To be an effective and powerful speaker, one must feel empowered within ourselves. It all starts within. So working on that, will come through the speaking. It also helps to study and observe how others are speaking and choose to adopt certain aspects that will improve your style. Most important is to practice. Just like anything, you get better and more flow as you practice more and deliver more speeches. So speak often and you will soon become great and that will be felt my all your audiences as well.
As a part of our series about Inspirational Women of the Speaking Circuit, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Dashama Love.
Dashama is an award winning inspirational speaker, author, yoga, health and happiness expert who has spoken at the United Nations, Sony Motion Picture Studios, XDubai, Nike Global Leadership summit and was inducted into the Stanford Happiness Hall of Fame. She is a featured speaker of the Flow Summit along with Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, Sadhguru, Dr. Joe Dispenza and others and has worked with Dr Sat Bir Khalsa from Harvard Medical School to create research about how yoga and meditation help heal the mind and access the flow state of consciousness. A media favorite, she has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, ABC, NBC, CBS, Discovery Channel, OWN, QVC and Fox news as well as Cosmo, Vogue and Men’s Health to name a few.
She is the founder of Pranashama Yoga Institute and the global 30 Day Yoga Challenge which is often referred to as the P90X of Yoga. Her videos, DVDs and online programs are distributed world wide via Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and on her website at Dashama.org. She leads yoga teacher trainings both online and internationally in Bali, Hawaii, Costa Rica and Europe. You can connect with her on all social media platforms (facebook, youtube, instagram and twitter: @dashama )
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Yes, Thank you, I’m happy to be here.
The story of how I grew up is very unusual. I was born at home in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and my father was the midwife. My parents were both very spiritual and into yoga and veganism, so that was part of my life early on. We later moved to northern California where my little sister was born in the school bus converted into an RV that we all
lived in and then we finally moved down to Florida where we lived for many years after I was age 2. My mother was a wonderful very creative fashion designer and artist. She made all of our clothing by hand and also grew our food in an organic garden. We were taught to connect with nature and spent many days and years at the river, in the forest and connecting with nature. I learned so much in those early years about the power of mother nature and the energy of flow.
Then when I was 6 years old, she had an experience that was induced by combining cocaine, alcohol and other substances which triggered schizophrenia and she lost her mind. After that, she never was the same, so my sisters and I ended up living in foster homes, for many years, which was very traumatic for me, but I learned how to adapt to new homes and environments early and I do feel that was the basis of my learning about Flow State and the nature of the universe, which later became the basis of my life work.
Despite the early child traumas, I always excelled in school and got all As and many awards. Later I was even awarded Student of the Year in college for stumping my professors with questions they could not answer about the nature of the universe. I was an athlete in school as well, and in many clubs such as Toast Masters from a very young age of 14, so that helped me to become a prolific public speaker early on, which is a huge passion of mine.
In college I created the Entrepreneurs United Freedom Fighters club with my boyfriend and we would invite motivational speakers to come speak to the members of our club and it was a huge success. Being a part of the motivational and inspirational speaking community is a huge part of my mission and purpose of life, to share the wisdom I have learned from my life experiences and also from the masters I have studied with who have helped me understand the nature of existence and how we are the co creators of our reality here in life.
My mission is to help inspire and motivate young women to take their control of lives and to create the lives of their dreams, despite any obstacles.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Yes, as a young girl I always envisioned myself as a motivational / inspirational speaker. When I was 13 my aunt gave me a book called How to Be Like Women of Influence which featured 20 of the greatest women of the 20th century amongst them were Mother Theresa, Oprah and Amelia Earhart for example. I used to visualize myself delivering inspiring speeches to inspire the world and women about what is possible for our lives.
Years later, when I was in college, I was very passionate about public speaking, but also could not decide on a college major. I had far too many interests to be limited by one degree I felt, but my true passion was to study energy. I wished back then there was a college degree in energy studies, but there was not, so I settled for Communication and international business. As I mentioned, my boyfriend and I created the Entrepreneur’s club in college and used to bring in motivational speakers and also speak to our club members to inspire and motivate them to live a life of greatness and freedom.
