Today we’d like to introduce you to Lynne Nicole Smith.
Lynne Nicole, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a child, I loved to dance. I also loved to hike by myself in the woods in my backyard where I would climb up this large, beautiful rock and lie on my back to take in the beauty of the sky and earth. I remember now that my spirit and my natural instinct was to find a place that was silent, where I could empty my mind completely and find deep peace. I feel that same inner calm with Qigong and Yoga, I am so grateful that these practices somehow found me when I most needed them.
In 2002, I decided to attend a 200 hour long Qigong and T’ai Chi Easy Training where I lived at The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York practicing and learning Qigong and T’ai Chi for eight to ten hours a day. By the end of the month, I could feel all of the physical, mental and emotional tension melt off of my body and the workings of my mind and emotions shifted. Having grown up in Woonsocket, RI and having no exposure to the Healing Arts in this old mill town, I discovered a transformative practice that genuinely changed my life for the better.
I was working as a Physical Education Teacher and Substance Abuse Counselor at the time. I immediately began integrating Qigong into the classroom and with the groups, I worked with. I noticed a strong interest in clients and students I didn’t expect would love the practice so much. I also noticed that as I was practicing and teaching every day, that I was literally healing the trauma I had experienced in my early childhood. I realized that the body was the most powerful vehicle for personal healing and that Qigong was an exceptionally powerful practice in releasing anxiety, alleviating depression and improving mental health for those that have P.T.S.D.
I was also taking Kripalu Yoga classes 5 times a week and decided to attend a 200 hour long Yoga Teacher Training Program in 2005 in Costa Rica. I immediately began teaching Yoga as well and always integrated Qigong into my Yoga classes at senior centers, yoga studios, fitness clubs, retreat centers and other venues. I have come to see Qigong and Yoga as powerful allies in my own life in genuinely healing the suffering I experienced when I was young and I knew that this would be my life’s work. After fifteen years of teaching both Yoga and Qigong, I have created a practice that provides the benefits of both modalities called Qigong Infused YogaTM. I am continually in awe of the profound shifts this healing mind/body practice has on our physiology, our emotional state, and our mental health. It is the strongest anchor in my life and like a supportive friend, there for me no matter what happens.
That being said, I am teaching in the spirit of guiding others to integrate these powerful tools into their lives. Each of us is drawn to Yoga, Tai Chi, or Qigong for different reasons. It may be to alleviate anxiety, to manage stress from living in a city, to build energy in the body, to relieve chronic pain, to build self-confidence, to get stronger, more flexible and balanced and perhaps to increase longevity. I started Yoga and Healing Arts Therapy out of a deep and experienced knowing that these ancient healing practices do and will work in healing the body, mind, and soul.
I am now in the process of producing a Qigong Infused YogaTM video which will be available in early 2018 and branching out internationally in the hope of sharing this practice to more people. My heart has felt deep empathy for the suffering of humanity and all that is happening on our planet that creates heartache and despair. These practices are a way to nurture the light in ourselves, to heal, to grow, to move past the pain, to celebrate life, to grow a deeper connection to our soul and to access the best of who we are while we are alive.
When I offer 1:1 sessions or work with people in retreats, I witness the immense benefits Qigong and Yoga has and now there is no turning back.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Yoga and Qigong have given me the strength and grace to manage struggles with a little more wisdom and resilience. They are my anchors throughout loss, transition and the stressful days that come and go. One struggle has been finding the map to make my work sustainable and to put the pieces of the puzzle together to thrive financially. This keeps me on my toes every day.
I decided after dealing with a very difficult boss at my last job, that I no longer would subject myself to dysfunctional work dynamics again and affirmed that teaching QigongInfusedYoga would be my full-time job. Following my heart isn’t always the smooth path but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As much as I am a realist, the idealist in me will lead my heart in the right direction. The realist in me now understands that physical and emotional healing is very real and attainable. Qigong and Yoga support people through their struggles as they have supported me through mine.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Yoga and Healing Arts Therapy – what should we know?
I teach Pranayama Yoga, QigongInfusedYoga, Qigong and T’ai Chi Easy. I am primarily focusing on QigongInfusedYogaTM: Where Yoga and Qigong Unite to offer the benefits of both Yoga and Qigong as I mentioned before. My intention is to guide others in accessing their healer within where they take charge of their health and wellness needs every day with enthusiasm. There is a strong emphasis on Deep Breathing Exercises as a way of producing Free Medicine in the body.
QigongInfusedYoga is a specific practice that is meditative, tranquil, safe and accessible to everyone.
I specialize in teaching in a way where people will learn ways of integrating specific practical tools in their everyday life (at work, in relationship, when triggered, when overwhelmed, when experiencing insomnia, etc) I believe we receive the most benefit when we apply the practices off the mat and with my counseling background, I listen to people deeply to navigate a course that will be the most empowering for each individual.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My Qigong teacher Dr. Roger Jahnke and my yoga teacher Baukje McCray have both been incredible supporters.
Dr. Roger Jahnke has always believed in me as a person and I have taught with him at The Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. I had powerful experiences at these beautiful retreat centers and am grateful to Dr. Jahnke for his belief in me. I am sure this is a big reason why I have never given up on a “tricky” career path.
Baukje McCray was a loving, kind and supportive presence for many years and her gentle style in teaching Yoga has influenced my own. I am thankful that I found such a skilled, compassionate and strong Yoga teacher to start off with twenty years ago. She set the stage for me by helping me to fall in love with Yoga.
- Skype with Lynne Nicole…1:1 QigongInfusedYoga or Qigong one hour session $50 ($10 off for BostonVoyager readers)
- QigongInfusedYoga Retreats $40 (Every second Sunday of the month 1:00-3:00pm at The Barn Studio on 20 Dickinson Street Amherst, MA)
- T’ai Chi Easy and Qigong Retreats $50 (Every fourth Sunday of the month 1:00-4:00pm at The Barn Studio on 20 Dickinson Street in Amherst, MA)
- Skype or Phone with Lynne Nicole…1:1 Holistic Life Coaching one hour session $50
- Address: Retreat Venue
The Barn Studio 20 Dickinson Street
Amherst, MA 01002Online
- Website: www.yogaandhealingartstherapy.com
- Phone: 413-575-7468
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Yogaandhealingartstherapycom-800941183278787/