Apoyo Lodge recently had the chance to ask Dawn some yoga related questions to get to know her better on and off the mat.
1. Can you remember the first yoga class you ever took? If so, describe the experience?
The first class I took was about 20 years ago, an Iyengar class. It was so long ago that I don't remember a lot of detail but I do remember being upside down quite a bit and how amazing it felt. The main thing I remember is the feeling of being so happy and free after class and that I needed to figure out how financially I could keep this yoga thing going.
2. What made you want to pursue the practice of teaching yoga to others?
I started by voluntarily teaching yoga in my community prior to even becoming certified as a yoga instructor. Then I ended up moving to a community that had very little yoga to offer (just a simple stretching class at the YMCA and piyo at a local gym) so I decided to become a certified instructor and to offer regular classes to the community.
3. What did you learn/take away from your first teacher training?
That yoga is WAY, WAY more than just asana - the kirtans, satsangs and mantras at the training were much more powerful to me.
4. How has yoga changed your life?
It has changed my life incredibly. I am quite certain that I would have suffered way more in my life challenges if it had not been for yoga.
5. What motivates you and inspires your teaching practice?
Most of all my students - that sounds corny but to see people thrive not only physically but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually is so incredible! This influences the path that I take as a teacher. I also teach in a male medium security prison which has been inspiring to me in so many ways - personally and as a teacher.
6. Describe your teaching style. What is your favourite style(s) to practice?
This is tough. I feel like my style is influenced by several yoga styles; hatha, vinyasa, Krishnamacharya lineage, tantra - it is a blend of sorts.
7. If you play music during your classes, what is your favourite song to play currently?
I sometimes play music. I used to play it more regularly in classes but I realised how much my own practice has transcended without music that I now only offer music very seldom in my classes. If I offer it now it is with a live DJ and it is slow, trance-y, drone-y music that fits well with a slower flow class.
8. Are there any other trainings or courses you're passionate about pursuing in the future?
Currently I am training with Rod Stryker to become Para Yoga Certified. Rob has positively influenced my practice and teaching. I cannot say enough good things about him. I cannot wait to take more of his trainings.
9. List your 10 "must do's" on your Bucket List.
1. Live in a tropical climate. 2. Master an instrument (any instrument.) 3. Reduce my fear around public speaking (and public singing.) 4. Love more, worry less. 5. Become a certified Ayurvedic coach. 6. Brew Jun. 7. Learn a second language. 8. Start a small urban farm. 9. Live a life of simplicity. 10. Begin a space of communal living with friends.
10. Where do you envision yourself in five years?
Somewhere warm, teaching Ayurveda and yoga, living a simple, healthy life with family and friends.
11. Favourite quote?