Going Outside with Nicole Kazimer of Hikyoga

(photography by Jacalyn Meyvis of Jacalyn Meyvis Photography)

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
My name is Nicole Kazimer aka @HelloYogaGirl, owner and founder of Hikyoga. I’m a local Rochester native with a passion for people, yoga, and adventures. With the intention of helping others take time away from their busy lives and connect more with nature, I created Hikyoga-- Hiking infused with Yoga. The Hikyoga brand is comprised of yoga classes outside, taking advantage of all the beauty we have surrounding Rochester. I want to give people a new adventure every time. 

What are you passionate about? What makes you tick?
I am the happiest inspiring others to step outside, get moving, and enjoy the the present moment. I believe being outside awakens all our senses, opens our creativity, decreases stress and allows our thoughts to become a little curious about life as we explore. Personally, being outside in nature provides so many calming yet engaging feelings and I love to see people feel this way as well. 

How did you get started? What were some of the difficulties you faced in starting?
In the summer of 2015, I started to capture my love and passion for yoga through photos, with my now boyfriend Cody Dalton. I went hiking at Stony Brook with my good friend, Linh Phillips discussing how awesome yoga outside is and how I would like to share it with others. What started as a hobby of sharing photos via Instagram @HelloYogaGirl, quickly transpired into something greater than I could have imagined. 

I started offering classes to my friends at local parks calling it “Hikyoga” just for fun at first. As interest grew, classes h grew to friends of friends, which eventually led to newcomers from all over. I then realized that we were on to something and Hikyoga was no longer just a hobby, it was now an experience to share with Rochester. .  A year later, I now live my passion full-time of inspiring others to get outside and try something new!  

The most challenging aspect was having the guts to listen to my heart and leave other jobs that were no longer serving my true passions.

What is your biggest regret?
Can I say nothing? I truly believe each step we take leads us to exactly where we need to be. There is no such thing as a “wrong turn” as our choices bring us to everything we need at the right moment. If I had to name one it would be to stop stressing about the small things or what everyone else is doing and focus on what makes me happy on my journey. 

What is your best advice to someone just starting out? What advice do you wish someone had said to you?
1. Baby steps are crucial. Any step is a step, so just make one. Celebrate baby steps.  When you look back those baby steps form one very big awesome leap. 
2. Leap before you’re ready and you will make it work because you have no other option. You will make it out alive and as a better person.
3. You will have days where you crave stability and want to give up. Don’t. The payoff from riding the wave is greater than anything a “boss” could provide for you. 

Advice I wish someone told me... Failure is just an emotion. Success is not money. 

(lettering by Bailey of Bailey Lauren Co.)

What inspires you? How do you recharge creatively?
My “job” is to inspire people to add movement in their life, be happy, and find joy in the simple things; when I want to be inspired, I do just that so I can share my findings with my students. I love to move - This includes walking in nature, yoga, laughing, and traveling. Just being be happy with my close friends and family. How do I recharge? Car rides and hammocks. My boyfriend and I have this amazing hammock. We hike to the middle of nowhere and hang it in the trees. No phones. We just talk and fill up our minds with yummy ideas. 

What is your favorite part of what you do?
Oh wow, loaded question. I can listen to people, see what they need, and help them. Help them get outside, help them tune into the simple things, help them move their bodies. I absolutely love when students leave class and they are radiating positive vibes and just look lighter-- like they left their worries on the trail. It reminds me why I do what I do and inspires me to keep on keepin’ on. This summer. I certified 7 Hikyoga leaders and now have one ambassador in Cleveland & California. That has opened a whole new door in loving what I do. Helping other yoga teachers succeed in something that I’ve created is so amazing. My leader in Cleveland called me crying her eyes out because of how happy she was that she was able to change lives. Helping others to change people’s lives is the most rewarding feeling I could ever ask for. 

Name some local creatives that you really admire.
Linh Phillips and Cody Dalton. They were both there for me since day one and have inspired me to share the best version of myself with the community. 

Watching my close friend, Linh Phillips aka Sir Rocha Says, grow her brand straight from the heart is priceless and contagious. Our brain storm sessions, our consistent positive reinforcement to each other, and also the days where we have no work, just play help me grow and shine. 

Cody Dalton: He is the other half of Hello Yoga Girl, Hikyoga, and myself. His creativity, motivation, and positive energy inspires me to drive each day. There is no such thing as a bad day or a fail to Cody, the way he turns everything into something great is a special gift. Aside from the huge heart Cody shares, he is an amazing designer! Have you seen @helloyogagirl’s instagram, hikyoga.com and Hikyoga Apparel?? Yep, that’s all him!