My very first experience with yoga was in 1998. I instantly fell in love just after my first class. I had been lifting weights, jogging, and cycling for ten years before that and started feeling the stress on my joints. When I found hot yoga, I knew I had found the perfect balance of physical intensity and mind stilling meditation that I craved. What began as a physical journey became so much more. When I am on my yoga mat the outside world disappears, it is my time to celebrate and nurture me. Practicing Hot Yoga has improved my life on so many different levels it’s hard to imagine life without it now. Because I believe in hot yoga so passionately, I feel the obligation to share it with the rest of the world. I decided to learn to teach and teach to learn in 2006; it was the best decision I ever made. My classes are designed to keep my students physically and mentally challenged but at the same time designed to allow ourselves the opportunity to let go of the ego and work with our inner strength and our hearts. I have completed courses on teaching yoga for seniors and also gentle yoga for breast cancer survivors. I offer detox classes, classes for weight loss, private one on one and semi-private classes, guided meditation classes for stress and anxiety and love teaching beginners.
I have been doing yoga for over 15 years, but always as a compliment to other activities. When I started my Ph.D., about 7 years ago, I began to go to Bikram yoga classes out of necessity. I needed to balance out my crazy life as a stressed-out, Ph.D. student and since then yoga has really become a focus. After finishing my doctoral, I moved to Montreal, QC, Canada and after a while of doing Bikram yoga every day, I wanted something else. I gradually found myself balancing out my Bikram practice with yin yoga. Doing yin yoga made me less stressed, more focused, and it noticeably helped improve my other yoga practices and overall body positioning. After receiving my yin yoga teaching certificate, at Happy Tree Yoga and teaching community classes in Montreal, I was absolutely in love with sharing my practice. I have recently moved to Durham, and I want to continue to share yoga in this community, both as a student and as a teacher. I aim to create classes which focus on deep stretching, moving at a slow pace, and general acceptance of where we are in the moment.
Brian Thacker is a native of North Carolina who started practicing yoga ten years ago. He turned to yoga as a way to stay fit after he reached the age of 30. What began as a practice of once a week has now become a situation where he teaches several times a day. He teaches to area companies in RTP and local yoga studios. He offers free yoga classes and tutorials on YouTube at “Natural Self Yoga.” His style has developed from many different teachers including Pattabhi Jois, BKS Iyengar, Bikram, as well as many other modern styles derived from these primary teachers. Brian knows that yoga will be a part of his life for the rest of his life. His goal as a teacher is to share his love for yoga by finding a style that his students can love. He lives one breath at a time and looks forward to the journey that yoga will continue to bring.
I began my practice in 2012. I immediately fell in love with the challenging asanas and non-competitive philosophy, which were refreshing as a former gymnast. Within my first month of practice, I saw dramatic changes in my attitude. I began to reap the mental and spiritual benefits of yoga. Patience, self-love, and mental clarity are just a few to mention. After such benefits, I was moved to spread this joy to others and became an RYT-200 through a yoga teacher training at Carrboro Yoga Company. Come flow with me! I will invite you to move with the breath, playfully challenge boundaries and deepen relaxation.
Nora’s love for exercise began at a very young age. She fell in love with ballet at just 6 years old, and didn’t miss a day of dancing until the age of 18, when she decided to attend college to study applied mathematics at UNC-CH. It was there that she was introduced to the world of yoga and personal training, which served as her new outlets for stress management and overall well-being. In 2012, she received a scholarship to UNC-CH’s Applied Mathematics Ph.D. program, but just shy of completing her first semester, her mother passed away. Following her loss, Nora struggled to find motivation, and it wasn’t until she rediscovered yoga when she finally felt a sense of peace again. Nora carried on to receive her 200-hour teacher training certification under the study of the wonderful Nicole Nichols at Republic of Yoga in Cary, NC. Nora’s classes are taught in the vinyasa flow style with choreographic sequencing, a strong emphasis on breath and body awareness, and hands-on assists, while incorporating a modern view of ancient yoga philosophy. Her teachings are accessible to all levels and encourage each student to dive inward and explore their own journey to what we all really step onto our mats for – personal transformation. She is dedicated to bringing a positive atmosphere to her classes, sharing her story, and helping others find their path to happiness!
