Yoga with Diane
Dallas Yoga Magazine is so excited to interview Diane Barriere for this month’s edition. Her heart shines through in her yoga classes with her compassion, encouragement and understanding. We are honored to have her as a yoga teacher at this year’s Cosmic Yogi Festival on June 2, 2018. Her loving free spirit flows in her interview. Everyone meet Diane…
DYM: Are you originally from Dallas? If not, where are you from?
Diane: Yup. Born in Dallas, grew up in Garland, then moved to Richardson with a brief stint in Costa Rica for 4 months. Funny, I still get lost and have no idea where things are. I get asked a lot where I’m from when I’m not familiar with an area of Dallas that someone is talking about.
DYM: How do people react or what do they say when you tell them you are a yoga teacher?
Diane: Ha, most people don’t get it and just move on to the person next to me asking what they do. Others are fascinated and want to know how I got started in it. I used to get asked all the time if I taught Naked Yoga. Luckily, that is not so much in the media now. Goat Yoga has taken its’ place so now I get asked a lot about Goat Yoga. (Laughing)
DYM: Do you have another career?
Diane: Does wife and mother count?
DYM: Absolutely! A mother’s work is the most important in the world.
Diane: I do dabble in creating art pieces on the side and participating in art fairs and shows.
DYM: Yoga teachers are often creative. That’s so awesome! What prompted you to attend your first yoga class? What were your thoughts about it at the time?
Diane: My older sister took me to my first yoga class back in 2000 at Dallas Yoga Center. At the time, it was one of the few yoga centers in Dallas. I was hooked from the very first class. It was a 90 minute Vinyasa Level 2 Flow using props, taught by David Sunshine. At that point, I was in college and suffering from insomnia, an anxiety disorder, borderline bipolar disorder, and borderline chronic depression. After the first yoga class, I slept for the first time in 4 months and knew I had found my “medication”. The class was hard and awesome! It was incredible to me when David said, “if something hurts, STOP. Be kind to yourself. Be compassionate to yourself. Do what you can.” I was a dancer and in that world, it’s the opposite!
DYM: How did that lead you to becoming a yoga instructor?
Diane: Yoga literally saved my life. I think that comes out in the way I practice and connect to others. When I was dancing in college, I taught my fellow dancers Sun Salutations as a warm up and way to relax before going on stage. I loved it. A few years later, I was teaching dance at Bishop Lynch High School and realized I would rather teach these kids yoga…they needed it! So, I created and instructed the yoga program there (not understanding I should have gotten my certification first). After that, my teacher at American Power Yoga suggested I go through teacher training. They told me I would love it, it would be good for me and I would be a good teacher. Plus, getting the certification would make me “legit” and I could teach elsewhere.
DYM: What certifications do you have?
Diane: I have my 200 hour from American Power Yoga, Chair Yoga, Aerial Yoga, Reiki Level 1 and AFAA (Athletics and Fitness Certification of America) Primary Group Fitness.
DYM: It always amazes us how many certifications some of the yoga teachers have. You have a lot of training! Do you have a preferred style of yoga you practice?
Diane: I combine everything I like from various styles into my teaching. It’s not uncommon that my Flow Class might start out in a Restorative pose. I like a mixture and I like to create a balanced class. I’m not a huge fan of classes that move too fast and leave students behind. I believe everyone should feel included and loved. I also believe this is true for my Partner Yoga classes. It is important for everyone to feel a part of, so they can connect more with their partner.
DYM: Does your family and friends support your yoga dedication?
Diane: (Laughing) Ha, my Mom doesn’t believe I have a “real job”. My Dad still thinks yoga is “just stretching” and has never tried a class. Everyone else in my life is very supportive! Those that were not, I have learned to let go of.
DYM: What can someone expect when they go to your class for the first time?
Diane: Depends on the style of the class, but usually we will start out in a sitting position to ground and set up the breath. Then we move to all 4s for some simple stretches to explore how the body is moving, then we move into building a sequence of poses that flow together with the breath. We often end with stretching and a 10 minute Savasana. I encourage people to focus on how the practice feels, not so much how it looks. They need to be true to their bodies in the moment and to always feel free to explore the poses or to take less as needed. I teach them the things that drew me to yoga and have kept me practicing for 18 years.
