bodyMy yoga journey began over a decade and a half ago when the frazzling business of film-making sent me in search of calmer shores. Looking to unwind and recharge, I signed up for yoga classes. But it was slow going at first. As I struggled, fumbled and trembled my way through, I was preoccupied with the sheer physical execution of poses. Then, like so many beginners, I became obsessed with alignment, and the idea of doing yoga “right”.

But eventually, as my body learned the postures, and with the constant reminders from my teacher to breathe and note the sensations in my body, things began to change.I began for brief fleeting moments to inhabit a state of being I had almost forgotten, a state of calm relaxation and pure pleasure in being. I discovered the more I was able to move past the judging thoughts of my mind and enter the sensations of my body, the better I felt after my yoga practice.

I felt energized, clear minded and peaceful, as if I had tapped into some wellspring of vitalizing energy. Which of course –was exactly what I was doing.

Since then I’ve been hooked. Over the years I have studied a variety of yoga styles including Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Kundalini, and Yin Yoga, and become a certified yoga instructor. Today my conviction that yoga is a healing technology par excellence is leading me to pursue certification as a Yoga Therapist.

I think the most important thing I’ve learned – and am still learning, is that yoga is not about achieving perfect poses. It is about inhabiting the body as sacred space. In yoga the body is seen as an instrument of spiritual practice because as the great modern guru B.K.S. Iyengar put it “The needs of the body are the needs of the divine spirit which lives through the body.”

In yogic philosophy all matter contains a spark of divine light, and yoga is about fanning this spark into a flame. The ancient yogis knew spirit energy as the power of life itself and viewed yoga as a form of active communion with that power.

They believed yoga saturated the body with regenerating life force, activating our vastly under-utilized capacities for healing, longevity and psychic development. And its beginning to look like the ancient yogi’s were right. Today studies conducted by universities around the world demonstrate yoga’s powerful abilities to rejuvenate, heal and transform.

Now I am no expert. At all. And I freely acknowledge that we teach what we most need to learn. But I am also bound to the credo, as my teachers taught me, that one must teach what you know. So with this paradox in mind,  this blog attempts to share what my fifteen year relationship with yoga has taught – and is still teaching me. That said, it will also occasionally wander further afoot into metaphysical conjectures. I hope it serves to tell you who I am as a teacher and the philosophy behind the classes I offer.

So join me as I take a paradigm shifting voyage through the ancient traditions of enlightenment, to rediscover the “body divine” in the light of modern day science. Here I explore how research in fields as diverse as epigenetics and neuro-theology is revealing what the ancient yogi’s long knew, we have a “biology of immanence” evolving within us.

27 Comments Add yours

  1. nadinefawell says:

    You are awesome. How did I not find you until now?????

    1. Danielle Prohom Olson says:

      Aww shucks…back at you. Great blog, great site, great articles, I look forward to reading more of you….ps I love the cards, was thinking of creating something similar for the longest time – now I don’t have to!

  2. kendra says:

    I am part of a dialogue series on Yoga and the Psyche with leading thinkers in the field and was hoping to share this with your readers. Would this be a possibility?

    1. Danielle Prohom Olson says:

      Sure, I’d be thrilled…thanks!

  3. Janice rous says:

    Thoughtful, meaningful and useful

  4. Bryonie Wise says:

    Hi Danielle,

    Great piece…thank you.

    I’m an editor at elephant journal and would love to republish on our site…can we discuss?



    1. Danielle Prohom Olson says:

      Hi Bryonie,

      Why I’d be honored! Sure lets discuss.

      Thanks so much, Danielle

  5. Bryonie Wise says:

    PS: This was in reference to the psoas piece!!

    1. Danielle Prohom Olson says:


  6. Charlotte says:

    loving your blog – happy to have found you.

  7. Karen Sella says:

    What a lovely invitation and contribution to the field! I’m delighted to have discovered you and your work.

  8. Nathalia says:

    Hi Danielle.
    I just found your blog, and I’m loving it. I’m a pilates instructor from Brazil.
    Do you have a facebook page?
    Great work!


  9. Dear Danielle,
    I love your blog – such a great contribution to contemporary yoga – intelligent, balanced and informed, just what is needed.