My freshmen year I was hit by a car that was driving 45 mph while I was riding my bicycle and I died for a minute or so, and later after being rushed to the ER I was diagnosed with scoliosis. The damage to my spine was significant and started causing pain in my upper back and neck, but doctors told me there’s nothing I could do and just try chiropractic to alleviate the pain. Then I found a yoga teacher who had healed her spine with yoga and it gave me hope that I too could heal myself. Around that time I was going through a huge depression, as I was living with my boyfriend and working a great job, but was completely depressed. I felt fully disconnected from my passion and purpose of life. For a full year I could not find joy in anything and was starting to really question why I was alive.
This depression lead me to my deepest spiritual awakening, as I started searching for meaning and found some books like 7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, back when I was 23, that book really helped me come out of my funk and I was searching on google one day for ‘inner peace’ when I stumbled upon a yoga center called Yoga and Inner Peace, so I immediately signed up for their yoga teacher training, since I felt yoga was one of the only things that had ever brought me peace in my life, and although i felt I had no connection to inner peace at that stage of my life, my inner guidance lead me to that YTT and I decided to commit fully to their 10 week program. That was the best decision perhaps of my life. Even though I had no intention to become a yoga teacher, I only wanted to find inner peace, I did get what I was hoping for and so much more.
For the first time I found a deep resounding and lasting inner peace that transformed me from the inside out and I felt so ignited that I finally found my passion again and started sharing this gift with as many people as I could. That enthusiasm lead me to my dharma, or life purpose and the universal started to confirm very quickly that I was on the right path by sending me many clients and one of them even helped me launch my YouTube channel back in 2006, which was one of the first youtube channels online and to get my students to be able to create a daily yoga practice, I created the 30 day yoga challenge in 2008, which went viral and started a global trend of yoga challenges that continues to this day inspiring people to do yoga online.
That lead me to writing my books, creating my yoga school to teach others and certify them to start this amazing path and spread these incredible teachings as well. and I’ve been doing that world wide for over 15 years, teaching, speaking and creating content to inspire and educate people. I was invited to speak at many amazing events such as the Nike Global Leadership Summit in Miami, XDubai, United Nations for International Day of Happiness, Sony Motion Picture Studios and was even inducted and spoke at the Stanford Happiness Hall of Fame. I got invited to participate in a research project at Warwick University along with Dr Sat Bir Khalsa to create a research about how the yogic practices I teach help people in the corporate setting get into flow state for greater happiness, health, creativity and productivity. In 2019 I was also included as a speaker along with Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle in the Flow Summit to share my passion about the Flow State.
My speaking career has been a combination of large speaking events, online and live, media appearances, as well as teaching online and live retreats, trainings and courses to millions of people through my partnerships, platforms and media engagements. I love what I do and am excited to continue expanding the reach to impact more people with the powerful message and wisdom I have gained from my very interesting and unusual life journey.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Yes, the story about how I got invited to speak at the United Nations for International Day of Happiness was really interesting. I remember it was an uncommonly hard Christmas and New Year, as I had been in a relationship with a person who turned out to be a pathological liar and on New Year’s day I caught him cheating on me in our hotel room and he became violent toward me. It was absolutely emotionally devastating to me at the time and I recall crying for 3 days straight. What a way to start the new year. So after that, I was determined to pull myself together and now allow this to continue to drag me down emotionally. It was hard, since I was truly traumatized, but I decided to go on a trip, as I had been invited to teach in Dubai at the largest yoga festival in the middle east where they shut down the streets of Dubai for a class with 10,000 people in it. And while I was traveling I also stopped to film in Thailand and Bali, and on my way back toward the USA I received an email from someone at the United Nations inviting me to be one of the key note contributors / speakers for their event for International Day of Happiness honoring the Kingdom of Bhutan. At first I didn’t think it was real, but they sent me an official invitation on UN letterhead, so I knew it was and I made arrangements to fly back to New York for the special event. This was one fo the high lights of my speaking career, as I had always wanted to speak at the United Nations. And I really felt it was the Universe confirming that I had succeeded in my intention to heal myself and over come that tragic start to the new year and my efforts had paid off. Everyone loved my speech and I also shared a 21 minute gratitude meditation which became the basis of my own healing and the healing I shared with millions of others since then as well. Sometimes our greatest blessings come out of our most difficult hardships.