Interview with Nicola Machalova: “I Follow my Intuition”

In an in-depth interview, the Czech born yoga and hormone therapy teacher, with our chief-editor Ankush Bharti, opens up about healing, female health, understanding the self, the importance of keeping the balance in life and her methods of healing.

1. What would you like to call yourself? What’s the difference between a healer and a doctor?

For me, a doctor is a person who looks at being mainly physically, onto what can be seen and touched. A healer, in my perception, is a person who can see holistically, searching for connections on all - bio-psycho-social-spiritual - levels in time and space. The second approach is much closer to me, even though I believe both worlds should cooperate and not deny each other. Being open-minded to different approaches is key here.

Some see me as a guide or teacher, but I rather see myself as a student; always a student. I am very much aware of my limited ability to understand everything and everyone; everything we do is always influenced by personal ‘filters’ and experiences.

Next to it, I am a woman, a human being, absolutely aware of my weak spots and vulnerability along with my strengths and qualities. I am just the same as you; struggling and learning from my struggles. With my work, I transform these learnings into methods. I bring tools into the safe space for others to experience their true self.

2. Could you please share your journey as a healer?

Since I was a child, I was always a thinker. I wanted to understand people and their behaviour. I saw so much suffering in people and myself and I knew there must be a way. I was always (and still am) very stubborn; I never wanted help from others. I would get really mad if my mum wanted to explain anything before I figured it out on my own.

I follow my intuition, that’s my teacher. Intuition for me is that quiet inner voice coming from the centre - this voice is very easily suppressed by expectations and pressure of society (or ourselves). But I always trusted it and it brought me here.

Everything came to me quite unexpectedly. No one in my family is a healer, psychologist, artist or doctor. Nothing like that.

For example, the first time I was about to visit India and study yoga in Ashram, I didn’t know anything – my English wasn’t really good, I almost haven’t practised any yoga, I never have travelled to Asia before, I even didn’t check the program of this month-long teacher training. I just felt the strong yes saying, so I went. It changed my life.

I had there, a very strong spiritual experience – for two days and a night; my body released so much energy from the heart centre, that I couldn’t move. Everything inside of me vibrated so strongly that it paralyzed me. I didn’t need to sleep or eat. I sat on the terrace of my little house and stared to one point in the far. I felt so connected to everything around me, like my body had no limits, no frame, no structure. I imagine this is how Samadhi feels.

From there I understood the power of yoga, body, energy, presence and also, what ‘unity’ probably means. From there, everything unfolded; and still keeps on unfolding.

3. Which are the major healing methods that you practice?

Everything explored on my journey I perceive as a tool; a tool being picked up and practiced when needed.

I am searching for natural alternative ways how to make life quality.

For example, I practice:

Cyclicality; in a linear world that’s quite challenging. In the western world, our structure is mostly set for a 9 AM- 5 PM job, Monday till Friday. That requires the same level of energy every day, every week, every month. Man can do this as their body is set to the Sun principle: with a sunrise = the most energy for a few hours; every day is the same. But women are set to a Moon principle: full moon = reaching the most energy only once a month; but instead few hours, we fully shine several days in a row! And this requires a different pace and schedule. I love to schedule my events, retreats, and demanding work during the most energetic days (around ovulation) and more rest during menstruation.

Hormone yoga therapy - this is one of the best and most efficient techniques for women’s hormonal balance existing.

Techniques of movement therapy like intuitive movement, shaking and I attend movement therapy myself as a patient; working with the body is from my perspective the best mirror we can face - the body remembers everything!

Women’s circles themselves are very much healing as well

I work with understanding and processing my traumas.




Thai massage therapy

Trusting life - that’s my main practice - being patient, seeing the whole picture, practicing the present moment - the only moment which exist.

4. When did you realise that you should study psychology?

In general, I didn’t know for a long time what my profession should be. They always ask you as a kid what you would love to become. I didn’t have any visions. But I had a quality - people always came to me to talk. And I was able to listen and hold space for them. This is what many women need - to be seen and heard. They don’t need advice, they always know what to do.

