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The other lives of yogis – Nicole Arendt


Life has many dimensions.  And so it is for Nicole Arendt of Nanaimo BC.  There is the Iyengar yoga Nicole, practitioner and teacher.  But there is also the musical Nicole, percussionist.  We have a short video featuring Nicole in the confluence of her two worlds (click on the photo):

She also tells us about the impact yoga has had on her music:

I am a professional musician and Iyengar yoga teacher. I’m the principal timpanist of the Vancouver Island Symphony in Nanaimo BC, and a founding member of Brave New Band, an innovative ensemble of original music that features me as a marimba player, composer, and improviser. Although I began music long before I began yoga, and I’ve practised thousands more hours of music than yoga, I am so grateful for the incredible impact that the study and practice of Iyengar yoga has had on my life as a musician. Iyengar yoga keeps my body strong and healthy, giving me the stamina to pursue the physical demands of music performance. The shoulder work is essential for me. Musicians spend hours a day practising an instrument that is not designed to cultivate physical health and balance. Depending on the nature of the upcoming gig, the practice can be intense in both the number of hours in general and in the challenging repetitive motions required in particular. I play in several orchestras and rehearsal time is always scarce which can add stress to the situation. Concerts can be both enormously exciting and terrifying – both responses load the musician’s nervous system with adrenaline, cortisol, and endorphins. The work can be highly personal and emotionally demanding. And so I find that even more than the physical health that yoga supports, it is the benefits to the nervous system that I find the most valuable for me. Now, with yoga in my life, I am more able to find my centre, to calmly navigate turbulent events, and to be present in the moment as a musician. B.K.S. Iyengar said, “The hardness of a diamond is part of its usefulness, but its true value is in the light that shines through it.” Yoga helps me find and focus that light, which helps me in life and in music.


And… you are invited to a livestream concert with Nicole and her musical collaborators, 24 October 2021 at 7pm Pacific time.  The following links will take you to the event:

You can learn more about Nicole’s musical activities at




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