Tapping Into Your Intuition; A Yogi’s Perspective

Nicole pool

April 30, 2017

Angela Romero


Wrapping up the month on synchronicity and listening to your intuition, we’ve secured yogi Nicole Belliveau from the Byron Yoga Centre to take us through her little tips and tricks. Nicole started yoga at a young age now is a host and teacher at the Byron Yoga Centre. She also trained as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and is passionate about all things health and wellness.

So let’s get into the interview!

Nicole can you tell us a little about your background and how you wound up at the Byron Yoga Centre?

I am a Canadian who grew up with an active lifestyle but poor quality food. Somewhere in the transition from mcnuggets to quinoa, I took a leap and studied Holistic Nutrition.  While learning about food science and the healing benefits of whole foods, real transformation happened. Now as a Holistic Nutritionist, I have a much healthier relationship with food and nourish myself with an organic plant-based diet.

I started practicing yoga at a young age almost 10 years ago. It started off as another form of physical exercise but slowly I started to feel the benefits on deeper levels. On my mat was the first time I truly connected with myself. It is where a lot of my healing and self-love happens.

In January 2016, I arrived at the Byron Yoga Centre to study and become a yoga teacher. After the course finished, I asked to volunteer for a few weeks to soak in all the knowledge I gained and the beauty of the centre. Over a year later, I still haven’t left! I now have the privilege to be one of the Retreat Hosts; I teach some yoga classes and wellness workshops, ensure the retreats run smoothly and most importantly that the guests are happy and relaxed. I feel blessed every day to be in a position that allows me to grow in a healthy environment surrounded by like-minded people.

Wow what a journey to end up there permanently. It’s funny how life takes us to the places we need. How do you keep balanced and centred with so much going on? What’s your secret tip? 

I don’t have one specific tip but rather a combination of habits that make up a healthy lifestyle that invites vitality and clarity to take the best step forward. I make an effort to eat nutrient-dense living foods, practice meditation and yoga, ensure adequate sleep, spend time in nature and fill my mind with content that inspires me to be and live better. Some days I slip off the health wagon but i’ve learned to accept this and not be too hard on myself. Reminding myself what I am grateful for, to breathe deeply and be present helps me stay positive and get back on track.

It’s nice to know that even yogi’s can fall off the bandwagon – makes us mere mortals feel a little better! We’re talking a lot about synchronicity and intuition this month. That can include things like finding your own tribe with similar interests, listening to what your body needs for nutrition, choosing the movement exercises that work for you, and finding time for yourself. Can you tell us a little bit about how you have tapped into your intuition?

For me, tapping into our intuition is connecting to our true self, in the present and using it to guide our thoughts and actions. When we are aligned with this inner wisdom, it is easier to recognize what will serve our highest good and purpose. Our intuition always speaks to us but sometimes there are distractions that get in the way.

When I feel disconnected, I make an effort to get out of my head to reduce the noise it creates and get more into my heart. Often this takes place with eyes closed, breathing deeply, focusing on my heart space on my mat, immersed in nature or reading with a lit candle and herbal tea. Books such as Rebecca Campbell’s Light is the New Black and Caroline Myss’s Anatomy of the Spirit, have helped me see the world in a whole new light and tap into parts of myself I didn’t know existed.

Getting out of the “should” mentality and more into exploring how I truly want to feel, helps to gain clarity and be in the flow of life. I also find that when I let myself write organically in my journal, I connect to what I need to be reminded of. To stay true to my authenticity, I will add that I am still working on all of this. The more I practice these rituals, the more I spend time in connection with my intuition and synchronicity happens.

It seems like continuing to learn and grow is so important for all of us. So from a yogi’s point of view, what are the best ways to being open to and listening to your own intuition?

Patanjali’s Yoga sutras teach us to apply the principles of Ashtanga (8 limbs). Included in these steps are how to live a meaningful and purposeful life, compassion for self and others, self-discipline, mindfulness, pranayama (breath exercises), meditation, asana and eventually for some, enlightenment. His teachings are very in depth but some key points are mindfulness, deep breathing, reflecting before reacting, and moving the body to eliminate stagnant energy. When the limbs are practiced, openness and intuition can flow with ease.

That point you made about the “should” mentality is a trap many of us fall into! We need to really disassociate ourselves with that and focus on what we really want. So finally Nicole what would be your top three tips for a corporate worker trying to align themselves with their future goals and vision?

1. CLARITY: For true alignment to happen, the goals need to be in sync with our true desires. Once we get clear on how we want to feel, we can use this as our compass rather than what we “should” be going for. Having clarity on HOW to reach the vision is also essential to achieving the goals. There is something powerful about writing on paper our goals and the actions step necessary to make them happen. Being realistic, taking it one step at a time and writing a date to have them accomplished by will help the transition towards the end goals.

