Meet beloved Yoga District teacher Nicole S. She has been teaching yoga for seven years and her experience really shines through in her classes. To help her students be their best she offers tailored options, meditative cuing, and facilitates a grounding atmosphere. Nicole leads well-loved classes at the Dupont and 14th Street studios. Check out her full schedule at bit.ly/ydnicole.
JOURNEY WITH YOGA
On a whim, I tried my very first yoga class in a gym. I never realized how much it would transform my life. When I first learned about yoga and thinking that it was nothing more than “stretching”. I felt better than expected in that first yoga class. I was more grounded, balanced, and rejuvenated mentally as well as physically. That alone was enough for me to try it again.
Generally, my San Francisco-based teachers would guide me through:
- Immersive practices
- Intention setting
- Devotional chanting
- Philosophy sharing.
Through regular practice, I started to discover the healing, calming, and spiritual aspects of yoga. After many years of practicing and teaching, yoga is now a lifestyle. I can’t imagine my life without it!
Teaching yoga is my dharma and makes me feel deeply connected, grateful, and inspired(1)! As a yoga teacher, I love curating a memorable experience for my students that creates vibrations of peace and conscious awakening.
My time on the mat has led me to act differently and think more positively while navigating life’s uncertainties off the mat. I wish for others to access, experience, and benefit from yoga in the same ways that yoga has enriched my life.
THE BEAUTY OF KUNDALINI YOGA
My favorite style of yoga to teach is Kundalini because it’s designed to help practitioners elevate their energy, strengthen their mind, and access their true nature (called “Sat Nam” in Sanskrit) (2). I love how “holistic” the practice is by integrating:
- Mudras (hand gestures)
- Mantras (a word, phrase, or sound repetition)
- Pranayama (breathwork)
- Kriyas (quick, repetitive movement).
While I find Kundalini to be the most challenging style of yoga yet it offers many benefits and applications to our modern world. It’s a little different but definitely worth trying!
I love to guide students through a pose called woodchopper (or Kashtha Takshanasana in Sanskrit).
- On the inhale, you stand in a wide-legged pose with hands interlaced overhead.
- Squat lowering fist between legs while on the exhale audibly emptying air from the abdomen.
- Basically to perform this Kundalini-style, you can imagine you are holding an axe and chopping through something in your life that does not serve you. Do this repetitive manner usually for one to three minutes.
- The movement of the arms in a swinging motion helps to increase blood flow, boost energy, and reduce stress from the body and mind.
Students have shared that this kriya has had profound effects when combined with the intention of slaying or transforming stagnation. It’s truly liberating!
- What is Dharma?, https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/4967/dharma
- Kundalini Yoga, https://www.healthline.com/health/kundalini-yoga#bottom-line