About Nicole...



I've been studying yoga since 1999, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share this healing, fun, and powerful practice that has improved my life so much with others.  I completed my 230-hour Yoga Alliance-registered teacher training at Open Heart Yoga School in lovely Carrboro, NC, with Allison Dennis, a brilliant teacher who changed my whole conception of yoga.  I used to think it was a great way to stretch my body and loved that there were more and more poses for me to "master".  Allison taught me that the point of yoga is not to master the poses, but to have an experience of my body moving through space in this moment to the rhythm of my breath, no matter what that looks like on the outside.  Yoga really is for every body.  I've studied with a variety of other great teachers over the years (including Lorraine Treger, Mona DeFrawi, John Friend, Sharon Gannon, Ray Long, Kim Manfredi, Stephanie Keach, and Ti Harmony), and I'm currently enrolled in Asheville Yoga Center's 500-hour Advanced Studies Yoga Teacher Training.  I've completed additional coursework in Anatomic Yoga with Ray Long, MD, and LifeForce Yoga for depression and anxiety disorders with Amy Weintraub.  Having experienced depression and anxiety in my own life, I really enjoy helping others use yoga to work with theirs.  I enjoy teaching yoga to children, too, and created a class called Lil' Asana incorporating time for sharing, yoga poses, art, and poetry for ages 4-10 before moving to Asheville.  My classes are non-competitive, playful, and informal.  To me, this means if you'd rather do a different pose than I am leading, do it!  This also means you are welcome to call me over or speak up with a question at any time.  I will occasionally talk a bit about yoga philosophy, drawing from the ancient texts of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and The Bhagavad Gita, and exploring how these ideas (e.g., contentment, non-harming, being of service, and mindfulness) can be relevant and incorporated into our lives every day.  


In the spring of 2008, I moved from my hometown of Baltimore to beautiful Orange County, NC. Attracted to the Triangle area by the temperate weather, abundance of places to practice yoga, local food movement, and progressive social climate, I stayed because of the amazing people that make up this community.  In February 2012, I felt drawn to the mountains and relocated to beautiful Asheville in Western North Carolina to work full-time on the Pharmacy Informatics team at Mission Hospitals and pursue the 500-hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training at Asheville Yoga Center.  While I miss my seven-year-old nephew Michael Jayden who lives back in Baltimore, my Carrboro yoga community, and former UNC Health Care colleagues and friends greatly, I am having so much fun here.  So far, I've hiked to a waterfall, eaten at many amazing vegetarian restaurants, and enjoyed way too many sweet treats at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge.
I currently teach beginner hatha yoga and vinyasa flow at The Cosmic Groove in South Asheville (see "teaching schedule" tab for details about current classes).  My other interests include singing and listening to kirtan (devotional chants and songs, mostly in Sanskrit), cooking and dining out, South Asian and South American literature, Buddhism, whimsical films, coffee, women’s reproductive health and mental health policy, modern dance (as an observer and performer), and social media (follow me on Twitter @nicolelil).  


Please email me if you have any questions about my classes, teaching style, philosophy, or anything else: nicolelilyoga@gmail.com.  This is YOUR yoga practice, and I want to help you make it work for your body and your life.  I am, of course, still a student of yoga in addition to being a teacher, so I will be honest with you if I don't know something, but I will always help you find the appropriate resource.  I wish you deep peace, abundance, and blessings.    


Relevant Trainings:

  • Anusara Yoga Immersion and Teacher Training 1, Quantum Yoga and Wellness, Baltimore, MD, 2004
  • 230-hour Yoga Alliance-registered Veda Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training, Open Heart Yoga School, Carrboro, NC, 2011
  • Bandha Yoga Anatomic Yoga workshop (10 hours), Triangle Yoga, Chapel Hill, NC, 2011
  • LifeForce Yoga for depression and anxiety disorders (14 hours), Asheville Yoga Center, 2011