Daniel Scott is a yogi provocateur with a fresh alternative to the traditional “yoga voice”. His classes are a lively mix of balance, improvisation, strength, and flexibility. With a great focus on moving into postures, not through them, Daniel is an Ashtanga-Vinyasa teacher and Certified Level 2 AcroYoga instructor living in San Francisco Bay Area. He enjoys barefoot running, street art, good coffee, large quantities, and great qualities. As a Wellness Expert for MindBodyGreen and inspirational columnist for the Huffington Post, Daniel Scott is deeply dedicated to sharing the journey from self-conscious to self-aware. With every breath, he strives to answer the ever-present question:
Are you moving or being moved?
9 Questions With Daniel Scott
What made you first step into a yoga class?
I started practicing yoga regularly when I was 25, and like most single heterosexual men in their mid-20s, it was because of a girl.
To be fair, I had done yoga before. Once. 5 years prior. I found myself solo after all of my friends had parted ways and figured that if I was going to be up, I might as well be trying something new. A friend told me in passing his sister taught a 2 hour Vinyasa flow class (whatever that was) every Sunday morning (whenever that happened).
On the walk home, drenched in sweat and justifiably tired, my brain reviewed it’s first yoga experience. Room packed. All shapes, sizes. What the heck was she saying? Breathe. Can’t breathe. So hot. Sliding everywhere. Didn’t know my leg could actually fit behind my head. Huh. Funny thing, that.
Obviously, this gave me more than enough experience to confidently say “yes, of course I do yoga” when asked by a pretty girl about what I do for fun. Thankfully, the mat was much stickier the second time around, and offered sure footing as my journey began.
What was your biggest struggle with the practice when you first began?
Great question, two responses. Superficially, dealing with sweat was a huge obstacle to overcome. I hail from a long line of high-octane sweaters. It’s hard enough to find balance, poise, grace, and patience when one first starts practicing yoga. Add “traction” and “a proper protocol for dealing with soaking wet clothing and stinky mat”, and you’ve got yourself a perfect storm of active frustration.
On a deeper level, it took me a long time to finally find a teacher that I really enjoyed learning from. From the start, I was blessed with enough physical prowess to get in to all the basic postures, along with a few muscley arm-balances to boot. I desired more from my practice, needed it faster, harder, stronger just to keep pace with the voices inside. Thankfully, all that frenetic energy burned itself out before my body did.
What do you like most about practicing?
Stagnant water becomes cloudy. Static objects gather dust. A rolling stone gathers no moss. I enjoy moving and being moved.
How long have you been practicing?
Long enough to realize that no matter how far I go, I’ve only just begun! It took me two years to find Ashtanga, two years to fully accept it, another two to let it go, and two more to figure out what serves my body best as it develops… I’m only just warming up!
What has yoga taught you?
There is no finish line. The practice keeps going and going. Learn to bend where hard, soften where strong, to breathe the whole time. Foundation before decoration. Move into postures, not through them. Don’t worry about how it looks, connect with how it feels.
What inspires you?
Inspiration inspires me, and I am excited by excitement. On all levels, I strive to move from self-conscious to self-aware. Sometimes I nail it. A lot of times I don’t. I do my best to enjoy the process every time I try.
From street art to social media to pop culture to pulp fiction, I am deeply moved by how people interact with their environment and communities. Not only do I wish to enjoy the creative expressions of others, but aim to cultivate that excitement in others.
Talk about your personal practice.
I guess you can say that I practice what I preach, how I preach it. Slow. Steady. Serious about not taking myself so serious, yet sincere about how seriously I enjoy the flow. When doing yoga, I riff off of the Ashtanga primary series, sprinkle in a strong serving of inversions, arm balances, and interesting transitions. There is core work, a great deal of acrobatic strength training, blasts of cardio in the form of barefoot running and explosive calisthenics, and a healthy appreciation for napping.
What are you grateful for?
My tribe. I am blessed with amazing, capable, and compassionate loved ones.
What’s your favorite yoga philosophy?
Live forever or die trying.