A Therapeutic Movement Educator with over 15 years’ experience, Dinneen Viggiano is a Yoga Tune Up® & Roll Model® Teacher Trainer, a NeuroKinetic and CranioSacral Therapist and a Certified Nutrition Counselor. She teaches at Yoga Works NYC, Equinox, EvenFlow Yoga, and Kripalu.
How/when/where did you first learn about YTU and what interested you most?
In 2001 I dropped in to one of Jill’s Master classes during the YTU Teacher Training at Yoga Works in NYC. I remember thinking “What the heck is going on here?!” in one moment and marveling at how it seemed irreverent, intimidating and inviting all at once. The anatomical context appealed to my inquisitive, intellectual mind while the physical practice & breath cues alighted new sensibilities in my body. I knew right there that I was “all in”.
How did YTU training challenge your pre-existing movement, yoga, or fitness knowledge and training?
Coming in to YTU Teacher Training I had already been teaching yoga for over a decade. As an experienced yoga teacher, I was under the impression that “yoga fixes everything”. If it hurt, I stretched more. It’s because of YTU that I finally understood the inverse relationship between flexibility and stability. Teaching yoga taught me preliminary skills to help people get in to their bodies, while YTU taught me how to see those bodies (and their individual restrictions) in anatomical 3D.
What has been the biggest epiphany/change in your personal movement practice?
The biggest change in my personal practice is actually being able to move/play/practice everyday without pain! At any given point I am strong and stable enough to throw or kick a ball, climb a wall, ride a bike and keep up with my 11 year old son.
How has your teaching evolved since incorporating YTU? Have you explored other movement practices or teachings that you might not have otherwise?
My teaching has evolved so that each class, workshop and training is a creatively inspired event. My students expect the unexpected and I’ve come to realize that this offers me enormous creative license as a teacher! YTU trainings and immersions have reignited my desire to learn. Since taking the Level 1 Teacher Training 5 years ago, I’ve completed 6 other trainings (nutrition/anatomy/dissection/movement) and like many of our fabulously talented teacher trainers, those experiences inform and evolve my YTU base in exciting ways.
What is your current favorite YTU ball sequence or pose?
Love me some powerful Prasarita Lunges! I love how they feel in my body and I find that it’s a great pose from which to reinforce positive pelvic-spinal mechanics. When I teach it, I call it Olympic Speed Skater adding in the arms and hilarious sound effects “Swishhh swishhhh swishhhh…”
Dinneen is also a spondylolisthesis, scoliosis and degenerative disc “survivor”, and her passion is helping others to find back pain relief through Retrain Your Back Pain and reducing systemic inflammation with plant-based nutrition coaching (Phytolistic) More information on Dinneen and her teaching schedule can be found here.
Thanks for giving some more background to how you discovered YTU, Dinneen. I also feel like YTU taught me how to see the bodies in my classes and their individual restrictions in anatomical 3D. I still have so much to learn anatomy-wise to say the least, but it all feels much less scary now. I am genuinely excited to learn more about the intricacies of how my body and the systems within it work to create movement, form, and function, way more than ever before! Thank you so much for your personal stories during YTU training, and this spark of curiosity you have given me for learning about my own body. I feel much more capable of being my own best advocate than ever before.
I enjoyed learning a bit more history of your professional journey. The Prasarita Lunges are a great suggestion too, thanks!!
I am newer to the Yoga Tune Up world and just getting my grounding for creating sequences for my classes – I was amused and maybe relieved to read that you make sounds when you teach – I am already a fitness instructor and use sounds often to help participants visualize and “feel” the movement and I find it brings a little humour-smile- more relaxing for sometimes serious participants – Thank you for sharing – Going to use the “swish swish” sound when I teach Prasarita Lunges today
As I was browsing thru the page, there I saw my teacher’s name- Dinneen Viggiano. I actually texted her just two days ago, sharing her how I felt about her, but I thought maybe you would want to know too!
Learning with Dinneen was inspiring, fun and very warming. Besides learning about everything amazing about human bodies and YTU, she has also inspires me on how to become a teacher.
As a person who is so experience, she is very humble but confident. This is what hit me the most because as teacher, I sometimes forget how much we can learn from our students.
I also learnt what a great difference it could make to create a safe and loving space for the students.
All I can say is I can’t wait to learn with Dinneen again and thank you.
I really enjoyed this YTU Teacher Training! It was creatively executed and I never got bored. Dinneen’s sense of humor, empathy and compassion made this an even better workshop. I enjoyed it so much that I wished we could have had one more day. I can’t wait to use my new creative vocabulary, and I am looking forward to doing another workshop with Dinneen, the next one on my list is “Retrain Your Back Pain”! Thank you so much for the wonderful experience.
When I am reading this entry, it made me think of the moments in class. Dinneen is hilarious, explaining with funny metaphors. As a non-english speaking student plus a total yoga newbie, her teaching style and pace ease my nervousness and I have learnt a lot! Thank you so much.
I appreciate this blog, as I can relate even as a new yoga teacher entering the YTU realm. It’s caused me to re-evaluate how I teach movement to my students, and it has inspired me to create a purposeful experience for them- one where each pose is an assessment tool instead of a goal or endpoint. It was through YTU methods that I really felt like I was having an embodied experience, arriving to a state of awareness as I used the bony landmarks to identify key muscles. The words “I am a student of my body; I am a student of what I teach; I study my students” have left a lasting impression upon me.
La relation entre stabilité/ renforcement et flexibilité est un aspect propre au YTU. Cette formation comble également un manque dans le monde du yoga concernant l’aspect anatomique du corps, les professeurs sont excessivement alertes et c’est un aspect que nous devrions tous en tant qu’enseignants maitriser.
La certification YTU 1 donne les outils nécessaires et ce en une semaine. Bravo
Je suis vraiment d’accord avec ce que tu dis. Je suis présentement la formation de YTU niveau 1 et je trouve qu’un des principes qui me frappe le plus est que lorsque j’ai mal quelque part, je ne dois pas aller plus loin dans mes étirements, ce que j’avais comme réflexe de faire avant!
Super intéressant ! 🙂
Thank you Dinneen! I love your term seeing bodies in ‘anatomical 3D’ !
I look forward to transforming my teaching, knowledge, and language
through the Level 1 training. Yay! And, reading more about you!
I enjoyed reading about you. It’s amazing how you can move considering all that you have been diagnosed with. You are inspiring because I also have scoliosis and deal with back and body pain everyday. I’m looking forward to incorporating Yoga Tune ups into my life and teaching soon.