Nina Yau took her first yoga class in 2009, in the midst of a highly dedicated and disciplined practice in Shotokan Karate. As a certified 2nd Degree Black Belt (Ni-Dan) by the Japan Karate Association of Chicago, the inward journey begun in 2006 with an intensive physical and meditative practice. Years of diligent training helped cultivate focus, concentration, and the will to never give up. She is a two-time Illinois State Champion, a two-time USA Karate Nationals medalist, the 2006 Champion of the American Shotokan Karate Championship and, in 2009, Nina was Gold Medalist in the Women's Kata Division at the USA Karate Open in Las Vegas, Nevada. She also holds a Green Belt in Kyokushin Karate. In 2015, she placed 2nd in the Adult Kata Division at the World So-Kyokushin Karate Budo Giant Challenge in Montreal, Canada. Nina most recently was Silver Medalist in the Adult Black Belt Women's Lightweight Division in Kumite at the 2018 AAU Karate Central District Championships. Nina trains regularly in Traditional Japanese Shotokan Karate at the Japan Karate Association of Chicago - Sugiyama Dojo and is a member athlete of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and International Traditional Budo Alliance (ITBA).
As a complement to martial arts, Nina started practicing yoga regularly in 2011, unearthed a deep resonance with it, and soon made her way to South India where she received her teaching certification in Hatha Vinyasa. She is certified by the Yoga Alliance as E-RYT 200 and by The Yin Yoga Institute as a Yin and Yang Yoga Registered Teacher (YYYRT 500) under the founder of Yin Yoga, Master Teacher Paulie Zink. She is also a certified Stand-Up Paddle Board (SUP) Yoga instructor. Recently, Nina has completed trainings and workshops in Yoga Nidra, Tantra, and subtle body sequencing with experienced yoga teacher Mia Park, an initiated teacher of the Sri Vidya spiritual lineage.
Nina believes that each of us is filled with unlimited potential and that nothing is lacking, for everything we should ever need or want, we already have within us and around us. Her classes are influenced by this philosophy and are often inspirational, graceful, and light-hearted while deep in spirit.