2. PERSONAL GROWTH: “To have more than you’ve got, become more than you are” –Jim Rohn. By investing in ourselves with books, podcasts, documentaries and people that stimulate us to grow and change our mindsets, our lives change radically. Happiness is an inside gig – Our perceptions, thoughts and beliefs are what shape our lives. By changing our internal world, the outside world becomes aligned with our energy and the grass gets greener.

3. SELF-LOVE: To remind ourselves that we are GOOD ENOUGH. To have compassion and kindness towards ourselves along the journey. Even if the process doesn’t go as planned or we make mistakes, all is well. Underlying the actions, there needs to be love and trust. Self-love also includes taking time for ourselves and resting (which is very different to laziness). In our busy go-go-go lives, we need to create balance by slowing down and recharging ourselves. Learning to receive, saying no to the things that do not serve us and putting ourselves first are also part of this loving process.

All points that I need to remind myself of!


Nicole coconut

Thanks so much for your time Nicole it’s been a pleasure.

Photo credit: Simon Hunter simonhunterphotography.com


This month we’re talking about how to tune into your intuition. For this week’s blog, we’re going to use this for the benefit of listening to your body – or more specifically your gut.

As children, we are great at listening to our gut instinct and it is the primary driver of the decisions that we make. It is time and adulthood that allows our ego and rational side start to pipe up and get in the way. Unfortunately, not being in tune with your gut instinct can lead to poor decisions and bad judgment, which often leaves the mind saying “I knew I shouldn’t have done that!”.

Now this isn’t about “hippy insight” or the “warm and fuzzy’s”. According to research at Leeds University, intuition is the brain’s way of drawing on past experiences at a sub conscious level and unconsciously organising this data into patterns. This happens so fast that we don’t realise that the intuitive feeling is actually stemming from previous logical thinking!

Steven Spielberg put it perfectly in this clip where he articulates how the world needs EVERYONE to follow their intuition. Learning to listen to your intuition is like unlocking one of the world’s biggest libraries, and having access to ALL of the books at once.

So how do we get back to listening to that intuition and responding when it needs us to?

1.     Meditate. This is the number one BEST way to tune back into your intuition. Meditation is like listening to your intuition in a concentrated manner. If you can spend 5, 10, or 20 minutes meditating, that will significantly help with being in tune with your gut.

It doesn’t have to be a guided meditation (although that helps for beginners especially). It can be something as simple as thinking about a word or a thought that you want to ponder, and having a relaxed concentration on that for a certain period of time.

With practice, you will definitely see a huge shift in how you respond to certain situations.

2.     Practice yoga. If meditation still seems overwhelming or daunting, try yoga. Yoga is basically a moving meditation, and helps you to focus on the body rather than the mind’s thoughts.

Flow yoga is one of the best methods, as the breath is used to move the body, and the mind simply follows. It is this process of quietening the mind that is essential for learning to listen to your gut instinct.
3.     Become one with nature. You don’t have to sell up all your assets and live in the forest to feel the benefits that nature can bring. We talk about nature a LOT for your holistic wellbeing, but for your intuition, it seems to be one of the easiest ways to tune into it.

You know how we said that intuition is past experiences put into patterns? Well not only is spending time in nature a way of creating new patterns, but it’s a time in which the mind has the capacity and space to make the links and connections between other previous experiences.
4.     Immerse yourself in something creative. It doesn’t have to be ‘creative’ in the generic sense of the word like painting (although art classes are a great idea!). It can be journaling, where you spend time just allowing your thoughts to flow onto the page. Or cooking, where you let the recipe come to life on the plate. Or singing your favourite song – even if it is in the shower where no one will hear.

Creativity is something that as children we thrive with. But as we get older, it tends to fall to the wayside in favour of more ‘practical’ and ‘logical’ tasks.

Tapping back into creativity enlivens the soul and allows the body to act without thinking. Finding your ‘flow’ is one of the most energising experiences you will have!
5.     Do a digital detox. This is the one that often has people squirming at the thought. We won’t dwell on the disruption that technology can have on your own intuitive frequency, but it creates a clear disconnect between the transmission of your gut instinct.

The digital detox doesn’t have to mean throwing away EVERY piece of technology. It just means having some designated time away from EVERYTHING. Carve out some time in the day where you don’t touch any form of technology. It may be the first hour in the morning. An hour over your lunch break. An hour before bed. Or all of the above.

The longer you’re away from it, the stronger the signals from your intuition can shine through.

You’re not going to have an overnight success with tuning into your intuition. It’s definitely a process, so take small steps and allow your body to guide you on the rate of integration.

When you start to use your gut instinct, every decision you make will feel ‘right’, ‘easy’ and ‘strong’. We can’t always be perfect, but when you tune into your intuition, you’ll realise that you’re a lot smarter than you realised!

Trust your gut.

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