Hello, YogaDownload students and friends,
I’m writing today to say thank you for 14 great years with YogaDownload! You may not know this but I was the first YogaDownload teacher on this platform and when we first began, we did so with audio-only classes. This is how the slogan “take yoga anywhere” was formed. The idea was for me to teach the yoga classes I was teaching at the time for CorePower Yoga and put them online for people to do outside the yoga studio. YogaDownload gave them the freedom to practice wherever they wanted.
The year was 2006 when YogaDownload was launched and it did so before the days of social media. YogaDownload was yoga before yoga exploded into every major city in America and it was the first of its kind. I am forever honored to be the first person to say yes to the best idea ever and I wish to say thank you to the students, who over the years, have allowed me to grow and expand as a teacher.
I came in as a studio yoga teacher, who taught to 40+ people in each class, and had to quickly learn how to teach the same kind of classes to an empty room while sitting in front of a sound studio recording mic.
I’ll never forget the first couple of years with YogaDownload when I would show up to teach I would go into a small recording studio, sit in a chair with recording headphones, and teach my yoga classes into a microphone. It was not easy, but the challenge changed me and gave me a deep appreciation for the power of my voice.
When YogaDownload launched online videos, I was asked to film the first set of YogaDownload video. I hadn’t been on video before, and making the switch proved to be hard for me to do.
My nerves got to me in so many of my videos, and I can’t tell you how many hours I would practice and get ready for each video shoot. It was a labor of love for all of us who were involved from the beginning and now, 14 years later, I couldn’t be more proud of the growth of this beautiful business.
My early years of YogaDownload were successful and I loved my time as yoga teacher, but a few years after my YogaDownload debut, my life shifted. I opened my own cycle and yoga fusion studio in Denver, had a child - add in a c-section and 2 abdominal surgeries later - and then fast forward to the closing of my studio, and finding out at the age of 42 that I needed both of my hips replaced, my love for yoga changed and so did my teaching priorities.
After 14 years of teaching yoga, I transitioned away from the practice of yoga. My hip pain, and, the eventual replacement of both hips, forced me into a career-pivot. I left yoga because the practice didn’t fit my body and my pain was too great to continue the practice as I had taught it for so many years.
It took me a few years to accept my new reality, and through the years, I continued to film for YogaDownload. You guys have been through the best and the worst of times with me, without even knowing it. I recreated my life, both personally and professionally, before your eyes through video, and, at times, I failed to give the YogaDownload community what they were looking for.
This is why I took a break and quietly stepped away to create my new programming and my new identity as a yoga teacher. Do I still teach yoga? Yes, I still teach yoga, but it’s not all that I do. Yoga is part of the formula but it’s no longer my only approach.
I’m now a certified health coach and I have created a new program called AgeDEFY Movement Therapy for Pain and Stiffness. It’s a “Move Young Live Young” program for injured and aging movers like myself who wish to use movement as medicine to keep active, healthy and adventurous lives as they age.
AgeDEFY kept me young, active and adventurous as an injured and aging mover, and I know it helped me to bounce back quickly after both hip replacement surgeries. Within 4 weeks of having my hips replaced, I was back to work and teaching classes. AgeDEFY changed my life, and now, I’m ready to share it with the YogaDownload community!
It is with great pleasure that I announce my return to YogaDownload! I am happy to be teaching live streaming classes for YogaDownload on Facebook during COVID-19 and will film new videos offering YogaDownload students “New Movement New Results” AgeDEFY movement creations such as movement therapy workouts for pain and stiffness, DEFY FLOW, MobilityFLOW Vinyasa, and hopefully so much more for years to come!
I am so excited to be back!
Thank you for 14 great years and a special thank you to YogaDownload Founder, Jamie Kent, who took a chance on me so long ago!
How does yoga show up in your day to day life?
At the end of the AgeDEFY classes, we say Wu Wei instead of Namaste’. We say Wu Wei (ohh-way) at the end of class because Wu Wei is the movement philosophy behind the AgeDEFY movement therapy program. The concept of Wu Wei is found in the Tao Te Ching, meaning effortless action. It describes effortless action as the space between 'too much' and 'too little’ effort and this is how we move on the mat in my classes. The practice is effortless, but not easy. Just like life.
The AgeDEFY Way … We learn Wu Wei in the movement to live Wu Wei in life.
When we learn to live a life in the balanced state of Wu Wei on the mat, it follows us into our daily lives. The practice does not end when the class is over. When the class ends, the practice begins. I bring yoga/movement (Wu Wei) into my life on the daily because I practice it on the mat. The more I practice Wu Wei inside the studio, the more it shows up in my life.
It’s effortless, but not easy.
This has been my practice for the past 4 years and it has changed my life for the better. I move my body and do the practice of movement Wu Wei (AgeDEFY style) so I can live a life of effortless action, both on and off the mat. This is how yoga/Wu Wei/AgeDEFY (it’s all the same) shows up in my day to day life and I’m excited to bring this practice and movement concept to the YogaDownload community.
The more we move to unlock stress and tension from our body, through full-range spinal movement, the more we open the opportunity for Wu Wei to FLOW into our lives.
We learn it in the movement to live it in life. Wu Wei!
Practice one of Dawnelle's inspiring and energetic classes from over the years HERE!
Practice Dawnelle's recent live stream class, Work the Wobble.