Domonick Wegesin, PhD, RYT, LMT
I grew up on a farm in Indiana and am a real Nature boy at heart. I love my daily hikes in the redwoods here in the East Bay.
I completed undergraduate and graduate training in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, and worked for 10 years at Columbia University in New York City doing brain imaging research. Most of my research focused on the aging brain and the impact of aging on memory and exectuive functions, like attention.
While working at Columbia, I begain taking yoga classes at my local gym. I was hooked immediately and over time observed how my practice in class began to infiltrate many aspects of my life not related to bending and stretching. The subsequent incorporation of mindfulness meditation into my daily routine led to insights into what had motivated many of my major life decisions. I recognized that fear had been a big player in my life, and continued to influence much of my decision-making. This insight and the practice of being mindful of when fear was present allowed the ability to make decisions from a different place, from a place of love. It is not that the feelings of fear disappeared with this insight, but rather I was able to recognize and work with the fear and not be run by it.
Working with the tools of mindfulness, I transitioned out of my academic career, and said farewell to my job title, “Assistant Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Columbia University” to which I was so attached (sounds nice, though, doesn’t it?). Following my heart, I am now swimming in the beauty of movement through yoga and exploring the ever-fascinating mind-body-heart relationship.
Teaching has always called to me, and my role as a teacher has manifest in several forms: as a high school French/English teacher, as a ballroom dance teacher, as a piano teacher, as a university professor of psychology, as a performance arts facilitator, and now as a yoga and meditation teacher.
I am very grateful to all of my teachers, especially these wise souls:
Yoga: Janet Stone, Annie Carpenter, Richard Rosen, David Goulet, Marina Halleran
Mindfulness: Jon Kabat-Zinn, Bob Stahl.
Anatomy & Massage: Brian Bucchiarelli, Therdchai Chumphoopong (mac), Stacy Kinirons.
Neuroscience: Chuck Nelson, Yaakov Stern.
Spirituality: Melissa Halsey, Joseph Aldo, Carole Harbard.
I received training in teaching Mindfulness from Jon Kabat-Zinn and other senior MBSR teachers at the University of Massachusettes. I completed teacher training for Chakra Yoga at the Pyramid Yoga Center in Koh Phangan, Thailand. I received certification in teaching children’s yoga at Karma Kids Yoga in New York City. I am a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with the Yoga Alliance.
My training in massage therapy is diverse and includes an apprenticeship in Swedish Massage and Jin Shin Do with Brian Bucchiarelli, LMT; Reiki Master Certification; Cranial Sacral Therapy from the Upledger Institute; Thai Massage with Therdchai Chumphoopong in Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Shiatsu and Acupressure Certification at the McKinnon Institute. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) in the City of Oakland.
My background in dance (modern, jazz, contact improvisation and ballroom dance) informs my work as a yoga instructor and massage therapist.
My life is enriched enormously by my husband, Steven, and our schnoodle, Sophie.