Teacher Feature: Dan Hall

Teacher Feature Interview: Dan Hall

1.     When planning a yoga class or workshop, I look for sequence and theme inspiration…

     One of my favorite ways to draw inspiration in designing a yoga class is to look at what events are going on in the world or in my life. For example, if there is something of particular importance occurring that affects many people, I try to design a sequence that instills calm, energy, or kindness. Recently I themed a class around non-attachment because I met a woman who was frustrated with her tight hamstrings. After speaking with her some and relating to her that I struggle with the same thing, I tried to explain that yoga is not about getting in to that “picture-perfect pose” we see on social media. It is about showing up and doing what feels best for you, listening to what your body needs, and most of all, patience. 

2.     My absolute favorite thing about being a yoga teacher is…

     Being a positive presence in people’s lives. I love coming to class seeing familiar faces each week and feeling like I am able to contribute something positive to society that is completely my own. I look forward to teaching each and every class no matter how tired I am because my students always uplift me and give me so much life and love in return. 

3.     The most memorable yoga class/workshop/training/retreat I’ve taught…

    The most memorable yoga class I taught was actually a class that I subbed. There was one student that attended, and she told me she was a yoga teacher from Australia and was traveling the US on a skydiving tour. She was so excited and energetic. She began to play with one of the Dharma Yoga Wheels in the studio while waiting for class to start, so I told her we could use them since it was just the two of us. I practiced with her as I taught, making most of the sequence up as I went along, and I believe it was one of the best classes I have ever taught. She was so very grateful afterwards and it filled me up receive such high praise from someone I had just met. 

4.     Top three people, places or things that I am personally inspired by are...

a.    My yoga journals: I flip through the pages and see all of the planning and growing I have done to this point in my yoga career. I keep my notes here, my old sequences that I modify to bring a different type of awareness to them, and the first thank-you card I received from a student.

b.    My yoga community: I absolutely love my yoga community. I feel so fortunate to teach alongside and learn from some truly incredible and talented individuals. It inspires me to continue to grow and be the best teacher that I possibly can.

c.     Travelling: Anytime I travel I always have to check out a local yoga studio for inspiration. If I am somewhere remote (like camping in the desert) I draw inspiration from my surroundings. Oftentimes I will use my airplane travel time for some peace and quiet to write new sequences.

5.     My all-time favorite book, blog or quote of inspiration is….

    It is hard for me to choose an all-time favorite because there are several books that I really love. The most recent book that I have read and found very inspiring was Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. Her book gave me such valuable insight to feelings such as vulnerability, shame, courage, and empathy as it relates to myself and others. 

6.     My close friends and family would describe me with these three words:

    I asked my boyfriend and he said: Happy, information-seeker, and Mogwai-ish (like from Gremlins…we both like chicken a lot).

7.     I always find bliss…

    In no particular order…I always find bliss at the beach, in the ocean, on my yoga mat, hiking through the woods, meditating, listening to music, teaching yoga, and eating popcorn. 

8.     As a yoga teacher, I never leave home without…

    If I am going to class, my yoga journal, my mala bracelet I received after completing my teacher training, and my water bottle. I wear my mala bracelet(s) nearly everywhere else I go to always feel close to home no matter where I am.

9.     Something people may find surprising about me is...

    I am a Forensic Drug Chemist in Dallas, so my day involves testing and confirming the identity of drug evidence submitted by police departments. I testify in court on occasion based on the results of my reports. 

10.  My idea of an adventure is...

    Going on a trip to somewhere new and exciting and meeting new people along the way. I love meeting people when I travel. I have had some of the coolest conversations with complete strangers. Traveling with Airbnb is one of my newer favorite things because it has allowed me to stay in some incredible, unique places. To me, this is all part of the adventure. 

11.  My idea of the perfect day is...

    I keep very busy driving back and forth in DFW. Currently, my favorite days are days that I don’t NEED to do anything and only do the things that I WANT to do. I think it is nice once in a while to sign off for a day and only do the things that make you happy.