“Dear Nicole, It is with great regret that I am informing you that I will no longer be able to teach yoga to you. I have worked very hard over the last decade to develop a style of yoga that is unique to me and extremely personal. I do not give my consent or the rights to publish it in any manner. I will be sending you a check for the balance of your pass. I wish you only the best.”

This was the “love” letter that I received from my yoga “teacher” on 6 October 2011 following my publishing of yoga videos to YouTube which showed the amazing thing that I had learned from her: the physical practice of yoga. It was like a knife through my heart. I lost all of my yoga friends, except for one, and it turns out, this lady was the only true friend. And I spiraled into two years of complete disgust. Convinced that I would never achieve the amazing feeling that I got from those amazing years practicing daily was so upsetting to me. Believe me, I tried. I visited other studios. I flirted with things online. But nothing gave me that high.

In 2014, up 45 pounds, and down one yoga practice, I’d had enough of living in yoga limbo. I wanted to GET something, so I created a plan. Thus was born my former blog, FindingMyYoga where I set THE GOAL to find yoga as I had it. And OH I found so much more. One year, four months, and 27 days later, I found Ashtanga.

And I immediately wanted to post pictures on Instagram, as I’d heard of Kino’s success with amassing a following and therefore growing of her personal brand.

But what I got was incredibly unexpected.


Thus I write a love letter to my friends of the Yoga Institute of Cyber Space, or YIOCS, as I enjoying calling it. Hehe.

Dear Friends,

I awoke on Thursday morning, on the day of Gwendolyn’s surgery, with messages from around the world. Africa, Luxembourg, Norway, England, Germany, Poland, Canada, OMAHA, Mexico, China, New Zealand, Australia, India!! OMG am I forgetting anywhere? If so, please know that my brain is just flooded with love and I have loved all of your messages.

Pictures of dogs, of carrots, of yoga poses. Words of care, of kindness, of love.

Through these little challenges on Instagram, we have forged a Ninja Goddess network (brothers, too!) that has taught me the real meaning of yoga, the one that I knew existed, but the one which I couldn’t have achieved, if I’d not been kicked out of yoga school. If I had continued practicing in a selfish environment, then I wouldn’t have the great love that I’ve found today. It is incredible.

How much you have all loved my Gwendolyn makes my heart dance in pirouettes.

She is doing wonderfully. They removed 4 lumps, three being fatty, one being sent for biopsy. They removed two front teeth. I joke that she now resembles a hillbilly puggle. He he he. Her stitching looks amazing. And she’s behaving like a puppy in the spring. That’s pretty damn good for nine years, five months, eight days on Earth. Her blood pressure remained as divine during the procedure, and upon awakening from anesthesia, she immediately offered kissy kissies to the operating team.

Which leads me to part TWO of this mushy love letter.

To The Point Breeze Veterinary Hospital.

Diagnosing doctor, Stephanie Berger.

Operating doctor, Christie Schroth.

Veterinary technician, Amanda Dumas.

Receptionists who answered my one trillion questions, Don, Nate, Annie, Jordan, Andrea.

THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart. Your gorgeous clinic operates like a Children’s Hospital. Above and beyond the fact that you are medically astounding, you offer the genuine heart that a mommy wants to see associated with her baby. I just want to hug you all, and I did to some of you!!, for taking such divine care of my baby princess. Thank you.

And for part THREE of this mushy love letter.

To my Peloton friends, to my tribe locally in Pittsburgh, to my sister in Chicago, and to all of Gwendolyn’s pals, thank you. We love you. And we are so grateful for the love that you showed to us.

None of this would have been possible, if I’d not gotten kicked out of yoga school.

So that is my love letter of today.