Yoga Instructor Danielle Campagna on How Practicing Keeps Her Healthy and Why Teaching Is Her Duty
In honor of National Yoga Month, we're sitting down with some of the Valley's favorite instructors to find out how they first got involved in yoga, how it changed their life, and why they believe everybody should incorporate yoga in their lives.
April Bennett at Souls Image Danielle Campagna-Withycombe
Danielle Campagna-Withycome (she just celebrated her one-year wedding anniversary this month, but she's still known professionally as Danielle Campagna) has been a part of the Balley yoga community for over a decade. She started out as a receptionist for At One Yoga (now Life Power Yoga), and after years of avid practicing she decided, on a whim, to take At One's teacher training program instead of moving to NYC to pursue a career in business and communication. That decision gave the Valley one of its favorite yoga teachers, known for her ability to command the room despite her small stature (and random playlists).
How did you first get into practicing yoga?
My mom used to take me to yoga with her when I was like five, six years old. And I really didn't understand it or appreciate it, I was just like "oh, okay, I'll be flexible," and I was a dancer -- ballet, jazz , tap and hip hop -- so it felt natural for me to do that. And then later on in college, I got more into it just for the peace of mind, from all of the exams and such, and then I realized through a chiropractor that I was going to that I had stage four Scoliosis, so he recommended for me to dive deeper into my practice, instead of having a steel rod put into my spine. And so that's what I did, so I've been doing it pretty much all my life.
What made you want to go to teacher training?
April Bennett at Souls Images
Because I wanted to understand not only the alignment purposes behind all of the different poses, but I wanted to know more about what I do everyday on the mat, because there is so much more that goes beyond just the poses themselves. It's living your yamas and your niyamas off the mat, just being good people and making good choices and doing good things for the planet, and the community. And I wanted to do it because I didn't want to get a steel rod put into my spine, to be perfectly honest. So I really was just motivated to learn more about the practice.
So you've been able to avoid surgeries and the rod in your back thanks to yoga?
Correct, and I keep it really comfortable too, you know. If I don't do yoga for a couple of days I can feel it in my back; it starts to tighten up. So it keeps me healthy and limber, and all that good stuff.
What was your experience going through yoga teacher training?
Oh my god, it was life changing. It was a time in my life when I really needed it. I had just graduated college, from ASU. I was going to move to NYC in the fall and take on an internship with Condé Nast Publications. I was all ready to go, and I was sitting on the beach in Del Mar, and someone called me from the studio, saying there's one spot left for teacher training, and I decided to take it. And it changed my life; it was one of those pivotal moments in my life that I realized this is what I'm supposed to be doing. And not only did it help and heal my body, but then when I started teaching...I never really went in to teacher training to be a teacher, cause I was relatively shy, I'd just roll out my mat in the back of the room and do my thing and skip out right after savasana. I really didn't think I'd be a teacher. And it kind of, the path chose me, if that makes sense.