A Chicago native, born into a Buddhist family, was introduced to yoga by a dear friend and soon dedicated herself to the practice in earnest. In 2008, Aya-Nikole Cook received her 200-hour teaching certification from Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago and hasn’t stopped learning or teaching since. Aya is grateful to the many teachers in both Chicago and Oakland who have informed her practice.
Authenticity, integrity, grace and strength are exemplified in Aya’s instruction and in the support she provides to both her group and private clients. She welcomes students across the spectrum of ability and experience, who enjoy guided meditation, physical challenge and accompanying affirmative speech. Prospective students are encouraged to show up, start where they are, and commit to growing in the practice and within themselves.
As a teacher, Aya’s ambition is for everyone to have access to the powerful tools and internal resources that yoga affords. Her classes emphasize strength-building and mindful movement; while encouraging graceful transitions that can lead students to an eventual artfulness in the practice. Aya’s creatively-sequenced, vinyasa-style classes are designed to provide physical challenge while inspiring alignment, both in practice and in life. As students take on the practice, they are reminded to surrender to the process, while working with compassion and the understanding that each time on the mat is a new experience of the body and the Self. The intensity of sessions is balanced with a well-curated playlist, continuous breath work and Aya’s unique sense of humor and light.