This is a post by Danielle Simpson, a Yoga instructor currently based in Vancouver. She’s part of the Coostom family, having starred as the model in our own videos, and provided feedback and support throughout the project’s life.
I always say that I started yoga when I was about 3 or 4. My favourite babysitter was very into yoga in the early 80s, and I would watch her practice with fascination. Soon, she had me doing headstands and child’s pose and I loved it. However, I truly started a dedicated yoga practice after I tore my ACL in my last year of university. I had read that doing Bikram yoga helped to heal people’s knees, and a new studio had opened up in my university town. I started going, in an attempt to heal from surgery. I often sat in hero’s pose, with three blocks beneath me and some tears in my eyes, wondering if I would ever be able to fully bend my knee again. After university, I traveled the world for a year. While working in Zambia, my boss invited me to a yoga class, which turned out to a Power Yoga class, and from that moment on, I was hooked on yoga like never before. Now seven years later, I can’t imagine my life without yoga, plus I can fully bend my knee again and fully recline in hero’s pose!
As my practice developed, I started to become more curious about yoga, its philosophy, and history. Like many other people who choose to take a teacher training, I went into it wanting to deepen my practice. I started asking around about different trainings and chose a teacher training that only had a small number of students. As I’ve always said, 200 hour yoga teacher trainings should really be called ‘200 hours of personal development’ because that is what it truly is. Yes, I learned a lot about yoga, but more importantly, I learned so much about myself. It has no doubt made me a better instructor, but it has made me a better wife, daughter, friend, and person.
I started teaching soon after I finished my teacher training as I realized that I could now share my love of yoga with so many other people. I now adore teaching vigorous vinyasa classes and quiet, gentle yin yoga classes, and love watching my students expand and grow in their practices. Seeing students becoming aware of their bodies and how they can work with their breath is amazing to witness and it’s a blessing to get to a part of their journey.
My favourite place to practice yoga is my cottage. The sound of water, the fresh breeze, and the blue sky make it the most ideal place to practice. Somewhere in my future, there will be a yoga retreat held at my cottage so I can share my two loves, yoga and my cottage. I hope you’ll come join me there.
To see Danielle’s work with Coostom: create a yoga session now.