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Community Highlights: Meet Dr. Dacia Milescu of Serenity Now Yoga

Dr. Dacia Milescu Founder & Owner Serenity Now Yoga Corp.​Established 2010 Professor at Daytona State College for Anatomy & Physiology, as well as Human Biology in the Department of Biological and Physical Science She is a retired Podiatric Physician & Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon,​Medical Yoga Teacher and Energy Medicine Healer. She holds multiple certifications that yield a well-rounded physician, professor and holistic wellness practitioner. Dr. Milescu offers personal development and empowerment to manage stress holistically. Her path is to teach others in connecting body, mind and soul. Here is a synopsis of all her certifications in addition to her formal education with a degree in Biology, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) and in the past was a board-certified Podiatric Surgeon. Yoga certifications: Kids yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga, and Kundalini Yoga, and her latest certification is in therapeutic Pilates. Other training included: Pranayama, Meditation, Advanced Pranic Healing & also Usui/Holy Fire Reiki Master/Teacher certifications to qualify her as a spirituality teacher and energy healer. She is the creator of the medical yoga program developing organically since 2009. She developed her own system to include posture assessments, biomechanical evaluation, gait analysis, muscle and neurological testing prior to developing a custom-tailored therapeutic medical yoga practice. Her own specialized medical yoga program is specifically designed for those with chronic disease and the elderly cardiac patients. She provides a custom tailored Medical Yoga private session for clients who are not able to attend public classes requiring undivided attention for special needs like autism.

Other clientele comes to her for gentle movement medicine with Parkinson’s disease, post cerebrovascular accident (stroke), motor vehicle accidents, post-athletic injury, and chronic pathology management such as diabetes and heart disease. She is a facilitator of Meditations, Guided Visualizations, Emotional Freedom Technique and Affirmations. She often also facilitates energy balancing and healing with Holy Fire Reiki Energy Healing and Advancing Pranic Healing methods she learned through all the Energy Medicine Healing modalities via certifications from 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016. She facilitates training’s in Energy Medicine through her Serenity Now Holistic Academy certification program.​As a former gymnast, she taught Ballet Fitness and Barre Workout. Her chronic battle with hip pain due to Congenital Hip Dysplasia led to her giving up this aspect of her fitness regime. She has had Total Hip Replacement at 48 and 49 years of age. She continues to practice Yoga and stays healthy despite Degenerative Disc Disease in her lower back and bilateral hip replacements. Dacia is all about inclusiveness in life, love, and career. She enjoys diversity in her personal practice, career, and personal life. She truly embraces life and all it has to offer.​Her quote: Life is a test you never get to study for!

Dr. Dacia Milescu is a personal testimony to her life journey through her own self-healing. She transitioned from gymnast to doctor and shifted again by starting her teaching career as a College Professor and private one on one Holistic Coaching with Medical Yoga, Pilates, and Energy Medicine Healing. She also facilitates group Restorative Yoga, Pilates, and Meditation instructor as well. Her journey of transformation and resilience through challenges redefine her as the embodiment of a spartan soul.​Although her back and hips can no longer sustain hours standing in the O.R. as a Podiatric Surgeon, she now enjoys a very diversified and inspirational private practice, helping private clients, teaching group yoga and pilates, and facilitating energy medicine healing privately, as well as publicly every Friday morning at her healing arts center.​She enjoys her professor position at Daytona State College teaching both Human Biology as well as Anatomy & Physiology, passing on the knowledge to future medical professionals.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely been a very challenging road. I decided to start the business in 2009, right after the 2008 crash. We opened up on January 11, 2010. The first studio was a build-out and ready for clients that year. My podiatry practice was adjacent to the studio and a lot of sweat and tears were poured into both dual careers while handling motherhood with three children and an often over schedule spouse who was working as an ER physician. Serenity Now Yoga became popular and busy by 2014. We were doing well. By 2017, we moved the studio two blocks down the road on 434 and we did another build-out. We created a beautiful space. We had a following, Team Serenity was steady in our teaching health and wellness, many clients touted our space as a true health and wellness center with a peaceful vibe that created a true healing sanctuary which was way beyond a fitness center, and instead, it brought a true balance of body mind and soul with diverse wellness services. It has its niche as a boutique fitness wellness solution where everybody, age, and ability, benefits from mindful movement medicine, breathwork, and soul healing through meditation and energy healing. All of it came to a deadening halt on March 13, 2020 4 pm when everything shut down due to Covid-19.

