Teachers

nicolebwNICOLE NICHOLS – Co-owner, Director
Nicole (Narayani) is an internationally accomplished yoga teacher with over 24 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.

An advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher at the 800-hour level, Nicole served as a teacher and mentor at the Jivamukti Yoga School in Manhattan for 11 years. Additionally she completed a 6-year course of studies in Tibetan Buddhism in 2012.

She 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.


JULIE FRANKLIN – Co-owner, Studio & Business Manager
Jules teaches yoga in a space where your authentic self is welcomed and all students can experience the benefits of yoga. Her classes incorporate a thoughtful music selection to energize and motivate, and she teaches with a focus on safe alignment, hands-on assists and a deep connection to breath. Jules is a lifelong runner and former competitive swimmer, with an appreciation for cross-training and the balance yoga provides.

Her yoga credentials include RYT-200 (Republic of Yoga, Cary NC) and RYT-200 under Richard Freeman in Ashtanga Yoga (The Yoga Workshop, Boulder CO). Jules began her study of yoga in New York in 2002, where she owned and operated two yoga studios, teaching a combination of traditional Ashtanga and Vinyasa style yoga classes. Jules has obtained experience through additional study at numerous workshops, training with teachers in San Diego, San Francisco, Toronto, Boulder, Washington, DC, including Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, founder of Ashtanga yoga in NYC. All ages and experience levels are invited to challenge themselves in a peaceful and inspiring environment.


ALEXIS LECHT
Alexis, originally from Brooklyn, NY,  came to North Carolina via the military over 20 years ago and considers it her second home.

Dance and fitness have been two of her greatest passions since beginning ballet as a child. Alexis became certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 2009, and eventually left her job at Duke to train full-time. She has always been amazed at how one can shape the body with (the right effort), determination, and will. She believes yoga is the perfect complement to training, both mentally and physically.

She completed a 200-hour teacher training at Republic of Yoga in 2016.

Alexis brings creativity and sincerity to her classes through fluid choreography, set to an inspired soundtrack. Expect a well-rounded experience that balances effort with grace.


alishanBWALISHA NISSENFELD
Alisha, ERYT-200, 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.

 


ALYSON COLWELL-WABER
Alyson, RYT-500, is a professional dancer, educator, and passionate yoga practitioner. She holds a BS in Physical Education & Dance Education and a MFA in Dance. Alyson founded the dance program at Meredith College where she teaches dance technique, functional anatomy, mind-body integration and yoga. She is trained in the EmbodiYoga teacher training method led by Lisa Clark, David Beadle, Julee Snyder, and Gauri Johnson. EmbodiYoga merges the Iyengar tradition with an understanding of movement development and functional anatomy.

Alyson has deepened this training with advanced studies at Asheville Yoga Center where she completed her 300-hour certification in the fall of 2018. In addition to a specialization in functional anatomy, Alyson has developed an approach to teaching yoga that integrates breath, supportive alignment, extension, the joy of movement, and an appreciation for the unique body wisdom we all have. Her aim is to create a class environment where students can explore, deepen, and expand on what they love about yoga.

 


ASHLEY NUNN
Ashley, MA ERYT-200, first found refuge in spiritual practice in her late 20’s when she attended a 10 Day Vipassana Meditation course, out of curiosity. After the course, Ashley’s entire life path shifted as a result, and she committed to a daily meditation practice. Shortly thereafter, she made plans to travel to India where she spent a year. Upon returning to the states, Ashley began practicing yoga with Larry Schultz, while completing her masters degree. In her final semester, she also received her yoga teacher training. Ashley was then hired as an equine-assisted and yoga therapist at a residential treatment program in northern California. Since that time (2004), Ashley has founded and taught yoga and meditation programs in multiple clinical settings, including Childhelp, Remuda Ranch and Sibley Memorial Hospital- Johns Hopkins Medicine.

IN 2007, Ashley purchased Stephen Levine’s book “A Year to Live,” intrigued by the practice, however it sat on her shelf, unread, for almost ten years. In 2015, Ashley got the nerve up to read the book and do the practice. She invited some friends to do the practice as well and they faced their last year, together. Shortly thereafter, Ashley began facilitating an A Year to Live Book Club and Practice at Evolve Movement and then was asked to offer the course she designed, based on the book, at SAS Analytics.

In addition to teaching A Year to Live courses, Ashley is Director and Lead Instructor of Awakened Heart Yoga School, a program that trains and certifies yoga teachers. She also teaches standup paddleboard yoga, is a yoga therapist, an art therapist, a meditation and mindfulness instructor and an equine-assisted therapist. She offers destination yoga and mindfulness retreats and will be leading a Sacred Journey to India in the February/March of 2018. She also works as a Yoga Therapist at Carolina House, an eating disorder facility with locations in Raleigh and Durham.

 


BETHANY RENEE RANTFI
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.

 


CHRISTINA ROWE
Christina, a North Carolina native, started practicing yoga in 2011 to complement running, but quickly realized that yoga is the ultimate cross-training for life. After experiencing the power of the physical and mental practice, Christina wanted to go deeper. She completed a 200-hour teacher training at Republic of Yoga in 2016 and has been teaching since.