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I was first starting as a speaker and teacher, I used to close my eyes when I was speaking a lot. The reason was I could feel my way through what I wanted to share much better with my eyes closed. The funny thing was, i didn’t really realize I was doing that until one day I was leading an event and speaking / teaching at the Waldorf Astoria in Boca Raton, FL and a friend of mine came to the class and she pointed it out to me that my eyes were closed a lot of the time! I didn’t realize anyone could see me doing that. So I learned a lot from that and made a huge effort after that to find my flow and be able to speak in these settings with eyes wide open and channel the message through with clarity and passion. It was a game changer for my speaking and teaching career for sure.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
When I reflect back upon the people in my life who have supported me and believed in me every step of the way, my aunt Robyn comes to mind. She took me in after I was in and out of foster homes for 5 years. My mother’s adopted sister, she had always wanted to own an orphanage and as an adult she basically got her dream with 2 foster children (my sister and I), 1 child of her own, 1 adopted child and 2 step children from a new marriage, there were 6 children today in her small orphanage and she was the kindest and most compassionate woman I have ever known. She gave me a good when I was 13 that changed my life, called How to Be Life Women of Influence. And as I read about the lives of great women such as Oprah, Mother Theresa and Eleanor Roosevelt, I vowed to myself, I too will one day be like them. And I had no idea how, but I just knew that was my destiny and every day since then, I have worked on myself to polish my character, deepen my commitment, compassion and become a kinder more loving person toward myself and all whom I meet. I may still have my moments when I falter, but each time I do, I think about her and my commitment I made when I was 13 years old, to live up to that vision I had for myself. That has been a guiding light throughout my entire life and it all started with my Aunt Robyn.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging and intimidating. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
I feel in order to succeed, one must reframe their relationship and definition of failure. For many it is this horrible thing to be avoided at all costs and can be crippling and prevents many from moving forward toward their dreams and goals in life. For those who choose to succeed in life, however, failure is a necessary step on the path to success. There is no success without having some failing moments, experiences along the way, as those experiences are what shape our character and also what help us to grow, evolve, learn and build the necessary strength and resilience to continue through the hard times. There is only one true failure and that is to give up or worse yet to not try at all. Failure can be great if we choose to reframe it and all successful people take failure head on to embrace it as a positive component on the road to success. That’s how I feel abut it as well and it has served me in tremendous ways.
What drives you to get up everyday and give your talks? What is the main empowering message that you aim to share with the world?
I am driven by purpose and mission to help humanity heal, transform and find the joy of living through being a positive contributor on this planet. I feel its very essential for people to unite and work together to solve the global issues we face such as climate change, or mental health for examples. I invest all of my time in creating messages through various forms of medias such as video, audio, photos or text, to share the wisdom I’ve gained and the ancient wisdom that has helped me through my most challenging times with the pure intention to uplift and empower my audience that anything is possible and they too can rise up and create the lives of their dreams. We all have infinite potential in this life and it is up to us how we choose to life our lives and the outcomes we create are largely up to us as well. The next book I’m releasing is called The Flow State and this is a big part of my message, how aligning with the 22 Universal Laws can help people access greater flow in all areas for greater health, happiness and prosperity.
Can you share with our readers a few of your most important tips about how to be an effective and empowering speaker? Can you please share some examples or stories?
To be an effective and powerful speaker, one must feel empowered within ourself. It all starts within. So working on that, will come through the speaking. It also helps to study and observe how others are speaking and choose to adopt certain aspects that will improve your style. Most important is to practice. Just like anything, you get better and more flow as you practice more and deliver more speeches. So speak often and you will soon become great and that will be felt my all your audiences as well.
As you know, many people are terrified of speaking in public. Can you give some of your advice about how to overcome this fear?
