Diana began her study of mysticism at a young age with books by Thomas Moore and Deepak Chopra—gifts from her mother; meanwhile, her father gave her the gift of connection with the natural world. Thus began Diana’s endless journey of weaving both the visible and invisible forces of life together. She took her first yoga class in 1990 as a college course in Key West, Florida, and she returned to the mat because of how spacious her body felt, particularly in savasana. Diana thought it interesting that she felt so alive in the posture translated as “corpse pose.” Her trajectory led her back to philosophers and mystics for teachings on meditation and ritual. In her late twenties, while living in New York City and studying theater, she recommitted to the physical practice of yoga at the Integral Yoga Institute while mourning the death of her beloved parents.
She entered teacher training at the Center for Yoga, in Los Angeles in 2004, where she studied with James Morrison of the White Lotus Foundation. She has also been immeasurably influenced by Dana Flynn and Jasmine Tarkeshi of Laughing Lotus, Leslie Kaminoff of The Breathing Project, and teacher and writer Matthew Remski. She met her Sanskrit and yoga philosophy teacher, Manorama, in 2008, soon after opening The Bhaktishop Yoga Center in Portland, Oregon. With Manorama, her approach to yoga philosophy found its roots; Diana’s teaching is grounded in Vedantic Philosophy and Sanskrit mantra. Coming from this traditional lineage allows her to intricately weave mindfulness and yoga philosophy into asana classes, and engage discussions based around classical yogic texts. As her teaching life flourished, Diana’s personal life took a drastic turn; in 2010, Diana was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her willingness to persevere through the uncertainty and distinct beauty of having a chronic illness informs her teachings and keeps her focus on yoga as both a transformative and accessible practice.
After studying yoga philosophy outside of the traditional academic world, Diana returned to school in 2017 and is now completing her undergraduate degree with a major in Religious Studies at Oregon State University, which includes research work in the field of Tibetan Buddhism. In 2018, she became involved as a presenter for Asha International, a local non-profit organization focusing on women’s mental health, and led the opening practice for their Grit & Grace conference. Diana has also recently served as a teaching assistant for Embodied Philosophy, an online yoga philosophy platform, and she teaches for the Portland-based holistic lifestyle company, SoulJour. More recently, she worked as the Portland Yoga Director and Regional Manager for TruFusion, a yoga and fitness center. She currently teaches seasonal practices, continuing education workshops, and teacher trainings throughout the Portland area.
Diana’s practice extends over three decades and she has been teaching full time since 2004; she infuses her teaching with felt experience, weaving mindfulness and yoga philosophy into asana classes as a reverent recognition of the fact that life is both full and fleeting. When out of the studio, Diana spends her time in the natural world, taking long beach walks or forest hikes with her favorite canine, Lita.