Yogi Selects: Dara Danielle

The first time I met Dara (pintsizenurse)  was a cold cold night in Gotham City. She came through with SuperDopemin and BendiLocs. An interview and some yoga started warmed up the mood and we have been creating moments for photo and video every now and then since that day. I thought it would be cool to get a little more insight into her practice so take a read below and learn how to love life as it is!

What does it mean to have the heart of a hippie and the spirit of a fairy?

When I think of a hippie, I think of an unconventional free loving person and I feel like my heart speaks to that. I have anscreen-shot-2017-01-09-at-12-57-36-am unconventional way of showing and sharing love. And when I think of a fairy, I think of something sweet that’s around to protect those around them with “magic” and that speaks to my spirit. I’m this little light for those closest to me making sure they’re ok, “granting little wishes and making magic happen”.

What do you imagine the place you are searching for in life, looks like?
I’m not completely sure because I don’t feel like I’m searching for a place per say. I just want happiness in life and those around me to be happy, so if that’s some secluded island or a busy city, as long as I’m happy that’s the place I want to be.

“When your body is ready it will do things you ask of it” … Does the mind work in the same way and why?

I think so. I feel like we can’t force ourselves to do anything until we’re 100% ready to do it, whether it’s physical or mental. It’s like when someone gives us advice, if we aren’t ready to accept it, we won’t.

Do you have any dreams that you are currently living out? If so how screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-1-01-15-amdoes it feel stepping into ideas you manifest?
Yes, being a nurse is one. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a nurse. There’s something about helping and being in a healing space that brings me so much joy. It’s an amazing feeling to see ideas and dreams manifested. Seeing all your hard work pay off, it’s hard to put into words the happiness you get out of such an accomplishment.

What is the first lesson that comes to mind when you read these three words “energy, attention, & yoga”?
First lesson that comes to mind when I read “energy” & “attention” is what we focus our energy and attention on becomes our reality. Something as simple as thinking “Monday sucks” every week will make every Monday suck. First lesson that comes to mind when I read “yoga” is only consistency brings results. Whether it’s the physical, mental, or spiritual aspect of the practice you’ll only reap the benefits of yoga by being consistent.


What thoughts do you find most distracting during your yoga practice and how do you remain focused?
The everyday adult stuff.
“Did I remember to do this?”
“Once I’m done, I have to do that.”
I have to remind myself that during my practice it’s not the time for that. My practice is the time for me to focus on the moment and being on my mat. Sometimes it’s hard, but when I have those days were it’s not, it’s the best practice I have

Have you had any yoga related dreams or metaphysical experiences that you find hard to explain? If so feel free to share one
I can’t say that I have

Would you say you have experienced anything mystical or unexplainable during your meditation/yoga practice?screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-1-05-48-am
I’ve experienced astral projection before and I’ve only shared it this with other yogis. I was in my restorative yoga teacher training propped up in a pose and next thing I notice I was sitting in lotus looking down on my physical body. My physical body was in the pose smiling and my spiritual body was smiling back. Once my spirit and physical connected again I saw purple light beaming from my third eye. To say I was in cloud nine after that experience is an understatement.

How do you find balance in the “sometimes hectic” work life of a nurse while attaining spiritual alignment and progression as a yogi?
What many people don’t realize about yoga is that it’s something we practice off the mat. It’s so much more than just the physical. I actually find it easy to balance. When things get hectic at work, I’ll pause and breathe. Not every hectic situation is worth getting all screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-1-09-24-amworked up over and stressed out about. Seeing how I’ve managed to keep my peace of mind, especially while being a substance abuse and mental health nurse, and seeing how my coworkers would stressed, that’s what has kept my practice consistent. I know what yoga is doing for me on a mental and spiritual level so there’s always time for it even with the crazy that can comes with being a nurse.

Compare the way your body feels when on a plant based diet versus meat based & How has this effected your yoga practice?
On a plant based diet my body feels lighter. My energy is always up and I just all around feel good. On a meat based diet I feel sluggish and slowed down. For me, I think a plant based diet made me feel more connected to my spiritual yoga practice. As if I had a new awareness with my body.


“Judge your success by what you had to give up to get it” Dalia Lama …. What did you have to let go and how does that reflect in your success?
I had to let go of my comfort zone. In 2010, I moved from NJ to NY (not a drastic move, but all my friends were in Jersey) in order to go back to school. Moving was the thing I could’ve done for myself. Since being in NY I obtained a CNA, LPN, & RN license. I’m a 200hr certified yoga instructor. My success reflects me getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith, especially if it’s for something we knew in our hearts we genuinely want.

What would you say to anyone looking to get into a healthier lifestyle but does not know where to start?
Make small changes and let them gradually grow into bigger ones screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-1-14-30-amuntil it becomes your way of life. Move at your own pace. So say you’re looking to stop eating meat, start out by cutting out beef and pork. Then cut out chicken and turkey. Or cut out all meat and keep seafood.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of infocus247.com ?
This thing called life is a lot simpler than we think. Go with your gut and follow what makes you happy.