NICOLE NICHOLS – Director
Nicole Nichols (Narayani) is an internationally accomplished yoga teacher with over 20 years of professional teaching experience. She was born and raised near Cleveland, Ohio and received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. After 24 years in New York City, Nicole relocated to North Carolina and in 2013 founded Republic of Yoga, in Cary.
Nicole is an Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher at the 800-hour level, and served as a teacher and mentor at the Jivamukti Yoga School in Manhattan for 11 years. She completed a 6-year course of studies in Tibetan Buddhism in 2012.
Nicole has been a presenter at Yoga Journal Conferences in New York City and Estes Park, Colorado, and has taught internationally in London, Prague and Munich, Spain, Greece, Mexico, and Costa Rica. On the Summer Solstice of 2011 she had the privilege of guiding over 2,000 yogis to stillness amid the hustle and bustle of New York City’s Times Square.
Featured in Vogue, the LA Times, The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal, Nicole is proud to serve as an Ambassador to the Durham, NC lululemon athletica store. Her classes incorporate meditation, mantra, breath and alignment awareness, choreographic sequencing and hands-on assists, with a modern spirited take on ancient yogic philosophy.
Alisha Nissenfeld 200 E-RYT, MSW began exploring yoga in her early twenties and in 2001 became a certified teacher through Sonic Yoga in NYC. During that time, Alisha also completed a Masters in Social Work, and has worked with individuals in treatment facilities utilizing Talk and Behavioral Therapy (primarily yoga) as a form of empowerment/motivational therapy, relapse prevention, and detox. Alisha regularly attends Continuing Education Workshops with renowned teachers to develop her skills as a professional. Alisha began playing The Gong in 2014, after being introduced to the sound vibration experience by Don Conreaux, as a means of healing the parasympathetic nervous system — the resting, digesting nervous system.
In May 2014, Alisha and her family moved to North Carolina where she directs her energy building and merging communities of conscious living individuals who celebrate farm to table living and the love of the outdoors.
BETHANY RENEÉ RANFTL
Bethany (RYT 200 & RPYT) is a free spirit who specializes in taking the road less traveled. She began seeking union with the universe early on through rock music and photography, which led her to New York City. There, Bethany was introduced to the Jivamukti Yoga School where she studied on and off for over a decade until she met her teacher, Narayani (Nicole Nichols). While practicing with Nicole at Jivamukti, Bethany experienced a significant spiritual evolution. Her true self began to awaken. She detached from her career as a photo editor and life as she knew it to travel independently through India for several months. Upon returning to the U.S., Bethany chose to continue her spiritual journey with Nicole Nichols at Republic of Yoga where she received her 200-hour teaching certification. Bethany completed her 85-hour prenatal teaching certification immediately thereafter.
Camilla was born and raised in Taos, NM. While she did take some kids classes as a child, where she studied the merits of standing like a tree (which she references to this day), Camilla truly started her dedicated yoga journey in 2003 in New York City. She discovered the yogic stylings of Nicole Nichols shortly there after, and has remained a devoted student ever since. Like many who serendipitously find a true education in these practices, she found them to be among the most transformative, logical, and transcendent systems ever to be encountered. Camilla received a 200-hr certification in yoga philosophy from Sarva Yoga Academy in NYC in 2010, and graduated from the Republic of Yoga 200-Hr Teacher Training in 2016. She teaches Vinyasa classes that are joyful, accessible but still vigorous, and most importantly, rooted in the integral way she learned them herself.
Christina, a North Carolina native, originally began practicing yoga in 2011 as a method to build flexibility and balance to compliment long distance running. Before long, the practice became a way to reset both the body and the mind. Christina completed her teacher training at Republic of Yoga in 2016. She teaches flowing sequences set to lively music that leverage the chakra system to rejuvenate the body and facilitate finding freedom on the mat. She also enjoys running, resistance training, and microbiology.
Originally from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Cristina came to North Carolina in 2001 via IBM. Like many, Cristina’s first experience with yoga was not a blissful one but after giving it a second chance and trying various styles of Hatha Yoga she found her home in alignment based and therapeutic yoga. A Certified Yoga Instructor through the Asheville Yoga Center with Stephanie Keach, the Triangle Anusara Teacher Training Institute with Lila Brow and Sommer and Paul Sobin, as well as adjunct training with Desiree Rumbaugh and Marc St. Pierre in New England, Cristina has over 530 hours in training. Having studied with world renown teachers Sean Corn, Sarah Powers, and John Friend, she is dedicated to broadening her understanding and practice of Yoga.
