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Danny Paradise Ashtanga Yoga Workshop

Thanks to Facebook, last Saturday I haphazardly stumbled across a listing for a fantastic workshop to be taught at the Yoga Loft in Lindsay by World Renown Ashtanga Yoga Master, Shamanic Practitioner, Prana Facilitator, Philosopher and Musician, Danny Paradise. The thought of attending a class inspired by him had me beyond excited at the thought of slaDE also experiencing the style and teachings of this truly talented Yogi. You see, although Danny is a fellow Canadian, his workshops usually have him travelling on a whirlwind schedule (8-9 months of the year — he’s been globe-trotting since 1979), leading workshops and holidays in exotic locations. He pretty much leads the dream life I aspire to, of travelling the world, spreading the love of Yoga, healthy living, and Prana, returning to his roots in Hawaii and Canada on his ‘down time’.  To give you an example of his amazing lifestyle and itinerary, he’s in: USA – August; Spain – September; Germany, Spain & Greece – October; UK – October-November; Thailand – January & February; Israel – February; Bali (the Spirit Festival!) – March; Thailand – April.; Brazil – July, and full circle back to the USA in August 2012. This dear readers comes solely from the scheduled events posted on his website. Whoa!!! Sensational :).

About 6 years ago, I had the privilege of participating in a day long workshop led by Danny at a yoga retreat in Goa, India (I spent 4 months there, discovering yoga in exchange for my web design services) as well as doing a photoshoot on the beach with Danny and friends. This was my first introduction to yoga in the ‘wild’. WOW! The strength, the beauty, the form. In addition. I thought Danny was a fabulous teacher. At the time, I had little to compare his level or style of instruction to. I was a fledgling yoga student and had no idea what the practice of yoga would truly mean to me and my life. Of course, one can’t predict the future, but yoga in itself has been as instrumental in an extreme change through my life progression as was my introduction to skydiving, 20 years ago. Fast forward 6 years to Lindsey Ontario … after experiencing many years of a wide variety of yoga and teaching styles, I was extremely excited at the thought of sharing in this workshop with slaDE~. And that we did. What started as an initial 3 hour afternoon sojourn at the Yoga Loft turned in to a 4 hour class with a lovely evening meal attended by Danny and friends from the studio. Danny did not disappoint. To this day, I find him an incredible teacher, displaying a chill laid-back humble style that is intuitive, knowledgeable, educational, entertaining and extremely valuable.

What I truly loved about Danny’s compassionate and playful afternoon Ashtanga workshop was his provision of a reading list along with notes on and time for a full Pranayama practice.  He spent a good 45 minutes discussing what yoga, shamanism, prayer, meditation and healthy living has meant to him throughout his yoga lifetime (he started in 1976 with David Williams & Nancy Gilgoff). Throughout the rest of his Ashtanga (Primary Series) class, Danny skillfully guided and encouraged us, his students, to empower our minds and make a daily practice of yoga that is “sacred, safe, meditative, healing, joyful, expanding, energetic and pain-free — modified where necessary” (whether it be pranayama, meditation or asana). Many a wonderful quote and inspirational message came from Danny. His personal thoughts and interpretations on yoga expressed the practice as being about (as transcribed from my hectic scribblings during the class):

  • consciousness and self-understanding
  • evolution
  • healing
  • soul work accessing deep levels of the brain
  • reconnecting
  • body and spiritual purification
  • aging with vitality, grace, health and clarity
  • an ancient tradition as old as the human race that delves in to the understanding of human consciousness
  • one way of eliminating fear, anxiety, disease and stress
  • grounding in the present (the only place where true healing can take place)
  • communication with spirit
  • a way of understanding aging and death
  • a gateway for emotional release
I desperately needed this reintroduction in to the magical world of yoga’s realm. Sometimes I find myself losing sight of the possibility of such presence and strength in my life, especially when my body feels weak, unforgiving and judgmental. It’s at times like these that I need Yoga most. Yoga is indeed a truly personal and private journey towards liberation. And I am most grateful for this opportunity in my transformative and educational journey.

“Though Yoga is an ancient teaching it is open to interpretation in all eras and by everyone who enters into the exploration of finding who they really are and what is their ever-evolving place in this endless creation.”

 From Danny’s website, here are a few more personal impressions :

  • Everyone is born to follow their dream.
  • Borders were created by narrow-minded men {not women!} to divide and control people, but God created a world and a universe without borders, without limitations…
  • Only a person with a tiny mind wants to lock people out or in.
  • Death is just another stage of evolution.
  • Love is an endless well available at all times from the Great Spirit…no charge!
  • Go organic! Stay Flexible…
  • Find out what’s really going on….Travel!

My thoughts exactly! What do you think? What does yoga mean to you in your life?


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One Comment

  1. I’m new to this whole yoga thing.

    I guess it’s line with what Danny says about life without borders. I take part in Yoga for Athletes and I stretch my body in ways I never thought possible. There are some things I still can’t do, but I’m working on it. So, to me, it means not limiting yourself.

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