nicole griffin wellness oakland yoga teacher mindfulness

“To be a yoga teacher is to embody what it means to have well-being in life, and in turn to impart that understanding to others. Teaching yoga is a sacred calling for many. Indeed, it is one of the most rewarding professions out there – not many others can say that it’s their job to make people feel good!”

Amy Ippoliti

My Yoga Vision

I’ll be the first to admit that western yoga culture is a huge turn off. It’s basically a toxic stew of white-washing, cultural appropriation, inaccessibility, materialism, and overly precious spirituality. 

I did not become a teacher to perpetuate that “culture” or to be complicit in its many harms. I became a teacher because I felt a deep sense of belonging and community at my first yoga studio (Tranquil Space) and wanted to offer that back out.

Along with its many challenges, 2020 has also brought some gifts. We now have the opportunity to re-imagine the ways we engage with our communities, both locally and globally. 

When it comes to yoga, I imagine a bigass tent full of diversity, equity, compassion, and respect. I want everyone to feel deeply witnessed and embraced for who they are and I want our collective practice to matter.

As Susanna Barkataki says, “Yoga is not a passive practice. Nor is it a practice to put down when you roll up your yoga mat. Yoga is, truly, an engaged social justice practice.”

Rather than practicing in a vacuum, let’s practice with the intention to change the world.

You Are

…an athlete with injuries, tight muscles, and a type A mentality. You go hard and might need some balance in the equation, just sayin’.

….stressed out, anxious, working too damn much, and not sleeping. At this point, you are open to trying anything as long as it doesn’t reek of bullshit or body odor.

….in a regular-sized body and are not interested in popularity contests or fashion shows. How are scenesters even still a thing? And why are they all doing yoga?

….not flexible, and while you know yoga will help you, you think you can’t do it or will look like a fool. I’m not flexible either, and if it weren’t for yoga, I’d have the posture of a tiger prawn. 

….a person of color, and when you look around the room, you don’t see anyone else who looks like you. Many yoga spaces are extremely vanilla and I’m sorry if you have ever felt like you didn’t belong because you do. 

…a seasoned yogi who is looking for more meaning and a community of people who are committed to putting their practice into action.

Let’s Build

A space where everyone in the community feels welcome, seen, embraced, and respected. 

What I Offer

  • A practice free of chanting, preaching, manifesting, chakra healing, and woo vibes in general
  • Sliding scale pricing and scholarships as much as I can
  • A practice that is in service to my community and to the world
  • A relationship that is not transactional, extractive, or hierarchical
  • A commitment to keep learning and unlearning, and to show up honestly and imperfectly along the way
  • A promise to always tell the truth and call out the BS 
  • A wardrobe free of Spiritual Gangsta. Literally the least gangsta shit ever 
  • A vocabulary free of the phrase “love and light” 

My Practice

The yoga I offer is practical, grounded, and rooted in Mindfulness.

I love connecting with my students and creating space for them to wind down and tune in. My vinyasa classes are playful, athletic, and grounding. My yin and restorative practices balance and nourish. To enhance my classes, I weave in aromatherapy and thoughtfully curated playlists.

When I practice yoga, I feel more connected. My practice keeps me honest, it helps me see more clearly, act more intentionally, and live more compassionately. It offers me a wealth of tools that I can choose from each day to cultivate insight and balance.

Before the pandemic, I taught at YogaWorks, Yoga Tree, and Tranquil Space.

Looking for some individualized support? Slide into my private yoga page:
My yoga playlists are soulful, eclectic, and made with lots of love.

I am inspired by Off the Mat, CtznWell, Michelle C. Johnson, and YoginsUnited, where the above images originated.

I’m always thinking of ways to make yoga more accessible, less white-washed, and more action-oriented. Join the conversation here.

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