Two years ago, Danielle Moore just wanted to learn to split and headstand. Now she is the owner of DemiYoga Fitness, a small business that teaches the spiritual and ascetic discipline of yoga.
She sat down with Barbados TODAY after an early morning class on the beautiful Enterprise Cliff to share the benefits of yoga, how her business is bringing yoga awareness to the Barbadian community, its impact on her life, and how she plans to expand.
“I started practising yoga two years ago – February 2015 – and I really started because I was trying to do a split . . . I was doing pole fitness at the time and decided to browse YouTube. Every video I looked at was always leading me towards yoga and stretching, and that’s when I started doing yoga. It simply evolved from there. I was doing yoga to reach certain goals and to challenge my body,” she said.
Adding that yoga ended up changing more than just her body, Moore said: “I was very impatient, especially with my body; yoga has definitely taught me patience, even in my day-to-day life.”
Peers and workmates played a big role in Moore taking her love for yoga and fitness and channeling it into a business
“It was really my friends who kept pushing me and telling me, ‘You should teach! You should teach!’ because I started posting videos on my social media channels. Originally, I wasn’t particularly on board, but I found that whenever my yoga friends and I met, I would always be trying to lead them and provide guidance and I thought to myself, ‘maybe I can do this’,” Moore recalled.
And she did. In May 2016, while she was still a wedding coordinator at a local hotel, she decided she would offer yoga classes on evenings.
She became certified in level 1 yoga teacher training with Yogafit Inc. last year and now teaches Hatha yoga.
“Hatha yoga focuses on linking our breath to our movement. It is a gentle practice which generally leaves persons feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and stretched,” Moore explained.
She has not given up her day job, which is now in property management. But the number of classes she offers has increased.
“When I started, it was one class a week on Tuesday, and I wasn’t really advertising it in any way. But people were finding me because of where I was. I started at the Boardwalk in Hastings,” Moore explained.
She insists the financial benefit of teaching yoga was the last thing on her mind.
“To be completely honest, I never thought about how much money I could make from it or that this would be my little business. I just did it because I loved yoga, I wanted to share my knowledge of yoga, and I could as well find something to do with my time on evenings after work.”
With an increasing clientele, she has decided to become even more qualified and has plans to expand her offerings in the near future.
“My training did not take me into prenatal yoga, but an expecting mom came to my class and I really had to go home and research and ask some other yoga teachers for tips,” she said.
“I am furthering my yoga knowledge later this year in July. I am going away to do a 200-hour training class with Marion Wells Yoga School . . . in Costa Rica and that is a certified school through Yoga Alliance. It will be the first step for me to expand my business and I will be offering
yoga to pregnant women, the elderly, as well as children.”
Moore is also looking for a studio to call her business home, since inclement weather forces her to cancel classes at her current locations, which are all outdoors.
In the meantime, she continues to spread awareness about the benefits of yoga through her social media platforms.
“There are various benefits of practising yoga and everybody has their own reason for starting, but one benefit some of my students have found is that they sleep a lot better. Regular yoga practice increases flexibility and muscle strength; improves respiration and energy; creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention and sharpens concentration.”