Nanci Shakthi Nardona, 500-Hour E-RYT, RPYT, YACEP, CMT, has been passionate about yoga since discovering it on an Ayurvedic meditation retreat in 1990. She studied in Los Angeles with Rod Stryker, Shiva Rea, Ana Forrest, and especially Bryan Kest. Moving to San Jose in 1998, her teachers included Kent Bond, Joyce Anue, Robin Sale, Scott Blossom, Paul Grilley, Cheri Clampett and Arturo Peal, Samantha Shakti Brown and Kenny Graham.  Nanci holds an advanced certification in Hatha yoga, focusing on breath NanciNardona awareness, structural alignment and relaxation, since the health of the body is directly influenced by the state of the mind.  She instructs all ages and stages of life ~ Prenatal Yoga,  Mommy & Baby Yoga, Mom’s Yoga, Prenatal & Postnatal Couple’s Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Alignment-Based Hatha, and Restorative Yoga.  Nanci currently teaches yoga and meditation in the San Jose area and leads workshops in the Bay Area throughout the year.   She travels and studies with Vaidyaji Priyanka, an ayurvedic practitioner from a 720-year old lineage of Ayurvedic experts, to teach yoga at Aum Ayurveda retreat centers in the U.S.  Nanci is currently learning the Vedic healing art of Marma with Vaidyaji Priyanka.  In May 2016, Nanci became a doula-in-training to further support her pregnant mamas.  In 2017, she co-created IN HARMONY Prenatal Teacher Training with Lorena Martinez Michel, 500-Hour E-RYT.  Their school is registered with Yoga Alliance, where they share their collective knowledge teaching and mentoring new prenatal yoga teachers.


Her interest in Ayurveda started her on the healing arts path.  Healthy foods and exercise have been a way of life for her since she was studying voice in New York City at the age of 19.  She realized that the quality and strength of her voice was enhanced by a strong and healthy body. Studying anatomy or anything pertaining to the human body would keep her interest.  In 1995, she became a Certified Massage Therapist. While studying yoga, she trained in Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido. Nanci believes that the focus, the balance, and the inner-core strength of yoga helped her achieve her Black Belt in martial arts in 1996. She taught martial arts for Master David Park in his studio in Encino, California, teaching adults and children.  Moving to the Bay Area  in 1998, Nanci left behind her entertainment career as a legal assistant (moonlighting as lead singer of a rock band) to continue her massage studies. In 1999, she worked as a Massage Therapist at Watercourse Way in Palo Alto, and became a First- and Second-Degree Reiki Practitioner.   Ayurveda, nutrition, and an active lifestyle continue to play an important role in her life and in her teaching.

When getting pregnant in 2001, her commitment to yoga grew. Nanci attributes her easy pregnancy to staying active in her yoga practice.  Yoga and motherhood go hand-in-hand since parenting is the truest form of self discovery and surrender.  Being a mother is one of the most precious experiences in her life.  Like yoga, as parents we quickly discover that the idea of being in control of anyone or anything is just an illusion.  As her yoga teacher, Bryan Kest, would say, “We have control of our effort but never the result”.  Take it moment by moment, with your breath, and see how the body unfolds.

When Gia was barely two years old, Nanci was Nanci_and Daughter2diagnosed with cancer.  Letting go was again a lesson for her.  Although not a pleasant experience, it made her a more compassionate teacher who can understand physical limitations and challenges of her students.  Nanci believes her illness was her spiritual “wake-up call”.  She got back on track with her daily TM meditation, chanting, and her strong spiritual practices with which she embraces each new day.


While pregnant with her daughter, Giavanna in 2001, Nanci became certified in Whole Birth Prenatal Yoga (wholebirth.com) in 2001, followed by a certification in Postnatal Yoga in 2002, both with Robin Sale.  She began teaching soon after her daughter’s birth.  To further her yoga training, she enrolled in her first 200-Hour Teacher Training.  It was then she was diagnosed with cancer.  Her spirit gave her the strength to continue her training as she received chemotherapy, radiation, and two surgeries, scheduling treatments around her training schedule.  It was especially sweet when Nanci completed her first 200-Hour Teacher Training with Yoga Educational Seminar (Y.E.S.) teacher Joyce Anue (joyceanue.com) in 2003-2004.  She is a Registered Yoga Teacher and a member of Yoga Alliance.  She added her certification in Restorative Yoga (therapeuticyoga.com) with Cheri Clampett and Arturo Peal in 2009: she has found this practice to be an essential tool added to her teaching repertoire.  With her experience as a body worker, she loves gives her students hands-on adjustments and massage almost as much as they love to receive it!  Nanci is a proud member of Bay Area Birth Information (BABI) (bayareabirthinfo.org), an organization which supports and educates new families and mothers-to-be.  She believes a good yoga teacher is one who continually learns and shares new knowledge with her students.  In 2012 Nanci completed an Anusara Immersion with Samantha Shakti Brown (ShaktiYogaShala.com) and Kenny Graham (KennyGrahamYoga.com), followed by a Teacher Training with Samantha Shakti Brown and Kenny Graham in March 2013, logging another 300 hours of continuing education.  She achieved her 500-Hour RYT certification in February 2015 with the Balanced Action Yoga School guided by Anusara-trained teachers Samantha Shaki Brown, Kenny Graham, Siri Peterson, Alice Kennedy, and Kelly Blazer.  Since she began teaching yoga in 2002, Nanci is a 500-Hour E-RYT, having over 10,000 hours of teaching experience to her credit.  She crossed that milestone in 2015.


Nanci’s classes are light , fun and full of variety.  All levels are welcome.  No prior experience is necessary.  Yoga is available to anyone who wishes to connect with his/her own body.  Nanci believes yoga can make positive change possible.  Her goal is to instruct each student so that he/she can achieve and maintain balance. Yoga is less about flexibility, but more about creating freedom from within with a solid foundation and proper alignment. Yoga is about the breath and how each pose feels.  As you create space in your body and breath deeply, you can achieve a lightness that helps you move more freely through all aspects of your life.  Meditation is another important part of her teaching as it has been an essential part of her life for the last 25 years.


With each class you attend, you will become more balanced and peaceful.  Life may move at record speed, but step onto your mat and let Nanci guide you on a journey of self-discovery as you breathe and bring your focus inward.  Proper alignment keeps you safe.  Many students express how her classes have changed their lives, feeling more grounded and able to handle whatever comes along.  Keeping a solid foundation will root you so when challenges come along, you are more equipped to handle them without letting stress and tension take over.  On the yoga mat you are able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and foster a sense of balance in your life.


After each class enjoy a sense of empowerment as you feel your body’s strength and suppleness.  Muscles expand and contract with each asana (pose), breath flows with awareness moving prana (life force) through you, and you stand taller with better posture and alignment.  A deep state of calm waits for you in Savasana (resting pose).  Her classes cultivate a strong sense of community since Nanci believes this journey is more fun when shared with others.  Getting to know her students and creating a comfortable environment makes everyone, even the first-time student, feel welcome and at ease.