Indiana & Yoga Magazine Summer 2016 Issue 1 | Page 24

COMMUNIT Y Classes started to grow in size and popularity. More demand for yoga naturally meant more demand for yoga teachers in the Indianapolis area, but there wasn’t any formal training program. In fact, Nancy recalls one well-meaning fitness teacher telling her she was going to take a weekend yoga certification workshop in Chicago, so she herself could teach the practice. “I was a bit freaked out and called the man leading the training and shared my thoughts. I mean our test took an entire weekend when I went through training,” she says. “What could they possibly test them on after one weekend?” As is often said, necessity is the mother of invention. So, Nancy created her own teacher training program. She says the first attempt, from 1999 at Peak Performance, wasn’t all that great. “But, it was better than nothing, and at least I had some experience. I’d been practicing for more than twenty years, so it had to be better than a weekend” she laughs. She is quick, though, to clarify that she does know her trainings got better with each consecutive year. Nancy describes herself in this era as a “gypsy teacher,” or those handful of teachers who traveled around the city and taught at various places. Though she was mostly teaching on the south and east sides of town, she started to get responses to her flyers requesting classes on the north side. Those inquiries are what eventually led her to open her own studio, All People Yoga Center, in 2000. The first time Nancy set foot in her future studio, it was an aerobics studio owned by Meg Irsay. “One of my students told me about it and thought it would be great for classes,” she says. She immediately knew that it would be ideal for yoga. She approached Meg about the idea. Meg’s response? “She said she’d pray on it,” recalls Nancy. “And then, I didn’t hear from her for a while.”But when Nancy was promoting her next teacher certification course, she sent Meg a flyer. And here’s where things get interesting. Meg responded to Nancy and said “yes” to some 22 classes at her space. Those classes went well, so well that Meg asked her if she wanted to buy the studio. “I had only been teaching about six months, I think, but Meg was at the end of her three-year lease and she was ready to let it go,” she states. “As time went by, and things were coming off the walls with nobody stepping forward, I asked Meg how we could make it work.” Though she doesn’t disclose all the details, Nancy says the Irsays worked with her to find a solution that was doable. APYC was born on September 11, 2000. All People Yoga Center was one of the very first, if not THE first, dedicated yoga studio in the city. Nancy taught Vinyasa flow, but brought aboard a variety of teachers to lead other forms of practice. “I wanted to have a center with a full schedule of choices,” she says. “We got off the ground and we did okay.” Nancy also grew her teacher training program into one of the most sought-after in the city. “We had a full curriculum for YTT and people had to have several years of practice in order to a