Cristina began a devoted yoga practice over 14 years ago and has been teaching yoga for over 10 years. She is eternally grateful for the life transformation she has undergone through her yoga practice. It was through her practice that she realized her passion in life was not Corporate America, but to follow her heart’s calling of inspiring personal growth in others through spreading the light of Yoga – both on and off the mat.
Cristina inspires her students to awaken their innate freedom and radiance by breaking through limitations and discovering new possibilities through their yoga practice. Off the mat, Cristina operates a thriving personal taxi service for her 6 yr old son, James and 3 yr old daughter, Lorna. She enjoys everything creative – cooking, coloring, jewelry making, knitting, and home design. You can often catch her delighting in a book or outdoor activity with the little ones and her husband David near Sunset Beach.
Daphne Dodson slipped a Baron Baptiste VHS tape in her VCR in December of 2002 and the rest is history. Having practiced Ashtanga, Anusara, Forrest, and several other styles of yoga over the past 14+ years, she fell in love with the Jivamukti-inspired vinyasa flow at Republic. She is an enthusiastic student of Nicole’s and is a graduate the 3rd RoY TT. Being deeply curious about the human condition, she works as a research psychologist; maybe that’s why she is continually inspired by the dharma teachings of yoga. You’ll find a balance of discipline, spirit, and playfulness in the sequencing and music selections of Daphne’s classes.
Erin is a west coast transplant to NC from the mountains of northern Nevada. She relocated to North Carolina in 2007 to study molecular biology at UNC-Chapel Hill. She came to yoga in quite an ordinary way, hoping to gain some flexibility and strength, but quickly discovered yoga as a way to manage anxiety and depression. After years of developing a daily practice of asana and meditation, she has come to understand yoga as a path to freedom through healing of the body, mind, and spirit.
In 2016, Erin received her 200-hr teaching certification from Republic of Yoga under the guidance of yoga fairy and disco queen, Nicole Nichols. Erin guides a rigorous, flowing asana supported by playful, uplifting tunes and a shared intention to connect to our highest potential. She is grateful to all of the teachers who have held sacred space for her in their yoga rooms, including her very first teacher, Hollie Sue Mann.
Jaime began practicing in Arizona more than 15 years ago. Yoga has been and is an integral aspect of shaping the person she is today and the person she continually strives to become. Jaime teaches a Vinyasa based practice connecting breadth with movement. Music is an integral part of her classes and she would describe her practice as meditation in motion. Jaime is a proud graduate of Nicole Nichols 200 hour teacher training.
Karen relocated to NC in 2016 from New York City, has been practicing yoga and meditation for about 18 years. In search for ways to befriend the body, balance the mind and soothe a restless spirit, she recognized instantly Yoga’s ability to re-connect us to a place of peace and grounding within.
With a background as a dancer and dance instructor, and a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology, Karen approaches Yoga as a Moving Meditation – a flowing together of body, breath and being; an empowering pathway towards integration, healing and transformation. Her classes guide students through embodied journeys of self-awareness, self-care and self-expression.
Growing up in a small town of North Carolina, the performing arts came to be an outlet Keegan found to express herself. Winning a scholarship to UNC-Charlotte, she went on to earn a B.A. in Dance with an emphasis in choreography and music. After 20 years of competitive dance, she found yoga to be the antidote to begin to heal her body and bring about awareness to change negative thought patterns. Keegan is a certified Kunga Power Vinyasa and Kunga 5Elements Flow teacher with a background in hands-on assisting, the art of sequencing, and Ayurveda and has the highest certification through Yoga Alliance. Keegan co-leads 200 hour Kunga Yoga teacher trainings, leads 300 hour Kunga Power Vinyasa trainings and has traveled with Kunga Journeys as a Kunga ambassador for volunteer work at the Home of Hope Orphanage in Kerala, India. She loves sharing the journey of yoga with others and serenading students with her harmonium and voice in savasana; her light-hearted spirit brings a fun and nurturing environment to her classes.
Lisa McCaskill, RYT 200, has been practicing various forms of meditation for the past 25 years. She discovered the physical practice of yoga in 2001 and Yin yoga in 2006 when she was working to recover from Chronic Fatigue. She fell in love with Yin for its still, quiet, meditative aspects. Lisa participated in a Yin Yoga teacher training in 2010 and has had the privilege of participating in workshops with master Yin teachers Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers. In 2012, Lisa completed a 230 hour Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Training at the Asheville Yoga Center that included a weekend with Viniyoga founder, Gary Kraftsow. Currently, Lisa teaches Yin, Restorative, and Gentle yoga classes as a way of offering relaxation and meditation techniques to others in hopes of helping everyone have a healthy lifestyle and peace of mind. Lisa is also a trained Life Coach who offers Life Coaching sessions to women who want to incorporate a more Mindful approach to living.
