It was 1977 when it all started for Dana as she grew up to the sounds of Donna Summers and the Beegees. “Oh how my parents loved to dance,” she said. Dana grew up and never wanted the dance party to end, so in 1987 she opened a joint in Hell’s Kitchen called Trixies, her nickname, and the place quickly became famous for the wild spirit of celebration she and her team created. Wacky and talented musical acts came in from all over the world to sing and play the spoons. They were featured on the Today Show, Good Morning America and KathyLee & Regis. Soon after the explosion on the dance scene, Trixie, the “party girl” met yoga. At the time, Dana was doing high step aerobics, taking hip hop dance classes and she rode her bicycle everywhere. “It was surprising for me to find yoga, yet all the ingredients were always there – my love for music, movement and friends. This was my opportunity for awakening,” Dana said.
During Dana’s early years of practicing yoga, it felt like yoga was one practice and her love for dancing another. They were separate. It took years of showing up in her personal practice for her to begin to listen and trust and follow her passion to integrate movement, music, the flow of the breath, and a spiritual purpose. Finding herself and her voice was a slow process, but a natural one. Sometimes the music inspired the movement and sometimes the movement inspired the music and soon new shapes emerged — Krishna, Kali, Rainbow Warrior, oh my.
With the help and collaboration of Dana’s longtime partner, Jasmine Tarkeshi, the two cofounded and opened Laughing Lotus in New York City on a rooftop playground in 1999 and Lotus Flow, our Vinyasa style of Yoga, became a signature style where dance, devotion and discipline are the three major tenets.
The practice continues to be a fresh and creative celebration with Jasmine and all of the teachers at the Lotus. There’s an incredible architecture or form to the sequencing. It’s called freedom. There’s form and there’s formlessness and the mantra at Laughing Lotus is “Move Like Yourself.”
It’s 2012 and Laughing Lotus had a Dance Hall, a disco ball, a 40-foot graffiti wall and a Glitter Bar. It’s a community center, a spiritual community that nourishes your being, helps makes the teaching practical and teaches us all valuable lessons in sharing, empathy and seva. Today in NYC, millions of breaths later, tens of thousands of chakras opened and with over one thousand teacher graduates Laughing Lotus is having a yoga festival, a lotus reunion to gather, to share, to chant to celebrate and of course to DANCE! Here we are in 2019, and Laughing Lotus has introduceded NYC’s first ever Queens and Queers: Fluid Flow class that will live on the schedule and be offered monthly. This weekly Fluid Flow is designed for LQBTQ Community and your sparkly friends. Enjoy your Glittery Loving Yoga home where you can be YOU, connect more deeply to each other and your Highest Self. Dana’s love for the LGBTQ community has harnessed a deep connection throughout the years and with this connection, comes the newest collaboration with the K-Deer family; the first non-gender focused yoga pant, “The Dana” which has launched and can be spotted on some of the biggest influencers.