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“You HAVE to take Nicole’s class”.
Those were the first words uttered on the journey that led us to meeting fitness powerhouse, Nicole Winhoffer; internationally known for training Queen M for 6 years. The Creative Director of the S-Life Mag couldn’t exactly explain what made Nicole's class so special or describe it in finite detail but to just come and find out for myself. I needed very little convincing – she had me at #MadonnaButt.
Nicole walked into class wearing a teeny white workout skirt and a white tank, her skin all sorts of kissed from spending a few days in San Diego at an ADIDAS sports training camp (and being blessed with Filipino-German genes). After several days of flipping tires, climbing ropes, and squatting, squatting, and squatting, Nicole announced to the class that she was tired of feeling like a dude and was ready to get her sexy on. Music to my ears.
After 60 minutes of pulsing, kicking, lifting, jumping, and plenty of hip, booty, and body shaking, I was hooked. And not just on the way my buns felt the next day, I was hooked on Nicole.
Nicole has a magnetic energy. She carries with her a golden light that is soft, bright, and gentle, helping you instantly feel safe and cared for. But you better believe it’s a strong light too. One that is not easy to forget.
From touring on Broadway as a teenager, to sculpting the body of one of the most iconic women that has graced these lands, all while studying all forms of dance, anatomies, and medicines for a total mind-body-soul revolution, Nicole Winhoffer is embarking on a very powerful, very real mission. And we are grateful to be a part of it.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you developed such a unique mind/body/soul method?
On the physical level, I’m giving you every muscle, every joint moving, every ligament stretching, every bone, the skin, all of it. All the things that are tangible, I’m giving you everything. And that really came from my work with Madonna and being a female in the public eye - understanding what you need to do to look physically amazing. And also being a female myself and knowing as a dancer that your body is in 360 degrees. With this fluidity of movement, we can move in so many different ways and I try to transmute that into the music, so for a graceful woman, a sensual woman, a strong woman, a seductive woman. There's all these different body language elements that are incorporated.
On the mental level, your thoughts are affected by the meridians of acupuncture – for example, fear is originated in the kidney. In acupuncture they may pierce this meridian here or there, but in my class I activate those points through movement. And then there’s the chakras - a lot of women are blocked in their second chakra sexually, or in the fifth chakra in their throat, so I’ll do a lot of movements that balance that energy.
On the emotional level, its about opening people’s hearts and having emotional balance. The sequence of my class represents how you go through life, so I make the workouts really difficult because life is difficult. And it brings awareness to how you react to the difficult workout. Do you stop, do you distract yourself, do you cry? Do you leave, do you give up, do you fix your hair, do you drink water?
How is your relationship with your body?
I grew up with so much expectation, so I believed that I received love through proving those expectations right and doing it. As children when you win a soccer game, you get rewarded, when you get straight As, your parents hug you, etc... so subconsciously, I think children pick up on that - that action got me love. When I went through puberty and I lost a lot of weight I started to believe that oh its when I'm skinny that people give me love. From like 18 until 25, I battled a lot of emotional eating and control, whether it was no food or all the food, when I couldn't control my life, I would control what I was eating. And everybody has addictions, so I talk about addictions in class and people either use addiction to numb negative thought or use addiction for control. Now, I'm so aware of it and I know that the more balanced I am, the more beautiful and happy I am and feel. Its just like telling myself my mantras— I love myself, I love myself. You’ll never hurt something that you love. I treat myself like I would treat my own child, more now for the past year... I'm more gentle.
How is your relationship with your mind?
You have to train your brain. Every morning I say 10 mantras to myself. It really takes everything you have and repetition is key. Even with business - what does that feel like? I am a business owner, president of my company, CEO. You have to think how does that person act? How does she talk? You really need to envision it and embody it and then BE it. I also want to change my industry and I really live in my subconscious. They say that Einstein, and Newton, and Dali and all these amazing people who have changed the world or society lived in the subconscious, they didn't identify with their brains. So I just try and live and think magically.
What tools do you use to keep yourself going everyday?
1. I have big dreams. I know if I can see it, then I can do it.
2. Every day I’m learning something new about myself. And I’m like shit, I think I know myself but I really don’t!
3. I still get affected by outside circumstances, so I know that I have a lot more growing to do because I want to get to a point where I'm like the Dali Lama, literally not affected. I’m still very sensitive to everything, so I’m learning how to not be so sensitive!
What are some of your go-to mantras?
"I’m going to have the best day ever." "I'm going to explore my life, brand new, I’m going to breathe." "I am beautiful. I am intelligent. I attract every man. I attract every woman. I am magnetic."
Why did you decide to end your class with a talk?
After the class would be over, I could feel my connection with the universe and have the same things that other people were thinking and feeling and I know I had to speak those feelings. I want to help people and I feel that I have a message to help people. The message of 'love yourself', that’s the key. Like, when you have a boyfriend or you fall in love for the first time there’s butterflies, you just want to smell good and take care of yourself and put lotion on your body and get a manicure and eat well and feel good because you're in love with someone. And I want to teach that repetition of saying 'love yourself', so that you feel that way everyday—it doesn't have to be for someone else, but falling in love with yourself is really the goal.
What legacy do you want to leave behind?
I want to be the #1 fitness icon in the entire world. I want to completely revolutionize and change the fitness industry on a platform of entertainment and education. I want to have my method reach all nations across the world, including schools, children and the elderly. I want to make fitness cool, just like a Spring/Summer collection of Proenza Schouler. I want to break all boundaries with proving science facts of the body. I want to prove that just because you can't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I want to prove that everything I've done in my life came from things that weren't written and were from my subconscious. I’m such a firm believer in that just because this is in a book doesn't mean its true.
I know it sounds really cliche but really you can do anything you want to do, but you really have to commit all of yourself to it. Morning, noon, and night dreaming, feeling thinking, being it because then you can do it.
By S LIFE MAG • January 2, 2015