Nora completed her teacher training at Chicago’s Yogaview under the inspiring instruction of Quinn Kearney, Tom Quinn, Claire Mark, and Geri Bleier. She went on to complete various trauma-informed yoga trainings and Kids Yoga workshops to broaden her skill set. She currently shares her practice with the New Orleans yoga community at NOJCC, New Orleans youth as a member of the Project Peaceful Warriors team, and female inmates at the Orleans Justice Center as a volunteer teacher.
Nora figure skated competitively for 12 years, stepping foot on the ice for the first time at age four. She grew up familiarizing herself with her body as a tool with which to communicate elegance and athleticism to, and to some extent, for others. At the same time, she cultivated a lot of personal joy from what she executed on the ice, moving her body through complicated choreography and perfecting technical elements. When she gave up skating, she lost the opportunity to produce something beautiful with her body. Yoga, eight years later, would allow her to do so again, but without panels of judges quantifying her abilities on a six-point scale.
Yoga came into Nora’s life when she was training for the 2009 Chicago marathon. Primarily a runner at the time, she sought out yoga as a way to relieve her body of the enormous amount of stress she was enduring willingly through her training program. However, the deeper she got into her practice, the more Nora started to realize that she was not only making time for yoga because she needed to loosen her dreadfully tight hips; she was prioritizing yoga because of the unexpected impact it had on her Self and, in turn, the youth she served at the time on the west side as a Chicago Public Schools teacher.
Nora started her practice studying primarily under Rich Gonshak who worked very hard with her to undo the pointed toes and hyper-arched back she had mastered during her figure skating days. “So much of figure skating is about going outward,” he said to her once, imitating her arched back. “Yoga is about going inward,” he finished, rounding his back into cat-position.
As a student, Nora continues to evolve in and out of poses as she discovers over and over again what Rich meant by “going inward”.
As a teacher, Nora encourages her students to “take a moment”, pursue a journey from the inside out and discover themselves just as they are in the present moment. By offering every option she can think of, taking student suggestions for poses or parts of the body to focus on and providing an eclectic playlist, Nora supports her classes in forming a safe community in which we can all “root to rise, but laugh the whole way up!”