Indiana & Yoga Magazine Summer 2016 Issue 1 | Page 20

COMMUNIT Y Hoosier Yogi: Nancy Schalk By Betsy Alt “Most people think that my journey in teaching began when I opened All People Yoga Center, but that is not at all true… I was teaching yoga long before I opened the center.” And so begins my interview with Narayani, or Nancy Schalk, one of Indiana’s beloved and most respected yoga pioneers. The interview quickly becomes more of a chat, and over the course of the next four hours, I’m transported— and more than a bit envious. Nancy, whom many also know as “Narayani,” the name given to her during her studies and residence in the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas, is a lifelong yogi. Her studies, personal practice and teaching span thousands of miles and encompass a multitude of styles. She is a deep, deep well of yogic knowledge and perspective. Quite frankly, her stories about “the good ole days” of yoga are completely enthralling. Those who were fortunate enough to study with her for their teaching training certification know this all too well. I am one of those people, and when I met with Narayani recently I asked her to begin at the beginning. While it is impossible to capture every detail of her decades of discovery and experience in yoga in a single article, my sincere hope is that I at least honor a wom