Nika Darrin is from Napa, California, where she was raised in a health-conscious community that instilled values of holistic/natural living, open-mindedness and treating all with kindness and respect. As a child, her mom would take her along to yoga classes and meditations taught by Tibetan monks. This taught her about the mind-body connection she values so much to this day. Her interest in creating a career based off of health and healing was sparked in high school, where she was a tri-sport athlete (lacrosse, water polo and basketball) and took an intro to athletic training class. She gained experience by applying what she learned in the classroom through assisting the ATC on the field/court and in the athletic training room.
Nika graduated from Chapman University in 2018 with a B.S. in Kinesiology and a B.A. in Peace Studies. She wrote her kinesiology thesis on how yoga helps reduce stress. For her peace studies thesis she studied the impact of mindfulness and transcendental meditation. She was inspired by the Dalai Lama’s quote “In order to achieve world peace, we must first achieve inner peace.” In her case study, she found that violence rates in a middle school significantly decreased after instilling a weekly mindfulness, transcendental meditation practice. Imagine the impact on this world if everyone practiced mindfulness and incorporated meditation into their daily lives! In addition to her academic endeavors in college, she played for the division III women’s lacrosse team, was the service chair for Alpha Kappa Psi (a professional, co-ed business fraternity), was an activist for the homeless, studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, studied at the UN’s University for Peace in Costa Rica and obtained her 200-hour yoga teacher certification.
When Nika is not working at Catalyst, she is working as a kayak and snorkel tour guide in La Jolla, selling succulent art at farmers markets and is a yoga teacher. She is an assistant teacher in a 200-hour yoga teacher training and teaches donation-based classes at the OB Garden Café. If your mind, body and soul need some extra loving, come to her yoga class and she will help guide you through a nourishing and empowering experience! When she is not working, she loves to go windsurfing, surfing, scuba diving, listening to live music and exploring! She loves to travel when she gets the opportunity to. She spent her past summer backpacking in Southeast Asia, where she immersed herself in yoga studies, learning from its traditional origin of India. Nika strives to incorporate the balance between Eastern and Western healing, which is why she was motivated to be a physical therapy aide for Catalyst.