Nicole Hedman is an incredibly talented ballerina that has travelled the world together with the Australian Ballet, before finding the love of her life (well the second love if you count her first, dancing) and settling down in Sweden. An injury forced her to rehab with Kundalini Yoga – something that changed her life forever and has continued to do so.
- I tried pilates, and various forms of yoga such as Iyengar Yoga and Ashtanga but when I discovered Kundalini I knew I had found my yoga form, Hedman says.
Nicole Hedman started her professional ballerina career at the age of 17.
Ballerina at the Australian Ballet
Leading up to that moment, her professional career as a ballerina at the Australian Ballet started at the age of 17. It made Nicole Hedman one of the youngest professionals in her field and her outstanding performance gave her main parts in big productions like the Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet among others.
- When I first started dancing, everything felt right. It felt like coming home. It’s like breathing, or drinking water. I had to do it, Nicole explains as she sips her matcha latte at the health food café Ecoist at Östermalm where we meet.
Performing and travelling all over the world to China, Chile, America and Spain to mention a few, was absolutely amazing according to Hedman. Eight shows a week and a hard training schedule with only an occasional Sunday off, difficult as it may sound, was a given part of her passion. She did schooling correspondence to finish school, and didn’t really think much about the tough competition that faced her everyday at the ballet.
- I loved my career and I’m so grateful for that experience. It was challenging, but also really fulfilling to do a main part in these ballet productions. You learn so much about yourself in the process, she says.
Nicole is wearing the Not At All Tiny with 0.20 CT Diamond and Light Green Sapphire, and Jade Petite covered with Diamonds.
Three times a week Nicole Hedman did press, and made tv-appearances in Australia. The ballet has always had a very prominent position in the public eye, so they got a lot of appreciation and fame. But the life of a professional ballerina also has it’s ups and downs. One of the difficult things was learning how to handle the highly competitive environment that she was surrounded with from an early age.
- There was of course rivalry and jealousy. There is fierce competition in the ballet world and everyone is striving to achieve the leading roles, so there were definitely those who could be mean and spiteful, she remembers.
But even though some of her collegues behaved badly, Hedman had a great support from home and made a decision not to let them get to her. One of the coping mechanisms she used was to repeat the words of her mother.
- I made a clear distinction between what I work with, and who I am. So even during my rehabilitation time I always knew that “this is not who I am, but what I do”. Besides, truly great people are humble, right?
Nicole’s best career advice: Be yourself and stay true to your gut feeling. People thought I was crazy to move to Sweden, but it felt like the right thing to do for me. So trust your instincts and use Kundalini and meditation as a guide to your inner part.
Kundalini teachers most often wear white clothes. That’s because white reflects light.
At the age of 19, Nicole Hedman injured her knee while training, and had to start rehabilitation to get back into dancing. It took her a long time to get back, but she managed to stay positive by taking a day at a time, and work with her new found form of exercise.
- This is when I started my Kundalini practice. I love Kundalini Yoga so much. It’s about the postures, but we don’t look in a mirror and try to perfect it. No need to check every angle. To me it was the whole package.
Kundalini Yoga is one of the fastest growing forms of yoga in metropolitan cities right now, and it is not hard to see why. Kundalini Yoga is specifically aimed for releasing stress and learning to listening to your own inner voice: in addition to body movements and postures, Kundalini Yoga incorporates mantras (phrases that you chant), mudras (hand positions), intense breathing techniques and specific eye positions to create energy shifts in your body. Through this combination, it is believed that you can reap benefits that would take much longer to achieve in posture-focused yoga such as Hatha and Vinyasa.
The Kundalini practice became a given part of her preparations before every show at the ballet. Hedman used to take 20 minutes before every show to center herself and therefor be more honest on stage.
- It’s amazing how the mind immediately shifts, and in a fast speed. And it’s not only about the physical aspect, but how it affects my mental state. The days that I do Kundalini my reactions are different. My energy shifts.
"I love Kundalini Yoga so much. It’s about the postures, but we don’t look in a mirror and try to perfect it."
Depending on time, Hedman practices Kundalini Yoga at home every day besides the classes that she teaches. One of the great benefits of this yoga form is that there’s a flow, or set of positions if you will, to target specific emotions or goals with your practice. It can be everything from heart openings, healing sickness or the aura in your home. Nicole Hedman always teaches with music, and she loves to use different mantras.
- When I first came to Sweden and started to share my knowledge on Kundalini I saw great scepticism. It would come four or five people to my classes so I adapted the intensity of the practice to make it more accessible. I didn’t wear a turban for example even if I use it at home. The idea is to protect your energy, and keep it contained in your body.
She emphasizes that she does not teach, but rather shares the experience with the other practitioners.
My mumbaistyle: Nicole is wearing the Not At All Tiny with a 0.20 CT Diamond, Light Green Sapphire, and Jade Petite covered with Diamonds. The light reflected in the 0.20 CT diamond reminds us of the light that is reflected from a Kundalini teachers white clothes. Saving up to buy her very own piece is definitely on the list of must-haves!
Kundalini yoga, like many other yoga forms, has it's origins in India.
Nicole’s take on Kundalini and why you should do it:
Kundalini Yoga is for your entire being. It’s a self cleanse, a shower, to reset yourself. If you’re feeling tired, you will feel the difference right away. It’s not about perfection, or being flexible. You just have to be yourself. That can be a great relief.
Her favourite mantras:
Chattr Chakkr Vartee is my "go to" mantra. It is the mantra for the heart center and gives direct energy to it. It is also helpful for change. When you are singing this mantra it will move you from fear to boldness and courage.
Rakhe Rakhan Har This mantra is for protection and has such a powerful vibration to release negative energy and uplift and protect. My children love it too!