I was drawn to yoga in 2000, initially to redress some of the imbalances in my body caused by many years of running. My first experience with Ashtanga was at the Spirit Room in Fargo with Carrie Mickelson. I still practice and teach with her in Detroit Lakes at Om Street Yoga : omstreetyoga.com,. Ashtanga is a vigorous practice based on variations of the Sun Salutation. Breath is synchronized with movement through a series of postures, which in turn purifies the body and the mind. It was like a light had been turned on for me. I am a registered teacher with the Yoga Alliance. I completed a 500 hour training with Mary Beth Nehl of the Yoga Loft in Willmar Mn.: yogaloft.net. I was lucky enough to participate in 2 group practices with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the founder of Ashtanga Yoga, in Boulder Colorado and one in NY City. I also completed a 40 hour Teaching Training Intensive with Manju Jois, Pattabhi?s son . I continue to study and take workshops with senior Ashtanga teachers whenever I can. Yoga strengthens the body, lifts the spirit, and quiets the mind.
I began studying yoga in 2012, yet have dabbled with it here and there throughout my life, and even doing it without out even realizing it was "yoga". I have always had the strong need to stretch, making yoga come quite naturally to me. I tend to work without the mat, focusing more within and giving the core more focus. I teach all ages, stages, and abilities. For yoga is simply movement and strengthening of the body and mind as we are all unique in our own practice.
Then comes Meditation. Meditation has been a lifelong practice of noticing my thoughts and learning what to do with them. With that, learning how to really be in the moment. I once had someone say to me, "life is a meditation", from there on out, I have had a closer understanding to how meditation can work better for me and you. I do a number of meditations throughout my day, yet the two I mainly focus upon is of calming the mind of thoughts and attention to the movement of the body.
Lastly. Energy. Everything being made up of energy, including our body in yoga and the slowing of the mind in meditation, we find many ways to break loose, flow and channel energy. Energy can be transferred through thought, and/or intention. Another way of transferring energy and can be done quite directly is through the hands, by intention alone, given the heart chakra, along with all other chakras connected. I have always been able to feel energy, giving me an advantage and also a disadvantage in life. Being so strongly attuned to energy, "source", and all in composing, from feeling peoples intentions, to receiving and understanding to a certain extant the messages that I receive on the daily. Throughout my life, having this within me has made life quite uncomfortable as I see and feel life through my heart while living within a weirdly ego based world, making life quite sad,exciting,fun and also quite confusing. Now through learning how to heal through my own confusion and struggles I have now learned how to help others and strongly through the power of Reiki. With every judgement healed within me, I am then able channel more and heal even more within others.
Dawn Talks About Yoga & Meditation
My experience with yoga began in high school in the mid-sixties with the Zen, jazz and poetry of the time. In college, I graduated as an English major with teaching certificates. In graduate school I studied learning and behavior problems and alternative ways to approach education.
Early on, I began to study Eastern thought, Tibetan Buddhism, meditation, Hatha Yoga and American transcendentalism. With the help of a book entitled Integral Yoga Hatha by Sri Swami Satchidananda, I followed an experiential approach to Hatha Yoga for many years as a personal practice. When Marilynn Quam, Mamata, came back from India in 1997, having been out of the country as a Hindu nun for thirteen years, I began studying yoga with her and a group of dedicated students who eventually formed the Spirit Room. In 2002, Gini Duval, Cheryll McDowell and I were certified through Atma Yoga, a teacher-training program developed by Christopher Baxter, founding member and teacher in the yoga program at Kripalu Institute. We became certified and registered professional yoga teachers through Atma Yoga and Yoga Alliance. Christopher's gentle and fluid approach to yoga has been the inspiration from which I have begun to combine Buddhist mindfulness practice with Atma Yoga. At the Shambhala Mountain Center, I studied with Jill Satterfield of Vajra Yoga in 2003. Jill is based in New York City and teaches at Tibet House. Also, in 2007 with Cindi Lee, founder of Om Yoga and author of Yoga Body, Buddha Mind.
Since opening a yoga studio in 1997, we have grown from the only yoga studio in Fargo to one of many. We maintain the highest standards for our studio and are proud to announce that we will begin our first yoga teacher training program, a 230 hour course, in January 2016.
I continue to teach NDSU credit yoga classes that are held here at the Spirit Room each semester. Yoga I is an introduction to Yoga. Yoga II is titled, "Create Your Personal Yoga Practice." Yoga I usually has close to 40 students, the cap; and Yoga II is growing, with 26 students this last spring.
I have also been leading meditation sessions on Wednesday evenings since 1997. I've completed the Shambhala levels and instruct Shamata and Tonglen meditation and lead a discussion group based upon the Lojong Slogans. I also co-coordinate a Dharma book club that meets once a week. I've continued my study of eastern thought as begun in my high school years. Attending Naropa University in its founding year, 1974, has set me on a lifelong journey of combining the contemplative traditions of yoga and meditation practice while passing on what I have learned to students and practitioners.
I earned my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification from the Lotus Seed School of Yoga and Movement in Portland, OR in 2013. First introduced to Yoga through dance, I found it a very valuable practice for my life. My desire to share my love of Yoga with others led to becoming a Yoga teacher. Since becoming a Yoga teacher, I have taken additional training in specialized forms of Yoga which continue to add depth and variety to my teaching style. My experience has helped me to develop an eclectic approach to teaching yoga which seeks to incorporate a holistic approach to physical well-being. I have a passion for Yoga that reveals itself in every class I offer.
I have always been interested in health and spirituality. For over ten years now, I have been studying yoga, yoga philosophies, healing meditation, chanting, nutrition, holistic health, ayurveda, gemstones, and any other modality that sparked my interest. I lived in California for eight years. In that time, I fully embraced the healthy lifestyle. I started noticing the connections in my body and learning how to take care of it. Yoga has been an integral part of that healing process.
In 2012, I attended 200 hours of yoga training at Yoga North, in Duluth, MN. This training taught me the importance of healing the body with somatics and therapeutic yoga. These modalities taught me to stay within my range of motion and progress responsibly in Hatha yoga poses. This is a humbling experience that has allowed me to teach with compassion for the past two years.
I began dabbling in yoga about 13 years ago, but it was only in the past two that I developed my own practice and became dedicated to it. I was initially drawn to yoga because it helped me with the self-image issues that people tend to have during their teenage years. My love and appreciation for the practice grew over time. Now I have two RYT-200 certifications and have held a number of teaching positions since August of 2015. I lean toward vinyasa flows in my practice, but experiment with different styles and am always willing to learn. Letís vibe!