Please share with us a little about you, describe yourself in five words?Hello! My name is Nicola and I am the founder and creator of Free Your Spine, a movement method developed to empower and support people towards the better back and hip health, with a keen focus on uplifting our emotional wellbeing.
Five words to describe me are Heartfelt, Playful, Dedicated, Movement maverick and Empathetic.
Tell us about your journey? What brought you to where you are now?
Free Your Spine was born out of personal injury, back problems like scoliosis, and my absolute passion for movement to lighten and brighten our physical and emotional wellbeing, having experienced over the years depressive episodes alongside great physical dis-ease and distress.
It is the very movement tools I share via the Free Your Spine method that helped me shift these energies and support me in breaking free and through these challenging times.
A creative rebel at heart, I have always had a panache for being ahead of the curve in my industries and found myself organically walking left field of the main. I am also the founder of a wellbeing business, City is my Playground which is all about using our cities as a training ground to stretch, strengthen and express our physicality.
My background is an eclectic one, if not unconventional. From London’s Hip Hop clubs of the 90s to grainy dance throwdowns in Brooklyn to dusty old Latin tracks sampled for their grooves, my influences span decades and cultures. These influences blend with my experiences as a Londoner, dancer, Pilates trainer, movement practitioner, educator and expert.
In 2011 after many recurring dance injuries and subsequent operations, coupled with scoliosis (aka known as a wonky spine) I was forced into a period of rehabilitation where I took the time to think about all the attributes of holistic conditioning principles paired with functional spinal and body movements, and experimented with how I could blend them into a new style of physical pre-care, that would future proof people’s backs especially in connection to our heavily doused sedentary lifestyles.
As our lives have got busier and busier, we’ve fallen into roles we think we should fit into to conform to society. We’ve forgotten how to express ourselves and release the playfulness within all of us. We have become increasingly stagnant and tense in our bodies, and many of us fall prey to the mind cave of overwhelm, stress, depression and anxiety.
My mission is to support people to free their spine from unhealthy positions and postures, whilst having fun and helping them to connect back into their true creative/empowered self.
What has been your biggest inspiration with the work that you do and share?
I take the biggest inspiration from my personal wellbeing challenges as they have been the fuel for creating both City is my Playground and Free Your Spine. The learnings from my lived experience have acted as a powerful catalyst in shaping my offerings and influence all that I share in helping others overcome their individual challenges.
What sparks joy in your life that truly lights you up? (This could be big or small)
What gives me joy is music, movement, community, connection and doing this work!
What are your favourite soul or self-care practices right now that you can share with us?
My Current favourite soul care practice is freestyling (hip-shaking and back bouncing style) to a couple of pieces of music to either shift a blue mood or elevate my vibe. I also love being around plants, greenery, nature and others laughter.
During these times that we are experiencing as a collective, in what ways are you seeing the importance of community?
Community is so critical especially during these current times. I view it as a non-negotiable really. However being an introverted extrovert I do equally enjoy my time, being alone and spending time with myself catching my breath. I think the community can be anything from one good friend that you know will always hear you out to a group of like-minded people who you vibe with. Having said that with all the division and difference in our world, I think it’s super important to also be around people who may well have varying opinions or natures and take the time to develop listening skills, even if you disagree! Building resilience for different communities in compassionate ways is something I would like to see a lot more of.
Inspire our Breathe Love community, share an affirmation, or favourite quote, poem, song or playlist?
One of my many playlists from an FYS workshop. It’s a shortish one so no room for overwhelm lol, click here.
“It is your divine right to live, breathe and move through life in optimal physical and emotional health. Let your challenges be your greatest lessons.”
What was the last sign you received from the universe (if you had one)?
Oooh, this is a good one. The last sign I received was when I put my back out, three weeks ago, completely unexpectedly! I was in a fair bit of physical pain and couldn’t really move, sneeze or laugh without spasms trawling through my body for around ten days. Oh, the irony! This for me was a massive sign to slow down, go easy and reflect on lifestyle/work ways that best serve me so that I can best serve others and live a life that is more about the being and less about the doing.
Share with us something that you are really proud of?
I am really proud of my ability to overcome some big stumbling blocks in my life like getting injured in 2011, and not being able to dance anymore at that time. Rather than stopping my body expression and movement at this time, I created and gave birth to new ways of moving and taking care of myself which would then lay the foundation for helping others and for what I am doing today
What will you never take for granted?
I will never take for granted the power of your mind, your thoughts and your belief systems as well as the privilege of having a body that moves the way it can- even during and post-injury.
What is your favourite practice that connects you to your heart ki/energy? (Please share a tip, tool or technique to support our wellbeing?
Expansive deep inhale into my heart with something that I am truly grateful for at that moment always helps me to connect into my heart ki energy.
Rest the palms of your hands on your heart centre, take a soft breath and share with us a message from your heart?
It is your divine right to live, breathe and move through life in optimal physical and emotional health. Let your challenges be your greatest lessons.
Thank YOU for breathing love with us, Nicola
What’s coming up next for you?
Reach out if you want to know more about working with me and my 1:1 Free Your Spine to Free Your Life transformational movement adventure.
Nicola Geismar is the founder and creator of Free Your Spine, a movement method developed to empower and support people towards the better back and hip health, with a keen focus on uplifting our emotional wellbeing.
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