Name: Dana Day Social Media Account of Choice: Instagram, @_dday_
Your Home base: Dahlonega, Georgia
Where does your yoga story begin?
I have been interested in learning yoga for as long as I can remember. As a child, I always sat in lotus position because my ankles would painfully press into the ground in “Indian style”. I also taught myself to do a tripod headstand, and then combined the two for shock value. This became my childhood party trick.
I bought a yoga mat along with a box set of cards with yoga poses on them. For 7 years, I kept thinking “one day I will learn to do yoga and use these”.
After reading “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, I started evolving into a bit of a nutrition health nut. My Aunt and my Grandmother were battling breast cancer, recovering from double mastectomies and going through chemo treatments. Could nutrition be the key for me to avoid this? I would rather lean the odds in my favor just in case. Through researching nutrition, overall wellness and general healthy lifestyle practices, yoga seemed to be a repeating theme. Yoga embodied physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual wellbeing. Yes! This is what I needed! I bought a yoga book. It sat on the shelf next to those asana cards for 3 years.
One day this past summer, I was browsing on Instagram and came across a photo of a headstand. I clicked around and discovered that there were people sharing their yoga journeys. Something clicked and I finally pulled my mat out of the closet and knocked the dust off my book. I posted a photo of myself doing a headstand and was amazed at the response on IG from fellow yogis. I began reading and learning asanas and have practiced yoga every single day since then. That was 5 months ago.
What got you hooked?
The way my body and mind felt after my first real home practice was unbelievable. I could not wait to practice again! Plus, the positive encouragement from the IG yoga community was so unreal. I felt like I had found “my people”. I joined my first IG yoga challenge and learned so much! The hosts of the #ShiftYourPractice challenge were basically my first yoga teachers. Their insight into each asana and the way they gave individual positive feedback really showed that they were truly passionate about yoga and sharing their knowledge. I am honestly amazed and in awe every single day when I look at my IG newsfeed. The yogis I have connected with, new students and seasoned teachers are all so inspiring.
Tell us one weird/interesting fact about yourself:
If I have to drive an hour or more, I wear a knee brace on my right knee. I had knee surgery on my left knee and did not notice much improvement and the rehabilitation was excruciating, so I never had the surgery on my right knee. They take turns aching or giving me problems, so one day you may see a knee brace on the right knee and a few weeks later, a knee brace on the left.
What do you love the most about traveling?
I see beauty and art in everything so when I visit a new place I am in serious sensory overload. The best is the sense of change and heightened awareness I feel upon leaving and returning home. Every trip leaves its mark.
Where would you most love to travel and why?
A few places that immediately come to mind are the Red Wood Forrest, the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Machu Picchu and anywhere where I can see the amazing Aurora Borealis. However, as much as I would love to visit all those places, the number one place I want to visit is the Ancient Egyptian pyramids. The Ancient Egyptian civilization has fascinated me since I was a child and still does. I cannot even imagine the connection I would feel to the spiritual energy surrounding the Egyptian pyramids.
If you were stuck on an island with only one thing, what would it be?
Easy! My fiancé. He is a fearless survivalist outdoorsman. We make a good team so I am confident we could not only survive, but actually thrive. In a literal sense, some sort of machete or large knife.
What’s your number one piece of advice for someone just getting into yoga?
Please do not give up or delay starting because you feel like “I can’t do that” for whatever reason. It is just an excuse and you CAN do it. Everyone has to start somewhere. Yoga is for everyone. No matter your age, your size, or your flexibility level, you can practice yoga. There are preparatory poses you can practice before moving into more advanced asanas. There are also modifications and variations of poses for each comfort level. You should be smiling, having fun, and listening to the limitations of your body to avoid injury. Please do not compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20. Just focus on your journey and before you know it, you will blow your own mind! The main thing is to start and keep going!
Never let anyone or anything steal your joy. The choice is yours.