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Meet Our April Student Ambassador: Nicole Kerschen

By March 31, 2024No Comments

If anyone fully embodied the spirit of HYA’s March Challenge for Diversity, it has been Nicole Kerschen. Not only did Nicole crush the goal of taking 16 classes, four in each style, she committed herself to her most amazing month ever: 50 classes across all of our class styles in March. She was also the runaway winner of the private class with instructor Lynn Zinser, who offered that as a prize for the student who took the most of her classes across four styles. Nicole took 27 of Lynn’s classes.

“I have really dedicated myself to my practice this year,” Nicole said. “I have tried to be really on top of everything and take care of myself because I love the effects of hot yoga. I have never felt so strong in my life.”

Nicole took her first class at HYA in April 2023 and it did not take her long to get hooked. She has used her practice to rebuild her body, particularly the leg she severely injured in a mountain climbing accident in 2000. “The balance in my leg amazes me. Some days it’s stronger than my other leg,” she said. “Every day I come in, I’m amazed and thankful for all the things I am doing. I have been able to discover myself again. I’m strong and I’m confident. It’s beautiful. I feel like I’m in my badass era again.”

Nicole grew up in Colorado and Utah, in a family full of adventure athletes. She skiied and climbed, while members of her family were involved in skydiving, paragliding and all sorts of mountain adventures. Her 30-foot fall in Ferguson Canyon, Utah, changed all that. It took 8 hours for the search and rescue team to get Nicole to safety and doctors considered amputating her lower leg, which was barely still attached. It took six surgeries, including placing a metal rod, over five years for her to walk normally again.

“It hurt my confidence in everything I was doing,” she said. “I had a new fear of heights. I started trying to figure out who this new person was. I dated and married people who weren’t good for me. I was a people pleaser. I lost all my confidence in who I was.”

Nicole moved to Asheville about 13 years ago along with her newborn son. She now works as a massage therapist. It was her brother who introduced her to HYA, encouraging her to try a class. She had only tried yoga a few times before and compared to her adventure sports, had found it boring. This time, though, she took one class, “and I was hooked.”

She said she loves the BLAST classes for their high energy and strength building, and Flow classes for building flexibility. She has also been taking more Hot 26 and appreciates the different kind of strength emphasized in that series.

“Even the Nidra was a great experience. I’m not really a person that relaxes,” she said. “I think all the classes are really beneficial. Tarah talked in one class that you need to have a balance between strength and flexibility and it’s true. You can’t really have one without the other. Every class I go to, I’m learning something new about myself.”

She said she tells all of her massage clients about the benefits of hot yoga, particularly those struggling with physical limitations. “I tell them, if you want longevity in your life, if you want a youthful life, you need to go to Hot Yoga Asheville,” she said. “It’s an important part of the aging process to keep your muscles strong and flexible.

“You are the captain of your ship. Whatever your story is, you can direct it toward your sunset. That’s what I’m doing right now.”