Video might have killed the radio star, but it also just might have awakened the yoga superstar inside of the one and only Danielle Diamond.
We sat down with Danielle to learn more about her practice, life, inspiration, and all around awesomeness this past week. Here’s what we discovered…
Hi Danielle! First and foremost, thank you for doing this. You know we love you. Now introduce yourself to the New Jersey Yoga Collective universe, and let us know the quickie description of how you found yourself rocking and rolling on a yoga mat 7 days a week.
Hi, I’m Danielle Diamond, founder of Xen Strength Yoga with Weights. I found yoga over 20 years ago while producing a fitness video for MTV and immediately fell in love. I’ve been teaching for over 15 years, yet every time I step onto my mat I remind myself that I am a student first. I absolutely love the physical practice of yoga, but I personally have found that meditation is the vehicle to create incredible change in your life- so I have a non-negotiable 20 minute practice every morning.
What’s your inspiration?
I’d have to say that my #1 inspiration as a yoga teacher isn’t actually another person, it’s the drive to continually evolve into a more calm, content, kind and generous person- that’s what gets me on my mat or cushion every day.
Let’s say you could snag a time machine, head back to whaaaaaaaaaatever year we’d be talking about, and give 16 year old Danielle a message. What would you tell her?
I would tell my 16 year old self “you are NOT your body.” I actually wish I could whisper that in every woman’s ear.
The perfect number on the scale and/or a wrinkle-free forehead is NOT the key to happiness. Chasing those things – and changing ourselves to please someone else – just increases the terrible untruth that we are not enough.
I’d ask 16 year old me to “accept who you are right now, even if you want to change something!” I’d tell her to trust me, because I can tell from experience that I was a miserable bitch at a size 0 – true story – and I am much happier now in my favorite jeans that are either a 6 or an 8, depending on the amount of pizza or ice cream I’ve decided to say YES to.
What are you the most proud of overcoming in this life?
What I’m most proud of myself for overcoming isn’t just one thing, but a period of three years from when I was 18-21. During that time my parents got separated, my father’s very successful music business company went bust, I went off to NYU and had to work 4 jobs to put myself through college and then my mother killed herself right when I graduated and started my dream job at MTV. It was the most horrible few years of my life, but I wouldn’t change having to overcome those obstacles because they truly made me who I am today. I did find yoga right after my mother died though, and I absolutely credit it for saving my life.
What’s your daily practice?
My daily practice that I do on a daily basis to grow and move forward is my morning gratitude and meditation practice. Get up, brush teeth, meditate. It’s been non-negotiable in my life for 15 years and I know it grounds me and makes me a much nicer human to be around.
And if life didn’t equal yoga (life = yoga), what would it be looking like these days?
If I wasn’t teaching yoga I’d probably still be a producer at MTV creating live music shows- even though they don’t get ratings like the Jersey Shore did! But I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of yoga with production when I film and produce my yoga videos and online trainings-it’s the best of both worlds.
Okay last one. How can we connect with you?
Danielle stumbled upon yoga while producing fitness videos for MTV and immediately fell in love.
When she didn’t find a method that combined all five elements of fitness experts recommend, Danielle developed Xen Strength Yoga
—a modern twist on yoga that combines flexibility, strength, balance, cardio and core training all in one multi-tasking workout.
In 2012 Danielle produced her first Xen Strength Yoga DVD, which has sold thousands of copies all over the world. She currently trains teachers globally in her method, and guides students through her Love Your Asana 28-Day program online.
Danielle has written for Yahoo Beauty and The Huffington Post, and has appeared on the Today Show, Dr. Oz, Shape, Yoga Journal and Self Online. She was featured in Bobbi Brown’s Pretty Powerful campaign and book, and is a featured teacher on YogaVibes and YogaDownload.
Danielle teaches at A-list wellness events in NYC and The Hamptons, hosted by Wellthily, Gurney’s Inn and Yoga Journal; and she speaks about wellness in the workplace at corporations such as Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.
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