By Monday, March 16, 2020 we went virtual teaching our group classes online in our Private Facebook group. Since then, we went back on ground in June briefly, then back up virtual in July due to second surge of Covid-19 cases. In October, we came back down only with our group Yoga classes limited to 5 and wearing a mask the entire practice. Needless to say, many did not like the mask mandate throughout the entirety of a class but we follow the utmost safety for our teachers and clients. The group fitness classes, due to increased respiratory rate during moderate exercise, to this day remains virtual. I have lost many private clients since I had an elderly population so my private practice is quite limited now. But as they say, when one door closes, another one opens. In August, I was hired as temporary full-time as assistant Professor at Daytona State College. My entrepreneurial dream continues staying alive as Serenity Now Yoga while doing what I love most: teaching. For me, it is all about creating a hunger for personal development and education so that one has a healthy strong resident body, mind and soul to weather the challenges of life.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Imagine coming to a place where your mind, body, and spirit are nourished. Discover a healing sanctuary in the heart of Longwood creating serenity for everybody, age, and ability.​I am proud to invite you to participate in this magical and unique space offering group yoga, meditation, energy healing, and fun dance fitness classes since first opening back in January 2010. What makes us special? This is the only physician-owned yoga studio in Orlando area. For clients who wish personal instruction, the door opens to a whole new world of holistic healing modalities with Medical Yoga Therapeutic Pilates and Energy Medicine. – Dr. Dacia Milescu, Owner Find SERENITY through the art of breath, mindful movement, meditation, and energy medicine. “Therapeutic and Transformational! Rise! Redefine!”

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
I grew up in New York City, the only daughter of Romanian immigrants who came here with a Visa entry as political exiles from a place known as the Iron Curtain, a Communist regime in Romania which at the time was in its most extreme and brutal form. I quickly learned from my parents and the NYC Romanian community the dangers of Communism from my birth in NYC and through its demise in Romania on December 21st, 1989. The Romanian people, like the Polish and East Germans, actively rebelled against the regime, and so it was a transformation whereby the army turned against their leader. I was 19 when all this went down. December 21st, 1989. My parents would always tell me how lucky it is for me to be born in America. I was quite a gift to them, and so the journey of my life began. I will rewind to earlier days that shaped my future as an adult today. I was six years old in 1976 when I watched the gymnast Nadia Comaneci wow the world with an unseen ever perfect ten occurring multiple times, and five gold medals earned. Nadia instantly became the Queen of artistic gymnastics, where millions of little girls like me believed that we as women can be famous and change the world with talent. I was partially correct.

The sacrifice, emotional, mental, and physical tests would begin soon enough in order to reach elite level gymnastics. I accepted that sacrifice. We all did as gymnasts. All my accomplishments are amazing and a testament of an athlete born of true grit, capable of endless perseverance, dedication to the love of the sport, and sacrifice of lost childhood, friendships, and absence of social events never experienced by dedicated gymnasts. I didn’t even know what a homecoming is until my own children grew up and attended these social events! The mentality back in the 1980’s as a gymnast was to keep pushing. When my body started to give up on me, I pushed harder. When you get this far, you keep going, is what I used to say. It’s like a drug addiction, there is no turning back. A lot of people admire athletes, but inside us, our body and mind, we are not balanced, our soul suffers. I saw so many athletes turn to food, alcohol, and drugs as a way to deal with the pain inside. For me, I chose a different path. I turned to working towards my goal of becoming a doctor. The obsession to work and accomplish was my addiction. In 1989, I stopped the training. My gymnastics career ended. I was free from gymnastics, and additionally, the country of Romania was finally free from the Communist dictator on December 21st, 1989. I was pre-med, and nothing was going to stop me from gaining entry into med school. I took the only trip to my motherland Romania in 1991.

Only once in my adult life did I see Romania. I met a bit of what was left of my extended family there. That was the first and last time I went to Romania. I was supposed to go this past summer 2020 as a 50 years old buy COVID-19 pandemic hit. The summer before starting medical school in 1991 essentially was the only time I saw a glimpse of what I could have grown up in. I was 21 at the time. Ironically, when I quit gymnastics in college back in 1989, the country also was ripped free of the bondage the Socialist Republic of Romania had on its people. For me, the sport of gymnastics was a part of my soul, so this was indeed a big transition and felt torn apart emotionally at the time. Now, in 1991, armed with a Biology degree, I was entering another chapter in my life. I had to channel that energy, dedication, and perseverance, to get through medical school at any cost. I borrowed maximum loans with the promise and goals of a bright future as a foot surgeon. I went to Podiatric Medical School from 1991 to 1995, which then continued with a three years residency from 1995-1998. I met my husband in December of 1994 and married him 1997. From 1998-2004, I worked very hard to get all my surgical cases to become board certified in August 2004 as a Board Certified Foot Surgeon, all while birthing three babies 1999, 2003, 2004. There are many gaps in memory from sleepless nights and 12 hours of work as a doctor those years.

