A mentor acts as a counselor and cheerleader of an individual who is embarking on a path that the mentor has already travelled.In the HoopYogini Online Yoga Teacher Training (HYOTT), new enrollees are matched with a certified instructor or Master Trainer. A Master Trainer is a Mentor who has successfully supported three trainees into their certification.Nicole Stevenson is the HoopYogini Director of Student Success. Nicole achieved her HoopYogini certification in 2013 and has been an active and supportive member of the community ever since. Since 2019, Nicole has supported new students by matching them with a mentor whilst helping mentors expand their leadership skills as they grow into Master Trainers.Learn more about Nicole below, her journey as a hoop and fitness instructor, an Early Childhood Education Specialist and as the HoopYogini Director of Student Success. Nicole illuminates the beauty of the student mentor relationship and shares what she loves about the HoopYogini community.Join our empowering community, acquire continuing education units and learn how to guide transformative holistic fitness and mindfulness meditation journeys with the hoop. Click here to watch, The Teacher Appears, a masterclass with Jocelyn Gordon, creator of HoopYogini and to gain access to the training enrollment details.How did you discover hooping?Nicole: I am sure it came into my life before this moment, but the true discovery of hooping for me was at a small yoga, art, and music festival in Northern, VT in August of 2011. There were some Boston Hoop Troop hoopers there and their combo of sequin, hoop tricks, and smiles just pulled me in!! I was already spinning poi, but become a hoop addict that day.
What do you love about hooping and what has it meant for you?Nicole:The business side of things:I love that hooping has so many different styles, all of which are beneficial to the practitioner. When I first started teaching hula hoop I offered dance classes, cardio classes, and fitness classes which eventually became HoopYogini™. Each class had a different focus, use of the hoop, and completely different audience. All classes or an hour-long burning anywhere from 400 to 600 calories and were promoting healthy living.
Personal side of things:I love how hooping has made me determined to learn. I love being a student more than anything, and find that I can take classes on the same skills and tricks forever. Some hoop moves I learn instantly and use all the time and others I am still trying to figure out. It's the perfect brain puzzle that gets my whole body involved. Hooping to me means strength, power, and independence. When first becoming a hooper I was lost and trying to find myself. Hooping transformed me into a entrepreneur, giving me time to step away from being a full time private school teacher, while also proving to myself and my family that I can be and do more. I also love how hooping has brought me all around the world.
What do you love about HoopYogini™?Nicole: I love being part of a growing fitness program that truly makes positive change in the world. My answer and thoughts about HoopYogini™ are always evolving. What I first loved about it, was the scripts, postures, and published content. It just made teaching yoga with hoop assistance easier for me. I came into as a hoop instructor and needed that boost of confidence for the yogic side of things. What I love about it now is the community of teachers. Each and every teacher in the training I meet, I want to spend time with, become a friend as well as a fan.
Describe your role as Director of Student SuccessNicole: As the Director of Student Success, I welcome new teachers to the training and try to get a feel for who they are as a student and as a teacher. From there Jocelyn and I pair them with a HoopYogini Mentor that we believe to be the best match. I support mentors with any questions they might have in addition to any questions teachers in the training might have. Throughout a teacher's journey to certification I will periodically check in, and offer any support and creating deadlines or goals. I Review certification video assessments and create the certifications!! every time I make and share a new certificate, I think about how excited I was to receive mine and it makes me so happy!!I help facilitate the live question and answer sessions, as well as keeping dialogue going on the private Facebook group.And more recently I have been encouraging teachers in the training to complete certification videos on The Hoop Well Unwind as part of Wellness Wednesdays.I am also a Mentor, so I will check in on the people that I mentoring, give feedback for certification videos, have coaching calls, just trying to help as much as I can to get them certified!How does the HoopYogini mentorship program impact student success?Nicole: I like to believe having the mentorship program makes the success rate higher than if there wasn't the program. I think it's helpful to have not just myself and Jocelyn to ask questions to, but to have a mentor. Instantly that's three people that want to see you complete your goals! If you participate in our accountability program and the private Facebook group, there's even more people that become part of your journey. Having a community as part of your self-paced online course, is just going to make you actually finish!!What has been your experience as a mentor?Nicole: As a mentor I have learned that I can teach and lead adults! I went to school for early childhood and elementary education, and in college I mentored school age children. I never thought once that I'd be teaching, leading, or even mentoring adults. As I gain experience as an educator, I am learning that all like to learn and the majority like my positive reinforcement. I don't need to compartmentalize my skills by age groups. I also lucked out and was able to meet some of my mentees in person. This helped me to feel that it was a real tangible relationship. It made me feel much more confident when starting out as a mentor. Now with zoom and social media, we all can meet and feel real connection.
Share your message, values, and aspirations as a teacher and hooper.Nicole: My value as a teacher, hooper, person is, "Play more!" Play is something that makes you happy, feeds your soul, improves your life, which in turn improves the world.My aspirations as a hooper are to hoop more, never can get enough time playing! Also to post more, I love sharing my flow when I can.My aspirations as a hoop instructor are to teach more especially in person and at festivals and special events and to continue to mentor and support student success!
Learn more about the HoopYogini Online Yoga Teacher Training, a lifestyle and leadership program that teaches you how to live from your center, teach from your core and guide transformative movement meditation experiences with the hoop as your new and favorite yoga prop.