Teacher Feature: Nicole Fernandez Vina

Each month we  like to share a little lagniappe about our instructors here at Reyn.
This month we turn our lens on Nicole.

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1.Brief, non-yoga teacher bio; other interests/passions. Where are you from, what’s your heritage, how many sibling if any, pets or no pets. 

I always struggle with the question “where are you from?” because I’ve moved around quite a bit. To make a long story short, I was born in Dallas and moved to Columbia, MD shortly after. I also spent a little bit of time in Houston before making my way over to New Orleans to attend undergrad at Tulane University, and I’ve stayed since! My parents are both Argentinian, so that also had a huge influence on my childhood and how I identify myself. I like to say that I grew up in the US, but within the walls of my home I was in Argentina. I have two older brothers, who also happen to be my heroes. I also have the coolest cat ever. Her name is Luna and she is all black with a white spot on her arm. She has taken over my Instagram.

2. Least favorite / hardest posture for you

I have always struggled with heart openers. Urdhva dhanurasana specifically comes to mind. I tend to neglect backbends in my home practice, something about going upside and opening up my heart at the same time feels really intimidating to me. However, they are probably what my body needs the most from my practice, so I’ve been trying to warm up to them both physically and mentally!

3. Whats your favorite part about being a yoga teacher?

Being able to see student
s fall in love with their practice and develop a new, or deepen, the connection to their physical bodies is an amazing thing to catch a glimpse of. It’s awesome to see a student finally “nail” a pose they’ve been working at (if nailing a yoga pose is even possible), but more so it’s what develops from the daily practice. My favorite part of being a yoga teacher is when one of my students expresses how incorporating yoga changed their life, whether that means their relationship to their body, how they care for themselves, or a mental shift. On a personal level, to be able to facilitate that in anyway means that my work and the work of other yoga teachers is working, and that’s such a beautiful thing to see. Ultimately though, it is completely the work of the student that creates the change, and I think that is where the real strength and beauty of yoga comes in.

4. What’s your favorite tv show to binge watch (if any).

Ahh, so many! Friends and Parks and Recreation are
favorites. I’ve currently gotten into Orange is the New Black, but I’m trying to limit myself to one episode a day. My relationship with Netflix is dangerous.

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5. Favorite NOLA restaurant or hang out.

I live in Mid-City, but I regularly make the trek uptown for a banana chocolate chip muffin from Hivolt. I also happen to meet friends there for lunch on somewhat of a weekly basis. A more close to home favorite is 1000 Figs, which I am lucky to be within walking distance to. Their brussels sprouts could make a vegetable hating child switch over to the light side. Besides that, I am very much a homebody and I constantly yearn to be laying on my bed with my kitty, a cup of tea, and a good book.

6. Something students may not know about you.

I’m very passionate about Argentine soccer (an unofficial duty to my motherland), and I love my bike as if it were a person (its name is Vishnu).

7. Yogi-toe, Yay? or Nay?

Nay! I like to keep things simple. Which for me means a four year old Jade mat that is starting to fall apart, but that I still hold near and dear to my heart.

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