Intertwined | Danielle Radulski
So many people are upset with the way that the Western World Views yoga, but for me I think that it’s such a personal practice that rather than look at other people’s definition, just focus on our own. So, for me yoga is self-love, self-care, patience, moving with mindfulness and intention, not only in your practice but in your daily life. For me it’s a little bit of an escape. It gives me a chance to not focus on anything that’s in the future not focus on anything that’s in the past but to truly focus on what’s going on in the present. -Danielle Radulski
Yoga is a popular practice around the world. While there has been much debate on the various ways yoga can be practiced, there is one thing that just about everyone who does yoga can agree upon. Yoga brings balance between the mind and the body. “I think it really has everything to do with the Mind Body Connection. Being able to leave your ego at the door and listen to your body. Yoga helps us to really become more intuitive. I think that the mind and body are without a doubt intertwined. I think that anyone who has ever truly committed to a yoga practice even if it’s just for 10 minutes, can feel that there’s a clear connection between mind and body.
Aside from the physical benefits of yoga, it really gives you a chance to give your mind the break that it deserves. It’s good for your well-being, it helps you to clear your head, it creates more space for things in your life like love and light and New Opportunities. It helps us to let go of the past and let go of things that are no longer serving us,” Danielle explains.
In Need of a Change
As we go through life, we live and we learn. We find that sometimes we can’t just hang on to all our old habits. We should be accepting and open to adopting new, better habits. No different from the rest of us, there came a time in Danielle’s life where she realized that it was time to let go some of her old habits. “My health and fitness journey started about four years ago. I will have to give a little bit of a backstory for this to make sense. Throughout college and high school, I was what most people would call the life of the party. Chances are if you saw me anywhere from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. any day of the week I would be walking around with a red solo cup. My drinking and partying habits continued up until one year after I graduated college. Right after college I moved to New York City and was working two jobs to make ends meet. I was working full-time in public relations as well as working in a bar three or four nights a week to make some extra money to pay my bills. I didn’t really think twice about the lifestyle that I was living, so when I went to the doctor for a yearly physical I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
I remember laying down on my back and my doctor was patting my stomach. She paused slowly over an area which at the time I didn’t even realize, but it was my liver. She had said that my liver felt swollen. As soon as she said this I think that my mind went blank. I come from a long line of people that love to drink (if you know what I mean) so for me this was truly a smack in the face, and a red flag that I was really doing something wrong. Long story short, from this day on my lifestyle truly changed. I ended up going to see a few different specialists, I had to get various ultrasounds to make sure nothing was seriously wrong, and of course I had to drastically change my lifestyle . Thankfully nothing major was wrong it was just my body really giving me a red flag and teaching me a lesson that I need to take care of myself. From here on I needed to start not necessarily working out to lost weight, but finding something that made me want to get up in the morning. Throughout this entire process my roommate at the time had always done a little bit of yoga. She asked me to come to a class with her and I was of course apprehensive, at the time I was not exactly what you would call fit. But I always say that now looking back – this “health scare” was the BIGGEST blessing in disguise. I am so thankful that it happened because if it hadn’t, who knows where I would be… but I can almost guarantee you that I wouldn’t have found my passion,” Danielle details.
The First Time
Danielle hasn’t had a life long journey of practicing yoga. It was something that didn’t come about until after her college years. However, from the first time that Danielle tried yoga, it was a sweet surprise that yoga would find a deep place within Danielle’s heart. “The first yoga class that I took was at yoga to the people in the East Village in New York City in 2013. From here I started going weekly and then trying to go daily and I just really couldn’t get enough. From here my love affair with yoga grew and about two and a half years later I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training program with Westchester yoga Arts in New Rochelle,” Danielle says.
The overwhelming love and passion that Danielle developed for yoga led her to pursue a career in the yoga industry. After completing her yoga instructor courses, she was ready to take on the job of teaching people about one of the most important aspects of her life. “I started teaching one year ago and now can’t imagine my life without it. Teaching is such a different experience than taking yoga class. I tell my students all the time that it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Being able to see people come into a room with weight on their shoulders or maybe you can see it in their eyes and then at the end of the class helping them to walk out even just a little bit lighter is such a blessing.
I now teach between 3 and 4 classes a week, as well as private lessons and maintaining my personal practice. I also work for a health and wellness company called Yovada, so I’m lucky because my passion has truly extended itself into every part of my life,” Danielle exclaims!
Yoga has been so beneficial to Danielle and her ability to spread the same joy she feels through her teaching is even more of a bonus. “From my personal yoga practice the most rewarding thing has been finding a passion that makes me want to get up in the morning. Realizing that when you take care of yourself the universe takes care of you. My friends, my family, have an amazing relationship with my boyfriend Chris… I truly believe that things like this don’t just happen out of nowhere. I think when I changed my lifestyle and focused more on self-care I started to attract the same thing into my life.
From a teaching standpoint, the most rewarding thing is without a doubt helping people truly reap the benefits of yoga. So not necessarily being able to do a headstand but being able to walk out of the class a little bit lighter than you walked in. Sometimes you can just see it in someone’s eyes maybe it’s stress or pain when they walk into the room and when they leave and they come up to you, they don’t even have to say anything, you can just see it,” Daniel says.
What advice would you give to a young person today who wanted to ditch a sedentary lifestyle and become more fit and healthy?
I would say the hardest part is to start. But once you start you also need to realize that other aspects of your life are going to change, beyond just what you order at dinner, or what you do on a Friday night after work. I left behind a lot of things when I really cut back on my drinking and changed my lifestyle. So I would say to definitely approach things with an open mind. Your friend Group may change, your plans are going to change, it’s a lot of different things that you don’t necessarily think about. Sometimes it’s not even about ordering the salad vs. the burger, it’s WAY harder to let go of a friend who wants to drink every night than it is your meal selection. Realize that like attracts like, and that you need to surround yourself with people who support you and want the same things.
Where should they focus most of their energy to get the most bang for their proverbial buck?
I would say definitely focus in the kitchen. You can find tons and I mean tons of free workouts on YouTube – people think that this is where their $ needs to go, but I think the opposite. I do a lot of workouts on YouTube even to this day, and the internet is a place of wonder. You can find almost anything there! Something that you cannot replace is healthy, fresh food. would say another key is also to buy as much fresh stuff as possible. The longer you spend in the produce aisle the better!
Think about the 80/20 rule: If you get 80% of your impact from 20% of what you do, what is that 20% for someone just starting?
Baby steps to changing your lifestyle start somewhere – even if it’s committing to 10 minutes of cardio a day, or one healthy meal per day.
Why do you think a person’s mindset is so integral to their success?
If you believe you can, you will. I always tell my students in my yoga classes that the body listens to what the mind says. So, if you think that you cannot do something, your body is going to listen. Also, why put out bad things and bad energy into the universe? The more good energy and vibes that you put out there, the more you’re going to get back.