My first class at Dhyana Yoga Arts was April 14, 2018. By the end of May, I was transformed. Transformed or transformative may get used casually these days, but I don’t mean it lightly. When I first came to the studio, I was in a depleted state following of a four-month transition to relocate our family across the country, including an extended period with myself and the children apart from my husband. I was also nine-month post-partum, after the birth of our third child. I was not feeling strong. I was drained emotionally, I was in poorer physical shape than usual, and my back ached.
I was also nine-month post-partum, after the birth of our third child. I was not feeling strong. I was drained emotionally, I was in poorer physical shape than usual, and my back ached.
I started coming four times a week for six weeks or so. By the end of that time I was in a totally different state. I was happier, I was calmer, and I had some serious bicep muscles!
I started coming four times a week for six weeks or so. By the end of that time I was in a totally different state. I was happier, I was calmer, and I had some serious bicep muscles! I felt that I had found my home in this new place where we are living. We have moved a lot and each time I have my short list of “entry points” that may help me feel at home and find some sense of community. Of course, what works is different each time, but the short list includes a place to practice yoga. And this time I really feel I struck gold.
One of the first things I noticed, which gave me a sense of the warmth of the studio and the people here, was how the teachers greet the students by name. Even the very second time I came, the teacher said, “Hello, Megan,” to me as I came in for class. I had practiced in a studio before but over the past several years my practice had mostly been home-based, supplemented with some gym-setting classes. So this warm personal touch something different and very welcome.
As I have continued a longer practice at Dhyana Yoga Arts, what’s impressed me most is the perceptiveness, generosity and zest of the teachers. There’s a depth of knowledge from the teachers and also from many of the students with whom you are practicing side-by-side. The teachers are engaged, creative. The students are connected, curious. I also think there’s a challenge, an opportunity, offered to really deepen the practice – both the physical asana practice and the other branches of yoga. I began practicing yoga almost 20 years ago, with ups and downs over the years: periods of consistent practice and periods when I didn’t practice at all. But I always knew that it was good for me: that I felt better physically and mentally when I practiced regularly. My experience being here since last April has strongly underlined that. For the first time I’ve had many months working with a team of excellent teachers, coming several times a week and with the support to go further in my practice than I ever have before. For example, I had done inversions and knew Crow Pose, but had never received instruction or attempted any of the more advanced arm balances, nor worked so consistently on inversions.
In addition, there’s a wholeness to the practice offered here that I have found unique. Although the main focus is the asanas, the other elements of yoga are incorporated into every class through breathing techniques, music, meditation, and philosophical tidbits. They are integrated in a way that really connects them to modern life in the United States. It’s not uncommon at the end of class to observe students approaching the teacher to ask, “what’s that song you played” or “who was the author you quoted,” or even “could I snap of photo of the reading you did?” That’s because what’s being shared, beyond their coaching of our physical practice, are relevant ideas and wisdom about whole-heartedly living life “in the moment”.
I want to say a deeply heartfelt thank you to Deanna and the family of people that she’s brought together at Dhyana Yoga Arts for creating such a stimulating, supportive and healthful space. Namaste.
by Megan Brown