Daniel has been an adrenaline junkie since the day he was born. Whether it was riding his big wheel down any hill he could find as a kid, playing soccer, snowboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing, running or competing in triathlons, physical movement has always been a way for him to quiet the mind and tap into the inner Self.
After his second back surgery from snowboarding, he found his way to yoga as a way to try and prevent back injuries from occurring in the future. Initially, Daniel’s interest in yoga was purely as a means to become more flexible and increase core strength. After a life-changing awakening experience in the fall of 2012, something in his heart told him that there was more to yoga that he needed to learn.
A month later he enrolled in Yoga District’s RYT 200 Teacher Training led by Jasmine Chehrazi. Daniel completed YD’s training in May of 2013. The next month in June he happened to catch a screening of The Highest Pass at BuddhaFest. The yoga teacher from India featured in the documentary, Anand Mehrotra, spoke after the screening. The following day he was a presenter at BuddhaFest with a talk entitled “Warriors of Wisdom.” Anand’s words and fierce presence resonated with Daniel on a very deep and personal level.
Fast forward ten months and Daniel attended Sattva’s Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India, led by Anand earning Daniel his RYT 500.
“The Sattva practice resonates so deeply because I feel like I’ve been doing it my whole life. When I was about 15 years old, I would sneak out of my Dad’s house and drive up to Washington, , to go to a club called Tracks. It was at this magical place where I was first exposed to House/Techno music. I’ve always been really into music. When I was about 10 years old, I was really into Hip Hop and entered break-dancing competitions. When I was a teenager I started getting into new wave and alternative but when I first heard House music it blew me away.
“That first night I went to Tracks they started playing early Acid House and Detroit Techno around 2 in the morning. I don’t know what happened but something greater than me took over and my body started to dance in a way that I had never danced. It was as if my Soul had been transported and I was dancing in heaven. Looking back, I think this was my first direct experience of the divine (whatever word one uses to describe God) even though at the time I didn’t think of it in that way.
“I love the Sattva practice because it takes me to that same place. As a teacher, I love teaching this practice because it gives me the freedom to experiment and I get to incorporate two of the things I love most in life: music and physical movement.
“During one of Anand’s talks at teacher training he said, “When you’re a kid the only thing you want to do is love and have and then life happens.” My goal as a teacher is to provide space for all of us to love and have fun.”