Miriam (RYT 200) has received her teaching certification through the guided talent of Nicole Nichols at Republic of Yoga. She took her first yoga class over ten years ago on a whim in York, Maine. As she continued to practice, the on-the-mat/off-the-mat correlation began to unfold, and she continues to learn every day. She honors the many teachers that she has practiced with and continues to offer gratitude to her very first guides, Rae Lynn Stackpoole & Jeff Peltz of Yoga on York.
Today, Miriam sees yoga as a powerful methodology that provides physical, mental, emotional and spiritual opportunity. Her classes offer you a practice that is safe, light-hearted and fun; while fostering the possibility to embed lasting effects.
Prarna is honored to share the ancient system of yoga as a path to wholeness with the community in the Triangle area, a place that she’s been proud to call home with her family for over a decade. Her classes intend to give students a combination of gentle, breath-guided asana (movement), meditation, pranayama (breathwork), yoga philosophy and chanting. Prarna (RYT 200) is a graduate of the 2016 Republic of Yoga teacher training under the guidance of the esteemed Nicole Nichols. She is grateful for all of the teachers and teachings that have inspired her path.
A seasoned E-RYT 500 Yoga Alliance® Instructor, Ronen has been teaching Yoga and Meditation since 2005.
Aside from Yoga, Ronen continues to explore and practice various spiritual paths and philosophies, including the Tao, Tai Chi and Qigong, as well as South American traditions.
In his classes, Ronen stresses relaxation and elongation, as well as breathing techniques. The classes and workshops Ronen offers include various classic yogic asanas, as well as short yoga flow sequences. Ronen’s Yin Yoga sessions focus primarily on work that is more internal in nature; discovering the deeper aspects of the practice.
“My aim,” explains Ronen, “is the individual’s personal exploration of the body, mind and soul.”
Ronen is very approachable. If you have any questions, you may reach him via the various social networks, as well as through his www.NCYogi.com website.
Ryan came to yoga from a background in martial arts. In 2013, he hesitantly
stepped into a yoga class that had replaced the Tai Chi class he used to take.
He found himself taking two classes the next week, then three, until the
practice became an integral part of his life.
He received his 200 RYT training under the guidance of Nicole Nichols at
Republic of Yoga in 2016. His classes feature flowing asana sequences, attention to alignment, music, and meditation.
Sarah was born and raised in Raleigh, NC. She began teaching in 2014, after graduating from a 200-hr Rasa Yoga alignment-based teacher training with Lila Rasa and recently completed a 100-hr Gentle Yoga certification with Julee Snyder. Sarah is honored to be a guide for others through the transformative journey of aligning heart, mind, body and spirit to unveil and connect with their authentic and true selves.
In every class, she uses breath awareness and a meaningful theme/intention to carry you through each pose.
Sarah’s Gentle yoga class invites students come as they are, and discover new potential. Expect to move through basic yoga asanas (poses), pranayama (breath) and meditation techniques, for a balance between movement and release. If you’re seeking a yoga practice that moves at a slower pace while steadily increasing stability, flexibility, strength, body awareness, that leaves you with a sense of relaxation and wholeness, this is the class for you! Arrive with an open mind and a willingness to let go of what you no longer need to make room for what matters; leave rejuvenated and at peace.
Wade is an Apex native, grew up on a small family farm, and studied Animal Science at NC State University. He was introduced to yoga in 2014 at Republic of Yoga in Cary. His first class ever was an Open class with Nicole one Saturday morning, and in a few short months he began Teacher Training at ROY. (Nicole was so impressed with Wade that she hired him to teach before he graduated from TT, much in the same way she received her first teaching job in 1995).
Wade teaches a Vinyasa based class focused on breath awareness and alignment, set to an inspired musical soundtrack to maintain focus and intention.
Wade practices and teaches yoga as a mental, physical, and spiritual linking mechanism for an everyday life; a powerful unity that opens our body to a new level of transformation, changing the world as we see it. Through dedication of practice comes stability, and in that stability freedom is found.
Zora Savage completed her 200 hours yoga teacher training with her first yoga teacher Dharma Richards in 2010. She continues her study of traditional Ashtanga yoga, and has 200 hours of intensive study with David Garrigue, one of the few US Yoga teachers certified by world-renowned master Sri K. Patthabi Jois. She also studies with Tim Feldman and David Keil, and is currently working on Ashtanga Advanced A Series.
Zora is passionate in her teaching about alignment, strength, fluidity and the individuality of each student. She frequently integrates pranayama (breathing practices), yoga philosophy and meditation with her classes, and loves to work with students in one-on-one settings, making yoga accessible to any level of practitioner.