Honestly I was never afraid of speaking. I’ve been gifted with the fearlessness since I was young in that department. Sometimes my words got me in trouble, but over all, it never held me back. It got me in trouble for speaking too much, or for sharing things I was not supposed to, so those things I have worked to improve. For anyone who may fear speaking in public, the best advice I can say is just step forward toward your fears. One thing I have done over the years to over come any fear is to move toward it. Embrace it and look to see what it can be teaching me. What does the fear have to teach? What are you truly afraid of? When you look deeper, its likely something like being afraid that you will mess up or be judged etc. So the real fear is what others think or something of that nature. As you get more clear about the true origin of the fear, you can begin to dismantle it, as it is just an illusion. As they say, FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. So when you see the truth, there is nothing to fear and you can boldly and courageously step forward and claim your power. That’s when the magic happens. It may help to get a success coach to help you with this in the beginning, but over time you will look back and see fear as a faint thing of the past as you’re living your amazing powerful new life.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. I wish someone had told me that many speaking engagements don’t pay you in the beginning and its still beneficial to speak as much as you can to gain the experience.
2. I wish someone had told me I could start being paid for speaking from day 1 and didn’t need to give away my time for free so much.
3. I wish someone would have taught me how to ask for help, how to delegate to get more success early on and how to work with others from the start to expand my reach and impact sooner.
4. I wish someone would have told me how to effectively get paid bookings for speaking from the start. I see many who start right out being paid for speaking these days bc they built a following on social media. But when I started I had a following on youtube and didn’t know how to leverage that for a few years.
5. I wish someone would have told me not to worry about making mistakes and that mistakes are part of the journey to success. I was a perfectionist for many years so once I let that go, more success and happiness was the natural result.
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
I’m so energetic that I am in constant creator mode, continuously creating and launching new and exciting projects to serve the world and uplift humanity.
The 3 biggest projects right now on my plate are the launching of my online yoga teacher training with a free webinar you can see at pranashama.com where we share not only the powerful online training people can become certified to be a yoga and meditation teacher or energy healer with my school Pranashama Yoga Institute, but also to join our global movement and tribe of over 100 million souls on the path of conscious evolution.
Another project I’m passionate about is the completion of my next book, the Flow State, which features 22 Universal Laws with quotes and stories by masters, science backed research and practices the reader can do to get into flow. You can get a free chapter of my book at theflowstate.co
And the last project I’m really excited about is the rebranding of my personal brand, and we are creating the Flow State app, Flow State TV, as well as OM TV our conscious media network, with a line of products proven to help people access greater flow in their lives and improve their health, creativity, productivity and success. We will have more info at www.Dashama.com and also www.flowstate.tv soon
Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.
Yes I have a great program you can try for free 7 Day Self Love and Yoga : SLAY challenge at : www.dashama.org/love that includes meditations, breath, EFT, visualizations, prayers, yoga and other practices to help you access flow, love and the feeling of oneness or connection with all that is.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I love this quote : We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. by Aristotle. Another quote I love is : There are no others by Sri Nisargadata Maharaj
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I have inspired numerous movements so far, for example I catalyzed the global trend of online yoga challenges starting in 2008 which has impacted hundreds of millions of lives world wide. I started a few other trends, but my current focus is to catalyze the FLOW movement which stands for Flow Love Oneness Worldwide. The world has become dramatically out of flow and it is our time to help usher in the new era, leading humanity back to flow. And this mission is to uplift humanity help everyone get into a higher vibration so we can move toward a world of peace, love and harmony for all. It is a utopian vision, but I see it is coming soon and more and more people are waking up to this as a vision as well. Now we have a tribe of over 100 million who are moving in that direction with conscious media creators and this tribe and movement is growing. You can follow our work on facebook to connect with the OM TV and Flow State TV and on my website, where we will announce the newest events and opportunities to participate and contribute to make this world a better place for all.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I would love to have lunch with Oprah as she was such a huge inspiration for me when I read her story in that book How to Be Life Women of Influence, when I was 13 years old. I’d love to thank her and talk with her about the Flow State and mental health for humanity. My 2nd choice would be Richard Branson, he’s a huge inspiration, in the business sense, as he runs over 2,000 companies and still smiling and enjoying his life, so he is a great example of living in flow. And last choice would be Shakira, I just love her so much. Her vibe is so fun and uplifting and many people told me i looked like her over the years. I’d love to dance with her and give her a big hug.
Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?
Yes you can find me on SM everywhere:
facebook.com/dashama ; facebook.com/curejoyinc ; instagram.com/dashama ; youtube.com/ dashama ; firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter.com/dashama
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!