Meet Dana Weiss

Walking into your yoga studio can feel like coming home … especially if you know and enjoy seeing fellow yogis. Our 6am classes have become a special supportive community, thanks to yogis like Dana Weiss.

If you aren’t yet an early morning yogi and want to give it a try, look for Dana and say hello. Ask Dana how long she’s been a Reach Yoga member, or where her travels will next take her.

Q. Why do you practice yoga? How does it benefit you?

A friend advised me to try yoga during a stressful period in my life. In retrospect, the first class I attended was too advanced for a novice. I didn’t know what I was doing; but, I knew within 5 minutes that whatever I was doing, I loved! It simply felt amazing to stretch my limbs and be told that to breathe was enough. It was a revelatory experience right from the start.

As all yogis know, the benefits of a regular practice are numerous – physical, emotional, functional, etc. I’ll just say this – I’ve never left a class not feeling better in some way(s) than before the class. Most days, a feeling of joy envelops me at some point during the class like an embrace. The first time it happened, it reminded me of the feeling I had as a child in summer camp among my friends – carefree, active – with the sun shining down on me. Pretty great, right?

Q. How often do you typically practice yoga?

I practice 5-6 days a week, most often at 6am. Like many, I started practicing so early due to lack of time the rest of the day. Since then, I’ve found that the before-sunrise hours have a mystical quality unlike any other time of day, and am so grateful for this habit and for the uniquely inspirational, gentle, and kind guidance of each teacher at Reach. It takes special dedication to teach at 6am! I’m also grateful for our small community of 6am risers who add so much pleasure to my daily routine.

Q. How do you occupy your time outside of Reach Yoga?

I’m fortunate to have a great husband, Steven, who loves to plan sports, concert, restaurant and travel fun. I get to ride his coattails to all sorts of amazing activities! Professionally, I work in the medical translation field for a large international company. Collaborating with translators and clinicians worldwide affords me the daily opportunity to connect with people across the globe. I am a perennial language learner and am constantly striving to improve my skills. My dream is to live in Italy (and other countries potentially) for 6 months to study the language enough to be proficient.

Q. What was your first job?

I was a cashier at Rexall Pharmacy in Skokie when I was 16.

Q. What city, anywhere in the world, would you recommend everyone visit?

I seem to be happiest in whichever city I find myself as each locale offers a unique culture, language, cuisine, and people to meet. There are always new things to discover everywhere! I recently found the energy and gentle civility of the denizens of Copenhagen to be extraordinary and would highly recommend a visit there.

Q. What is your favorite food to cook or eat?

I never tire of the freshest fish/seafood available, simply prepared with olive oil, salt and lemon juice, and preferably grilled and prepared by someone else! I also enjoy cooking all the “Old World” Jewish dishes of my mother and grandmother for my 4 sweet children. Old family recipes are never really old or outdated.

Q. What was the last live performance (concert, play, etc.) you attended? How was it?

I had the privilege of attending a concert/lecture given by Peter Yarrow recently in which he spoke about his experiences during the Civil Rights Movement and the Peace Movement in the ‘60s, and related that to our struggles today. He also invited my daughter and me to join him onstage to sing “Puff the Magic Dragon,” which was a wondrous experience!

Q. Do you participate in any sports or fitness activities other than yoga?

Unfortunately, the only other activity I do regularly is about 45 minutes of aerobic activity every morning (before yoga 😉) at the Winnetka Community House. I wish I could fit in other sports. I used to adore playing baseball!

Q. Coffee or tea?

I drink both every morning. I have a doppio macchiato before yoga and green tea with lemon when I get home. Coffee would be my preference if I could only choose one.

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