Demi Yoga

Danielle Miller, a young fun-loving Barbadian who found her calling in the field of Yoga.  She has always been active and engaged in one form of physical activity, swimming, volleyball and dancing her favorites to do.  Before the Yoga experience, she was frequently active in the gym on her quest to maintain an above average fitness level.  Not afraid to try the new things, she was having a fun time trying her hands and legs at Pole fitness.  She noticed that her instructors from the gym and pole fitness classes were very flexible.  This was something she never personally paid much attention to. Like most of us do these days, she went to YouTube for answers.  She did find some help,  but between trying to keep up and to avoid becoming overwhelmed she realised this strategy was not working.  However she noticed one common theme throughout the videos, they all referenced Yoga.  Armed with her YouTube epiphany she accompanied a friend to a yoga class, and another and then another.

Pairing what she was learning in class with her pole fitness routines she realised some improvements.  Further to this, Danielle was starting to understand that there was more to Yoga than the stretches and posing.  She revealed that  during her classes she was able to meet a lot of beautiful people who supported each other along the journey.  For inspiration she started following the Yoga personalities on Instagram and applying what she had seen to help her along. 

Things were beginning to get serious and Danielle took things a step further. She started to teach.  Asked by a friend if she would show him the ropes she willingly complied and to her surprise, thoroughly enjoyed it.   The more friends lined up to be trained, the more she enjoyed doing it.  Her passion deepened so much for the craft that she wanted to share the benefits and to educate not only her friends, but anyone who was interested, about the life-changing,  positive impact of yoga .  She discovered that Yoga allowed you to focus your mind and engage in introspective analysis.  It was about resting, restoring and strengthening your body and mind.  

Philosophy, religion and  exercise are intrinsic to yoga. This ancient Indian practice dating back some 5,000  years has been surging in popularity around the world.  It is a multidimensional  practice which in its purest form aligns with spirituality and living a balanced life.  In conveying its spiritual message teachers of Yoga, men who are referred to as Yogi and women Yogini, traditionally ask their students to visualise a tree with deep roots, a trunk and branches bearing fruit.  Each branch represents  an aspect of Yoga that is  essential to the health of the tree. The branches are Hatha, Raja, Karma, Bhakti, Jnana and Tantra.  We are not going to define each branch but the one we will focus on is Hatha Yoga.  This is the branch which hones in on the physical and mental.  It is designed to develop the mind and body.  The new millennium has ushered in a health theme,  a healthier way to eat, sleep, work and exist.   Therefore, this area of Yoga is the branch that has blossomed worldwide, with it being incorporated into exercise routines and promoted in gyms. 

Continuous adaptations to Yoga to make it attractive to everyone has seen its popularity continue to grow.  Do an Instagram search for ‘hashtag’ yoga and up pops people engaged in stretching and meditating with twisted torsos, feet behind their heads and balancing on one leg while the other is wrapped around their backs. To apply a term of the current era, it is trending, and there is no evidence that it will slow down any time soon.  With the world becoming smaller because of the digital platform,  Barbados has not been left out of the trending exercise.  Instructors and their clients are twisting, balancing and deep-breathing all across the island.  

Inspired, motivated and brimming with a new zest Danielle, launched DemiYoga Fitness in May 2016. The next step was to become properly trained.  That she did in May of 2016 when she ventured to West Palm Beach, Florida to train at Yogafit.  She then gained her certification by doing the 200-hour teacher training with the Marianne Wells Yoga School the following year.  Her business continued to grow and so did her popularity.  It is interesting to note that during this time of discovery and running DemiYoga Fitness, Danielle was also a part-time teacher and a property manager. However, that changed in 2018 where she started to question if she really wanted to be in the corporate world.  Confiding in her mother, close friends and partner, who all supported her, about her concerns, she went full-time into teaching yoga. The bold move did come with some second guessing and nervousness,  nonetheless she stayed the course with no regrets.  Developing into an astute business woman she has diversified the business by offering more classes and options which include group sessions, and private one-on-one sessions. Additionally, she sells Yoga apparel.

Danielle continues to promote that yoga is for anyone at any stage. She was quoted as saying, “Yoga is also about therapy and finding calm in turmoil, but it’s not going to happen in one session. People use yoga to relieve stress, anxiety, lower blood pressure and to learn how to breathe properly. It’s about mobility, flexibility and strength. The way I teach I call it vinyasa yoga. I start with a centering, people just sit, or stand, or lie on their backs, whichever position they prefer to start to connect with their breath; clear their minds and forget about everything else that is happening.”  As she teaches, she seeks to help her students to nurture their bodies and minds. Some see yoga as this serious practice and granted it is, but it is also a source of joy. So her aim when you come to your mat is to be more open to learning about self, accepting challenges and to having fun while practicing.  Her 5000 plus followers on Instagram get a daily  glimpse into her life as she regularly posts like those who initially inspired her. Her fun loving personality shines through as she gives motivational tips and demonstrates some of her poses and stretches. A true ambassador of the centuries old practice.

Interesting Facts

  • Danielle is an avid dog lover
  • She is a past student of the St. Michael School
  • She loves the beach
  • She does Pole Pilates
  • Her favorite quote is “you only live once but if you do it right, once is good enough”.