From the Students

(…or, “What happens on, and off, the mat”)

Moving with awareness is essential to living well, and ‘regular’ movement nourishes our entire being – body, mind, emotions, spirit. My clients and students consistently share stories of their improved quality of life, reduced pain, and increased contentment due to their practice.  –Dana Levy, C-IAYT, M.A.

“I am a therapist who has practiced for 45 plus years. My knowledge of posture and movement is expansive. I am a “want-to-be athlete” who is passionate about strength training, skiing, snowshoeing hiking, biking … any way to move outside.
I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was a young adult, resulting in multiple joint surgeries and chronic pain. When I came to practice with Dana, I was on “high guard”.
But in the last six months, working with Dana in both small-group yoga classes and private yoga therapy sessions, I have come to embrace her approach. Her yoga teaching is pragmatic, functional, and easy to incorporate into your everyday life. Her knowledge is expansive and perspective, unique. Following her individual guidance and adaptions, I have significantly reduced pain, increased energy, and ease of movement.  Continued work with Dana is not an option; it is essential to  the life I want to live.”

–Lezlie A., Retired Occupational Therapist (July, 2020)

“Dana, your classes nourish the spirit as well as the body. Of course they are not separate. I liked your comment about negative thoughts and the opportunity to turn them into positive ones. It reminds me of the story of when the Buddha had arrows launched at him and he was able to turn them into flowers before they reached their target. I also think of the approach of the winter solstice and contrast that with the long days and light of summer solstice. I used to dread the winter solstice and the short daylight hours. But now I relish the beauty of the quality of the winter light, the opportunity to light candles and the deeper appreciation I will have for the return of longer days, all in due time.”

–Evelyn D., long-term Iyengar Yoga practitioner, joining online classes from Montana (Dec., 2020)

“Dana, thank you for guiding me on this journey.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this class, my classmates, and you as a teacher.  Thank you for allowing us to “discover” in class, it was so refreshing to be able to do that with each other.  I look forward to taking a class from you in the future.”
–Ali B, SLCC Yoga Teacher Training (Summer, 2020)

“Thanks, Dana. Attending your yoga classes at Mindful Yoga Collective has changed my life. Customized practice that fits my pace and body has made it possible for me to walk upright and painfree 5 miles a day. You have helped me more than any physical therapy I have had. You keep me upright and mobile. Thank you for providing me customized yoga. Because of this practice I am able to continue to enjoy other activities that enrich my life.🧘🏻‍♂️”

–Andrea G., long-term practitioner, aged 70+, after attending Dana’s classes for 3 months

“I’m writing with sort of a testimonial…After going to your class yesterday, this morning I woke up without pain in my wrist and a much-improved arm. Is it yoga? Is it magic? In any case, thank you for your instruction!”

–G.S., University of Utah tenured faculty, and class member since 2014

“I have been an avid Iyengar yoga practitioner for several years and when I moved to Salt Lake last fall from LA, the first thing on my agenda was to find an Iyengar yoga teacher here. Much to my chagrin, there weren’t any I could find. Then I stumbled upon a teacher named Dana Levy who was teaching at Avenues Yoga at the time. She had a strong background in the Iyengar yoga tradition and I checked out her classes. Here we are a year later and I am a devoted Dana follower and one of her biggest fans. What I found in Dana’s classes was: compassion, a wealth of experience and knowledge, specific individual adjustments, a well-rounded and deep knowledge of yoga philosophy and a working knowledge of anatomy as it relates to the yoga postures. I always feel well taken care of and challenged in Dana’s classes. She has become a good friend and a wonderful resource to me in my spiritual development as well as my physical practice of yoga. She gets to know her students very well and understands each of our bodies and our individual needs to both prevent injury and push us to challenge ourselves. I highly recommend Dana’s classes. She is nurturing and kind and will kick your ass occasionally. 😉”

–Charla C., professional actor, and class member since 2014

“I feel so much better after I have a yoga session with Dana, mentally and physically. She has focused right in on my late- adult diagnosis of scoliosis and my posture has improved mucho! Thank you Dana! I use what she does in class in life. She also is herself in class, and I enjoy her playfulness and sense of humor! She also knows just what to do for different needs, which helps us all. Plus, she incorporates kindness and love in her class.”