My Podiatry career never truly launched even by the decade of 40 due to moving from New York to Florida. The environment of managed care, and back then, my lack of business skills, and additionally trying to find my niche in Florida without any built reputation. All these factors made it quite challenging, not to mention three little children to tend to. I felt very much as an outsider from New York. A car accident set me back in 2008 even a bit further. It was also a major factor that changed everything. It’s as if the Universe had another plan for me. I could not have even imagined my destiny until my heart and soul was exposed to it. The final blow to my Podiatry career was the threat of government control of specialists, with fewer referrals from primary care physicians. The evening in December 2011 congress passed health care reform act. It was the day I decided it was time to let go and jump into the unknown variables the Universe has to offer. As one of my clients said to me: when everything changes, change everything. By 2012, I was out of Medicine and 100 percent into the world of Yoga and Wellness. I was in my forties and already said goodbye to Gymnastics at 19, and again at 34, I said goodbye to my beloved indigenous connection to New York, and now at 42, I was saying goodbye to traditional Allopathic Medicine. How did I get here, I would ask myself for many years. I will outline the transition away from medicine by prefacing that exercise and wellness was going to surface as the key element to changing my lifestyle and career path.

After medical school and residency was completed, my body was yearning for some sort of balance. I was 27 in 1997 and second year of Residency. My body and mind were burned out, yet I was a new wife and soon, the days of becoming a busy working mother had arrived. I had to make my way in the ranks as Physician to get all the surgical cases I could in order to have enough cases obtained to gain the privilege of taking the oral examinations as the final path for certification. All this while trying to be a mother to my babies. I still could not find any balance just yet. I was dealing with physical challenges having one pregnancy after another, and three children born 1999, 2002, and 2004 very close apart. I had a practice in Richland County in New City, New York which did not last long. From 2000-2003. I went through 9/11 and its trauma; lost a friend. I lost patients and struggled with the practice while dealing with my second pregnancy. We were living in New York as two working Doctors and soon to raise three children, yet it was physically and mentally unsustainable with all the school loans, high taxes in New York unless both of us worked 12 hours a day and never saw our children. We sold everything and moved to Florida. We arrived in Florida July 2003 and happily lived a slightly more balanced life since then.

Essentially we pressed the reset button at 34. I discovered yoga in 2004. No form of exercise stuck with me until yoga. I had just finished becoming board certified as a Foot Surgeon August 2014, and yoga was an outlet for stress relief. The children were growing and thriving, and I thought everything will remain the same. The plan was altered, and it was quite a plot twist. I was about to be sidelined and I did not see it coming at all. In May of 2008, I was rear ended in front of Florida hospital (now called Advent Health) at the Altamonte Springs campus after completing a surgical consult. At that time, it was only my neck hurting. One month later, I was doing a surgical case which changed everything. What transpired the next day was unreal. I had severe back and hip pain with sciatica left side. The severe pain sent me to the ER. I could not even place my left foot down without excruciating pain. What I had to do was monumental. I met my now longtime friend Dr. Melissa Verde, and off we started with me renting one of her rooms so I can see some patients.

Despite grandiose efforts and working seven days a week, I let it go when I realized I was juggling both the Yoga studio I started in 2010 and the Podiatry practice; seeing patients while maintaining a family was brutal on myself and family. It was challenging on my body and mind-numbing most days. I started in 2010 with the Podiatry and Yoga practice all in one location. It was an insane level of imbalance typically ranging from subbing for teachers calling out sick to Saturday nights getting called in to see a septic foot which usually ended as an emergency case over the weekend. I was teaching 11 yoga classes weekly and managing a studio. In between those hours, I was building my Podiatry practice while trying to balance a family life. This was a far cry and a long journey from the balance I sought in teacher training for yoga in 2008. These life-altering changes occurred from 2008-2012. All the years of gymnastics, medical school, residency, childbirth, 12-14 hour days for so many years, and many weekends spent working, I was ready for change. My body, mind and soul was screaming for it. I stopped practicing medicine in 2012. I decided to take weekends off and went to New Smryna Beach every single weekend. I began following my passion and started teaching Science full-time at the college level in 2012. I taught Anatomy & Physiology and Medical Terminology at Herzing University 2012-2015.

