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January 14, 2020
The Spark: Oraya Movement’s Nicole Drakulich

Photograph courtesy of Oraya Movement

What sparks creativity? Joy? Every week, we talk to cool people who inspire us.

Oraya Movement isn’t your typical yoga and Pilates studio where you stare at brick walls while holding planks or doing your one hundreds. Founder Nicole Drakulich worked as a streetwear designer for over five years before pivoting and entering the fitness world. She tapped into her creative background and came up with an innovative, immersive experience for her classes. By using Panasonic projectors to display images in Oraya’s oval-shaped space, attendees are transported to soothing locations while breaking a sweat. You can hold tree pose while gazing upon a vista of Lake Tahoe or engage your core on a reformer while staring out into a desert sunset.  

We caught up with Drakulich and chatted about all things cannabis, her daily routine, and why she believes setting an intention is the best wellness tip. Read on for more.

On her relationship with cannabis: I'm always seeking holistic approaches when it comes to wellness and am a firm believer in cannabis’ medical abilities for physical and mental healing. Right now I’m using Papa & Barkley’s Releaf balm and it’s so much better than any other similar product I’ve tried in the past — some of the CBD ones didn’t do anything! After a few uses, I noticed a difference in how my muscles felt after a tough workout. 

On her daily routine: I like to wake up early and have a smoothie or yogurt with fruit plus coffee for breakfast. Then I’m off to my studio to teach classes. For lunch I’ll do a salad with lots of vegetables, some grains, and occasionally I’ll add in tuna or another white fish. My dinner winds up being very similar. I’m usually at the studio until 9 p.m. and when I head home, I handle all my work-related calls and emails. I’m a night owl but I’ll try to wind down around 11:30 p.m.

On the ups-and-downs of owning her own business: I’m grateful that I’ve been able to create my dream job. I LOVE teaching Pilates and my studio also lets me be a designer and a creator. That said, this project is new and it's my first time running a business. It’s hard to find balance when you wear so many hats. Imagine a game of Tetris — I’m trying to piece together all of the unique elements and technology that define my class. Thankfully, I have an amazing team of instructors and lots of other support along the way.

On her favorite workout clothes: Even if I wasn't a fitness instructor, I’d still live in athleisure. In my past career, I was a designer for a streetwear company for over five years. I still have friends in that industry so I love to support them. You’ll find me in Adidas and Vans plus workout brands like Beyond Yoga, Carbon, and Fabletics.

On her best wellness tip: Set your intention for what you’d like to achieve with your personal growth process. It’s important to choose a practice that speaks to your heart rather than following a trend at the moment. When you find a creative outlet that aligns with your soul, everything else will fall into place.

On her advice for first-timers: Challenge yourself but still have fun! My classes are open to all levels so I make sure beginners feel comfortable but I also explain how to do more advanced moves. You can push yourself further every time while having fun. 

On makeup and exercise: I’ll wear a little mascara, blush, and lip balm when I’m teaching. In between my morning and evening sessions I’ll lightly rinse my face with water before reapplying my makeup. At night I run a Clarasonic face brush across my skin for deep cleansing. I’ll do a retinol 3 times a week but I also make sure to apply a vitamin C serum and light moisturizer daily. 

On Instagram vs. reality: I don't feel like I need to be a fake, amped up version of myself on social media. I’m the same person whether I’m teaching a class, posting on my Instagram or if we cross paths in the grocery store. 

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