Dana Layon is a premier, certified yoga teacher who is celebrated for teaching to diverse groups of practitioners. Her playfulness combined with precise attention to postural alignment and a natural ability to connect with others, makes her a sought after instructor and presenter.
As a mother of two young girls, author, yoga instructor and inspirational speaker, she has embraced yoga as a way of life. Her journey started as a physical practice on the mat and evolved into a lifestyle off her mat that she is blessed to share with others.
Through her children, writing, and the creation of meaningful relationships with the community around her, Dana emanates that power of soulfulness and spiritual awakening through yoga, both for herself and for others.
As an active ambassador for Off the Mat, Into the World™, board member of Evergreen4Kids™ and member of the Yoga Alliance, Dana understands and subscribes to the power of community and oneness.
Dana is known for her dynamic yoga classes, transformative and gratifying workshops, and her spiritual development program accredited with the Yoga Alliance. She can be found on any given day practicing yoga, playing with her daughters, and writing or teaching in her hometown of Vancouver, Washington.
What sparked your interest in yoga?
When I was pregnant with my first child, I gravitated toward yoga. It was the only fitness regimen that made me feel comfortable in my growing, transforming body. After birthing two children, I realized that it did more than that. Yoga actually allowed me the stillness and strength that I needed to become the parent I truly wanted to be: patient, present and open.
I think whatever brings people to yoga is magic. It may start of as a yearning for more flexible hamstrings but in the end, it’s really about a more flexible mind.
Have you ever dealt with injury or a major illness and used yoga to help you through this?
I have a handful of students who are not able to participate in a yoga class due to chronic illnesses and pain. They require special instruction and one-on-one sessions with various props and tools. These women are my inspiration as they show up, week after week and they breathe and move. They set goals for themselves and witness their own growth from a place that is specifically for them. It’s important to remember that yoga is a practice where we can meet our students where they are at.
Thankfully, I personally have not had to deal with a personal injury or illness. However, just recently I have had to deal with my own divorce from my husband of 11 years. This was a highly challenging time that brought me to my knees on many days. My physical, emotional and mental health was challenged for three years prior to even making the decision to leave. The number one reason I am embracing this transformative time in my life with grace, compassion, awareness and surrender is because of my personal yoga practice.
When we walk through times in our life that are challenging and not what we expected, the best gift we can give ourselves is breath, movement, friends and vulnerability. This all comes with yoga.
Do you consider what you to do to be your calling in life?
I do consider sharing yoga to be my purpose in life. When I first began this practice, it was all about me helping other people. It’s true though, that what we teach is what we ourselves most need to learn. Yoga has guided me on many levels and in many situations; using this powerful practice has always brought me to the other side more aware and awake.
Yoga is something that is never ending…you can NEVER learn enough about yourself through the practice of yoga. Whether it’s stretching your physical capabilities or reshaping your mindset. Yoga is something that is multifaceted …meaning there are many avenues worth sharing with others at various stages of their lives. I love sharing yoga with kids and adults alike…it’s like a new beginning every time I step on my mat.
I get the most enjoyment out of sharing my teacher training program with new trainees. I feel blessed witnessing their transformative process when they embark on their own personal journey to becoming a teacher. It humbles me to remember what that felt like and I am honored to walk that path with each of the participants.
How do you balance motherhood and stress?
I will tell you…I remember that my daughters are a reflection of myself. They are a part of me on such a deep, spiritual level that I myself can’t even conceive the depth. My daughters have been around yoga since they were born and they know when it’s time for mommy to take a breath; and they have the guts to tell me!
Having children has been the biggest gift in my life on so many levels. As they grow they have more friends, more interests and more words to express their true feelings. We live in a chaotic world that moves faster than our soul would like. We have to remember that children are more conscious than we are and if we rush them through their own stages, we are only cheating ourselves.
Basically….I breathe….every, single day….lots of times!
Have you noticed any of your students sporting lucy?
All the time! lucy Activewear in Portland, Oregon, graciously sponsored 5 of my book launches. They were amazing events that brought together community and emphasized the power of people coming together. Since then I would say over half of all my students love the lucy yoga clothes! Myself included!