Nikki Doane (USA)
Master Yoga Teacher
Nikki Doane is an internationally recognized yoga teacher, known for her ability to make the practice of yoga accessible to every body. She began her study of yoga at the age of 18 while attending the University of Massachusetts. From her first class, she knew she had found something special and deeply familiar. While she began to practice yoga on a purely physical plane and because it felt good, it became apparent some years later that there was more to Yoga than she originally thought. In 1991, Nicki traveled to Mysore, India to study with Sri K Pattabhi Jois, the master of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. She fell in love with the practice and continued her studies with Pattabhi Jois until his death in 2009. What she experienced on that first trip was a radical realization that yoga is much more than a physical practice. The yoga affected her deeply on an emotional and spiritual level. After that she was hooked! As she delved deeper into the Ashtanga practice she became curious about her teacher’s teacher and his lineage. She learned that Tirumalai Krishnamacharya had been Pattabhi Jois’ teacher and also the teacher of BKS Iyengar. This led her to study Iyengar Yoga with Mr. Iyengar, his children and with many of his senior teachers as well including Gabriella Giubilaro and Patricia Walden, at his institute in Pune, India. Nicki has always believed that her practice continued to grow and evolve due to her study and practice of both of these systems of Yoga. Nicki continues to study to study yoga with senior teachers and believes that a great teacher must always remain a dedicated student.
Nicki’s teaching has grown out of her practice and her deep faith in yoga and she chooses to honor her students as individuals first and foremost. Nicki’s style combines asana, pranayama, philosophy, and poetry and her classes are strong and accessible to everyone. Nicki uses humor in her teaching to set her students at ease and she is considered to be very relatable and down to earth. She is known as a Teacher’s teacher and loves igniting the spark of yoga in her students.
Nicki lives on the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii, where she owns and directs the Maya Yoga Studio on the North Shore of Maui. She has been featured in numerous articles and has graced the cover of Yoga Journal magazine. She is featured in 2 Ashtanga Yoga videos available through Gaiam and in 9 videos entitled Maya Yoga Vinyasa on her youtube channel. She is currently finishing a book on Yoga for beginners.
Nicki teaches workshops and teacher training courses at her studio on Maui and travels all over the world conducting workshops, teacher trainings, and retreats.
Why do you practice yoga?
I practice yoga to maintain my health: physically, mentally, and emotionally. And because it really works!
What mantra do you live by?
The mantras I have lived by tend to change as my life’s circumstances change.
With Faith comes courage
Change is the only Constant
Happiness doesn’t make us grateful. Gratefulness makes us happy.
What's been your biggest life challenge?
I’d have to say my biggest life challenge has been my very recent divorce from my partner of over 20 years. Yoga got me through it by giving me tools both physical and emotional to manage my pain and stress. Much of the time i had to drag myself to the mat and I Always felt better after I practiced, whether I had the energy to do a strong vinyasa style practice or just laid in savasana and cried. The yoga sutras of Patanjali were essential as well in reminding me to speak my truth, to not project my anger onto others, and to relax the intensity of my effort because this thing called Life never ends. Essentially to go with the flow and not resist the change; its the only constant in life.
What's #1 on your bucket list currently?
#1 on my bucket list right now a tie between a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and a wild animal safari in Africa. Both will happen in the next decade!