Christina teaches flowing sequences with a focus on the breath as a means to turn each pose into a moving meditation. You can expect detailed alignment cues and hands-on enhancements in her classes. She is inspired by Vinyasa, Power, and Ashtanga yoga. When not practicing yoga, she enjoys running, dogs, and microbiology.

 


ELIZABETH FITZGERALD
Liz didn’t enter a yoga studio until she was almost 50 years old, when the desire for a sustainable form of exercise prompted her to give yoga a try. Skeptical, intimidated, and a bit unsure, Liz entered that first class with the same fears many of us carry. What she left with proved far greater than just a sustainable, yet physical form of exercise. Yoga was literally a dream come true—a physical and philosophical practice that empowered her with strength, clarity, and joy. It was basically love at first vinyasa.

Join Liz as she guides you through the healing journey that is yoga. Adaptive and inclusive Hatha and Vinyasa yoga are restorative practices that emphasize a gentle balance of strength, flexibility, and attentiveness to one’s breath. Each pose flows in a calming rhythm of movement meant to improve flexibility, strength, balance, digestion, stamina, and overall
health.

Liz’s classes embrace a body-friendly philosophy in which all students—no
matter age or ability—can achieve success in an embracing, supportive, loving community.


KELLYE DAVIS
Born and raised in the sultry, southern culture of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Kellye’s personality clearly reflects her heritage—she is a unique blend of sweet charm and Cajun spice! She has worked as a Human Resources professional for nearly 20 years, moving to North Carolina in 2010, when her employer relocated its Louisiana headquarters to Raleigh-Durham.

By virtue of innate skill and many years of experience, Kellye has a gift for working with people, effortlessly sensing their needs and feelings and working as a quiet force for positive change. She helps others find and release their inner calm with understanding and a sense of humor.

In the fall of 2017 Kellye completed her 200 hour teacher training at Republic of Yoga under the guidance of the esteemed Nicole Nichols. Once inclined to avoid the unfamiliar, Kellye has freed her inner “yes” response and is fully embracing life and all its new experiences. Her joy shines most brightly when she is on the mat practicing and teaching yoga and on her much-loved early morning runs.

 


lisamcaskillbwLISA MCCASKILL
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 ANDERSON
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.

 


prarnabw

PRARNA DESAI
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.

 


ronenbw

RONEN DIVON
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.

 


ryanbwRYAN RODEN-CORRENT
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.

 


SHERRY HILL
Sherry is a North Carolina native, and first fell in love with yoga while in college at UC Boulder. After years of long distance running took a toll on her body, she began to turn more and more to yoga. Developing a dedicated yoga practice several years ago helped her heal, literally, from the inside out.

Having been a Registered Nurse for over 24 years, Sherry became passionate about merging her love of helping others with the healing medium of yoga. She is grateful to have completed her 200-hr YTT with Republic Of Yoga in 2018, and is continuing her yoga education and practice in the areas of Restorative and Trauma Sensitive yoga.

 


SUSAN HECHT
An artist by profession, Susan has witnessed the many connections between the practice of yoga and the creative process. “As an artist, I know that beauty abounds in the simplest of things; and as a yogi, I know it very much resides in each of us. If I can help someone see and experience this, well…. What better gift could I give? “

In 2014, Susan took her first training at the Yoga Garden with Dharma Richards and is a recent graduate of Republic of Yoga’s 2017 200-hour training program under the guidance of Nicole Nichols.

Through breath and movement, Susan’s classes focus on finding balance, strength, and connection to self. Susan hopes to inspire peace and promote happiness both on and off the mat.

 


TEAGAN GREENE
Teagan Greene was introduced to yoga through dance. For a few years she did some poses and took a class every once in a while. It wasn’t until spinal tethering took a toll on her, that Teagan decided to return to yoga to regain her mobility, strength and flexibility. She fell in love with the mental and emotional benefits of yoga even more than the physical, and found that her passion for dance had evolved into a passion for yoga. Teagan’s mother noticed the positive impact yoga was making on her life, and encouraged her to further her practice, and Teagan enrolled the Republic of Yoga Teacher Training course in 2018. She now focuses on teaching yoga to tween and teens!

 

Teagan lives with her family in Cary, NC and is in the class of 2021 at Green Hope High School.

 


TERRI MENDOZA
Terri’s journey with yoga started in 2008 when she popped in Rodney Yee’s – Power Yoga DVD in her own living room. From then on, she continued practicing at home and at local studios. After each practice, Terri always felt amazingly refreshed and renewed and she knew there was much more to the practice. Not only did she see benefits from practicing on the mat, she knew it was doing so much more for her ~ body, mind, and soul.

 

She studied under the guidance of Nicole Nichols at Republic of Yoga in Cary, NC and received her RYT 200 hour teaching certification in 2017. She also holds Reiki and CPR certifications. Terri’s classes offer a well-structured Vinyasa flow with attention to subtle body energies, spirituality and meditation alongside a complimenting playlist.

 


zorasavage-150x150ZORA SAVAGE
Zora Savage, ERYT-200,  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.