A US Army veteran, who fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Nick Gonzalez of Yoga With Nick G, has been recognized as Missoula’s top yoga instructor in the annual “Best Of Missoula” issue by The Missoulian. Chosen through a city-wide community voting process, the Best of Missoula awards are a much-anticipated hotlist of the area’s best and brightest in every industry, from food and dining to health and wellness.
A relative newcomer to the yoga industry, trained just last fall in both flow yoga and hot 26&2 at Evolation Yoga in Santa Barbara, California, Nick quickly gained notoriety for his commitment to quality practice and his down-to-earth approach.
“Yoga is for everyone,” he explains of his philosophy. “There’s this stigma about the practice, especially among the men I know, that ‘it’s just for women’ or ‘it’s not a real workout.’ I used to think that, too. But I’ve found unbelievable physical and mental healing through my personal experience with yoga, and now I want absolutely everybody – men and women alike – to experience it, too.”
Nick received the news of his recognition as “Best Yoga Instructor” with some degree of shock, as his past would color him an unlikely candidate for such an honor. More than a decade ago, Nick returned home from military service and found himself in a years-long battle with alcohol addiction and the physical fallout of his time overseas. Through a combination of focused counseling and yoga, he regained the mental strength to walk away from his addiction in 2016. “People have the wrong idea about addiction,” he says, “It’s not really something you get over and are done with – it’s a lifelong battle. Yoga helps to keep me in the fight.”
Now, Nick speaks openly and honestly about his challenges to anyone willing to listen, hoping he can provide a bit of encouragement and an example for others to follow. Dedicated to sharing the healing power of yoga with anyone and everyone, he volunteers monthly at the local prison and juvenile detention center, in addition to teaching at various studios and gyms.
His experience empowers him to bring a unique perspective to the practice and now, just 6 months into his journey as an instructor, he is overcome with gratitude for the recognition he has received.