I already noticed when I was 12 or 13 that there were older people around, so I could have spiritual or philosophical conversations with them. After finishing my international trade & business school I knew this is not my path. It was a path of my entrepreneur parents, but not mine. My passion to help others was from the beginning probably driven by my desire to help my mother. Since I was a child, I saw her struggling through life and as kids always want the best for their parents, somewhere on my path, I probably made an unspoken agreement with myself, that I will help her.

Psychology university was a great starting point, although I missed bodywork in it. They train you to analyse, learn techniques and psychiatric tests, to make research, to connect the dots. But I always wondered: ‘where is the body in all this?’ Such an important tool to understand ourselves! And to build self-love - where it all starts from.

5. As a therapist, what do you see as your greatest strength?

I believe I can see in people who they are, and turn this mirror back on them. So they can see everything themselves - the lighter, the darker, the lovable, the scary, the big, the small - it’s all you. And you are whole. I guide women through the self to the Self. That’s where they meet and fall in love with the real. I hold space without judgment and comparison. I listen. I let women speak up. I help them understand that in the circle they can be vulnerable, it’s safe. I believe that safety is a huge catalysator for growth. I teach self-acceptance and self-love as the main fundamentals; everything starts from accepting all parts; only then you can love and appreciate yourself. When you act from a place of worth instead of a place of wound, you make healthy choices for yourself. The rest will unfold.

6. What is Purna Spirit for Women about?

Purna Spirit IS every woman.

Purna spirit FOR women offers tools to do the work - to fall in love with your uniqueness.

Purna in Sanskrit means whole, perfect, and completed. Spirit is our essence.

The baseline of all the work I am doing is the belief that everyone is already perfect as they are. Right here, right now. You always do the best you can at the moment. You can imagine in our process of growth we are like children at school: we all go from level 1 to level 2, from level 2 to level 3 and so on. We can’t skip levels as well as we can’t say that one level is better than the other. It’s an evolution, a process and all the steps must be done and learned.

It is also important to understand that we already have everything we need inside of us. The wisdom, the love, the warmth, the peace, our home. It is like a sun behind clouds - it is always there, just sometimes difficult to see.

So basically, Purna Spirit is there to remind women that they are already IT. That there is nothing more to search for outside themselves, otherwise it becomes a never-ending race into emptiness. There is nothing we lack or have to buy. There is only beauty to be rediscovered.

7. Could you please share your experience of working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds?

I am aware that every culture has a specific way of expression, behaviour, belief systems, struggles, conditions, fears, traumas etc. But I believe that pressure on women from patriarchy is the same everywhere, expressed in different forms. Somewhere by career discrimination, elsewhere by subtle ridicule, abortion ban, menstrual taboo or pulling young girls out of school because they are ready for marriage, while boys can enjoy their youth and education.

I taught yoga in several countries in Asia and Europe and I met many women with different strong stories. They shared about violence, discrimination, the pressure of society and patriarchy, relationship-related issues, death, and sexuality. All these topics are mainly influenced by cultural background.

I am aware that my knowledge of cultural differences is yet very limited, but what I understood so far is: At the end of the day; we all suffer and we all just seek love.

8. Could you please share your insights on yoga and well-being?

From my perspective, everyone must ‘do the work’ to follow the path towards the light in life. Otherwise many trees will shadow the treasure in the deep forest within you. Trauma is not expressed in feelings but in actions. If someone is hurting others or as we call it ‘overreacting’; this behaviour comes actually from wounds. And this wound needs to be healed.

If you understand what is subconsciously controlling you, you can transform it and move forward; lighter.

Doing the work, for me, contains several steps:

Work with the inner child.

Look into the “mother wound”.

Explore and express your needs.

Claim space for yourself.

Work on your boundaries.

Understand the cyclicality of the unique female body and respect it.

Accept, forgive and be kind to yourself, doesn’t matter where you stand in your process.

Learn and practice mature tools; especially in challenging situations.

Cultivate healthy sisterhood.

Practice daily to take responsibility for your actions, be present, not over give and not try to be perfect.

