YogaWorks Pacific Palisades

Instructor Profile: Nichola Dunne

nichola dunne

Urban Zen was created by fashion designer Donna Karan in response to her husband’s battle with cancer.  Integrating Western medicine with Eastern healing techniques, Urban Zen was born out of Karan’s desire to thank the over-worked nurses and doctors who had helped them.

Nichola Dunne taught Urban Zen twice-weekly at YogaWorks in Pacific Palisades and, in addition to three flow classes, currently teaches it at Goorus as well.  Nichola has always taken good care of herself: she exercises and eats right. But she discovered a lump in her left breast nearly three years ago, and has undergone a double mastectomy and subsequent other surgeries since then.

While the past three years have been a challenging time for Nichola, teaching and practicing yoga have helped her navigate this unchartered territory. “My personal practice has been more limited.  My doctor told me, for example, that I couldn’t do Down Dog for eight weeks after surgery. But I can still do standing poses, restorative poses and balancing poses.  Recently, I did my first forearm plank since March!”

Nichola grew up in the San Fernando Valley and went to CSUN, earning a degree in biology.  She also studied landscape design, and worked at a garden nursery for many years.  She eventually married and had two children, settling in the Palisades.

Nichola took her first yoga class in 1995 and recalls, “I was a real gym rat and even thought about becoming a personal trainer, but burned out. I started yoga because I wanted to do something spiritual. Yoga is the perfect blend of spirituality and exercise for me.”

Nichola enjoyed yoga so much that she wanted to deepen her knowledge, perfect her alignment, and practice safely.  She completed her teacher training with YogaWorks founders Maty Ezraty and Lisa Walford in 1997.  Says Nichola, “I just took the classes because I enjoyed them, but my friends kept asking me to teach them. I started out teaching yoga in my living room.”

Nichola worked around the Palisades from the Cyprus Center to Yoga Works to Spectrum/Bay Club.  Nicholas says about Goorus, “I like the independent studio environment. This location has been my home since the very first yoga studio (Jiva) opened here.”

When asked about her illness and if she could share advice with other patrons living with cancer, Nichola says, “Let people in, but have boundaries. I regret not telling more people about my illness. After my second surgery, I felt isolated. Now, I ask my family and friends to come around, but if I’m not feeling up to it, I let them know…I would also tell a person with cancer to continue their yoga practice--whatever they are capable of doing. Be as consistent as you can and stay connected to your yoga community. It makes a person feel better in body, mind, and spirit.”

Local couple open studio in former YogaWorks location

Starting June 22, Goorus Yoga will begin offering regular yoga classes at 15327 Sunset Blvd., the site of the former YogaWorks studio. Goorus Yoga will offer a full range of classes from beginning to advanced, taught by experienced instructors.

“Life is hectic, and finding a way to renew and replenish is important,” said Lightfoot, who completed a 200-hour teacher training with Thomas Taubman and Gigi Snyder of YogaWorks in 2014, and her 300-hour training with Carmen Fitzgibbon of YogaWorks in 2015. In addition to private lessons, Mrs. Lightfoot has taught a group lessons at YogaWorks, the Palisades Recreation Center, the Palisades Library, and at Fancy Feet Dance Studio.

“Goorus Yoga is the only dedicated yoga studio in Pacific Palisades,” said John Lightfoot, co-owner of the venture. “It will be a community oasis providing a transformational approach while honoring a diversity of practices. Our program is based on the belief that yoga is a unifying tool for creating health, well-being and a deep spiritual connection. Our commitment is to provide a safe, fun structure, featuring a ‘living yoga’ approach to life.  We are dedicated to your personal growth and transformation through yoga.”

According to the Lightfoots, the core values upon which Goorus Yoga was founded upon are community-centeredness, choice and flexibility, self-healing, self-empowerment and self-sufficiency.

“I am so grateful that my husband John and I are able to pursue this dream of opening our own yoga studio in our home community of Pacific Palisades. We are thrilled to keep yoga in the Palisades!”

Studio memberships are available now. Visit the studio at 15327 Sunset Blvd., in Pacific Palisades, visit www.goor.us or call the studio at (310) 765-4871.

- See more at: http://smdp.com/local-couple-open-studio-yogaworks-location/148820#sthash.OBweCvve.nhHKraPT.dpuf

Local Couple To Open Goorus in Former YogaWorks Location

Goorus Yoga will offer a full range of classes from beginning to advanced, taught by experienced instructors.

Goorus Yoga will offer a full range of classes from beginning to advanced, taught by experienced instructors.

Starting June 22, Goorus Yoga will begin offering regular yoga classes at 15327 Sunset Boulevard, site of the former YogaWorks studio.  Goorus Yoga will offer a full range of classes from beginning to advanced, taught by experienced instructors.

“Life is hectic, and finding a way to renew and replenish is important,” said Lightfoot, who completed a 200-hour teacher training with Thomas Taubman and Gigi Snyder of YogaWorks in 2014, and her 300-hour training with Carmen Fitzgibbon of YogaWorks in 2015.  In addition to private lessons, Mrs. Lightfoot has taught a group lessons at YogaWorks, the Palisades Recreation Center, the Palisades Library, and at Fancy Feet Dance Studio.

“Goorus Yoga is the only dedicated yoga studio in Pacific Palisades,” said John Lightfoot, co-owner of the venture.  “It will be a community oasis providing a transformational approach while honoring a diversity of practices.  Our program is based on the belief that yoga is a unifying tool for creating health, well-being and a deep spiritual connection. Our commitment is to provide a safe, fun structure, featuring a ‘living yoga’ approach to life.  We are dedicated to your personal growth and transformation through yoga.”

According to the Lightfoots, the core values upon which Goorus Yoga was founded upon are:

  • Community-Centeredness
  • Choice and Flexibility
  • Self-healing, Self-Empowerment and Self-Sufficiency

“I am so grateful that my husband John and I are able to pursue this dream of opening our own yoga studio in our home community of Pacific Palisades.  We are thrilled to keep yoga in the Palisades!”

Studio memberships are available now.  Please stop by the studio at 15327 Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades, visit www.goor.us or call the studio at 310-765-4871.