Highlight : Universal Empress

Nadine McNeil
Photo by Gaelyn Mirriam Larrick

What type of healing do you do?

The nature of my healing is largely intuitive. It is from this place that I offer integrated yoga workshops, yoga retreats, individual and corporate transformational coaching. 

Formally, I studied yoga at the Sivananda ashram in Neyyar Dam, India and Kripalu in Massachussets, USA. I’ve also engaged in workshops with the likes of Seane Corn and Baron Baptiste.  As far as my coaching goes, the basis of my approach is from my own work and studies with the Handel Group based in New York, USA.

When did you discover an interest in yoga, healing and empowerment?

Shortly after 9/11, I began to practice yoga.  For as long as I can recall, I’ve had a thirst for knowledge; formal academic studies and beyond.  Perhaps my first step into the world of empowerment was my work that I did with the Landmark Foundation i.e. The Forum. 

I consider myself to be a seeker of knowledge. 

How did you develop your abilities and methods as a writer, coach and yogi?

Practice, practice, practice, all is coming.” – Pattabis Jois 

Working with the UN for nearly 25 years, I met a lot of special people and formed incredible bonds. 

Writing was a tool I used initially to remain in contact with friends all over the world.  During a particularly daunting relationship breakup, I took to journaling; that became my refuge and my strength. For any aspirant following a spiritual path, you quickly come to appreciate that there is an inter-connectedness in all things.  As a yoga teacher, one is in essence coaching – be it through breath, asana or the few words of wisdom that we sprinkle throughout the class. One of my strengths, for which I am deeply grateful is my ability to integrate the teachings of yoga into the corporate arena – by making them applicable.

My extended years in the professional arena prepared me to do this.  In fact during my last UN posting in the Central African Republic, I offered yoga to the community as well as the staff.  Much if not all of my teachings are born out of my own experiences. 

One of my mantras is:  ‘practice what you teach.’

How do you prepare for your classes/sessions?

For each week and/or class, there is generally a theme that flows throughout all of my offerings.  These themes may arise based upon whatever issues I may be dealing with in my own life, or from observation of my surroundings.  It never ceases to humble and amaze me how often students will approach me after class and inquire, “How did you know that I was dealing with this issue?” Perhaps the best way that I prepare for my classes is to connect to the source within, through prayer and meditation and then surrendering to the information that I receive.  Source will always point you in the right direction.

Why specifically do you do this work?

Wow, that’s a big question! 

I’m not so sure that I ‘do’ the work. Moreso, the work embodies me and I simply become the vessel.  I was recently asked to imagine that I’d been given USD 5 MILLION, and to describe with exacting detail, how I would spend/use the money.  My responses surprised me because what I realised is that my choices weren’t altered as a result of becoming a millionaire.  They simply became more accessible and took on a wider scope.  Nothing brings me greater joy than to see ‘lightbulbs’ flash for students when they ‘get it,’ on and off the mat.

What transformations have you witnessed?

To qualify someone else’s transformation is a bit of a stretch.  I have seen people, through being exposed to my work, dare to become their best human selves.  As the teacher/guide, I am merely the mirror.  If you choose to put in the work that is required for your own shifts to occur, they can and will happen.  When people choose to commit to themselves, the results are astounding. 

What has your greatest realisation or learning been as a healer?

What is destined cannot be stopped.

When one chooses to refer to themselves as a healer, they must realise that with this calling comes, tremendous responsibility.  On my journey, I’ve learned that the more I do my own work, the deeper i’m able to go with others.  Nowadays, words like integrity and vulnerability get tossed around like confetti.  To be truly effective in one’s dharma as a healer, one must be prepared to bare it all.  As I’ve often shared with friends, it was important for me to clean up my own mess before even thinking that I was capable of serving others.  Anything less would have been hypocritical.    

What is the most powerful type of healing you have personally experienced?

Family constellations are deeply potent and transformative.  Especially as a person with African slavery legacy in my blood, being able to gain some insight into my intergenerational trauma has helped to liberate me from being stuck in areas of my life that before the experience, I simply couldn’t understand.  In order to heal, we must feel.  And that process demands that we return to the source of our wounds. 

Do you have one tip to share for happiness and wellbeing in everyday life? 

Be still and know.    

Nadine McNeil

What is your favourite music to listen to?

So many, I’m spoilt for choice.  Of course Bob Marley is at the top of the list. I also love classical music and am known to teach yoga with classical music — Bach, Mozart and Chopin are some of my favorite composers. I love old school too — Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, Grace Jones, Madonna, Prince, you name it.  I also listen to my fair share of sacred music, Krishna Das, John de Kadt, OKA, etc.  Music flows through my veins. I’m also a sucker for the Spoken Word.

What are your plans for the future evolution of what you do?

Currently I am heavily in writing mode for my first book; a memoir of sorts.  My dream is to have at least two TV shows; one is a reality show with some truly extraordinary women who are a part of my inner circle here in Bali and the other is a TV talk show that features ordinary persons who are committed to consciousness rising and are actively engaged in transformative activities.  If you know of any potential funders, send them my way.  I already have treatments for both! 

I’m also super excited about my upcoming November retreat in Negril, Jamaica, from 13 to 17 November 2016, in collaboration with a California based company named YOL that designs bespoke yoga and service retreats.

Nadine McNeil
Photo by Gaelyn Mirriam Larrick

WWW.UNIVERSALEMPRESS.COM

For info on my Jamaica retreat: YOL : Yoga & Service Trip to Jamaica

To practice with me on line, please visit: SEEBENOW

Another great interview here: The Two Zen Bali Spirit Festival Interview

© Lightening Magazine 2016