DANIELLE LATTA RUSSEL
Though I had taken the occasional yoga class at the gym, my yoga journey began in earnest in January of 2014. I was recovering from an ankle injury which had left me unable to keep up my normal, cardio-based workouts. I knew I liked yoga from the times that I tried it, but had never practiced at a studio and I was skeptical that I could get an intense enough workout from yoga alone to maintain the physical shape I had been in prior to my injury. Right before the holidays, an ad for Gaia caught my eye and I mentioned it to my then boyfriend (now husband) who gave me a 3-month Gaia membership as a Christmas gift.
It only took one class to realize that the intensity of the workout would not be an issue, but it took a few more for me to realize that the classes at Gaia gave me much more than I would ever find on an elliptical machine at one of the local fitness centers. I fell in love with the calm relaxed feeling that would come over me as I made my way through even the most energetic flows. I noticed my stress levels and anxiety started to drop and while the weight I had put on in the downtime from my injury didn’t immediately disappear, I could feel myself growing stronger and more flexible with every practice.
About a month after I began practicing at Gaia, I decided to cancel my gym membership. By the end of the 3 months, I knew that not only had I found a new home for exercise, but also that someday I would get certified to teach so I could share my new-found love of yoga with others. In June of 2016 I received my RYT200 certification from the Gaia Flow Teaching program and have been teaching weekly classes since.
For all of my classes, I aim to challenge and inspire my students to try something new and I love sharing in their joy when they’re able to get into a pose for the first time. When I’m not at the studio practicing or teaching, I love to travel, cook, go to concerts, and spend time with my sweet husband, Matt and our crazy dog, Jolie.