To keep classes creative and fun, she continues to seek inspiration through workshops and advanced studies. Dana believes that yoga is a powerful tool on the path of total wellness. Her style of teaching draws from Ashtanga, Iyengar and Vinyasa roots. She believes that the essence of yoga lies within the heart of the practitioner and that all can benefit regardless of age or ability. She considers herself as a “tour guide” during her students’ journey back home – to Self.
Dana created Spiritual Essence Yoga in 2003 as a way to share her love of yoga with her family and friends. Initially skeptical about yoga herself, she knew the common misconceptions and myths surrounding yoga and meditation. She took time to educate herself fully by reading various texts and speaking to practitioners and teachers about their experience. She discovered that yoga and meditation helped to align the mind, body and spirit in order to improve the quality of life.
After a year of practice Dana decided to become a certified yoga teacher so she could encourage others, who believed they weren’t suited for practice due to physical, mental or emotional challenges.
In addition to yoga and holistic wellness Dana has made it her mission to promote body positivity and diversity in yoga. In 2014 she founded the YES! Yoga Has Curves movement and compiled a book that features images and stories of yogis of all beautiful shapes and sizes. Volume 1 was released in June 2014 and Volume 2 in 2017. The book is a testament that yoga is for EVERYbody and no one shape or size is more suited to practice yoga.
Dana is also an active member with the Black Yoga Teacher’s Alliance (BYTA) and the Yoga and Body Image Coalition. Learn more about her journey by viewing the video below. Learn how you can work with Dana by visiting www.danasmithcoaching.com.