Beep – boom – crash – game over. He was exhausted and his wrists were in pain.

Ouch – boom – wipe out – his hands were hurting. In this case he often stares at the sky and sometimes his face was buried in the snow.

These different sceneries illustrate the life of a young man passionate about breakdancing, snowboarding and video games. These three hobbies, plus his job as a web designer, consumed most of his free time. The falls, the typing and the 8-hour long video game sessions didn’t bode well with Nicholas Goodman’s wrists; overtime he started experiencing a tremendous amount of pain and weakness. Before he began practicing yoga, Goodman saw five different doctors, he had steroid injections and acupuncture sessions.

He’d had enough.


He put up with everything and just wanted to feel better. Somewhere in between appointments he realized that his lifestyle wasn’t healthy and he needed a change. This is when he started attending yoga classes.

“I couldn’t really afford yoga classes,” he said, but Groupon was his best friend.

He was buying deals online and going to different studios in the Seattle area trying to find healing in an affordable way. He attended at least 10 different studios.

During his practice, he avoided postures that hurt his wrists, but eventually he became so pissed off at the pain that he “ really didn’t care” anymore — he just did them.

“When I ran out of Groupon deals I looked on YouTube” for guidance in his practice, he said. He was in an “exploration mode” and was researching, trying to find as many resources as possible.

Stretching really helped him and he slowly started feeling better while also falling in love with the yoga practice.

Soon he knew that he not only wanted to practice yoga but make it his whole life. This “working class hippy” decided to change his path by signing up for The Samaraya Center teacher training. He chose this style of yoga training because it stressed “the importance of community, diversity, deep self-inquiry, healing, and transparency, and values the idea of ‘living your yoga.’”

The training offered spiritual enrichment and unusual day-to-day activities. For example, Goodman, who by nature loves to chitchat, had to follow the training’s fundamental rules, which required practitioners to dedicate sometime to themselves. They were encouraged not to speak and to live in silence, at least for a period of time, while focusing on their surroundings and feelings.

This two-week training was a transformative experience for Goodman. Meditation affected his state of mind; he became more relaxed, aware, present and conscious of his daily interactions. Today, Goodman has completed over 130 hours of yoga training and he soon hopes to complete the rest and become a certified yoga instructor. But most of all he is looking forward to expanding his knowledge and teaching others about the positive influence of “yoga as a lifestyle, instead of yoga as a practice.”

Once you know how to connect to your body and mind it is a lot easier to absorb information, Goodman believes.

1. What is your favorite pose and why?

Cobbler’s pose because I bike a lot, so it is a good stretch and hip-opening pose.

2. Who has impacted your yoga practice the most? 

I kind of self-motivated myself, but I have had tremendous support from Molly Lannon Kenny who is the founder and director of The Samarya Center.

3. What is your favorite yoga-clothing brand?

I practice in my pajamas, no preference

4. What is the best yoga advice you have ever received?

Meditate every day

5. If you could practice yoga with anyone, dead or alive, who would that be & why?

Joe Rogan. I have learned a lot from him, he talked about his yoga class in one of his podcasts.

6. Where would you like to see the Seattle Yoga community in 5 years?

The practice should become how (Seattleites) live life, “the mat should not define the yoga.”

7. One piece of advice for the yoga community?

Don’t be as focused on the body, focus on your mind.