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A sweet life: from the mouth of a Wise Woman

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Danielle Mondahl 4 LRThis month we caught up with one of our beautiful Bliss Baby Yoga graduates, passionate women's and restorative yoga teacher, and self-care advocate, Danielle Mondahl.

Danielle Mondahl is at a stage in her life where she has mastered the art of self-care.  With her family all grown up, Danielle says she is now completely open to receiving and fully embracing the sweetness of life.

Danielle ‘walks the talk’ of self-care. When I called to interview her for this article, she was returning from a walk up to the top of Mount Coolum after watching a pod of whales frolicking off the coastline. 

“Just beautiful!” she enthuses as we started our chat. I could feel a sense of peacefulness in her voice and I instantly knew that I was in the presence of a wise woman who has some lessons in life to share with us all! 

Danielle has spent the last two years enhancing her already impressive skill set, by expanding her learnings with Bliss Baby Yoga. She has completed Bliss Baby’s 100 hour pre/post natal teaching training, the 80-hour Women’s Yoga Training, as well as her Level 1 and Level 2 Restorative Yoga Teacher Training.  

Danielle was initially drawn to yoga teacher training to simply learn more about yoga. 

“I never had any intention of teaching yoga. My interest was purely physical and goal orientated – my focus was on perfecting my Chaturunga (push-up pose)!” 

But as time went on, Danielle soon realized that the ‘masculine’ approach to her yoga practice was simply not working for her.

“I found that as I practiced this ‘yang’ style of yoga, I often wanted to modify the practices… I suppose I began to really honour what my body was telling me.”

Danielle’s intuitive exploration led her to adapt more of a soft and nurturing practice.  Around this time she was introduced to a local yoga teacher by the name of Donna Thordarson, who was teaching restorative yoga. 

“I thought restorative yoga was like a yin style of yoga, but soon realized that it was far more powerful and resonated at a deeper level within me.  This practice really allowed me to explore my feminine side – it allowed me to soften and surrender,” recalls Danielle.

“After 25 years of giving to my family, the restorative yoga practices taught me how to receive once again and most importantly come out of that mode of always doing”.

DAnielle Mondahl Restorative Yoga LRRestorative Yoga clearly had an immense impact on Danielle, and it was inevitable that her desire to learn more about this healing modality led her to enroll in the Bliss Baby’s Restorative Yoga Teacher Training. 

“The whole Bliss Baby approach to yoga really appeals to me. Each course I have attended has felt like I have been held in a cocoon of self care – really taking time out for me to receive,  and ultimately sharing all of this knowledge has been such a joy”.

Danielle completed both Level 1 and 2 Restorative Yoga training in August & November 2016 in Byron Bay, and she attributes one of the many reasons she enjoyed this course was due to the Bliss Baby Yoga Teacher Trainer, Star Despres.

“Knowing the reason why the postures felt so good really engaged my interest in exploring and learning more about restorative yoga. In particular I loved Star Despres’ teaching style and her approach to yoga for women,” she says.

“I loved the way the course allowed you to fully embody and practice restorative yoga and understand it at a deeper level. I enjoyed exploring how we can customize the practices to suit the individual students needs.”

Danielle’s ongoing learning has complimented her skills as a Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner as well as her studies in Ayurveda.  She especially loves to look at people’s ‘doshas’ (Ayurvedic constitution) and use the tools of yoga to give them what they need the most – either to uplift them or ground them depending on their needs. 

Danielle believes that many of her yoga students are now paying more attention to their inner voices.  Quite a few of them are at the stage in their lives where they are starting to come into menopause or peri-menopause.

“The women in my practice who are transitioning into menopause often begin to re-evaluate what they want for themselves. They are no longer pouring energy into the care-taking of others, they have more energy for their personal lives,” explains Danielle. “The message of nurturing yourself and really taking care of yourself is resonating with my students – they say to me: ‘you are speaking my language!’’

Danielle is on a mission to passionately spread the important message of self-care. She particularly encourages those women whose family have grown up and left home to ask themselves: “what are you doing to nurture yourself and take care of you?”

Constructive rest image LRMost of Danielle’s classes involve restorative practices, and even if she is teaching a ‘normal’ style of yoga, she always ensures that she sneaks a restorative pose at the end of the class. One of her favourite postures for her students is Constructive Rest Pose: “I just love it at the end of the class when I look around and see that look upon their faces,” she says.

Going forward, Danielle would love to study more with Bliss Baby Yoga, and perhaps combine her skills to become a doula or midwife.

For women entering into the world of motherhood , or seeking an inspiring and supportive guide on the journey to menopause and beyond,  what a blessing it would be to have Danielle in their lives!
And what about mastering that Chaturunga?

“I couldn’t give a damn about that anymore!” she says with a laugh.

By Mari Notaras


Danielle Mondahl 1 LR Danielle Mondahl is based on the Sunshine Coast, QLD, and teaches regular yoga classes in a variety of styles, including Prenatal, Mums n Bubs, and Restorative Yoga, as well as offering Pregnancy Massage, Thai Yoga Massage, private yoga sessions and Ayurveda.

Danielle's passion is supporting mums-to-be, new mums, busy and exhausted women through feminine practices, mindfulness and massage.

To contact Danielle or find out more about her classes visit www.thaiyogamassagebydani.com.au or connect with her via Thai Yoga Massage by Dani on Facebook or @thai_yoga_massage_by_dani on Instagram.

 

Our next and final Bliss Baby Yoga L1 & L2 Restorative Yoga Teacher Training will be held in Byron Bay, 17th-19th November, 2017.

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"I really enjoyed the Bliss Baby Yoga teacher training online course because it was flexible, allowing me to do the work and practices at a convenient time....especially helpful for mothers with babies."  Helen Santamaria Popescu

“I found it so convenient as a new mum, working three different jobs I was able to also do the course without feeling overwhelmed. I enjoyed listening to the lectures during my drives and was sad when they came to an end  _ I might have to re-listen.” Leah Gencheff, Newcastle

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