–Joan G., artist, and class member since 2015

“I want you remind you, though you already know it, that working with you this year (it’s been a year!) has helped me make incredible leaps forward in my physical and mental health. I feel stronger, more flexible and more balanced than I have in the 10 years since my first disk problem in my lower back. My body and mind are making serious headway towards sustainable healing for my back. I can touch my toes, my shoulderblades move, I can ride my bike again! It’s been informative to realize what my tendencies are, where I ‘protect’, and how re-arranging those tendencies and loosening those ‘protections’ has affected me emotionally. The things in particular that I appreciate about you as a teacher are your direct teaching style, your sophisticated, studied, and intuitive knowledge of the body’s physics, and your creativity in crafting a practice for us. No two classes are the same, and I can say now that I use props confidently and effectively!”

–Annie P., PhD student and athlete

I was immediately struck by Dana’s genuine attention to the individual – from before class all the way through until the last student left the building.  She personally welcomed each student into class. She made adjustments for students throughout class both for long-time students as well as new ones – even when many things were going on at once, with a stability adjustment for a new student, a mobility adjustment for a new student, and reminding existing students of their adjustments.   Of particular note, she was keeping track of time for one student who had to leave early so she would not miss her savasana!  After class, it was equally beautiful seeing her support each student with ‘how nice it was to work with you’, answers to questions, wishes for a good week, etc.

“For a beginning alignment class, I was amazed at how much yoga philosophy Dana weaves into her class.  The focus was always on the whole; the physical form of the pose was only one component.  Students were continually cued to their breath and to observe the mind-body connection.

“Dana beautifully weaves philosophy for day-to-day living with cues for poses.  Since I was assisting in this class, I was not taking notes.  When I got home I remembered that I was deeply struck by something Dana said (in fact I almost started to cry).  It took me until the next day to remember but it has been with me since.  I used it in my first class – ‘Use only as much effort as you need’.  It was pivotal for a deep experience I had a few days later.  And here I am writing about it – so simple and yet so powerful.”

–Julie D., 200-hour yoga teacher trainee, upon observing Dana’s class

“I wanted to reach out to you and thank you again for sharing such beautiful knowledge. I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer of the breast, lung, and liver 8 months ago. There were so many things that resonated with me today. Not that you need confirmation, but being a patient and student of yoga therapy, [I felt] you nailed it spot on. I really appreciate your insight and the energy you put into your curriculum. Thank you!”

–Heather G., 300-hour Yoga Therapy teacher trainee, whose spirit lives on in us

“Overall, I loved this class and am sad to have it end.  I have truly loved having you as a mentor and feel grateful to have learned from you.  I hope we can stay in touch.  I will use what I learned for the rest of my life.  It has created such a wonderful strong base for my yoga journey, which, as we learned, can really improve your success. Thank you for being such a genuine and personable instructor.  I appreciate all the reading suggestions and being able to glean from your experience and wealth of knowledge.  You have been so supportive in my personal journey.  I am going to miss you!”

–Amy B., 200-hour Yoga Teacher Trainee

Student Reflections on “Nourishing Movement” classes:

Your teaching has been helping me in my daily life. I have been practicing your lessons throughout the day. You are making a difference!

Thanks for today’s class! A wonderful start to the day! I love Thursday’s Nourishing Movement class because it is just that: a full hour of delightful movement that relaxes my body, as well as massages parts of it!  For example, my spine and lower back feel wonderful after rocking and rolling on the floor! As well, coming out of bridge pose, lowering the spine from the top down and feeling each vertebrae at a time slows me down, giving me full benefit of feeling the ground underneath. I feel that I am gaining more body awareness in fun and different way!

I look forward to this unique class every week. I adore this healthy movement therapy class so much! My body and mind feel fluid, healthy, and ready for the day. Try this amazing class!

Student Reflections from the “Snowbird Experiential Retreats”:

“Great teacher.”

“The yoga instructor was great-obviously experienced & kept the class moving at just the right pace. Will definitely seek her out where she teaches yoga in SLC.”

“Dana is energetic and caring, and knows her yoga!

Superb venue, lovely mountain backdrop, relaxing spa… a great experience.”

“The Snowbird studio was fantastic. Dana was very engaging and encouraging.”

“It was fantastic! Please do it more often?”

“Dana was fantastic! She made everyone feel welcome and comfortable. It was challenging but also very relaxing.”

“Great instructor! Length of course was perfect. Setting was perfect. I loved that we had access to the Spa facilities by taking the course. But, more importantly — the course itself was excellent and well worth participating in. Thank you!”

*All comments posted with permission. Thank you for your generous words, everyone!