Daniel Rama, the Book
by DEBBY SIEGEL
We are not supposed to judge books by their covers, right? Well, if we apply this reasoning to Daniel Rama, you’d still be binge reading this book cover-to-cover and then lending it to your friends at book club. This 23 year old, ink-covered, hunky guy with crystally blue eyes and impressive balancing skills taught us much about yogic living and mindfulness. In the brief time we spent with Daniel Rama during his hand balancing workshop tour, we found his energy and presence to be that of a great leader. His demeanor well beyond his years. His ego balanced. His skills immense. His guidance respectful and respectable. We just know Daniel Rama is going to bless many lives with his journey. And now that you’re reading this interview with him, he’ll likely bless yours too.
I was fortunate enough to attend a weekend of hand balancing workshops with you, and recall some points you made about how it takes 20 hours of repeating something for your brain/body to retain it. Will you please expand on this?
Whether you’re learning balloon sculpting, handstanding or conversational French, it takes roughly 20 hours to learn the basics of any new skill or activity. That works out to almost 45 minutes per day for one month.
I used to try learning something new every month. Not necessarily for the sake of that particular skill or action – I’ll be surprised if a talent such as rolling a coin across my fingers will ever come in handy – but because learning new skills unlocks new neural pathways within the brain, it makes it progressively easier to learn other new things.
In the context of our workshop, I was simply shedding light on the fact that all forms of learning are important and interconnected.
Your energy is so balanced, inviting and calm, were you always like this?
Anyone who knew Daniel De France would say he was quite the opposite. We need not discuss the dirty details my history with substance abuse, selfishness, mental illness and more. The important thing, is that we all came from somewhere, pleasurable or painful. And ultimately, it is because of my troubled past that I started to move toward a more meaningful present.
You are younger than most yoga teachers, and yet you offer wisdom like an ancient master and are so well versed in the philosophies of yoga. To what do you attribute your maturity?
I’m not sure how deep we should go with this answer. But in a tangible sense, much of the knowledge I’ve come to understand and share was introduced to me during my days at Sivananda Ashram. Situated on Paradise Island, just outside the Bahamian capital city, this spiritual centre is the only physical location that I’ve ever felt comfortable in calling “home.”
It was at Sivananda that I took my yoga teacher training, and lived an additional six months, silently studying the practices of yoga and meditation. This is where I was given the name Rama and took significant steps towards who I am becoming today. A place I believe all should experience at least once. In fact, I’ll be living there to assist with Teacher Trainings from November to February. www.sivanandabahamas.org
In all honestly, the impact yoga has made on my life is always active and ever changing. One who continually practices all aspects of yoga will see constant progress within the realms of body and mind.
Daniel Rama in the woods of Forest Park:
In your workshop (and on your website) you told a story of a crushed foot from a weight lifting accident in college instigating your original inspection of yoga. How has yoga impacted your life beyond that injury healing?
In relation to that injury, or rather the act of healing from the injury, I was simply shown the once unimaginable powers of yogic practice. I owe my mobility, and honestly my life, to these practices; and ever since my miraculous recovery I’ve made it my life’s purpose to share the practices of yoga with individuals of all walks, in all areas around the world.
What one piece of wisdom would you like to share with our readers? One you find most valuable in your daily living.
Simple living. High thinking.
We spend so much of our time occupied by the fluff of modern life, and we search outside, for that which we will only ever find inside.
One of the most important changes I’ve ever had the strength to make, is the embodiment of simplicity. Everything I own fits neatly into a 60L backpacking bag. It isn’t much, but from my computer to the few articles of clothing, every item has purpose, and ultimately serves to bring me back to my authentic Self.
Learning how to bring it back to necessity is one thing that will intensely benefit the lives of almost everyone. As a general rule of thumb: more possessions outside, more problems inside.
How long do you plan to tour the U.S. with your hand balancing workshops?
There are always new studios asking to set something up, but at the moment I’ll be heading north to teach in Canada towards start of June.
Thus far the schedule is as follows:
- April 30/ May 2 – Dallas, Texas
- May 7/ 8 – Jackson Hole, Wyoming
- May 14/ 15 – Nashville, Tennessee
- May 21/ 22 – Atlanta, Georgia
After Atlanta I have plans to visit friends in DC and/ or NYC and will likely add a few more programs in the areas.
The best way is to get in touch, and bring me out to your city. I’m happy to travel anywhere, as long as there are a few interested individuals eager to gain a greater understanding.
A close second however, is my online yoga studio. I initially created this space with the intention of providing students from my hometown (Hamilton, Ontario) a way to continue their practice while I was traveling through India. Present day it is also a means through which almost anyone can practice yoga, provided they can find a wifi connection.
Within those virtual walls you will find a number of full-length yoga practices ranging from meditative Hatha, to more physicality based flows, to intense sequences geared towards hand balance mastery. Full monthly access, to my ever expanding library, regularly costs $9.99. Your readers however, can cut that in half by using the promo code “YoGo50” — 30 days of yoga, or a chai tea latte from Starbucks?
For the full studio, visit www.danielrama.com and click the “online studio” link.
Thank you for spending a few moments of your day reading about this man. May you cross paths with him someday. If you do, please let us know how you liked the book! firstname.lastname@example.org.
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