DYM: What do you want your students to accomplish or “take away” from your class?
Diane: I want them to feel less stressed, freer, more open and light. To be able sit with their own minds and be friends with themselves. To be kinder in life, more understanding, more loving. To get off the couch or out of the office chair and move, stretch, or walk. To let go of societal norms and expectations of others and to feel free to live their own lives in a way that’s right for them. I’m not asking much right? (Laughing)
DYM: What advice would you give someone thinking about becoming a yoga instructor?
Diane: I would tell them to look into many places. It’s important to think about your schedule, cost, and type of training you want to receive. Do they want it more focused or more broad? Be sure they are accredited by Yoga Alliance. Many places require this accreditation, so you will need this to make money… but it’s not really about the money.
DYM: What was the biggest hurdle you have had in your personal yoga practice?
Diane: Going to class is first… then not judging the teacher once I’m there.
DYM: What was the biggest hurdle you have had as a yoga teacher?
Diane: Teaching to those with extreme limitations… physical and mental. I’ve had a deaf student, one with Down Syndrome, MS, PTSD and recovering from surgeries. I have had to learn to modify so everyone feels welcome.
DYM: What are some of the biggest changes you see in yourself since you started practicing?
Diane: I have found no need for medications and my anxiety and stress are under control. I am able to observe my own mind, feelings, and emotions before speaking. I have an awareness of my diet, so I eat way better and my need for asthma inhalers seems to have gone away. I now have the ability to “see” the world and people around me for what they are and not for what I expect or want them to be. I am able to let go of others’ opinions about me and not being so concerned about everyone liking me.
DYM: Sometimes humorous situations happen in class. Can you think of something that you have seen or experienced?
Diane: Oh Lord! Once there was a girl wearing a denim mini-skirt and thong in class. There have been women wearing black tights thinking they were the same as leggings and I can’t forget the man with a hole in his shorts and no underwear. The periodic epic flatulence…we all have to keep a good sense of humor…and my sweet jokes! (Laughing)
DYM: Do you have any favorite Mantras you use?
Diane: Yes. Inhale, “I see my mind like a pool of water”. Exhale, “I feel fresh, clear, calm”.
DYM: Do you have other practices you add or incorporate with yoga to enhance your practice?
Diane: I use aromatherapy (my sister sells DoTerra Oils), massage, Reiki and Tibetan singing bowls. They help my students relax and enjoy themselves more.
DYM: If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?
Diane: User Friendly, technically that’s two but that’s the name given to me by a group of people who I just met. They said I was unlike any other instructor they ever met or would think a yoga instructor would be like. I like dirty/nonPC jokes and stories, I drink, I love to dance, I eat meat, I’m not offended easily, and I have no political or religious agenda. I guess I relate to the common person. (Smiling)
DYM: What advice would you give someone new to yoga?
Diane: Give it at least 5 tries. Experiment with different styles, studios/gyms, and different teachers. Everyone is different, and you have to find the style and teacher that you connect with. Do what you can, don’t feel like you have to be able to do everything. Take breaks as needed. Don’t leave! Everyone I have ever met who said they didn’t like yoga had always only tried it once or twice and with only one teacher. So experiment!
DYM: Let everyone know where you teach so everyone can find you.
Diane: I’m at Reef Point Yoga in Richardson, Yoga Chikitsa in Richardson and 24 Hour Fitness in Richardson. I teach at local special events, festivals, private parties and fundraisers. I host awesome Yoga Retreats and the next one is in Greece 2019! I also teach at corporate offices such as Fossil and Cisco.
DYM: Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful story. You are such a free spirit and speak from the heart.
Diane Barriere will be leading a class at the Cosmic Yogi Festival on June 2, 2018 at Addison Conference and Theatre Centre. To find her class schedule, go to www.CosmicYogiMovement.com
You can reach Diane:
dbyogafanpage on Facebook
@dbyoga on Instagram