Today we’d like to introduce you to Dana Kraft.
Dana, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In the summer of 2012, I was unsure about what I wanted to do with my life. I had been teaching high school English in New York City and knew deep down that it wasn’t going to be a lifelong path for me. My close friend told me he was about to go on a yoga retreat in Costa Rica with a teacher who would help me get some perspective. I had never done yoga before, and the retreat was a week away. I found the cash and hopped on the plane with my friend. This teacher, Marco Rojas, looked at me when I stepped off the plane and said “You don’t breathe. We will get you to breathe.” And he did.
After that trip, I gave 6 months’ notice to the Department of Education and while still teaching I started practicing yoga every day, sometimes twice a day, while deciding what was next for me.
In the summer of 2013, I signed up for yoga teacher training at Pure Yoga in New York City, and began teaching right after. I found that teaching was always my calling, I just hadn’t been teaching the right content. I started to travel back and forth between New York and California and eventually wound up getting to work with the Golden State Warriors for a year and half during their championship year. I was brought on to teach group yoga and offer private sessions to any of the players who wanted it. I found that I had a knack for working with pro-athletes and started to work with other pro-sports teams and professional athletes as well.
I ended up moving permanently to Los Angeles and now have my own 200 Hour teacher training program, called Yoga 108: 200 Hours of Mind, Body, & Spirit with co-founder Jennifer Smith. I teach group classes and privates and lead retreats.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nothing is ever a smooth road, and that’s what yoga is all about – being able to breathe through the challenges we face on the mat, so that we can do the same off the mat.
When I first moved to LA I was traveling back and forth between Oakland and Los Angeles working with the NBA Warriors, and was juggling building a student base in LA and being able to fly up on a whim to work with the team at a moment’s notice. Eventually I realized that I had to choose one location and I chose LA.
I found once I chose a home base it was easier to build my classes and feel grounded in the LA yoga community.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Dana Kraft Yoga – what should we know?
I co-founded and co-lead a 200-Hour teacher training school called Yoga 108: 200 Hours of Mind, Body, & Spirit with Jennifer Smith, over in Highland Park. With a Master’s in Education, I never lost my passion for creating curriculum and teaching content. I also have guest taught in other 200 Hour teacher training programs, and learned what works and what doesn’t. Jen had the same experience. Together we decided to create a boutique school that focuses on educating our students on the meaning of the tradition of yoga, celebrating the lineage of past gurus, and growing their physical practice while honing the skills needed to become a well-rounded teacher.
Our program aims to blend the philosophy, theory, and technique of the yoga tradition while fostering a very meaningful and dedicated practice. Our students are trained to Vinyasa yoga, however there is a heavy focus on Ashtanga. We have a multitude of guest lecturers and workshops in other genres of yoga as well, including but not limited to Kundalini, Acro, and Pre-natal.
As a teacher, I’m known for my challenging vinyasa classes. I specialize in teaching advanced vinyasa, but what I do that sets me apart as an advanced teacher is that I’m able to differentiate between learning styles in the room. I also have a knack for helping students get into that pose they haven’t been able to get into before.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I would say my diligence and drive, as well as my perseverance and passion. I follow through on everything I say that I’m going to do. I have a vision board with intentions that I have set, and I change the board every three months. It’s interesting to go back and look at what I’ve manifested on the boards. I am fortunate enough to say I have accomplished a lot of what has gone up on those boards.
- Teacher Training $2100-$2400
- Private Instruction Single $150
- Retreats $585-$1000
- Website: www.danakraftyoga.com
- Phone: 6463980769
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @danakraftyoga
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dana.kraft.yoga/
- Twitter: @danakraftyoga
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/dana-kraft-yoga-los-angeles
- Other: www.yoga108.training