THE hurly-burly of London seemed like another life as he immersed himself in a yoga retreat in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh.

For Nicky Waters, Wylam born and Prudhoe educated, the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre was just what he’d been looking for.

And when he returns home for a visit next month, he intends to share what he’s learned with the good folk of the Tyne Valley.

He will be here throughout the month of April, during which time he will run a couple of classes at the Hearth at Horsley and teach at the Elementary Pilates studio in Ryton.

The aim – to pass on all the feelings of peace and being at one with yourself he discovered in northern India.

There, the eight years of daily commutes for study and work he’d had in London – where he’d done his degree in performing arts at the Royal Central School for Speech and Drama – had just slipped away.

Nicky (29) first got into yoga as a means of warming up before dance classes and knew he wanted to take it further. “I loved the feeling I had after doing yoga,” he said.

“I found it really helped not only with my energy levels, but also my levels of self-confidence and self-esteem, and general sense of wellbeing too.”

He turned his attention to India, somewhere he’d never been before, in the search for an ‘authentic’ course that would teach him as much about the philosophy as the physical side of things.

Before he could join the intensive teacher training course he’d signed up for, though, he was required to take a three-week introductory course.

“It was amazing,” he said. “It was in a really beautiful ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas – completely secluded and really quiet.”

Not least because the golden rule was ‘silence’. The participants weren’t allowed to speak at all, even out of class.

“It’s an interesting social experiment when language is taken out of the equation,” he said.

“I personally found it was just so nice not to feel you have to say anything.

“A lot of energy is spent on going through the motions and saying ‘how are you?’ and ‘how long have you been travelling?’ and ‘where are you from?’

“It really turned the focus on yoga, and it was a period for self-reflection.”

Mind you, they weren’t all angels. Nicky laughed. “There were sneaky conversations occasionally. People were disappearing to have sly chats.

“And it’s amazing how loud people can be without talking. People would be making big mimes to be ‘heard’.”

Luckily silence wasn’t required during the teacher training course (boy, the sensory overload the first couple of days!), but it was there nonetheless he learned the true art of making yoga accessible to everyone and, therefore, how to share the benefits and the path to inner peace.

“I felt what I’d been missing until that point was true understanding of how each of the poses was constructed.

“Once I had that I could build a better understanding of my body, so I wasn’t just trying to match up with what the teacher was doing.

“In London, I would see myself and other students just trying to keep up, whereas the emphasis should be on getting to grips with yoga and finding our own alignment.”

Day one of the initial course had focused entirely on the feet as the root of many poses. Get that right and you were on the right track.

After gaining his teaching qualification, Nicky had stayed on at the centre to work alongside senior teachers, some of whom had learned from the great man himself, B.K.S. Iyengar.

He then had a month teaching in Sri Lanka, before joining a friend who’d set up a yoga studio in Mumbai.

It’s been a busy 12 months, for besides teaching there, Nicky’s also run a retreat in Goa, 600 kilometres to the south, and taken a further teacher training course, this time in Ashtanga yoga.

He is also trained in Thai massage and reflexology.

While his main reason for coming back to the UK is to visit family, and in particular parents Judy and Neil Waters, he aims to make the most of his summer here, namely by teaching yoga.

“I am so excited at the thought of sharing my yoga practice,” he said. “I can’t wait!

“The most important thing to say is that what I teach is suitable for all, from absolute beginners to long term practitioners.

“My practice works to align, transform and heal the body and incorporates my study of alignment techniques, therapeutic adjustment and flow, while being relaxing and fun.”

Nicky can be contacted for further information via email: