Welcome to Profiles of a Yogi, a new column where we will feature students from our community.  We hope these profiles will create connections and motivate you to try different classes.  Now, allow me to introduce you to Nancy Paul.  Nancy has been a student at The Yoga Centre for many years.  She has taken 108 classes so far this year–that’s a lot of classes!  As you’ll learn in this piece, Nancy particularly enjoys our Nia classes, which were featured last week in our interview with Andrea Edwards. Outside of class, Nancy owns her own business called Lyrical Healing, in downtown Oak Park, where she serves as an Integrative Healer.  I find Nancy’s presence to be both grounding and soothing.  She is an asset to our studio and the community.  I hope you say hello when you see her around!

TYC: How you were first introduced to yoga?
NP: I don’t remember! I’ve always been both athletic and spiritual, so it makes sense that I would take up yoga. I was more interested in gymnastics as a teenager, but as I get older, yoga has been more “appropriate” in terms of level of exertion — and it helps me to stay somewhat flexible.

TYC: What made you curious enough about yoga to try it out? What was your motivation to practice yoga?
NP: I love keeping my body in shape, tuning in to my body, challenging myself, staying fit, counteracting the effects of aging and a
relatively sedentary lifestyle.

TYC: What type of class have you been taking? What do you like about it?
NP: I usually take 2 Hatha yoga classes/week and a Nia class on Saturdays. Nia is my favorite! It feels like movement therapy. It feels like cardiovascular exercise and mind/body/spirit exploration all in one. I gain insight into my psyche as I dance. I get to try out different ways of being/moving. I’m not sure how others experience it, but to me it’s more fun and more impactful than traditional psychotherapy. In the Hatha classes, I like the sense of community, the gentle attention of the instructors, and the opportunity to tune in to my body.

TYC: What benefits have you noticed from your yoga practice?
NP: Improved strength, flexibility, and self-awareness, stress relief. Nia gifts me with emotional/spiritual insights as well as cardiovascular fitness and a chance to DANCE!!

TYC: What advice would you have for someone who is thinking about starting a yoga practice?
NP: It’s about process, not performance. Don’t compare yourself to others.

TYC: Tell us more about yourself. How do you spend your time when you’re not at the yoga studio?
NP: I’m a single mom of an (almost) 18 year-old who is a senior at OPRF. I have a background in art and bodywork (massage, CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki), and recently earned a master’s degree in counseling. I like to call myself an integrative healer. I have a business called Lyrical Healing, with an office on Marion St., and recently got hired at the Lotus Center — a holistic mental health center in the city. I am recreation-ally challenged 🙂 meaning I haven’t had much time to just relax and have fun.

TYC: Is there anything else you’d like for the community to know?
NP: I appreciate the Yoga Centre and all of its students!  I’d like to offer anyone in the community 50% off an Introductory Session with me. [Lyrial Healing coupon]
TYC: Thank you!  We appreciate that.

Nancy enjoying Nia class
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