Community Spotlight | People Love | Nik Robson August 16 2017
This month we are bringing to you another Kiwi who has discovered a way to use his journey with yoga to travel and positively influence the people around him. Mala Earth creator Rebecca Agent was lucky enough to catch up with Nik Robson in Bali where you can find him teaching Yin Yoga at The Practice. They sat down for dinner at The Shady Shack – a restaurant in Canggu, Bali that is a tourist hotspot for amazing vegetarian and ultra-fresh meals.
Nik, born in NZ, found yoga after an injury while in the middle of a successful soccer career. As an athlete, he describes himself as a being a bit fiery and temperamental. Finding yoga created a shift in his life and when he had that experience and he felt the power of what it could do, it inspired him to start teaching yoga and to share it with people.
Always very driven and motivated. He loves yoga because he believes it’s like self-development for your own life. Learning how to be better at being you. For so many years he focused on being better at kicking a ball around a field. Now, he feels like he’s channelling all of that creative, fiery energy into something that is benefiting his everyday life.
His philosophy is that as he has new experiences and as he learns more he shares it. As a result of sharing/teaching those new experiences he himself embodies it more. So when you attend Nik’s classes you are getting his unique experiences first hand.
Rebecca had a great time being able to ask Nik some of our favourite questions. We are loving his responses as they were really ‘first to come to mind’ stuff making it feel very authentic and interesting. Have a read below and enjoy!
What purchase of under $100 in the last year has most impacted your life?
Rather than a monetary purchase it seems I've been given and gifted a lot things, in particular malas and stone necklaces with special meanings. I’m on my third Mala Earth, mala… each coming and going at just the right time. A funny story about my first one… I left it on the bedside table and I’m almost positive a monkey stole it while I slept. I loved that mala! This is just another example of how malas leave you when it’s time for them to go.
Most influential Book you have read?
'Be Here Now' by Ram Das. When this was passed to be over a picnic table in the summer time, reading the page that opened for me was like Ram was talking directly to me. The book is written from hours and hours of talks from events, transcribed and then illustrated. He kind of rationalises psychology and shows where it aligns to eastern philosophy.
What’s your favourite food, the one you cannot live without?
Avos on toast! However, right now, eating dinner at The Shady Shack I am totally enjoying the sweet potato gnocchi with lemon infused oil and sautéed kale!”
What are your morning routine/rituals? What does the first hour of your day look like?
My ideal is get up and go to yoga, although this doesn’t always happen. Usually my mornings involves coffee. A few mornings of the week I will wake up and go to the 7am class. If my teacher, Octavio is scheduled, I’ll be there. I’ll make that effort. Which is cool because I haven’t had that, a teacher where I live that I’m inspired to go to. What I want my morning routine to be is that if I don’t go to yoga I go to the beach for a surf or swim.
What's one thing that you do that people think is 'crazy' and why do you do it?
There are things that I do that some people might find crazy, people stuck in the mainstream, but people who are reading this won’t think it is crazy. Things like chanting, meditations and visualisation just the normal yoga stuff. Some people would think it is crazy but I do it because “magic is real”. There comes a point that it doesn’t really matter what other people think, you just do it anyway! (My favourite quote of the whole interview…) “To the muggles it’s crazy but if you’re at Hogwarts...”
When you think of a successful person, who 1st comes to mind and why?
“Swami Muktananda… He cracked it - reaching enlightenment. If an average person read the book they’d think it is crazy – Opening to a random page Nik reads… "I decided to make my body weaker and thinner so I stopped drinking milk and reduced my intake of water. I could not sleep at night because of the turmoil in my mind. I would remember Ganeshapuri and think for a long time about Bhagavan Nityananda… I would bow to him and fall asleep. In the mornings I got up early. Sometimes I bathed at 3:00am; otherwise I would just wash my hands and feet. Then I would smear holy ash, charged with mantras, on my body and sit down to meditate. As soon as I sat down, my meditation would start with full force. The red aura of my own size would arise immediately. I performed the full worship of my Guru. Almost immediately I was deep in samadhi, and then, suddenly, full of sexual desire. The naked women pursued me and stood before me. She tortured me more and more. She was goading me for one thing: she wanted to break my sacred vow of celibacy. God knows where she came from; no one had invited her."
I’m open to being extreme and not holding back with my exploration with consciousness. This yogi guru speaks to me because... you have to go through crazy times to find the middle path.
If you could relive ONE moment in your life, what would you choose and why?
One goal that I scored in collage, it was absolutely surreal… for 30 seconds I was god… pretty much. Nearly a spiritual experience or a “peak flow state”. I lived off that moment for the last 4 years of my soccer playing career. I would go back to that moment and make myself feel how I felt right then. It was my anchor. In those moments I felt so confident and energise. Those moments helped me focus, I could feel what I felt in that moment for a long time.
What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
My intuition has always been pretty good. I would tell my 21 year old self that it is a real thing. Don’t doubt it. Your intuition is going to prove its self to you over the years and what you’re feeling right now in your gut and in your heart is true and you just have to trust it.
My most memorable yoga class was…
Arlie and Shiva Rae class at Wanderlust class… A moon practice. It was memorable because I don’t really remember it. It just all happened, everyone was in sync, Shiva was in her flow, Arlie was pure presence to whatever was going on. So many people from the class had that same experience. Ideally, it would have gone on for 12 hours and no one would have noticed.
In 5 years...
There are a lot of possibilities but they are all distinctly different. In one I’m barefoot in India with no possessions like a wandering sadhu... Or in another I have a house, my own business, a partner (can’t tell if she’s my wife yet or not)… Or on the career side of it, what am I doing with my yoga at that stage? Am I still doing yoga? Has it involved into something else? Right now, I’m teaching but I’m also learning, and establishing and grounding myself… finding my community. All I know is I’m learning and growing a lot right now, and while that’s still happening its where I’m going to stay.
I could not live without (material item)…
I’m just starting to realise the importance of hair ties! I have almost gotten down to zero on a number of occasions. I can’t practice yoga without them and in Asia they don’t make them like they do in the west... Here they all come with plastic princesses.