Nancy LaNasa began her yoga practice in 1986 in NYC, taking a class with Sharon Gannon, who at the time was her aerobics instructor. Yes, you read that right, 1986, aerobics instructor. She wasn’t all that impressed with that first class, not because Sharon wasn’t a great yoga teacher, but because she’d already been a hippie and all that. Her husband Tom went to Sharon’s second yoga class with her and went right up into a headstand, and that was when she realized that yoga was totally punk rock and all bets were off. The aerobics studio closed and Sharon opened the first Jivamukti Yoga School with her partner David Life in a teeny basement space on Ave. B in the East Village. Classes cost $5, and the money went into a cigar box.
In 1989, at Sharon’s urging, Nancy went to Kerala, India and took teacher training at the Sivananda Ashram there. She came home 3 months later and began teaching F/T at Jivamukti Yoga which was now on 2nd Ave., and also became a p/t manager there. Sharon and David made her one of the first officially certified Jivamukti teachers in 1995. Nancy moved to Pensacola FL in 1996 when there were exactly 2 yoga classes a week in town and began teaching yoga in her dining room in North Hill. 19 years later, there is a LOT of yoga in Pensacola and that is a divine thing!
Nancy opened Abhaya Yoga Center in 2006 and after way too many trips to Sam’s Club to buy toilet paper that kept clogging up the plumbing she closed it in October 2013, and now teaches classes back at her home in her speakeasy/treehouse space called “Abhaya Above.” Full circle! Abhaya Yoga Center received “Best Yoga” in Pensacola by popular vote 8 years in a row. Nancy also teaches yoga at Breathe Yoga and Wellness Center in Pensacola, among other places. She is on the Board of Directors of the Zaltho Foundation in Mary Esther, FL, a center devoted to mindfulness outreach around the world to victims of violence (http://www.zaltho.org). Nancy lives in Pensacola with Tom LaNasa, her husband of 37 years, and their boxer dog Candy.