"I am blessed with so many proud moments, as I hear from students who have applied these Eastern tools to help them navigate their own pain and challenges. Happy tears come with some frequency in this line of work, when my heart is touched by compassion - sharing both in another’s suffering, as well as in suffering’s alleviation ..."
Wanderlust Weekly: Congrats on the growth of The Opener! What inspired you to become an instructor? Dr. Domonick Wegesin: I was inspired by my own practice, observing the benefits it was having on my personal well-being. I grew up in an evangelical Christian family on a small farm in rural Indiana, a place where being gay wasn’t, and still isn’t very acceptable. I had a hard time accepting myself, and developed a good dose of self-criticism and shame around being gay. Yoga and mindfulness gave me tools to observe myself with a gentler, more accepting perspective. With greater acceptance of myself came greater contentment in my life. The practice also helped me be more accepting of other people, and various experiences life threw my way. And in the same way, the more I was able to accept other people and events, the greater ease and contentment I experienced. I have always loved teaching and was so inspired by the yoga and mindfulness tools, that I decided I wanted to share them with others.
Wanderlust Weekly: You've built a strong community following in the Bay Area, what are some of your proudest moments? Dr. Domonick Wegesin: I am blessed with so many proud moments, as I hear from students who have applied these Eastern tools to help them navigate their own pain and challenges. Happy tears come with some frequency in this line of work, when my heart is touched by compassion - sharing both in another’s suffering, as well as in suffering’s alleviation. I also am very moved seeing new teachers graduate from their yoga teacher trainings with their eagerness to share what they have experienced and learned. It keeps me hopeful for our ability to create a positive ripple amidst the charge of so much socio-political negativity.
Wanderlust Weekly: The wellness field is constantly evolving, what upcoming news or developments can we look forward to? Dr. Domonick Wegesin: The creative spark continues to generate new ways of experiencing these ancient teachings. As each teacher pulls from her own life experiences and learnings, new integrations can help shed light on the practice. For instance, I am exploring the intersection of Mindfulness, from a Buddhist perspective, Western Psychology and Yoga, as well as noticing how my own love of Nature impacts my understanding of the teachings from these varied lineages. It cultivates a sense of union; instead of the approach of “it has to be this but not that,” we can explore drawing from multiple wells of knowledge and see that it might be this AND that. The internet has also made so much available to us. For example, you can go online and experience a variety of teachers who may be geographically distal from you. Hearing the teachings from different perspectives can help us develop our own understanding of the material, instead of simply parroting one teacher with whom we have studied.
[ photo credit above: Michael Smith ]
[ photo credit below: Melina Meza ]