About Nicole

Nicole Mark (E-RYT 200, YACEP) first stepped onto a yoga mat as a teenager on the recommendation of a therapist as a last ditch effort to cope with severe anxiety and depression. She’s now been practicing for nearly twenty years. Her formal teacher training includes 90 hours of Anusara Yoga (Quantum Yoga, Baltimore, 2004), 230 hours of Veda Vinyasa (Heart of Yoga School, 2011), 40 hours of Teaching Yoga for Athletes (Carolina Yoga Company, 2015), 40 hours of Sequencing Yoga Classes (Carolina Yoga Company, 2013), specialty trainings in yin yoga, anatomy, yoga for kids and teens, LifeForce Yoga for Depression and Anxiety, and intensive study of Vedanta, the Yoga Sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita.

Teaching since 2011, Nicole has spent more than 2,500 hours in the classroom with students ages 4-84. She is especially grateful to her main teacher, Ti Harmony, for his wisdom, patience, kindness, and humor. Nicole’s practice and teaching focus on the connection between breath and movement, physical alignment for sustaining a lifelong practice, and practical philosophy to help navigate the modern world. Off the mat, Nicole explores the amazing Durham food scene, drinks a lot of coffee, hangs out with her hound pups Penelope and Parker, and works at the healthcare nonprofit Community Care of North Carolina.


Success is remaining open to possibilities and unattached to outcomes. 
— Nicole, Yoga Off East Instructor

Q + A

I am happiest…

At the beach or in the mountains. I’ll take as much nature therapy as I can get.

My favorite view…

Downtown Durham from my fifth floor balcony. I love to be home.

Morning ritual…

Start brewing coffee (my go-to is Counter Culture Apollo, but I am slowly trying all of the 4th Dimension beans from the Cocoa Cinnamon folks), walk my hound pups Penelope & Parker, a short yoga practice to work out the kinks, pull a tarot card for the day, feed the hound beasts their homemade food (I have a little fresh dog food side hustle called Penelope's Kitchen), make breakfast.  

One activity you do everyday without fail…

Enjoy a pastry from one of the several local bakeries I can walk to—Loaf, Scratch, Ninth Street Bakery, Rose’s Meat Market and Sweet Shop

A good day is…

A sunny Saturday that starts with a trip to the Durham Farmers Market, a donut from Rise, then walking or running (usually mostly walking, tbh) the South Ellerbe Creek Trail from Trinity Ave. to Northgate Park with my young girl Penelope. I let her run around with her friends at the dog park for a while, then we walk leisurely back. When we get home, a two-hour nap, then a good book, and a hearty dinner. With cheese. There must be cheese.

Last thing you do at night…

Glance at the next day's calendar, read or watch something short and ligh like Lady Dynamite or 

what three things are vital to your day?

good quality, local coffee, a compelling podcast (Reply All, Your Last Meal, TBTL, and The Hilarious World of Depression are some favorite), time outdoors 

Your most overused phrase…

"I know, right?"

Go-to websites…

The New York Times, Twitter, Bored Panda, Brain Pickings

Most used emoji…

I'd like to say it's Om or the mala beads, but it's the eyeroll emoj.

How do you unwind…

Yin yoga, a good book, snuggle time with my pups, long showers, time alone

What was your dream job as a child…

Journalist or veterinarian. (At my day job, I get to do a lot of writing and editing because I work on a small team where most of us wear several hats. It's not journalism, but it scratches the itch. My veterinary "career" ended after about six months of work at an emergency animal hospital when I was 20. The heartbreak of injured animals was too great to bear.) 

Who is your greatest mentor…

My Mom has modeled strength, persistence, humor, forgiveness, compassion, and integrity my whole life. My paternal grandfather (Poppy) instilled my love of books, libraries, and learning. My yoga teacher Ti reminds me that I am worthy of love, and no matter how badly I screw up, I can always begin again. My friend Sara Owens brings me down to earth—she’s honest with me in a way that holds me to account but doesn’t make me feel defensive. Her advice is always solid and without agenda. (I mean, she saved me from getting galaxy hair.)

What one meeting changed your life…

I never would have taken my first yoga teacher training—or even stuck with yoga as a practice—had I not met my first consistent teacher, Lorraine Concepcion Treger.

Biggest risk that has paid off…

Moving to North Carolina from Baltimore, my hometown, in 2008.

Failure is…

unpleasant in the moment, but an essential human experience.  

Success is…

remaining open to possibilities and unattached to outcomes. 

Best piece of advice…

"Everything is perfect, but there's always room for improvement." -- my primary yoga teacher Ti Harmon