This is interview five of my traveling yoga teacher interview series. Each month, I will post a new interview of a yoga teacher I meet along my travels.
If you know of someone who you think would be a great fit to this series, send me an email! I would LOVE to hear from you!
This month’s interview features world traveling yoga instructor: Nikki Pruss.
♦What type of yoga do you teach?
I teach Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Restorative, SUP, Pranayama and Meditation
♦Current favorite yoga pose or pose you’re working on?
I am working on Hanumanasana: splits. It’s not my favorite just yet…lol!
♦What are your three must have items while traveling?
♦My Pillow: so no matter where I sleep, I have some level of comfort
♦Lavender Essential Oil: this one oil replaces a multitude of items in my beauty bag and medicine closet
♦Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf: this has it’s obvious use as a scarf but it can be used for so many other things like a towel, blanket, shirt, pillow etc.
♦What travel tools do you recommend using?
♦What mat do you use while traveling?
I use Lululemon’s The Mat 3 mm
♦What is something you learned on your first trip/job abroad that you think is key for other traveling teachers to know?
I learned to not expect the job to be perfect. If it looks too perfect to be true, it probably is. Most places I am teaching are third world countries and I must remember that usually the people posting these jobs are locals and they are not accustomed to Western business etiquette. Meaning, I may get screwed over once or twice…lol. I have learned to be okay with this and I learned a great deal and grew so much from my experiences so far.
♦How did you find your job abroad?
I found a job in the Facebook group Yoga Jobs All Over the World and I connected locally while in the country I wanted to teach.
♦What is the day in the life of a traveling yogi like?
I tend to have a lot of time to myself. Having a lot of free time can be a challenge even though I am very good at being with myself. When you spend a significant amount of time alone, you can not hide from yourself. Meaning, you are faced with acknowledging parts of yourself that you may have avoided looking at otherwise. I have learned during this process that this is the best way for me to uncover what I need to work on inside. It allows me to see the things that I need to change, figure out how to change them, let those things go and move forward with a more clear mind and soul. Usually, I wake up a bit early and meditate or stretch. Then I teach my yoga class(es). After I teach I sometimes give myself time to practice on my own. Then I eat my breakfast. I will then write in my journal, read or work on my blog. Around midday I eat lunch. Then I usually go exploring, visit the local markets, take a walk or bike ride, swim, nap or spend time with my local friends in the kitchen where I work. By this time there is usually a little bit of computer work that I have to get done for my boss as I also help him out in the office. It can be common to help out in other areas of the business outside of teaching yoga. I eat dinner and then I may teach restorative yoga or guide the students through a Yoga Nidra session later in the evening. I try to find time at night to respond to friend’s and family’s messages and video chat with them as well. I also take this time for myself to unwind and reflect on what the day has brought me as far as spiritual, mental and emotional growth and changes. I always remind myself at the end of each day, or if I am feeling homesick, how lucky I am to be living this life. I worked so hard to get here and to create this for myself.
♦What meditation or mantra are you currently living by?
“Let it go.”
♦Where is your favorite place you have traveled to?
♦What is something to be aware of as a traveler?
Ease yourself into the local cuisine and don’t start eating street food straight away. Begin with foods you are used to and gradually add in new dishes. ALWAYS carry tissue or toilet paper with you! This is a must especially if you are in a third world country because they rarely to never have it in the bathrooms. I recommend bringing an eye mask and earplugs. These will be gold to you on long train/plane/bus rides or living in loud accommodations. I have found taking cash out at the airport ATM to be the best exchange rate. Make sure you know things like the religion of the country so you can dress and act appropriately, know the temperatures and weather during your travel times, know the best way to get around and know about tipping. Letting your intuition guide you places and perhaps changing plans last minute is when the most inspiring ideas and most unique connections with new people happen. Learn a few words of the local language. These will take you far and the locals will be impressed and appreciative of you making the effort to get to know their culture. Almost always say yes to any new opportunities, of course keeping personal safety in mind. Allow yourself to drop your guard and let people in so you can share, connect and gain new insights and knowledge allowing yourself to give and receive the greatest gifts. This is the best part of travel for me!!
♦What should a first time traveling yogi know about the professional yoga life?
I would recommend checking out a website thoroughly before you subscribe and pay the usual fee. You can usually tell right away if you vibe with the type of jobs available on the site. I would also suggest creating a CV instead of a resume as most employers outside of the U.S. are asking for this. If you don’t know the difference, google it. The main difference for me is that I added a picture of myself and my professional certificates. Some people choose to make a separate resume/CV specific to yoga. I decided not to but added my yoga information to my current resume. This way, the employer can see where else you have experience and this could set you apart from another candidate. During the interview, be yourself. Realize that even if the job sounds perfect to you, you may just not fit the description of what the employer is looking for. Do not take this personally. You will find a job that will end up being the perfect match. Besides, if you take a job to teach yoga and you aren’t a great match to the specific job description, it can come across during your classes, teaching and personal interactions with students and both you and them will miss out on the genuine gifts you could receive if you were in the right position.
♦What does your dream yoga position or career look like?
I am living and working in my own guesthouse that is situated on a beautiful, small island surrounded by crystal clear blue water and a huge coral reef system. I have a simple and beautiful yoga studio in my guesthouse where I teach yoga and offer Reiki sessions. I love having guest teachers come to teach as well. I offer snorkel tours and sunset cruises on my 6 pack boat that I captain. I am also a certified life coach part time, I continue to write my blog and work on writing a book! I travel often and have trustworthy friends and fellow yogis/travelers who manage my guesthouse while I am wandering the world.
Nikki Pruss is a traveling yoga instructor originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. She began her traveling and teaching journey earlier this year in Sri Lanka and is now teaching in the Maldives. For more inspiration and all things traveling yogi life, check out her website here.