Bali Spirit Festival, Ubud Bali May 7-11th, 2025

Yoga Dance Music Healing

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Love BaliSpirit – Meet the Masters: Nadine McNeil, Jamaica, Yoga Ethnochoreology Universal Empress

My short yoga story is… that it completely transformed my life: the way I ate, slept, thought and ultimately how I showed up in the world. Yoga heightened my awareness to the weight of my blessings. Being given so much when so many others have so little, it ignited my drive to give back and to be a stand for others who for one reason or another, are incapable of doing so on their own.

BaliSpirit Festival is… Awesome! Bar none, it is the best yoga, music and spiritual festival in the world!

I found yoga… after getting bored at the gym. 
Yoga found me… on the verge of a burnout that manifested as anxiety attacks! I moved to Indonesia in 2005 to join UNICEF as an Emergency response and Logistics specialist and began practicing Bikram yoga 6 days a week. That lead me to Ashtanga, and being in Indonesia, I had access to some of the best teachers in the world. In 2006 I was involved in emergency response after an earthquake rocked Jogjakarta. My practice truly deepened when I met my own personal ‘meltdown’ and found that deep pranayama helped me to alleviate those frightening symptoms. 
I have taught…. in inner city communities in Jamaica and weave yoga into my UN work, teaching wherever I serve, leading classes for fellow peers as well as the communities that we assist. 
I am committed to… what I term the ‘democratization of yoga’. Though based primarily in Jamaica since early 2013, my teachings continue bring me across the world under my brand name Universal Empress – an evolutionary catalyst committed to global transformation. 
My classes are… primarily asana-based – I also offer workshops that intertwine yoga with writing as an effective tool for self-discovery as well as healing trauma.


When I was growing up I wanted to be…a dancer and a politician. In fact, I wanted to be the first female PM of Jamaica! 
My first ever ‘real’ job was… as a messenger for the UN. My last was with the UN as Chief Technical Services for the UN peace-building office in the Central African Republic. 
When in a hole…. Use prayer, deep, resonant prayer, and meditation. 
It’s a secret but… I’d love to run a high end gentleman’s club….have you read 11 Minutes by Paulo Coelho? 
If I could be a superhero I’d be… Wonder Woman! 
I’m still working on… my fear of deep water. 
Food for thought… The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope 
Get your groove on with… Michael St. George

Her lifelong commitment to yoga as a tool for healing trauma, led Nadine to be awarded a full scholarship to participate in Kripalu’s 200-hour yoga teacher training program ( Yogini. Humanitarian. Spirited. Compassionate. Storyteller. All of these words conjure up aspects that make Nadine McNeil aka UniversalEmpress the person she aspires to be: an evolutionary catalyst committed to global transformation. With over twenty years of solid experience in the fields of emergency response and logistics operations primarily with the United Nations, her career has taken her across the globe, serving in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, S.E. Asia, her native region the Caribbean, and beyond.


Meet Nadine at BaliSpirit Festival 2014!

Written by : BaliSpirit


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