“A fulfilling experience”

Dawn is a truly gifted teacher! She brings a depth of knowledge to her yoga practice, which she shares freely in her classes. The supportive environment she creates, with her clear instructions and modifications for each pose, leave her students with a fulfilling experience that is tailored to their needs. I feel more centered and connected after every class!

— V.B.

“Extensive knowledge of yoga & human anatomy”

Dawn is deeply sensitive to the physical and spiritual needs of her students. When I began studying with Dawn 4 years ago (in 2014), I had physical injuries that prevented me from deepening my practice. With her extensive knowledge of yoga and human anatomy, she was able to suggest modifications to help me move beyond my physical limitations and become strong, healthy, and grounded.

— D.M.

“Dawn created a change in my life”

After a few years of dabbling in yoga, I took one of Dawn's classes in late 2009 after I had been injured in an accident.  Little did I know, yoga can be life-changing, both physically and mentally, and Dawn's teachings really opened that up to me. Dawn's knowledge, kindness, openness to every student's needs, and her dedication to creating a thoughtful practice make her one-of-a-kind.  She is a gift to the yoga community and I'm grateful to have her in my life. 

— E.D.G.

“I still learn new things every class”

Before I started practicing with Dawn, I thought I didn't like yoga. After taking one class with her, I was hooked. After more than six years of practicing with Dawn (since 2013), I am still learning new things every class. Her classes offer a perfect combination of poses that challenge strength, balance, and flexibility, but she also offers ample modifications for those with injuries or other limitations. Dawn is supportive and non-judgmental, and provides helpful pointers and adjustments, creating an ideal environment for practicing yoga. 

— C.Y.

“Beautiful ability to create a safe and playful container for inquiry”

Dawn Hayes has been my primary teacher since I moved to Santa Cruz seven years ago (in 2012). I can definitively say I have never met a more erudite, thoughtful and intellectually curious yoga instructor.  Dawn’s perpetual studentship and love of yoga shines in her group classes and one-on-one teaching. Her use of props and purposeful sequencing has dramatically transformed my physical practice and the way I view it.  Dawn has a beautiful ability to create a safe and playful container for yoga asana and somatic inquiry regardless of context. Her infectious sense of humor, humility, and innate kindness help facilitate an enjoyable learning experience that is highly accessible to students of all levels.

— G.A.B


“Thank you for your dedication”

I want to thank you for your dedication and love you bring to every class. You are thoughtful in your teachings as well as in your social interactions. I am grateful for you. 

— D.M.

“You utilize props so well”

I thought the retreat sequences were brilliant. You utilized props so well and that really shined through in our longer practices. 

— M.T.


The retreat topics and sequences were thoughtfully arranged. I loved the varied postures and the full exploration of many important muscle groups/alignment of the body.

— K.W. 


“Fun and innovative”

Dawn brings a lighthearted yet depthful presence to her teachings, paired with a deep understanding of body mechanics. She tailors her classes to meet the needs of the studio and its students, creating fun and innovative ways to bridge their collective physical interests into their yoga practice.

— Terry

“Dawn is practical and nurturing”

Dawn is my #1 yoga teacher here in Santa Cruz! She has the unique ability to combine three of the most important aspects of yoga (for me anyway) successfully:  1) The skill to teach to multiple levels and abilities at once. From basic beginner to long-time practitioner and from the person looking for a calm and soothing flow, to one looking for a rigorous and energizing practice she somehow managers to nail it!  2) Dawn infuses each and every class with thought and intelligence. Her choice of flow is well-thought out, balanced and effective. During each asana Dawn often reminds us we to look at “what it’s like now” and reflect on what our body is telling us at any given moment — something I often forget to do.  3) Dawn infuses a practical and nurturing spirituality throughout her classes. She often shares her own spiritual/personal journey with us, which makes connecting and learning that much more powerful. After 5 years of practicing yoga with Dawn I still leave every class a bit more enlightened in body, mind and spirit, the main reason I practice."

— M.B.

“An essential component of my athletic routine”

I feel I am new to yoga, and as a runner and a climber I have directly benefitted from Dawn's extensive knowledge of the intersection of yoga and physiology;  I have directly benefited from her knowledge and skills.  I genuinely believe her passion for the healing arts has benefitted me through improvements to my mobility, strength and general flexibility; all important improvements both to my sports and my overall well being.

Additionally, working in Tech brings some unique complications; Dawn's classes, and her videos, have given my body and mind the opportunity to regularly untangle and recover.  In short, Dawn's classes have become an essential component of my general routine.

— P.G.