Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I feel compelled to tell you about a teacher I meet several years ago.  Her name was Betheyla.  The problem lies in the fact that I don't know anything about her.  Even still, I feel like I need to tell you about her and my experience with her. 

In March of 2007 I found myself in a workshop called Ayru-Yoga which was taught by Betheyla.  I was a brand new yoga teacher with no formal training but a strong desire to learn anything and everything I could about yoga.   I have no idea how I ended up in that class but in hindsight I'd have to say that it was the work of the Divine that brought me there that day.

At the time the material was definitely over my head but I loved every minute of the workshop.  I didn't actually have a conversation with her but at one point Betheyla was lining us up based on our Ayurvedic constitution.  From the most vata to the most kapha.  She put her hand on my arm and looked directly into my eyes.  I can't say that I ever remember anyone looking at me that way before.  It felt like she was looking into my soul.  It was a bit unnerving.  The only think she said to me was "Oh boy! you've got a lot of pitta".  That statement didn't mean much to me at the time but what stuck with me were her eyes.

It was this experience that ignited the fire for me.  I wanted to learn more.  Shortly after the workshop I enrolled in the 200 hour yoga teacher training at Yoga on Main.  It was during the training that Betheyla passed away.    

The more I learned about Ayurveda the more what I learned in that workshop made sense to me.  I was beginning to understand the connection between yoga and Ayurveda.  The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.  Again, through the blessing of the Divine I was fortunate enough to be able to take the 500 hour advanced yoga teacher training at Yoga on Main.  The program was based on Bethelya's teachings.

I  thought of her often as I began to apply the knowledge that I was receiving.  Then one night this past January I had a dream about her.  The dream was so vivid that even now all these months later I can remember every detail.   I woke up with the strangest feeling.  Since then,there have been several instances where I felt her presence.  

What I can't seem to figure out is why this woman who I don't know, and have never even spoke to would have such a strong presence in my life.  There is no logical explanation for the experiences that I've had so I'm going to try to let go of the need to figure it out.  I'm just going to open up to the guidance I feel and trust that whatever the reason and from wherever it's coming from,  I'm definitely being guided and I have to trust it.

Today I was introduced to someone on the street.  The woman looks at me and says "Oh, I know you.  You and I took a class together with Betheyla".   This morning as I lead a vata-reducing  yoga practice I had been thinking about Betheyla.

In the end, we never know the impact we have on those we interact with therefore, live your life in a way that you will be remembered positively long after you leave your body.  Oh, when you meet someone - be present, pay attention because you may have just met the person who will forever change the course of your life. 

"As you move through your day, make choices so that when you close your eyes at the end of the day you will be able to say this was a day worth living" - David Simon

** If you have a story to share about Betheyla I'd love to hear it. **


  1. I've heard lots of stories about Betheyla and folks who knew her seem to revere her. I had a few contacts with Betheyla. I can't say that she had the impact on me that she had on you or others, but I will say that I did feel her spirit. I participated in one of her classes. I think it was the one associated with our teacher training, M, forget what it was about, and yes it was over my head, too, and that's probably why I don't remember it. She came across to me as authentic and soulful. I paid her to do a reading of my chart once, as well. It was during a tumultuous time, and of course it involved women in my life, and my relationship with them, a recurring theme. My mother, also an astrologer, told me that women would have a major impact on me as my life expressed itself. Was she ever right! Anyway, I can't say I remember much about our session except how soft and tender she was. The only words I remember during that session came at the end when she said that I should be a teacher. And you know, that's exactly what I am, formally and informally. But maybe we all are huh? I still have the tape but no cassette tape device in order to listen to it. I'm going to find one this week.

  2. Thank you for these beautiful words. Me and my siblings used to always avert eye contact with her because of that look. I see her in my twin sons eyes now. Thank you again'

    Jai Ma
    Chris (Betheyla's oldest son)