Nicole moved up to East Stroudsburg from the Southeast in 2000 when her husband took a job in the area, and started taking Yoga classes at Sundari Yoga (now Boundless) on Crystal Street. It was in 2007 that she began her 200 Teacher Training and immediately began teaching in a variety of settings including Sundari, gyms, schools, and Northampton Community College. In 2013, Nicole started her 500 hour training at Naturally Yoga in Glen Rock, New Jersey and the rest is history.
The first thing I noticed when I stepped foot into her Monday evening Beginners class was her humorous nature. Nicole places great emphasis on core work while providing a detailed breakdown of each and every posture, making her an exceptional teacher for introductory and returning students. After I returned to the practice, I found my greatest challenge was simply holding the poses and finding the form. In just a few short months of consistently taking her class, I noticed my home practice beginning to transition and take shape.
Nicole’s classes are best described by the Sanskrit terms Sthira and Sukha. Sthira; meaning stability and steadiness. Sukha; meaning ease and gentility. Within each and every posture there are certain levels of mindfulness and ease, two opposing energies which combine together in each posture. The best attribute of Nicole’s class is her ability to distract you with the details of the postures so the class just flies by… “Pay attention to the full inhale, the pause, the exhale, the pause… feel the stability when we press the feet into the mat and engage the core… ” Just as you master mountain pose, sweep your arms down to the floor and step backwards into plank the realization comes -- you’ve been tricked into turning off your brain completely. I was so consumed by every artful aspect of movement into the postures that she actually tricked me! In that moment of realization she will announce, “Don’t take it so seriously, it’s only Yoga. Just breathe! And you will naturally forget that laundry list of things to do living in our heads.” Now you’ve been warned because if by chance you do happen to hold your breath in Nicole’s class, she will most definitely let you know.
Although Nicole is out-going she prefers to lift others up to the spotlight than soak in the glory herself. Nicole takes life in strides, which is a quality she admits to getting from her mother. She came from a big family with five brothers that kept Nicole on her toes, which is no doubt why she loves those balancing postures. All joking aside though, there is a very nurturing side of her as well. Nicole practices Yoga at home with her two boys, “the curlies,” Keane who just turned seven and Jordan who is four. Here is where her passions emerge; this month starting on Friday April 24th at 1:00PM she will be starting a five week Series “Yoga for Kids”. The 45 minute classes designed for Yogis aged two through five will weave fun self-expression with postures and meditation. The best part is that it doesn’t stop there! Nicole is also offering a “Family Yoga” Series which starts on Saturday, May 2nd at 11:15. The classes are a 6 week one hour series for the whole family to happily practice together. Check out the Workshop schedule to reserve your spot now. Whether you are thinking about starting a Yoga practice, restarting from where you left off, or perhaps exploring some family style Yoga, Nicole’s classes are great place to start.
Article by Teri Barton