1. Tell me about your personal journey with yoga. Why is it important to you?:
Why is yoga important to me… How can I put that into words? Yoga has shown me me. Not the external, label oriented me, but the me that’s beyond words and thoughts. The me that is beyond the physical body.
I began yoga in high school. My sister suffered from an illness that no one could cure. It got to the point where we had to help her sit up when she ate, and the doctor recommend walking without breaks for 3 minutes a day, and even that was unbearable. Before the illness, my sister was a go getter. She wanted to be a part of every club and every sport. She had so much passion and so many dreams.
I found myself living for my sister. I was so involved because I felt almost a need to do the things she couldn’t do. I mean, how lucky was I to be alive and able to walk?
One day, we were at a doctor (we had visited hundreds), and once again he has no answer. I was so frustrated I left, and began walking the streets of downtown Fort Collins. Then, I saw a yoga studio and something inside of me just had to go in. That day, has completely changed my life. In class, the teacher said something that really changed my outlook on life. She said “What you do to improve yourself, improves your surroundings, improves the world.”
Yoga has taught me to give you must be well. To love you must love yourself. Being selfish is not only a good thing, but it is necessary.
At that point in my life, I was 15, and didn’t have much money. I didn’t want to ask for money from my parents because I knew they were spending a lot on my sister for all the surgeries and doctor visits. So I bought a $3 yoga mat from Ross, and would take class once a week. Right after class, I would write down everything I learned and practice in for the rest of the week. If I wasn’t practicing yoga I was reading about it. I was so consumed.
The beauty of yoga is the more I know, the more I realize I don’t know. I’m so grateful for yoga, for yoga showing me the love that’s within me, and within every object, person, and animal around me.
2. When did you first begin teaching yoga? What made you transition into a leadership position?:
I knew I wanted to be a teacher basically the first class I took. At 15, I started my savings account for Teacher Training that I ended up getting at age 19 (or 20.. I forget haha). To me, this was truly a dream come true. My first class was so powerful.
What made me transition? It just felt right. I never questioned it. I just knew I was meant to teach.
Later on, in 2016, I received my 300hr. I could write a book on how powerful that training was personally and professionally. I never want to stop being a student of yoga.
3. What makes your classes unique?:
Space to breathe. Space to slow down. Space to fail. Permission to be vulnerable, and completely you.
My classes tend to be explorative, intense, and meaningful. It is hard in such a fast paced, distracted world, to find the space to breathe, and explore yourself.
See the love that’s within you. Breathe, practice, and with time you will.
4. How does music benefit your guidance in a yoga class?:
I love music. I use music gently and intentionally. Not as something to distract, but something to encourage a greater depth to your practice.
5. Tell me about your next event and where we can follow you online:
I currently moved to San Fransisco and am looking for teaching opportunities. I am planning a retreat that will occur Summer of 2018, which I am super excited about!
My IG is @Dawnmichelleyoga
Attention Yogis and Yoginis: Are you interested in doing a 5Q Interview? Fill out your unique responses here.