Nosh Hedgeman is a visionary who does not let the past control how he sees the world today. He is a believer and lives life blamelessly. Through yoga he overcame his childhood trauma and now he is ready to build and to give back. His loyalty to himself and others led him to aim higher and dream big.
“You have to have higher purpose in life,” he said.
Last year, Hedgeman’s early childhood story, journey through yoga and aspirations for future goals was published in the Redmond Reporter. (If you haven’t please read this article before continuing forward)
When Nosh found purpose, his perspective of history shifted and over time what he ended up with are just the sentimental family ties. He was able to extract the good from the bad.
In a sense you just have to “shake hands and move on,” he said. “When you love yourself you want to stay away from unhealthy behavior.’’
Hedgeman, who is a Bikram Yoga instructor and practitioner of 15 years, has built a happy life for himself. Now, he’s ready to give back to the Seattle yoga community. He is in his search of a studio in the Seattle area and he is excited to make this dream happen.
“You should not be the same person you were three years ago, OK? If you work in Target, that’s fine, but in three years you should want to open your own Target.”
No one is meant to be in the same place.
To make it happen though, dreams involve a lot more than just a desire. The life of a yogi isn’t easy, not because of past life experiences, but because of the industry and its fluctuation, such as: brand reputation, years of experience and location. If you are not a yoga studio owner, you are most likely an independent yoga instructor, who often teaches in different studios across town. Unpaid time off, vacation or sick leave, mileage, limitations of hours are barriers any yoga teacher may face. It isn’t the paycheck, but rather the love for yoga that motivates those like Hegeman to do what they do. And these challenges are not stopping Hedgeman. He, as any other crowd funding enthusiast and entrepreneur is looking for funding to support his dream. He plans to name his studio “The Yoga Thing.”
Hedgeman knows that the name isn’t as attractive, but it holds a special meaning for him. He grew up in San Francisco and every time he went back to visit his friends they would say: “Hey Nosh, how you doing? Still doing the yoga thing?”
This is his way to honor his friends, family and community.
He wants this studio to be not only a place where people go to exercise, but also where they build a community and feel at home. He wants to help people who have lost their spirit in life; people who are suffering from some type of pain, they might be in the military; they might be in college; they might be going through emotional, physical or mental stress; they might be drug addicts, but he wants to show them that they are not alone and that the practice of yoga can move them in the right direction.
One area Hedgeman would like to focus on is working with ex-cons, men and women. The Bureau of Justice Statistics 2014 report states that “ Overall, 67.8% of the 404,638 state prisoners released in 2005 in 30 states were arrested within 3 years of release, and 76.6% were arrested within 5 years of release.’’
Hedgeman’s goal is to help these people through yoga, to impact them and to rehabilitate them, in such a way that they will gain not only a higher quality of life but they would also avoid harming themselves and the rest of society. He believes that yoga would change their life completely, which he believes would help decrease the recidivism rate.
“People sometimes lean in the wrong direction,” and Hedgeman wants to help them prevent that.
“The self-realizations of yoga allows you to see that you are not less than any other human being – you just need to make better choices in life,” he said. “Yoga is its own therapist. You have to need it in order to like Bikram Yoga, but the yoga works.”
”Some people don’t have friends and the yoga studio is all they have, so my responsibility is much more than just being an instructor.”
Hedgeman wants to motivate people to be engaged in and out of the classroom. To him, yoga is not only about the individual practice and the group exercise, but also about the community.
And so, all of his life experiences have made him the person that he is today. Hedgeman is looking forward to helping the community in any way he can and he believes that with the right intentions he can make his vision a reality.
1. Who is Nosh outside the yoga studio?
A husband, a coffee drinker, a thinker, and a history lover
2. What inspires you?
I love Kpfa.org – it is a Funk music station – you can learn a lot from music: about our history, the movements. “I am Black and I am proud.” It is a good way to get educated and to gain a different perspective
3. How often do you practice/teach?
16 classes per week – sometimes I have to practice by myself
4. What is your favorite yoga-clothing brand?
I actually do not wear yoga brand but a comfortable swim wear – Sporti swimwear
5. What is your favorite pose and why?
Triangle – it’s challenging
6. Who has impacted your yoga practice the most?
The students – their dedication blows me away. And I always think to myself – how are they doing it? — after work, with injuries…they are so dedicated. It inspires me.
7. What is your approach to teaching yoga?
Firm and fun. Sometimes I tell jokes, and I like storytelling
8. What is the best yoga advice you have ever received?
It is my experience through yoga that has given me the best advice: I grew up because of yoga. I am a better person for me and for the community. Improve, improve and improve
9. If you could practice yoga with anyone, dead or alive, who would that be & why?
My friends I grew up with, because they never did yoga with me. We never drank smoothies after class. We never ate a green salad together.
10. Where would you like to see the Seattle Yoga community in five years?
I would like us to come together and do one big class together. Not to be passive, but to support each other.
11. Anything to add?
I always looked up to people who made it big and gave back to help their community. That is what I want to do.
Nosh is currently running a fundraising campaign to open his studio in the Seattle area, to learn more or contribute towards making the “yoga thing” a reality, we invite you to visit his GoFundMe campaign page.[sc:Yogi-of-the-week-Closing-Paragraph]
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