Several months ago, I spent 8 days in Costa Rica with Nicole where she led a yoga retreat that integrated daily yoga practices, empowerment workshops, farm to table nutrition, and Reiki healing sessions. This was my first experience doing a yoga retreat and Nicole came recommended to me through a friend. My intentions were to go as deep as I could in understanding my most important values and to bring those to surface, and also to establish a better health foundation. My body was tight, I was experiencing pain and limited motion in my shoulder, and my weight was about 30lbs over what it should be. I was emotionally fatigued and mildly depressed. My inner self was out of alignment and the symptoms were manifesting through my outer self. After meeting in a small village at the edge of the sea, we drove by all-terrain vehicle into the jungle, deep into the sacred Savegre River Valley. We arrived at our lodging at night, under a canopy of infinite stars and we listened to the clear river as it moved through the valley. Each morning that we awakened, we practiced yoga and spent time attuning to our own sense of individual purpose, forming affirmations that were resonant with our unique values and aspirations. Nicole helped me isolate an imbalanced relationship that I had developed with my solar plexus, in particular that part of self associated with personal choice and the courage to take risks. We worked together on fortifying this relationship throughout the trip which resulted in me taking action to make significant professional changes in my career (I work in the field of executive management and I set in motion a series of steps that led me to a better position more aligned with my values). During our stay in the jungle, we were nourished daily from the foods harvested directly from the land. Every meal was bright with healthy food and lots of color, often including exotic fruits and vegetables specific to the region. In the jungle, we hiked into the mountains to bath under lush waterfalls; we discovered bright blue and gold clays from the earth, like pigments from a painter’s palette; we roasted cacao and made chocolate infused with sugar cane juice that we freshly pressed; we stretched, meditated, reflected, and opened ourselves up to a more transcendent awareness. This process of self-discovery was enabled with absolute grace, kindness, love, and compassion by Nicole. Her presence is a gift. After several days in the jungle, we moved to the coast, where we did yoga on the beach under the majestic colors of the sky. Nicole also performed a Reiki treatment with me. During the Reiki session, I found myself experiencing boundless visions and remarkable personal insights. My sense was that Nicole had invoked a lineage of healers that traced back to ancient times and into the future. She opened up a vastness that was beyond linear ideology and it unlocked a profound shift in me that I understood would last a lifetime. When I emerged out of the Reiki session I felt a new lightness of being, a quality of inner joy. I took a dip in the magically sparkling waters of the sea, and I understood that a new beautiful self had been born. I intentionally waited for a few months to write some words about my experience because I wanted to give the experience time to breath, and to evaluate the longer term impacts of the work I did with Nicole. Since my return, I have sustained excellent health, lost over 30lbs, improved my overall flexibility and vigor, eliminated shoulder pains that were present, and been in a state of constant happiness and gratitude. I have taken courageous, choice-driven steps with my professional life, and I am in tune with my inner values. It has been an inspired transformation resulting in sustainable change. Nicole has a rare quality that fuses her multi-disciplinary knowledge about yoga and the many modalities of healing with her ever-smiling, love-overflowing, generously kind, and radiantly joyous presence. I am grateful.   ~Stefano, Executive, Client on the Empower to Evolve Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica