We sat down with yoga teacher Dana Damara to learn more about what makes her tick. Dana will be teaching at Yoga in the City San Francisco on May 17 at Little Marina Green. Registration is free, but space is limited so get on it!
Wanderlust: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Dana Damara: If I have to grow up I guess I want to be a Cirque de Soliel acrobat!
WL: What did your child self want to be when you grew up?
DD: I wanted to be a cowgirl, live on a ranch, taking care of horses all day. After that I wanted to be an attorney with a corner office that faced San Diego Bay. Not sure how yoga instructor came to be…
WL: Do you have a favorite funny/inspirational/animal video?
This guy is great … Nic Bello and Pancho! I am such a sucker for the Italian language … add a handsome yogi and a cute Chihuahua and I’m done!
WL: What is your personal theme song?
WL: What is your biggest fear?
DD: That I’m going to make the wrong decision.
WL: What is your favorite yoga pose?
DD: Ardha Chandrasana (half moon) – because it’s so feminine but yet so powerful and strong. Because I still remember when I couldn’t balance on one leg long enough to get into this pose.
WL: What is your least favorite yoga pose?
DD: Navasana (boat pose) – there is no hiding in Navasana. Your truth shows up in this pose the second you arrive.
WL: Have you had a most embarrassing moment as a yoga student?
DD: I was practicing with my eyes closed once and opened them and realized I had totally spaced out in my practice. I was facing the wrong way in some random pose that no one else was doing. I had no idea how I got there but everyone was staring at me like, “What the heck are you doing?”
WL: How about as a teacher?
DD: The very first time I taught a class, I was subbing for a popular teacher in my area. I showed up, sick to my stomach — I was so nervous! I introduced myself as the sub and four people rolled up their mat and left. It was embarrassing yes, however, it was also very liberating. Rubber hit the road and the show went on!
WL: What do you love about what you do?
DD: Every single day I wake up and get to play! I meet new people and we hug after one encounter! I get to collaborate with amazing musicians and artists and move my body intuitively to their craft. I get to call the yoga studio my office. My kids get to come to work with me and have fun. I get to try new postures with my body, fall down, laugh about it and get up and do it again. I get to wear yoga pants every day! What I love about what I do is endless!
WL: What challenges you about what you do?
DD: Integrating what I teach. That is to say balancing my life and learning more to share in my own teaching. It can be one heck of a busy day – writing articles that mean something, raising my two daughters, connecting with other yogis, and getting my own practice in on any given day. My mantra every morning is, “You’re not perfect — just do your best and be of service.” I’m not quite sure how to say that in Sanskrit… I haven’t researched it yet.