Darlene started on her journey with yoga in 1998 while working full time as a mechanical engineer. With the stress of work and the emotional hardship of losing her mother to Ovarian Cancer, Darlene turned to the practice of yoga for help. She was able to find balance in her life and learned tools to maintain her own health and well-being . With encouragement from her wonderful and inspirational yoga teacher, Fern Meierding, and after experiencing the incredible effects of yoga in her own life, Darlene started teaching and is truly honored to be able to share the gift of yoga with others.
Darlene completed her 500hr advanced yoga teacher certification in Hatha Yoga from the Himalayan Institute and is a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance at the highest level of training and experience, E-RYT 500 (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher). As a perpetual student, Darlene has also taken various workshops with senior teachers such as Shari Friedrickson, Judith Lasater, Rod Stryker, and Doug Keller. While currently focusing mostly on pregnancy yoga, Darlene has enjoyed teaching various types of classes including beginner and advanced hatha, prenatal, postnatal yoga (babies 6 wk-crawling, including infant massage), children and family yoga, private sessions, yoga in the workplace, yoga in the chiropractic setting, and yoga for sports teams. Darlene currently teaches yoga at The Yoga Center of Columbia, Crofton Yoga and the Columbia Medical Sports and Spine (formerly knows as Dabbs Chiropractic Center).
After seeing the benefits yoga offered moms struggling with the discomforts of pregnancy, she completed an additional 200hr prenatal and postnatal yoga certification through Colette Crawford, co-founder of the Seattle Holistic Center. Darlene's training and years of teaching experience earned her another Yoga Alliance recognition, the specialty designation RPYT (Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher).
Darlene eventually retired from her 12yr career as an engineer with W.L Gore & Associates to follow her passion for health and healing. She graduated from the Baltimore School of Massage where she studied Swedish, Deep Tissue, Myofascial, Asian bodywork, and integrative massage techniques. She earned the Director's Honor Award in Special Recognition of Academic Achievement.
Again with a passion for nurturing pregnant mothers and their babies, she received her prenatal, postnatal, and labor/delivery massage certification through Carole Osborne Sheets, AMTA's 2008 Teacher of the Year. Darlene recently completed her training as a Doula so she could provide physical, mental, and emotional support for couples during labor and delivery. She has helped many couples through the birthing process and is now a certified Birth Doula through DONA International. She is excited to gain even more knowledge to help support woman through the amazing journey of labor and birth.
After completing massage school and prenatal training, Darlene expanded her skill set by studying energy work with Christine Crandall and ultimately found her next calling as a Myofascial Release Therapist. After seeing the true physical, mental and emotional healing, possible with the work, Darlene has moved away from traditional massage and has completed her Advanced certification as a Myofascial Release (MFR) therapist with John F. Barnes, developer and leading authority for Myofasical Release. Darlene has completed well over 220hr of MFR training including MFR I, MFR II, Myofascial Unwinding, Fascial Pelvis, Rebounding, Cervical Thoracic, Pediatrics, Skill Enhancement Seminar, Advanced Unwinding, Women's Health,
Quantum Leap, and the Healing Seminar. Darlene is helping clients release the myofascial restrictions that limit mobility and create acute and chronic pain and dysfunction.
Getting to combine her massage, myofascial release, yoga training and love of children, Darlene has also taken on the role of massage therapist for the Integrative Medicine Program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI). Kennedy Krieger is one of the leading children's rehabilitation centers in the world specializing in brain injury, spinal cord injury, autism, downs syndrome, seizure disorders and so much more. Darlene is honored and privileged to be able to help these children and their families on their road to recovery and health.
Wanting to expand her knowledge to serve even more children, Darlene completed her certification in Pediatric Massage for both in and out of the healthcare setting. She greatly enjoyed studying with Tina Allen, who has helped set up massage programs in pediatric hospitals all over the world, through her Liddle Kidz Foundation.
In order to give a little back to the community and when her schedule allows, Darlene donates her time teaching "New Mom Survival Skills" workshops to first time moms with babies 0-3mo old. She incorporates breathing, yoga, infant massage, new mom postures, and relaxation for the New Moms Groups as part of the FREE Healthy Families Howard County program at Howard County General Hospital.
Yoga, traditional massage, energy work, and lots of MFR, have helped Darlene in managing her own post pregnancy and post injury back problems. She's seeing the same levels of success with her clients and she looks forward to helping you achieve a higher level of health and happiness too!
Darlene holds a license in therapeutic massage from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), is a professional member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), and is licensed by the State of Maryland.