1- In less than a minute, tell us who you are and why we keep hearing good things about you?
I've always used movement and exercise to feel better. My mom made me play soccer when I was young. I kicked and screamed but then grew to love the sport and quickly realized that movement of any kind made me feel better. I like to be "busy." When I found yoga, my life changed. It allowed me to move but also look within myself and face areas that I was avoiding. I'm a sensitive soul and don't always know how to express myself. Taking the yoga teacher training, I found my voice and knew that I wanted to help others find their voice, too.
2. What were the pivotal roadblocks and challenges you encountered along the way that helped you define your path?
Right before completing my yoga teacher training, I found out I had a brain tumor. I was actually quite calm—maybe it was denial or my body in fight mode. After surgery they realized it was a pituitary tumor. I thought they would remove the entire tumor and life would go on. Well, life went on, but the tumor still grew. Before my second surgery, I chose to focus on self-care and expand my trainings via Urban Zen (uzit.urbanzen.org). Through these experiences, I realized that what's important is not only physical movement, but areas of stillness and less movement are also necessary for healing. These areas include meditation, restorative yoga, reiki, aromatherapy, and more. Long story short: two surgeries and brain radiation later, I'm still here and more grateful than ever.
3. Why did you choose this field? Who were your role models? And what pushed you to learn and become who you are?
I chose yoga and self-care tools because I want people to know that they are never alone. We all have "stuff" and are doing the best we can. Through movement and stillness, we can connect to our voice and find the best version of ourselves. It took me a few years to commit to doing yoga teacher training—I was scared of change, scared of commitment, and didn’t want to be accountable to anything. All those things made me feel very vulnerable, and by omitting them I was safe and in control. Well, that's not how you grow and expand. Through the help of my peers, yoga teachers, and family, I finally took the plunge and it was the best decision I've ever made.
4. What is your legacy? Do you care about leaving a legacy?
I don't know how I feel about the word “legacy.” I'd like people to look back and see that even though they were scared, they chose vulnerability over fear. Like Brené Brown says, the courage to change. If I could help someone take a step closer toward that change, that would be my intention. Because after you walk through the fears, you see they weren't that scary after all, and the beautiful thing is that you can help others see that, too.
5. What can we all do right now to make this world a better place?
Give back, even if it is in small ways, because there is no such thing as small. Be kind to yourself and in turn you will create more compassion toward others. The change starts within you, and then you can give.
6. In less than a minute, without sounding like a used car salesperson, tell us where to find you and what is the next big thing that everyone should be anticipating from you?
Through being involved with The Warrior Flow Foundation online classes, I've started to curate yoga videos that incorporate breath exercises, restorative poses, guided mediations, and more. I'm excited to push out this content to the online community. You can learn more about my background and offerings at www.danaheller.com, and you can follow my work on Instagram or Facebook.
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