LIFESTYLE | Why I Love Yoga + How it Loves Me: How my yoga practice has enhanced my life + overall w


Workout Outfit: Calvin Klein Water Bottle: Swell Yoga Mat: Home Goods, but I also have a white marble print Incline brand mat similar to this that I like a lot Sunglasses: Quay

My yoga practice began about 8 years ago while attending Cal State Fullerton. I’m trying to remember the exact moment I decided to take my first class, but it’s difficult to pinpoint. I have always loved stretching and was familiar with it from being a cheerleader and a dancer for so many years, so I thought it sounded fun, and probably decided one day to take a class on a whim, as I do many things in life (#spontaneous), but boy did I not realize at the time how much this new hobby would, as cliche as it may sound, change my life.\


My yoga practice is something I hold very near and dear to my heart - it’s almost like a religion to me. Like many things in life, my dedication to my yoga practice ebbs + flows. Some weeks I take class 3-4 times a week, others, only once. Two things remain consistent, though - Yoga has always + will always be a tool I use to get some clarity + find a little peace, and something that makes my body feel good. I know I will always walk out of class feeling refreshed + rejuvenated. Nowadays, I have a monthly membership at Ra Yoga, and switch off taking class at the Costa Mesa and Newport Beach locations, mostly depending on class times, since my schedule always changes. I absolutely LOVE Ra because the focus is on spirituality, with a fair dose of exercise. Ra, in my opinion, stands out from other yoga studios I’ve tried because of their branding and overall company culture (think: window displays that change every season, cute little wooden boxes on the wall where you can leave feedback for the studio and its’ instructors, affirmations written everywhere. Their slogan is also “Breathe In Light”, which is totally in alignment with several of the tattoos I have, especially the latin text on my rib reading “Lux In Tenebris” aka “Light in Darkness”). In honor of #InternationalYogaDay last week, I wanted to write a little blog as an homage to my love affair with yoga. It has done a lot for me, so it only felt right to leave something on this digital diary about a hobby that I love so much and brings so much to my life.



Just a few things yoga has taught me -

  1. Discipline

  2. Patience

  3. Mindfulness

  4. Body + Mind Awareness

After each session on my mat, I feel -

  1. More at peace

  2. Calm

  3. Rejuvenated

  4. Refreshed

  5. Relaxed

  6. Accomplished

  7. Joyful

  8. Appreciative

  9. More in tune with my body

...the list goes on!



The more I grow as a person, the more my yoga practice develops.

Life is a journey, a beautiful pre-destined story filled with twists + turns, surprises + challenges along the way, and yoga helps me to remember the beauty in that.

Favorite Class:

Hot Ra, Monday nights @ 8:30pm with Jackie (Costa Mesa)

Advice to Beginners:

Start with Ra’s Vinyasa Intro to Level 1 class. It isn’t heated, and it’s a manageable 60 minutes, making it the perfect beginner class.


“Please stop overthinking life like you have an answer to every feeling or situation. That’s just not how life works. We figure it all out just by living. By f***ing up, by missing an opportunity, by seeking advice and not taking it. We learn what’s important and what isn’t. Sometimes we have no f***ing idea what to do...and that’s ok. Always trust your gut and know that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. It always does. Relax - you were never in control anyway.”

DANIELLE LEILANIJUNE 24, 2019