Where do I start with this lady! I’ll start from the beginning because it was literally 2 weeks ago. I was on an unlimited class pass to the Honor Movement Studio (great studio by the way) and I signed up for a yoga flow class with some chica named Danielle. I did this super last minute and was originally supposed to go to Kat’s class who I love but it was earlier and I was tired. I slept in – and it paid off in so many ways! Enter: Danielle.
Danielle is a superb teacher. She is so intelligent about anatomy, sequencing and casually drops knowledge bombs all during her class. At the end of the first class I took with her, SHE CHANTED in Shavasana. A gorgeous, mellow, warm chant that ran from my toes to my third eye and made me realize I really need to step up my teaching game. Because I wanted the shavasas assist to last forever, I booked a thai massage with her at Arcana Healing Arts and she did a wonderful job. I was in a state of zen for several hours after.
If you’re in the Portland, Maine area, make time to take a class with Danielle. The studio she teaches at are below. If you’re a teacher, learn from her. (I am!) If you’re stressed, get a massage from her. She has finally transitioned into her role as a full time yoga teacher and educator and damn does it look good on her. Read on to learn straight from the fox herself.
Name: Danielle Gismondi
Location: Portland, Maine
Occupation: Yoga Educator, Teacher Trainer, Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner and Women’s Circle Leader
What does your self care/love routine look like? Semi-regular massage, checking in with my best lady friends via a crazy group text with lots of voice notes, and pausing to not judge my own feelings, or try to filter them. In the past, I’d switch gears too quickly and not fully process before moving on to the next thing, and now, I stay in that uncomfortable space longer. In the end it won’t kill me even though it’s hard, so I try to go there when it comes up.
Describe your fitness/movement routine in one sentence: Yoga and Barre classes! Barre has given me strength that I didn’t know I had! I’m also trying to get into more indoor rock climbing. I enjoy the combination of movement and strategy. Also, I’m always up for dancing of any kind, and you can regularly find me in a swing or salsa class.
Are you more of a hunter or gatherer?
You’re new to the crayon box, what color would you be?
Favorite vacation spot in Maine?
Favorite foodies spot in Maine?
Favorite Maine activity?
Being at the beach in any capacity!
What do you usually think about in the car?
How loud I can sing without other people noticing.
Go-to coffee shop order?
Large Paris Tea with Almond milk.
Go-to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor?
Favorite fairy tale movie?
Beauty and the Beast (she’s a heroine who loves books! Swoon!)
If you could do anything right now what would it be?
Fly to Barcelona and walk through the Gothic Quarter.
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
The last gift you gave someone? An herbal oil with oregano and coconut
What were you like in highschool? The girl that did EVERYTHING. I was on every. single. committee.
What TV/movie character would you be & why? Jess Day from New Girl because she speaks to my teacher-y, overly enthusiastic, idealist side.
If you had all the money, what type of vacation would you plan? A full US roadtrip followed by a month in Thailand and India.
Words that inspire you: Let it go. Let it leave. Let it happen. Nothing in this world was promised or belonged to you anyway. – Rupi Kaur
What are you working on in your free time?
A real live website, and less exciting- my health insurance application.
How many time a day do you type something into Google?
oh goodness gracious, I ask Alexa a lot of questions!
How long have you been in the wellness business?
I’ve been teaching yoga part-time for the last 12 years, and just made the jump to full time!
Can you describe your how your health and wellness career started?
I was gifted my first yoga teacher training at age 17 by my yoga teacher in high school. She trained me privately before I went away to college. In retrospect, what she did was really radical. Studying yogic philosophy at that age has shaped the lens through which I view the world, and I could not be more grateful.
When do you feel the most successful?
When my inner life and out life match. What I mean by this, is that whatever inward feeling I’m having doesn’t always match what I show outwardly. When those two things align, (and it’s happening more and more!) I feel really successful. I also feel successful, when I try something new and fail! (like surfing! I am terrible!!) I’m trying to redefine how I view success and what that feels like.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Quitting my full time teaching job to pursue my other gifts! It was really hard to make that decision, but once I made it, the abundance and support I received was just short of overwhelming.
What challenges haves you faced getting to where you are now?
I faced the challenge of losing the esteem of being in a traditional work setting. I was scared to let go of teaching children because I was afraid of what it might look like from the outside. I have 3 degrees and 8 years of teaching in many different school settings, and on paper, I was very good at my job. Leaving that to work for myself was terrifying not because I didn’t think I could do it, but because I was afraid of being judged for what might look like a reckless decision. Convinced I could never work for myself, I spent a few very unhappy years struggling in my position as a teacher. Once I accepted that I did have the knowledge and courage to branch out, I was totally liberated from that fear.
What advice would you give women who want to enter the wellness & health industry?
Do your research! I am firm believer that you need to be fully practicing whatever it is you want to teach or offer. That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect at it, but having a sense of mastery over a topic gives you an edge, and the confidence to offer your gifts to others. I have thousands of hours of teaching, facilitating, training and communicating in the wellness realm under my belt now, and I’m finding that was what made it seamless for me to enter this industry in a full-time way.
What has been your favorite continuing education, certification or training?
I work closely with my teacher, mentor and dear friend, Jennifer Yarro who runs Frog Lotus Yoga Teacher Training, as well as the Triple Gem School of Thai Massage. Her work is thorough, respectful, reverent and fun! I don’t have enough good things to say about her and the work that she is channeling in the yoga and massage world.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
If it isn’t a fuck yes, it’s probably a fuck no.
The universe rewards you for the risks you take on its behalf.
Replace ambition with curiosity.
I adored writing this post and learning more about this goddess. Thank you Danielle for sharing your wisdom and words of personal growth.