural waters added a new spiritual dimension.
Completly unexpectedly I met the most amazing man and the love of my life. Steve and I connected intimately through our shared interests: body, heart, mind and spirit work, our love for nature, for learning and teaching, and for adventure and exploration. And here we are, on the greatest adventure there is: love.