All I wanted was to feel the same feeling and inspiration I had during yoga teacher training back in 2008. Balance and wisdom became apparent when I met Ann Bondi, a nurse who at the time was working at South Seminole Hospital. She introduced me to Energy Medicine healing through Reiki in 2011. She had patients that benefited from this hands on healing technique. I became interested in learning Reiki. I embarked on another path that would soon complement my yoga practice and bring complete healing on all levels. From 2011 until 2018, my spiritual, mental, and physical balance developed slowly alongside assisting others on the same journey. Yet my imbalanced view of work was still there. My body by 2013 was visibly suffering, as I was able to facilitate healing for others through group yoga, private medical yoga, and energy healing, but my own physical body was deteriorating fast at 45. I sought an orthopedic consult back in 2014. I was told it’s a hip Labral tear that can be treated with stretching, NSAIDS and Dexamethasone steroid injections. The pain worsened, it was unbearable alternating between back pain and hip pain. My chiropractor would patch me up, but I would go back to my studio teach Yoga, Ballet Barre, see Medical yoga clients, Reiki clients, and go off to Anatomy lab to stand for three hours.

Yoga has helped others at my studio, but as studio owner for me, it had become a difficulty due to chronic pain yet still working full time and not tending to my own healing. I began to have difficulty just standing or sitting. To walk was to expose myself to three days of nagging pain as my back and hips would flare up. I carry this pain knowing that I became a better yoga practitioner and can facilitate healing for clients very much like me with chronic back, knee, and hip pain. I have received energy healing from both Reiki practitioners and Pranic Healing Practitioners, all with powerful pain-relieving results. Wisdom can only be earned through painful experiences that turn us into shining diamonds under pressure. If I had stopped for one day, maybe as a gymnast, or as a med student, or as a resident, or as a mother, or as a doctor in my thirties…..my physical conditions would have worsened at a much slower pace. My body pain situation and physical challenges along with meeting medical yoga clients like me, has been a blessing in disguise. The car accident was also a blessing in disguise. The obstacles I met in my Podiatry career was a blessing in disguise.

All these events have brought me down a more balanced path of Restorative Yoga, Medical Yoga, and Reiki. I am forced to be abide by my body cues and keeping a healthy balance. Listen to your body is my constant self-talk in anything I do throughout my day. Breath and activate my core is my second mantra. I finally trained myself to avoid pushing like a bull through pain because that’s what gymnasts do. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. I have released all outdated thinking that is detrimental to my health. I honor my body, mind and soul. I use discernment and clarity to know what is best for me. I am Dr. Dacia Felix Milescu. I have been diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia at 48. I have bilateral hips replacements and I now finally listen to my body and try to help others balance their lives with health and wellness. It is up to the individual that needs to slow down a certain activity in order to slow down the onset of arthritis. To all the little girls out there pursuing gymnastics. Please honor your body. We are not robots. We have abilities and physical challenges that are individually unique, and so we need to address them and not over stress, overuse, and overstretch if such underlying conditions exist. I participated in competitive elite level gymnastics and competitive figure skating.

As an adult, I taught Ballet Barre and Vinyasa/Power Yoga for years which only aggravated my underlying condition not because they are not great practices. The abuse and overuse is where the danger lies. Some of us are exercise addicts. The right dose is good. Too much, and it is detrimental to the joints of the body. I did not know that I was physically challenged. I did not limp. I mowed through pain that was invisible to society as an adult. Why is it that society only pays attention to someone when they limp? It is too late to fix or slow down what damage has been done once a visible limp is seen. Only three percent of infants are properly diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia. Most women go undetected due to “flexibility”. I was born with a shallow hip socket (acetabulum) and a very large ball joint (femoral head) that does not fit well in the hip socket. Nothing could have stopped this from happening. I had no pain as a young gymnast, but my hips “clicked” a lot with movement. My hope is that my story growing up as a gymnast and having to deal with this pain as an adult will spur young women to self-care and awareness of congenital hip dysplasia since it makes us unusually flexible and perfect for the sport, with a price we pay as older adults.

I have come to the conclusion that growing up truly means becoming more mindful of your body and being gifted with self-awareness that comes with maturity. So I guess the question is what was it like growing up with Romanian parents? My answer is: “you must be strong like bull”! I finally grew up at 49 when I decided to finally listen to my body. I took a long route but I grew up! As a studio owner, my mission is to now help others grow up and evolve into a balance. The purpose of Serenity Now Yoga is soul transformation: creating a life of purpose and joy through healing our body, mind and soul. The sanctuary of the studio is a doorway to clarity leading us to the untethered body, mind and soul via the art of breath, mindful movement, meditation, and energy medicine. “Therapeutic and Transformational! Rise! Redefine!” Mindfulness and self-care in all that we do.

Pricing:

  • $45 per monthly membership 1class per day
  • $45 per monthly membership 1class per day
  • $80 Private Coaching via Pilates Medical Yoga Personal Development or Energy Healing
  • $200 3 private sessions
  • $70 unlimited group classes per month

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