Yoga is parallel to life: when you start, it’s new and can feel confusing and overwhelming. Over time, you get into the flow. Sometimes you lose balance but always gain more strength. You learn. You will have the most and the least favourite poses, and that’s okay. Remember, that sometimes those asanas you like the least can be your best teacher.

9. The best thing about you is that you promote sisterhood and women's empowerment. Could you please tell our readers the significance of these terms?

Sisterhood is not a place, it’s an action and behaviour we cultivate towards each sister every day. It’s how we think about other women. It’s understanding that we can accept and be accepted exactly as we are. Sisterhood is an invitation to be vulnerable, to show our real face, to take the mask off; and still, be safe. And at the same, not feeling guilty for being good at something. Sisterhood is effortless unconditional support on your journey as a woman.

Every time you approach a woman you can heal the sisterhood wound we carry among us. Instead of judgement - invite real expression. Instead of jealousy - work on your self-worth. Instead of competition - acknowledge your talents and celebrate the talents of others. Knowing that we are here to help each other and share, not to do everything on our own. Sisterhood and woman’s circle used to be very natural to us - to cook together, to bleed together in tents, to help each other, to cry and laugh together, to support, to remind each other of the inner power. Women belong and are the strongest together, sitting in a circle, knowing that we all are unique and the same.

Unfortunately, in western culture, patriarchy tore this all apart. The system made women into individual, competitive, goal-oriented beings who suffer from this linear system.

It’s up to us to rise. Not fight, that never makes sense. Learn about yourself as a woman, about your body, cherish sisterhood, love bleeding, love that you are emotional, love that you are changing and growing, like a tree; so much wisdom!

And what does women empowerment mean in my perception? I am still finding out and practicing myself. I get inspired by nature; when the tree, the ocean or the lion are in their truest power? When they completely step into their full, unique potential. Lion is not trying to be an ocean feeding the fish, fire is not pretending to be a tree bearing fruits. Empowerment means being fully aware and in love with who you are; expressing it with pride and humbleness. Without fear of judgement. Being empowered means standing your ground when everything around is shaking. Being empowered also means allowing yourself sometimes not to stand your ground and shake too.

You are unique.

You are wise.

You can do it.

You are right.

You are worth it.

You are powerful.

You are loved and loved.

10. India?

I travelled to India for the very first time when I was 22 years old. I travelled alone to visit an ashram in Karnataka, to become a yoga teacher. I never heard much about India before, but my intuition guided me there. For the very first time, I could understand what yoga is about, connection and unity.

I believe everyone should visit this beautiful land of spirituality, languages, colours, and wisdom, but also struggle and contrast. India carries very special energy. In my eyes, everything in India is real, there is no time for fake. Everything is connected to nature, Gods, the movement of the body, and rituals. Its richness is on the inside. India is a country with a soul and this is what I love the most. I would love to meet and understand the culture from a closer perspective.

11. Do you have any favourite authors?

Period power: Harness Your Hormones and Get Your Cycle Working for You by Maisie Hill

Yoni Shakti: A Woman's Guide to Power and Freedom Through Yoga and Tantra by Uma Dinsmore-Tuli

The Women's Circle: How to Gather with Meaning, Intention and Purpose by Anoushka Florence

Hormone yoga therapy by Dinah Rodriguez

Discovering the Inner Mother: A Guide to Healing the Mother Wound and Claiming Your Personal Power by Bethany Webster

The journey by Brandon Bays

12. What advice would you give women regarding their health and well-being?

Trust yourself - you are a beautiful intuitional being with insights you can follow. Don’t allow others to convince you otherwise.

Love yourself with everything you are - shiny parts and darker parts - it all belongs to you and it makes you whole.

Work with the cyclicality of your body. Learn about it and honour it.

Speak up for yourself.

Stand your ground.

Believe in yourself and your talents - you are so worth it!

Don’t forget yourself! Always find time only for yourself; even if it's a few minutes a day.

Listen to your body and communicate with her- it speaks to you by the language of sensations.

Find inspiration and inspire others - you are never alone in this. You are part of the sisterhood!

We are the ones who have to speak up to change things we struggle with!

Ankush Bharti