Dena Mangrum, RYT

I began practicing yoga when a VHS tape was the most accessible way to practice.  I “did” yoga to gain flexibility and knew nothing of the body/mind benefits that yoga has to offer.  So, it was an on again, off again relationship for many years until 2012 when getting healthy became a priority.  Now, to say I was out of shape was an understatement because I had skipped the gym and healthy eating altogether for many years but even worse, I was taking on too much and wearing myself down mentally and emotionally too.  I was living it up working in the liquor industry and it was taking its toll on my body so I made a New Year’s Resolution to get healthy.

While searching for ways to support my new healthy lifestyle, I read an article that suggested yoga to improve body alignment issues.  I was intrigued because an injury as a child resulted in the loss of half of my foot.  This injury does not prevent me from walking or inhibit most movement but loosing my toes means loosing muscle tone, which has lead to some hip and leg misalignment.  This alignment issue has caused hip pain since my 20’s and this article gave me hope that the daily pain could be eliminated or at least lessened.

Although my injury also presented some potential issues with performing the poses, I promptly began trying out local studios and it was not long before I was practicing daily, either at home or in the studio.  Within months, I learned that with simple modifications I could practice the poses with ease.  My body was changing and I was feeling more mobility, strength, peace, and less stress. Greater still, the hip pain was gone!

The physical benefits of yoga as been tremendous for me but I am also grateful for the balance that practicing yoga has brought into my life.  When I began understanding the body/mind connection and incorporating stillness and meditation my practice deepened.   At that time, my life took on a new calmness that has not only improved my health but seeped into the lives of my children as well.  Seeing my son’s lives benefiting in a positive way has been the greatest joy.

I would describe my style as a softer alignment based instruction.  My practice and teaching has been greatly influenced by my original vinyasa practice, my alignment based and Iyengar inspired practice/training and workshops with teachers such as Tias Little, Judith Hanson Lasater, Rodney Yee and Shelagh McElroy.  I completed my 200 HR YTT through the Dallas Yoga Center studying anatomy, philosophy, sequencing, alignment, restorative, assisting and vinyasa.  I am also inspired by and continue to learn from the beautiful yoga community in Fort Worth.

As a teacher, my goal is to provide a creative space for students to explore and discover their own path in yoga.  I want to offer body positive classes that inspire students to be inquisitive and curious and not only develop physically but feel the freedom and encouragement to explore an inward journey.  I feel blessed each day that I can get onto (and up from) the mat and I welcome all to join me there.