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Becoming a Body & Brain yoga Instructors

Body & Brain yoga instructors are unique, not only for the yoga tradition that they teach, but also for the authentic leadership that results from Body & Brain yoga’s instructor apprentice system. Most instructors obtain the confidence and business know-how necessary for successful management of a yoga studio. Though working side-by-side with more experienced instructors is key to the learning experience, entrepreneurial creativity and the cultivation of individual styles is encouraged. As a result, each instructor and each manager infuses the studio environment with aspects of their own experience.

How we came to be an instructor…

  • Name: Dawn Quaresima
  • Location: East Meadow—Long Island, NY
  • Style: Energized and athletic
  • Background: Dawn is the host of the DVD Body & Brain yoga Essentials and is a wife and mother of one. She has been a Body & Brain yoga instructor since 2003. Dawn teaches where she grew up, so she has a built-in relationship with the people in her community. Since her days as a student at William & Mary, Dawn has been committed to social justice and community development. She tries to integrate this into her practice and teaching. Even with all of her responsibilities, Dawn still finds time to teach a local class for people with Cerebral Palsy.
  • Strongest influence: Her family is a big part of her motivation to become a Body & Brain yoga instructor.
  • Personal Message: She wants to set a good example for her son. "If I want him to be happy and fulfilled, then I have to create and choose that in my own life."

  • Name: Michael Munson
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Style: Strength-building and playful exercises that help students develop compassion for themselves.
  • Background: Michael is the Regional Manager of the Greater Boston area. He has been teaching Body & Brain yoga since 2003. Before practicing Body & Brain yoga, he studied Hatha and Vinyasa yoga as well as Tai Chi and Aikido. Michael grew up in Orono, Maine, studied film at the Mass College of Art and eventually received a interdisciplinary degree from UMass Amherst in Mind-Body Education.
  • Strongest influence: The year of introspection and travel that led him to mind body practices.
  • Personal Message: There is something for everyone in Body & Brain yoga because it combines adherence to ancient traditions with a light, adaptive approach to learning.

  • Name: Michelle "Chin Chin" Gavin
  • Location: Brooklyn Heights—Brooklyn, NY
  • Style: Fluid; emphasis on deep breathing to open the body & mind and core strengthening
  • Background: Worked in Social Services and the Psych Field before becoming a Body & Brain yoga instructor. Grew up traveling along the East Coast of the United States and living abroad with her military family. She enjoyed frequent visits in her early years with her maternal relatives in Taiwan and reconnecting to her Grandmother after University.
  • Strongest influence: Maternal grandmother—a Buddhist Monk in Taiwan
  • Personal Message: Everything you need you have inside of you already—Awaken to it!