Teacher Feature - Darlene Bergener

While taking a college course in London, I walked into the large cathedral with its vast beauty and silence, and for the first time could hear the overwhelming chaos in my mind.

That experience began my search for what I imagined was inner peace.

A few years later, I was employed as a mechanical engineer, working long hours and traveling the world. The stress of my schedule, coupled with watching the ovarian cancer win despite my mother's valiant battle, meant I was physically out of balance and emotionally drained.

In September 1998, my mother and I flew to Hawaii for our last vacation together. During that trip, in the sand by the ocean, I was introduced to yoga by one of the most grounded and centered women I had ever met.

It has been said, "When the student is ready, the teacher will come."

The next week I started my first yoga session and when I couldn't get through a class without sobbing, my amazing teacher and mentor, Fern Meierding, planted the seed and encouraged me saying, "You will make a great teacher one day".

Within a year, I watched my body transform from stiffness and pain to strength and flexibility while I learned practices to help focus and calm my mind. At that point, I knew I had to share this incredible gift with others.

I completed the 500-hour training in traditional Hatha Yoga through the Himalayan Institute and gained an additional 200-hour certification in Prenatal and Postnatal yoga through the Seattle Holistic Center. I've also studied with senior teachers like Shari Friedrichsen, Judith Lasater, Rod Stryker, and Doug Keller and am now registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT500 yoga teacher as well as an RPYT (registered prenatal yoga teacher).

After teaching part time for 8 years, I decided to follow my passion and transitioned full time to health and wellness in 2008. I have enjoyed teaching everything from intro, advanced, corporate, and yoga for sports teams to stress relief workshops, private yoga, and prenatal/postnatal mommy and me classes. I find the greatest joy, however, teaching and supporting women and couples through pregnancy, childbirth and beyond. Thus I completed my doula certification so I could put my skills to use in the delivery room!

I am also a Licensed Massage Therapist and an advanced Myofascial Release therapist trained by John F. Barnes. My clients find significant relief as I release restrictions in the connective tissue that lead to pain and dysfunction. Additionally I have earned certifications in Prenatal/Postnatal and Pediatric massage.

In Oct 2014, I began working at Kennedy Krieger Institute helping children with brain and spinal cord injuries, musculoskeletal disorders and other developmental difficulties. I teach a private yoga class at Columbia Medical Sports and Spine and offer yoga, massage and Myofascial Release Therapy as part of my private practice in Elkridge, MD.

I am truly honored to be able to help clients and students on their journey of health and healing. My goal is not just to educate, strengthen, stretch, and relax, but to encourage and empower my students to be the best version of themselves they can be! We have fun while increasing physical, mental, and emotional health and I help students incorporate what they learn into life, not just on the yoga mat.

I feel thoroughly blessed to be part of such a wonderful community of highly trained and heart-centered teachers and I'd be honored to have you join my class! For more information about my training, classes, workshops, or testimonies, etc, please visit my website at www.yoga-massage.com

"If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe