Donna Quesada was given the name
Donna is certified to teach both
"Dawn" at birth—a precursor of
her lifelong love of the early morning—before
changing it legally to "Donna," her nickname.
She would later receive her Buddhist name
"Kaishu," which she cherishes as a token
of the path that nurtured her spiritual growth
and carried her through many challenges.
Donna was finally given the spiritual name
"Dhanpal" in her beloved tradition of
Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
Hatha Yoga and Kundalini Yoga,
as taught by Yogi Bhajan. She received
her first certification upon completion of
advanced training in yoga therapy with
Larry Payne Ph.D., founding president
of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). Her second certification, in Kundalini Yoga
and Meditation, was completed through
the renown KRI training program at
Yoga West—Yogi Bhajan's first and
only studio. This is also where Dhanpal now teaches, herself.
Here, she had the opportunity
to study under the direct guidance of
Guru Singh and Gurudhan Khalsa, both of whom
have been tremendous influences on her own personal growth. Donna continues to expand her practice through continued
mentoring and attendance at advanced training modules in
Kundalini Yoga, as well as in other healing modalities. Besides her training in Yoga, Donna has also
received extensive formal training in Zen Buddhism,
and is a double-master Reiki healer. She brings the wisdom from these disciplines
to her unconventional classes at Santa Monica College,
where she's been on faculty for 16 years,
teaching eastern philosophy and religion. Donna is also a writer. Her articles can be found on
Spirit Voyage, Elephant Journal and her own blog,
Leaves of Wisdom Falling. Her first book,
Buddha in the Classroom; Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers,
is widely available and she is currently working
on her second book, on the topic of Happiness. Donna is fluent in English, French and Spanish.