Kat started practicing yoga nine years ago in Burlington, Vermont. It was love at first breath, and she became a committed student. She was enchanted by the peaceful, calming and nurturing nature of yoga. Encouraged by her first teachers, she has been a teacher and a humble student ever since. Recognizing that yoga makes her a healthier and happier person, she is committed to creating space and time for others to have the same experience. She teaches her classes with a light-hearted, honest and fun approach, with strong attention to alignment, breath, and focus. She hopes to help her students find true happiness in their bodies through the practice of yoga.
RYTT 200, Personal Trainer
Developing a yoga practice has been one of the most nurturing decisions I have ever made. I’ve learned so much about myself, how I interact with others, and how deeply connected the mind, body, and spirit truly are. I have found that yoga is so much more than solely a physical practice, but a way of life. It is not only about how you handle struggles and emotional hardships on your mat but it’s about how you handle those same obstacles off your mat. Life doesn’t have to be tough and we all deserve an opportunity each and every day to focus on self-care. Self-care and emotional management are the deeper layers that I hope my class will help you unfold. As a licensed therapist and mindfulness-based practitioner, I am an advocate for holistic health and wellness. My love for yoga, physical fitness, and the art of counseling has allowed me to develop a unique platform that caters to you mentally, physically, and emotionally. My goal is to create a warm, fun, and supportive environment for each person attending my class. Although I am an instructor I consider myself an everlasting student, there is always a wealth of knowledge to be acquired. Sharing what I’ve learned inspires me to practice intentionality and to live more mindfully. Most importantly you are teaching me about you—your needs, and how we all inspire one another. I aim to create classes that are peaceful, soulful and empowering. I’ve completed my 200hr RYT Vinyasa training at Franklin Street Yoga and will be registered with Yoga Alliance in the next few months. I have experience teaching power yoga, yoga for athletes, yoga for anxiety and depression, and kids yoga!
Begrudgingly, I accompanied a friend to her beloved yoga class at Down Dog Yoga in Washington D.C., and my life changed. Awed by the simultaneous intensity and serenity of that practice, I returned home seeking heat. I found MyYoga almost immediately and began practicing the Barkan method consistently while continuing to explore various yoga styles. My mind and body ultimatley nestled into Ashtanga vinyasa and Baptiste power vinyasa yoga. I “live out loud” and it’s reflected in my relationships, my personal practice, and my teaching style. I incoporate music, a sense of playfulness, and a bit of daring into my classes because rhythm, fun, and courage foster vitality. (Which is what life is made of!) In class, I’ll continue to draw your attention to your breath–the vitality you take with you everywhere you go. A breath of steadiness, a breath of ease, a breath of fun, a breath of courage…vitality in all its many forms, cultivated and practiced on the mat so that it’s with us off the mat.
I first discovered yoga in a gym in 2004 and was instantly mesmerized watching the group practice, while I did some tedious exercises on a weight machine. I had gone to an acupuncturist for allergies about six years before that and remembered him telling me about “Yoga” and showing me a book. I remembered what the book looked like, and found it– Sri Swami Satchidananda’s Integral Hatha Yoga. For about four years, I practiced with the ladies at the gym, then at local yoga studios, lost 30 pounds, became happier and more peaceful, and then decided to study further. I found the NC School of Yoga and little did I know what a blessing of a lifetime it would be to find my teacher, Chandra Om, and to study Classical Yoga under her guidance. I completed both 200 and 500-hour teacher training at the school, but this was only the beginning. I hope to share what I continue to know about Yoga– a holy and ancient tool for human beings on the long journey toward compassion for oneself and for others— the journey of a lifetime, which begins with a healthy body and mind and ends in connection with each other and everything.
Shanon is a certified 200-hour yoga instructor who did not predict the practice to hold such a special place in her heart. In 2014, she unearthed the light of yoga after experiencing “gym burnout” and a spiritual craving for something more. In the habit of going to the gym regularly and trying Crossfit, Shanon realized aggressive fitness routines were wreaking havoc on her joints and simultaneously not nurturing her spirit. Working a full-time desk job revealed a strong missing mind/body connection and she found yoga to be invigorating and nurturing, filling the void that other “workouts” could not. In practicing, Shanon discovered yoga could heal her body and help conquer anxiety and depression. A regular practice has helped her find her roots, connect with her spiritual side, and realize true contentment comes from within. On the mat, Shanon encourages not taking one’s self too seriously, forgiveness, and gentle acknowledgment of imperfection.
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