Featured Teacher: Nick Palladino

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Meet Nick! He is a San Francisco native and a YGSF teacher training graduate who inspires us to travel and deepen our practice with yoga.

Nick was in the corporate world of sales and he turned to yoga as a way to relieve stress and find balance. The deeper he journeyed into his yoga practice, the more he cultivated a life he didn’t need a break from. Today Nick is better known as the “Big Yogi,” whose classes offer an athletic flow with a focus on meditation and stress release.

We’re excited to feature him as our next featured teacher and hope you find his journey as inspiring as we do!

1) Tell us about yourself! What was your first job? Any fun hobbies or personal interests?

I’m from the bay area which feels kinda funny to say as most people these days who live in San Francisco seem to be from everywhere else but here. After high-school I went to school in Southern California then spent three years overseas in Thailand, Korea and Mexico where I taught elementary school. For a while my Thai was actually pretty good, but now I can only order chicken. I spend most of my time teaching and practicing yoga, meditating, reading and lifting weights. I’m pretty much an expert at taking naps and am convinced that I could win a competition if they existed.

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2) How did you become interested in becoming a Yoga Teacher?

I’ve had an interesting and traveled journey that’s lead me to where I am today. I’ve never dreamed of becoming a yoga teacher and I don’t necessarily see my self as a yoga teacher. I didn’t even know much about it until after college. I got into yoga after becoming stressed out of my mind by working in corporate sales and found that yoga was the only thing in my life giving me relief and happiness. After practicing for a few years, I started to feel a strong pull towards teaching others about the benefits of yoga in order to share the gift and benefits I have been so lucky to experience in my own life. Teaching yoga has been the most impactful experience of my life, as each day is a chance to deepen my own practice, help others in the community around me and create a life which gives me joy and success on my own unique terms.


3) What style(s) of Yoga do you offer? Can you explain what makes this style unique?

“Yoga is a tool which we can use to better our lives off of the mat.”

I teach a strong, athletic flow style which focuses on building strength, balance and flexibility in the mind and the body. I also focus heavily on stress relief and mindfulness through pranayama and meditation. I move slower than most Vinyasa style classes as my training comes from a mix of teachers from Iyengar to Shadow yoga. “Yoga is a tool which we can use to better our lives off of the mat.” This is the underlying theme to all of my classes. When we realize we are not just practicing poses,  we are learning how to be calm in the face of discomfort. This is where we can then begin to affect our lives and others in a very special way.

Outside of teaching yoga, my main work is in stress coaching where I lead clients through a process of discovering what stress is, how to identify it in their lives and how to develop tools and perspectives to manage stress and create a life which is easier, more enjoyable and more passionate.


4) What do you feel makes a really good Yoga Class?

One that challenges the body as well as the mind. I feel most connected and alive after a class when a teacher can intertwine the physical poses to the philosophical reasons behind them. I am most drawn to teachers and classes who show students who they really are and challenge themselves and others to be real, present and grow.


5) What is your favorite Yoga pose and why?

My favorite yoga poses are inversions: headstand, shoulder stand and plow. They give me a great sense of well-being, stress relief and relaxation. I could probably do just these poses and that would be enough for me.

We hope Nick’s path and perspective motivates you to follow your true north. See Nick’s full schedule at Yoga Garden and read more about him on his blog!

See Nick’s Schedule