Situated in the gorgeous shopping center of Stone Creek Village in Cary is a little oasis called Republic of Yoga. This past Sunday I had the opportunity to attend the Gentle class led by owner/director Nicole Nichols. It’s been nearly a year since I had last been on a yoga mat but I’m glad to have put mine back into good use for this session. Republic of Yoga classes are taught in the Vinyasa style which is rooted in the ancient Ashtanga Yoga tradition. Think of it as meditation in motion! They offer several types of classes including Slow Flow, Gentle, Fundamentals, Perfect Hour and Kids.
Before class began Nicole announced the items we would be needing: 2 blankets, 2 blocks, 1 bolster and 1 belt – all neatly supplied in two closets along the wall of the studio. There were about 12-14 people in this class and I was able to find a spot between two lovely ladies who both practice yoga at various levels. So I rolled out my mat, laid the rest of the items behind me and was ready for a new experience.
In the Zone
Nicole made the entire room feel calm and comfortable, she also mixed in a little fun humor to keep things light. She started with leading two chants, which I had never done in a yoga class before, there was something unifying and peaceful about it that felt as if everyone in the room was on the same wavelength. We transitioned into simple stretches to warm up the body, Nicole demonstrated how to use the blocks to help provide support throughout the class and walked us through the purpose of each posture. As we flowed into the more challenging postures she provided hands on support to help her students achieve optimal benefits without over exerting the body. It is also important to mention that with every posture Nicole also shared a variation perfect for the soon-to-be mommies in the class. This allowed for a more customized and enjoyable experience.
As we headed towards the last portion of the class there came a point and time were we created a supported chair out of our blocks, bolster and blankets. This was unique and something new for me, as we sat for a few moments I realized that the stress and tension I had felt in my shoulders was finally gone. The session began to close with a short soothing neck/head massage by Nicole as we laid flat on our backs in meditation. Finally we sat up and ended where we started, with a calming moment of chants.
Between the entrancing music and thoughtful guidance this is easily a class I will come back to. This class is in fact gentle but still provides a challenge to those just beginning in the practice of yoga. If you are looking for something to help you build stability, flexibility and balance this is a class for you! And in case you didn’t know – your first class is free!
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About Republic of Yoga
Owner Nicole Nichols has over 18 years of yoga teaching experience. She brought her knowledge back home to NC from New York City and has created this two studio location in the heart of Cary. Republic of Yoga classes are accessible to all levels from basic to advanced so be sure to check out their schedule.
Republic of Yoga: Stone Creek Village, 202 Ledgestone Way, Cary, NC 27519 l 919.460.0080 l Website
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