Teacher Spotlight - Dana O

1. How did you come to practice yoga? 
I became interested in yoga as a way to balance out my active lifestyle.  I was very involved in sports as a child and went on to college to study nutrition and exercise science.  I began teaching numerous aerobics classes and then on to the personal training.  I loved exercising and training others so for me yoga was a nice compliment to aid in my recovery. But, what I really needed was more of the meditative aspect of yoga.  I was struggling with anxiety and my mind seemed to be on overdrive 24/7. I bought a 2 week pass at One Tree in May 2011.  I enjoyed it but initially it was a struggle for me to slow down and be more still.  I popped into classes from time to time and realized this yoga thing was what was missing in my life.  I kept going to classes and the rest is history.  I loved it! All aspects of it and many things started to change.  I began to feel different in a way that brought me peace and self acceptance.  

2. When did you decide that you wanted to be a teacher? How long have you been teaching? 
After attending numerous classes throughout the next couple of years as a student, I had a desire to deepen my practice with a strong interest in teaching.  In 2013, I enrolled in the One Tree Yoga 200 hour program.  It was exactly what I needed and more.   I loved every moment of the training and completed the program in June 2014 and began teaching at One Tree a few months after.  

3. What style(s) of yoga do you teach? What do you like about it/them? 
I love teaching Hatha, Align+Flow, Flow, Yin, and Restorative.  I love teaching Align+Flow as it’s an alignment based version of Vinyasa.  I am able to tie traditional hatha poses together in a flow-style with several breaths per pose.  I love incorporating props in the sequence.  Hatha + Vinyasa, best of both worlds in one.  I love teaching Yin and Restorative too! We live in a constant go,go,go, do,do,do society. We need these 2 slow-paced practices of seated and reclined poses with long holds of 3-5 minutes.  They calm the mind and bring healing both physically and mentally.  These 2 practices have been life changing for me. ️

4. What is your favorite pose? Why? 
I have A LOT of favorite poses but on the more active side, I love Garudasana (Eagle). Like all poses on one leg, it demands and helps build balance and concentration plus the strength and lengthening component it provides in the hips and shoulders is divine.  In the more yin style, I love Supta Virasana (reclining Hero pose) with additional block support, called “scap trap.” This pose stretches the abdomen, thighs, deep hip flexors, knees, and calves.  The blocks under the shoulder blades and head provides a nice counter balance to the poor posture humans develop from daily life.  

5. What do you like to do when you’re not at yoga? 
I enjoy spending time with Chad and my family.  I love being outside and by or in water so in the summertime, boating is the best. I love working out, reading, and trying new things.  

6. Where can we find you on the One Tree Yoga schedule?
I teach at the West studio on Wednesday’s @ 1130am Yin & Friday’s @ 915am Align+Flow.
I teach at the East studio on Thursday’s @ 7pm Yin & every other 2nd Sunday of the month Restorative.

Gabe Hopp