By Alexandra Juryte
An activist in the global health revolution, Nancy is committed to practicing the best version of herself every day, and to using her talents as a means to uplifting humankind. Nancy’s ongoing journey is to study and to teach how to integrate mindfulness into each of our platforms of self-care. She strives to practice loving-kindness as a means of forming deep connections and promoting personal transformation. Her focus is to bring yoga teacher training's and meditation training's to those in marginalized communities.
She is a C-IAYT, 500 E-RYT, and RCYT who teaches yoga classes, works with private clients, and has conducted retreats, Yoga Teacher Training's and Yoga Therapy Training's in Greece, Navajo Nation, Dominican Republic, Detroit, New Jersey, Colorado, and Hawaii. She is the founder and director of Yoga Impact Institute, a residential and online yoga training school. Yoga Impact Institute is a 200-hour, 300-hour, and YACEP school registered with the Yoga Alliance.
She directs Yoga Impact, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that focuses on sharing yoga with vulnerable populations – women and children in shelters, at-risk youth, senior citizens, war veterans, and prisoners, as well as the homeless. Nancy also mentors yoga therapists and yoga teachers in their work with these populations. Her approach to teaching yoga is the product of 32 years of her own practice, her ownership of a successful yoga studio in Hawaii for 5 years, 10 years of training yoga teachers, 4 years of training yoga therapists and 21 years of teaching.
We caught up with Nancy this week from New Jersey to chat about her dedicated work as a Yogi and what inspires her.
How did you get started?
I was living in Minneapolis and I went to the Himalayan Institute to listen to a talk on yoga philosophy. I was very inspired. I also started the physical practice of yoga and it healed some problems that i was having with one of my hips.
What type of yoga do you teach?(please explain)
I teach mindfulness using yoga asana in ways that resonate with whoever I am with - whether it is some who quadriplegic and in a wheelchair or an extreme athlete. I love a slow precise practice to help us engage in the present moment and train our nervous systems to access deep states of relaxation as well as stabilizing and expanding our range of motion. I like to help my clients work hard so that they can benefit from a flood of endorphins.
What do you prefer/enjoy about this particular form of yoga?
I see people's confidence increase as their posture feels more supported. I see people access deeper states of mental balance where they can feel more emotionally balanced. I see people who never thought they could sit and meditation, incrementally feel more comfortable in their mind and body. This is what I love.
Do you feel anyone can enjoy and gain from yoga?
Although yoga asana, ease of breath and meditation can feel out of reach for some because of how they perceive it, so so many studies have shown that these techniques which help us to access our parasympathetic nervous system have profound effects on both our mental and physical health.
What has yoga done for you as a person?
It is my foundation for staying young and becoming more loving and kind.
Do you believe it is an alternative form of healing and medicine?
Your involved in so many community activities and teachings. Anything new coming up you want to share?
Thank you for asking. Yoga Impact is working on grants at the moment to expand our pre-postnatal yoga class for the black community and we are also working on funding for another YTT on the Navajo nation. We are just about to announce that we are receiving $50,000 for a first responder program in Hawaii.
On a personal note what is your favorite yoga?
When I can get my mind to be still and feel connected to my body.
Last but not least.
What is your Dharma?
My dharma is the practice of loving-kindness.
To learn more about Nancy's work and The Yoga Impact Institute go to links.