  10. Maia says:

    I found another great guru right here!! Thank you for sharing your journey. And I’m grateful for Sara, Body Karma, for reblogging your Psoas post. Namaste! =)

  11. stug2013 says:

    Hi Danielle, sorry couldn’t find a contact for you so I have put this message here. A friend put me on to your site, and wow I love what you are doing. I have a site called loveyogaanatomy and would love to repost some of your articles. I can put up a profile and link back to your site. Take a look and see if you would like to be a part of it. You will have my email as admin.
    All the best Stu

  12. Katalina4 says:

    Wonderful blog – just the right balance of beauty and critical thinking for my taste… I am also a film business refugee, maybe that’s why…
    Cheers! Kat

    1. Danielle Prohom Olson says:


  13. I love the work you are doing – the spirit of it and your analysis. The point I want to make here is minor and isn’t about your main topic really. My request to you for a movie and future writing is to stop using the word yogini. In my humble opinion as someone of Indian ancestry who admittedly does not speak any Indian languages, this term is dis-respectful. Yogini, as I understand it, refers to a woman who has reached a stage of being a master practitioner and teacher. The operative word here is master. A yogini denotes a very high level of mastery. Just because a person teaches yoga or practices it, doesn’t mean they are a yogini. I’m not big on hierarchies at all. Yet, I really find myself frustrated by the way women who clearly aren’t very enlightened (in part, because they body into the body oppression you describe) going around calling themselves yogini. This is a bit of cultural appropriation by White women that is led by arrogance and ignorance. I’d be grateful if you played in role in stopping it. Thank you.

    1. Danielle Prohom Olson says:

      Thank-you. Your point is well-taken. The term ‘yogini’ is deserving of the greatest respect and I will be more careful how I use it in future.

  14. paul says:

    hi danielle,
    stumbled upon your writing today.
    wilding the body.
    so, i just want to say thank you.
    not just for the articulate way to illuminate a very real problem in the yoga world.
    (and by the way the images of buff men on cliffs and in sunsets is just as weird)
    as a yoga teacher, i have been going on about penetrating the body image and feeling the body directly for years. it is difficult enough without ken/barbie body image being reinforced by the yoga community.
    so thank you for saying that out loud.
    and secondly…for bringing some intelligence to the table.
    the yoga world is also rife with an anti mind, anti intelligence bias.
    Just feelings and slogans rather than deep intellectual analysis. The mind is denigrated as the problem but yoga has a rich history of deep intellectual analysis. We do not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater on the way to reclaiming the body. We also need to reclaim deep mind.
    So lets forge ahead with deep body, deep heart, deep mind inquiry.
    We don’t have to be “polite” all the time. i would prefer authentic to polite any day.
    We will get there….. we are still very young culturally when it comes to the richness of yoga.
    thank you for contributing your voice.
    We need it.

    1. Danielle Prohom Olson says:

      Thank-you so much. Your work looks very interesting, your site beautiful. Glad to have run across it too!

  15. Alanna Christina says:

    Love your posts so much, refreshing to read them all!

  16. nessa ryall says:

    Thankyou..great set of ideas and comments.

  17. J Higgi says:

    Hi Danielle! We met at the yoga therapy workshop, I gave you the antifreeze for your car. I hope you made it to the mechanic in time! Your blog is wonderful, so many great articles. I’m a big fan of nettles and purslane too 🙂
    best regards,

    1. Danielle Prohom Olson says:

      Well hi there! I still owe you money for that anti-freeze…that saved my butt! I’ll email you and we can figure out how to reimburse your kindness…nice to know you are a fellow forager 🙂

  18. Hi Danielle, I just read your article about the yoginis and why it Really matters to me. Womanhood is more than motherhood; Womanhood is Creation; From my book: “Heal Your Feminine Essence; a Transformative Journey Within; for Women who Wish to be Free.”

    Vessel upon vessel containing another vessel… spinning sphere encompassing another and another in the orgasmic ocean that nurtures all expansion… dreamy womb within a dreamy Womb within a Dreamy Womb becoming conscious of its own orgasmic being… that is what creation within the All containing Cosmic Womb is…
    And within your spinning sphere – contained within the spinning sphere of Gaia, you contain a fractal replica, your womb, along with the creative bliss to dream another dream into being… another being into dreaming…

    Please take a look at my video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JwxC4vq9ko and my website http://www.femininessence.club If you send me your e-mail, I can send you the first 3 chapters of my book as a gift. My information comes from within – my direct connection with the divine creative feminine force or Source, have been practicing tai chi, chi kung and the magical passes specifically for the womb for the past 20 years. Would love to discuss if the info in the video or on my webpage and blog interests you. Joy and freedom, Marie de Kock

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