Teacher Profile: Olympia Nuttall-From British Aristocracy to Expatriate Yogi

olympiaBefore joining the team at Yoga Garden of San Francisco in June 2013, Olympia Nuttall grew up in London, amongst the pomp and ceremony of the British aristocracy (her father a Knight, her mother a Lady). Growing up, Nuttall’s passion was riding horses, first fox hunting, then horse trials and finally dressage. Her body was telling her to take more care, but all the fearless horsing around took its toll. By age 17, she arrived at a chiropractor’s office barely able to walk: the result of serious neglect of earlier signs to slow down. This was the beginning of Olympia’s journey to understanding how to take care of her body, so she could continue to do the things she loved in life.

In her early twenties she gave up being a professional horsewoman, but she was still drawn to intensely physical and exhilarating activities. She ran the New York Marathon, pushing through previous injuries which didn’t take well to pounding the London streets.  Her physical therapist and podiatrist pleaded with her to give up on this goal, but after 9/11 Olympia wouldn’t hear a word of it. If New York needed her support she would be there “because you can’t let terrorists stop you living life!”

The physical consequences of training for and running the marathon, finally compelled  Olympia to admit she needed to learn how to look after her body. The best way to do this, she decided, was to become a teacher. In 2002 Olympia headed to New York to train as a Pilates Teacher. There she found her body also required the support of breath, flow and peace which she found came best from yoga. She found yoga brought peace to her mind and balance to her body.

Olympia’s passion to support pregnant women comes from the tragedy of losing a family member to postnatal depression.  She then decided that she wanted to break the silence and ignorance surrounding Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood Disorder, as well as the other physiological changes occurring in a woman’s body during this incredible time. These can so easily be supported by a regular yoga practice. Olympia strives to provide care-givers the tools and support they need to care for themselves.

Nuttall feels that Americans on the whole are easier to teach and more apt to discuss what the British would think unspeakable.  Olympia’s family was slightly horrified when she said “vagina” at dinner instead of something cuter, such as “fanny.” She quickly retorted, “That’s what it is.”  Olympia believes “a spade is a spade,” so call it what it is.  She feels everyone should know how their body works so they can do the things in life that give them joy. For Olympia, that is dancing, or cross country skiing (she plans to explore the trails in Tahoe this winter).

Olympia is delighted  to support San Franciscans in taking care to slow down, breath, and rebalance body, mind and spirit.