Our instructors are the soul of our studio and they bring their wisdom, education, spirit, and artistry to their teaching. We always want to know who and what has influenced them, what their everyday life is like, and what current things are inspiring them. Aren’t you curious too? This month we caught up with Dena Saedi, who joined the Namaste faculty in September 2018 and specializes in Therapeutic Yoga.
What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
I began experimenting with meditation in college. Over the years I discovered various practices until being introduced to yoga 20 years ago. 10 years later I had completed multiple trainings including a teacher training, all to simply deepen my own practice. Out of the blue I was offered my own class because a local studio manager, who knew my practice and heard that I had completed a teacher training, was in a bind to fill an open slot on the schedule. Once I started to teach I was so pleasantly surprised at the tremendous impact teaching yoga had on the quality of my practice. I was quickly hooked and already preparing for more training in yoga therapy.
Do you have any go-to yoga and wellness books or podcasts?
Often I will reference Explain Pain by Moseley & Butler during my yoga for chronic pain classes and with privates. I love Joseph LePage’s Mudras book and the way it ties hand gestures to chakras, ayurveda, and the elements. Bo Forbes’ Yoga for Emotional Health speaks to my work as a yoga therapist in a very down to earth and intelligent way. My divination tool of choice is the iChing and I love to do readings for my friends!
What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
I love holding space for my students in class, I consider it an honor which I do not take lightly. There is so much noise in our daily lives that I consider yoga class a sacred time one carves out for oneself.
What are you involved with outside the studio?
I teach mind/body medicine (i.e. yoga) to groups and individuals with chronic pain at IPM pain clinics around the Bay Area, this has been my passion and expertise since I started teaching. I also work with seniors, and a year ago I learned there is a great need for movement and healing with seniors who are dealing with dementia. I now have several students with dementia who I see weekly for gentle movement, breath work and basically connection. I am also beginning a training in cranial sacral therapy.
What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?
Several times since moving here I both went skiing and sailing within a single weekend, this makes me giddy. I have always loved San Francisco to visit, but now that I live here when I find myself at an outdoor gathering in January, spending time in Marin Headlands, or hiking in the Oakland Hills I pinch myself that this is home.
Dena Saedi teaches Therapeutic Yoga on Friday mornings at 8:30 at Namaste Rockridge. Dena has worked as a yoga therapist (C-IAYT) and yoga teacher for chronic pain populations, seniors, cancer survivors, and veterans for the last decade. She has been a practitioner of yoga since 2000, and meditation since 1990. It is her belief that yoga has an incredible power to heal, indeed all of yoga is a doorway in. Learn more about Dena on her website.