About Me - Diana Gallegos, Ph.D.

Diana has been practicing yoga since 2002 and teaching since 2010. Her training includes 200 hour yoga teacher certification from James Miller in 2010, and Adapting Yoga for Disability Level 2 certification from Matthew Sanford in 2013. She has also completed in-depth study with many other prominent yoga teachers from across the country. She continues her advanced studies in the Prajna Yoga style with founder, Tias Little. She has always appreciated his compassionate approach to teaching, as well as his precision of alignment and ability to adapt poses for all bodies.

Diana has experienced the healing and therapeutic benefits of yoga in herself, and her heartfelt passion and life work is to share this healing practice with others so they too can reap all the benefits of yoga.

In private practice, she teaches yoga to individuals of all levels of ability, even those with disabilities. Currently, she teaches private yoga to individuals with amputations, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, cancer, scoliosis, and arthritis.

Diana also teaches traditional group yoga classes at Heartland Yoga in downtown Iowa City. She brings a compassionate, non-intimidating approach to her teaching. You can expect a transformative vinyasa style class that moves at a pace you can truly experience and enjoy each pose. You will be in good hands, as Diana makes sure to move around the class making safe and effective adjustments and assists. You will leave feeling relaxed, present, and awake. And you might even make some great yoga friends!

Diana has also completed a Ph.D. in neuroscience and a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in the Center on Aging at the University of Iowa; and has published scientific, peer-reviewed papers in the Journal of Comparative Neurology and in Brain and Language.

Testimonials

My first experience with Diana was at North Dodge Athletic Club.  The class is labeled for “Boomers and Beyond.”  She was one of three different yoga teachers I worked with.  It quickly became clear her classes were the best for me.  I noticed the number of people of different ages and abilities who consistently attended her classes.  I wasn’t able to go consistently because of a parttime job I took for two years. However, when I could go, she always remembered me and I was able to connect easily with her routine.  She is good at recognizing her students’ weaknesses or special circumstances quickly.  Diana quietly moves to someone struggling with a pose and helps them find a way to do it easily.  I have now been attending her classes nearly 4 years.  Recently, I had bilateral knee replacement surgery.  I am able to do almost every pose, some with aids after 5 months.  I look forward to getting back to full participation soon.  The mental and physical health benefits are dramatic.  Any class she leads seamlessly blends into a different one.  Diana is good at communicating and modeling to the group almost anything she thinks would help us.  Time is not wasted.  She adjusts the pace, makes sure everyone hears her, always makes sure everyone has the proper aids, chairs, or anything else she thinks would help, and starts each class right on time.  She rarely misses.  I love her choice of background music and would not want that to change.  She thinks of things before her student thinks of them.  I highly recommend Diana as a yoga teacher who genuinely cares for each person she teaches.  She pays attention to all of us equally when we need her.  I know I speak for many of us when I say it’s a gift she gives to anyone associated with her.  The time goes by too quickly and many days, we all agree we don’t want to leave.

Rosalea Ragland

I’ve studied yoga with a variety of teachers—my first yoga class was in the late 1970s—and for me, Diana is yoga teacher extraordinaire.  As her bio explains, she has a doctorate in neuroscience and is trained to teach yoga to people with vastly different abilities and at a variety of levels.  I’ve experienced and witnessed her capacity to gracefully and sensitively attend to each person’s unique needs, no matter how crowded the class.  Her compassionate approach stresses that each student listen to her/his own body while at the same time, she works with students to enhance flexibility, balance, and general well being by offering clear instructions for each asana.  Plus, her choice of music is perfectly suited each class—love those shanti chimes!  One of my biggest pleasures in life is having the privilege of working with Diana.  Thank you, Diana!  You rock!

Amy K.

I thought after breaking my neck and having two surgeries that my days doing yoga were over. At that time my son was taking yoga classes at Heartland Yoga.  He encouraged me to read about the yoga teachers at Heartland and see if there was an instructor for me.  I was thrilled to find out that Diana had an interest and experience teaching people with disabilities.
I emailed Diana and she said that she would be happy to have me in her class. My experience with her has been very positive.  Diana is compassionate and tuned into her students.
She adapted yoga positions especially for me, encouraging me all along the way.  Thank you Diana!

Pen A.

I had been relatively familiar with yoga before I started taking Diana’s yoga classes, so I sort of know what I’m talking about when I say that Diana is amazing!

I am a regular attender of Diana’s yoga class. Her yoga classes have helped be become stronger and more flexible as an athlete. It’s truly amazing how everyone in her class can leave with benefits no matter how much experience they have had with yoga. The thing that shocked me the most when I first attended Diana’s class is how much I was able to clear my head during the session. Diana truly leads her class in a way that brings out the best of both the mind and body.

Allison Kusick

Diana creates a welcoming environment that allows you to explore yoga at every level, from the basic beginner to the most advanced. Her deep breadth of knowledge and training enables you to progress in your yoga practice safely, always honoring your body.

Teresa McAndrews

Diana Gallegos is a very special yoga instructor.  She communicates with her class, learning their names, remembering special physical needs of participants, and offering modifications to make a movement more challenging or less strenuous. You do not have to worry about what you can or cannot do because she accepts all levels of ability. I have arthritis and find that Diana’s yoga classes, with the deep breathing, stretching, and poses, make me feel much better. Diana continues her training in many styles of yoga by attending special workshops in California, Minneapolis, Chicago, and St. Louis – just to mention a few.  She is constantly learning and bringing new ideas back to her classes. I would highly recommend Diana’s yoga classes to any person of any age.

Jane Koberg

Diana Gallegos is superb yoga instructor and is very compassionate and dedicated to healing! I so enjoy my experiences with Diana Gallegos as my yoga teacher. I’ve learned a great deal, and feel so much better physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Diana is so talented and lovely, and has such enthusiasm. She is so helpful and encouraging, and does a great deal of yoga training so she can share her learning with her students

One of her missions is adaptive yoga, yoga with individuals with disabilities.

Diana said that yoga has helped her so many times in times of need, and she has selflessly helped friends of mine in need. She is passionate about sharing yoga and is devoted to it as her life’s work!

Connie Noren

Yoga with Diana is always a positive experience. She seems to have an uncanny ability to know what her students need, physically and emotionally, on any given day and gently move us in that direction. Diana’s yoga classes are gentle and non-intimidating. She makes yoga assessable for anybody and ANY body. Her directions are clear and she is always careful to offer modifications to help people do what they can.

I find Diana’s yoga classes help me feel limber, long and relaxed. My flexibility has increased, and I am more aware of my body.

At the end of class, when Diana asks you to rub your hands together and focus on something you are grateful for, most of the time I find myself thinking, “I am grateful for Diana!”

Emily

Practicing yoga with Diana has been a complete treat for my mind, body, and spirit! Because of my desire to keep coming for her classes, I changed from a “drop by yogi” to a “I have to go for my yoga yogi”! She transcends peacefulness. The variety of pace in her classes really allows you to get an optimal stretch, build strength, and breath. I always feel grateful for her class!

Shelly Flynn

My husband has Parkinson’s disease and joined Diana’s yoga class through the University of Iowa Speech Department.  Diana did such a fine job meeting the needs of all her students.  She was especially helpful in teaching my husband breathing techniques, increasing his confidence, and showing him yoga movements that could improve his balance.  I also joined the class and left each time feeling so relaxed and stress-free.  This course was a very positive experience for the challenges we face.

Cherie M