NYC FIT SERIES: Nikki Carter

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Passionately curious, Nikki Carter holds over a decade of experience as a practitioner in many traditional lineages of yoga. Nikki also studies movement and spirituality on a graduate level at Columbia University.  As an educator for the last ten years, she has certified over 1,000 yoga teachers and is deeply invested in continuing to raise the level of conversation surrounding yoga both on the mat and off.

 We met up with Nikki and Glyder Apparel at her studio, Yoga to the People, see some new looks, learn some new moves and prepare for her upcoming Yoga class at Paragon this Saturday

PS: Nikki, we’re so excited to take a yoga class with you on June 17! Tell us, how did you first get into yoga?

NC: My first experiences with yoga were at a very young age.  I grew up in Northern California and we had yoga in our elementary school.  Of course, that was a very different experience.  I started a regular asana practice about 15 years ago when I moved to New York to attend NYU as a way to help cope with my stress from school.  It was when I found Yoga to the People though that I really found a home for my practice in the city and solidified a daily yoga and meditation practice.  

 PS: What are some ways busy New Yorkers can infuse a daily yoga and mindfulness practice into their everyday?  

NC: Being mindful is actually very simple.  You can start by putting down your phone.  Sometimes people make it out to be this big thing; like if they don’t have time to commit hours to yoga or learning a meditation technique, it’s not worth even starting.  You can be mindful on the subway, you can watch your breath instead of watching social media.  You can notice your surroundings, tune into the sounds around you, feel the sun on your skin.  Even with the smallest moments of mindfulness, you can start to train your mind to tune in, instead of tuning out.  When you practice becoming aware of your own experience, you have more power to make choices in life that are in line with who you are and what you really need.

 PS: That is really goods advice.  We know you love teaching yoga in Glyder Activewear.  What are some of your favorite pieces?

NC: My favorite pieces to work in are bottoms with a high waist and sports bras or tops that have a cropped look. Right now my two favorite Glyder pieces are the Noble Crop Legging and the Poise Bra. The cuts are totally my style and you can really tell the quality of the products. I love the details in their design especially with the placement of the mesh. 

PS: Not only are you a Yoga Teacher, but also a Yoga Teacher Trainer for aspiring pros! After training over 1,000 yoga teachers, what is one thing you wish students knew coming into yoga?

NC: The one thing I hear most often is, “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible.”  Flexibility is not a prerequisite to yoga.  It may be a byproduct depending on the style you choose to practice, but it’s definitely not a requirement.  When I started practicing yoga, I couldn't touch my toes.  It didn’t matter because I felt so great after every class.  I slept better, I felt better about myself.  Strength and flexibility came with time but what kept me going back day after day were the benefits to my overall life and mental health.

PS:  Agreed!  Where can people find you practicing yoga in NYC?

NC: My yoga teachers for postures and practice are Isaac Pena, Abbie Galvin, and Dharma Mittra.  For philosophy and theory, Amy Matthews.  I also practice at home quite a bit, most evenings I’ll put down a mat and do some movement, even if it’s only 10 or 20 minutes.

PS: How can people progress through yoga?  Are there any tools or props you can suggest?

NC: The only way to achieve progress is to do the work of practice.  I personally love props in my practice, my house is full of them and they’re great for any level.  When I teach intro classes, things like blocks and straps can be a great way to help assist with balance in standing postures, measure out alignment, or add comfort and support in floor postures.  In my own practice or in working with people who are looking to reach specific movement goals, we can actually use the same props to reach a greater depth in a lot of postures.

 PS: Anything else?

NC: Looking forward to meeting everyone in class on Saturday!

follow @luminikki and @glyderapparel for the latest yoga trends and inspiration

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