• Congratulations, Dana Sweeney!

    Please describe your yoga journey.

    My introduction to yoga was in 2000 at a Bikram studio in Walnut Creek. I wandered in to take a class, having no idea what to expect (least of all the intentionally heated room). I repeatedly wondered at the beginning of class, "Jesus, why don't they turn the air on?!" I got over it and fell into bliss by the end of the class. I went home that day, took a 3 hour midday nap and have been practicing ever since.

    A certified and Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher rooted in Ashtanga principles, I've also studied with many senior teachers including Sri Darma Mittra, Sean Corne, Gurmukh, Eoin Finn, John Salisbury, and am continually mentored by senior teacher Giselle Mari. I am also the founder of YOGAGOSF (yogagosf.com), a mobile yoga business that delivers superior yoga classes to various businesses and locations in the Bay Area and am currently teaching Vinyasa, Yin, Teen & Youth yoga classes throughout the Bay Area at Equinox, Grace Yoga, IAM Wellness, & Nandi Yoga.

    After a number of years as a teacher, how has your practice changed?

    My teaching and practice is deeply connected to the breath, focuses on alignment, and encourages listening to the body and doing what's right for you today. What has changed with time has been that I am much better at listening to my body and no longer desire to be perfect or best at any particular pose. Poses come and they go... it's the quieting of the ego and the subsequent learnings that I'm really interested in practicing today.

    This month, we are focusing on how meditation and mindfulness benefits not only your general wellbeing, but also your brain. Please share with us your thoughts on that, along with your experience with meditation and how it has affected your practice.

    I'm not gonna lie, meditation has not always been my favorite. I believed for quite some time (and even now, I may have the thought) that I'm just too busy to sit and do nothing, even if it's only 10 minutes. Who has that kind of spare time!? Lol.

    What I've come to experience though, despite myself, is that taking any amount of time in meditation helps me tremendously be more present in my daily life, more grateful for and aware of my blessings, more apt to respond vs. react, more in tune with my intuition, and less likely to waste as much energy spinning over things I cannot control.

    A key for me has been to release the image of what meditation should look like and instead meditate in a way that suits me personally best on a given day. Sometimes that means supine meditation (lying on my back), sometimes it’s seated with a group, sometimes it's in my parked car with the windows down.

    I've come to realize that time in meditation is definitely time well spent, in my humble opinion.

    Please tell us a little about yourself: career, family, background and anything else interesting you would like us to know.

    Teaching yoga is very much a culmination of my passions and past careers: my childhood revolved around dance, my 20's a massage therapy practice, my early 30's in business (there is very much a business of being a yoga teacher!). These days I spend my time with my little family (whom I adore) - my husband, my 18 year old son and my 2 year old daughter - teaching yoga, and searching for something delicious to eat. I am very much a music person and take great pride in my yoga class playlists!