Featured Teacher: Meera Dhawan

This month we welcomed a new teacher (and Garden grad) to the Yoga Garden SF team: Meera Dhawan! She teaches Mindful Flow and Vinyasa 3 days a week. Get to know her below, and sign up for her class here!

Tell us about yourself! What are some things that your students might not know?

Hi there, I’m so excited to meet you! I am what they called a “third culture kid.” While my parents were raised in India, I was born in Dubai, moved to Hong Kong and eventually landed in the US. My amazing grandma taught me yoga when I was a little girl (more on this to come) and I have continued my practice throughout my life. I fell in love with Yoga Garden SF while doing my teacher training, and honestly would not be where I am today without all the mentors I had access to. I have taught in cooperate settings, as well as public and private classes.

On the side I love music, swimming and travel. I currently work as a customer success manager at Hubspot and am getting married next year to my fiance Kiran!

How did you become interested in yoga?

When I was in middle school, I struggled quite significantly with my mental health. I felt a sense of despair that with life comes so much pain until I realized that my ancestors had laid out a practice to ease suffering – those geniuses. My Indian culture gave me exposure to practices such as Pranayama and motivated me to seek Asana and meditation.

Tell us about your yoga journey. What style did you start in and with whom do you study now?

My yoga journey started as a little girl practicing pranayama with my grandmother in India. She is 90 now, does 1.5 hours of pranayama everyday – she’s a boss! Later in high school my sister took me to a local studio in NJ where I found Asana – I was hooked. The flow and embodiment I felt from classes was unreal.

Through my journey, I have developed my own personal daily yoga practice that includes meditation, Asana and Pranayama. Similar to how we exercise everyday to keep our bodies healthy, I believe it is integral to have consistent yoga practice to keep the mind, body and soul healthy.

When I came to SF I started working with yoga studios, and eventually did my teacher training at Yoga Garden. Today I have so many wonderful mentors, many thanks to Yoga Garden. I pull from Michelle Bouvier when it comes to Asana and movement, Sachi Doctor for yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, and developing my Sadhana practice, Stacey Swan for yoga foundations, and Richard Rosen for Pranayama.

Describe your teaching style. What can folks expect when they attend your class? 

The aim of my teaching is to teach students yoga techniques that they can use to still fluctuations of the mind, on and off the mat. Since I was raised with many cultures, my style draws from Western and Eastern practices. I pull from the Eightfold Path and weave n Asana, Pranayama, Meditation and yoga philosophy. I teach Asana in an alignment based vinyasa method to help students connect to their bodies, Pranayama to connect students with their breath and meditation to still the mind.

When you come to my class you can expect synchronization and flow between the mind and body. During Asana I incorporate sound & flow, because I am obsessed with music and dance. I love teaching pranayama techniques – breath regulation – which is an often overlooked powerful practice. I teach with a brief “do it yourself” section so students can feel confident with going home and flowing.

Any exciting projects or plans on the horizon?

Yes! I am getting married in May next year to my amazing finance Kiran. We are throwing a big destination Indian wedding in Mexico and I am fully relying on yoga to keep me sane. I plan to put a “bride is in meditation” sign on my door every morning during the wedding. I love Indian culture (it’s so much fun), and weddings are such a huge part of it.

I also plan to continue my yoga education with yoga therapy, and am in the process of evaluating schools. I am so excited to deepen my practice with this.

Anything else you’d like to share with the YGSF community? 

Having been through my yoga journey as an Indian American, I know it can sometimes be lonely if you are a minority in the field. Luckily I have had so many mentors who made me feel at home, and I want to pass this down. If you ever want to chat, or are on the fence about doing yoga teacher training – don’t hesitate to reach out. Yoga is a practice that was always meant to spread and the more communities it reaches, the more lives it can enrich.

That’s all for now! Sign up for Meera’s classes, and/or connect with her on Instagram.