In the first of our featured teacher articles, we turn the spotlight onto Nahid de Belgeonne.
Where are you from?
I’m from London but I moved close to the sea six months ago.
How did yoga come into your life?
I didn’t think yoga was for me at all. I used to love speed and strength, I was a runner, a kick boxer and loved to dance.
I tried lots of teachers but didn’t feel connected to the practice. Then I ran away from a stressful job and booked into a retreat with a great teacher. That week allowed me to go deeper into the practice and had a profound effect on me. I realise now that it’s all about the teacher, so find one that resonates with you.
What is yoga to you, right now?
I’m Feldenkrais trained and my teaching has moved more into practices that bring the nervous system back to balance. It’s a practice of no expectations for the outcome – just enjoying the beauty of the process.
Why do you practice?
I practice because I find this life difficult. I’m a realistic optimist but I am saddened by what we’ve done to the planet and what we do to other living beings. I practice to process my emotions and to stop myself from being overwhelmed with the burdens of the suffering in the world. I also practice to feel joyous in my own skin.
Why do you teach?
I teach because years of studying, researching and training has helped me to be less reactive and make sense of my purpose. I’m passionate about helping others to soothe their nervous system so that their emotions don’t rule them. We all deserve peace and to live to our full potential, and I love to help people move towards that.
What do you offer to your community, through yoga?
I specialise in nervous system regulation. I help people with anxiety, stress and sleep issues. I have long standing private clients, some living with issues such as Parkinson’s and chronic pain – I offer them hope that they can manage and even improve, with science-backed solutions.
Favourite yoga pose?
Adapted revolved triangle pose or any revolved pose, it’s so good for the spine.
Favourite class on EkhartYoga?
I created this somatic yoga class to explore moving from a ‘felt sense’ by tuning into the senses to move according to how it feels rather than how it looks. This is essential in my own practice and therefore my teaching.
Advice to new yogis?
Learn from a good teacher that resonates with you and invest in private sessions to learn how to adapt poses for your body – you’ll cultivate a sustainable life long practice.
Buddhism without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening, by Stephen Batchelor.
Tarka Dahl and dry-fried fresh spinach.
What do you do for fun?
I go walking over the cliffs with my dogs and my man. You can see the sea on one side and green fields on the other. It fills me up. I’m also learning to roller skate – I want to dance on skates to RnB!
Stranded on an island — what 3 things would you bring?
Music. Paper. Pens. I’d be happy! Although lonely after a while as I do love chatting.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A textiles designer, which I became and did for ten years before selling my business. I’ve had many careers, including creative editor, working in technology, as well as running my own studios in Central London.
Surprising or little known fact about you?
With two other female editors, I set up a national Frank and Feminist Magazine, for women, in 2011.
I have set up a sleep program called The Intelligent Sleep Method, for women who have tried everything to get to sleep. This is made up of private live sessions, bespoke recordings and email support. The method is rooted in science backed practices to resolve sleep issues once and for all. I take only 10 clients a month because it is an intensive coaching method that is tailored to each client. My clients are getting great results by improving the quality of sleep and staying asleep for longer.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” – Gandhi
Practice with Nahid on EkhartYoga!