The following yogini profile was submitted by Melissa Smith our yogini on the scene in the wonderful state of Texas.
DeAnna Nielsen, owner of Blue Anjou Yoga Studio in Lewisville, Texas just outside of Dallas (www.blueanjou.com), is a spirit not to be missed. She’s fast becoming known for her workshops on the Chakras. But, more importantly, every time I’ve gotten to see her, I’ve witnessed her serving at community-wide events designed to unite yogis. This past April, I was able to take a round robin class hosted by the Crow Collection Museum (http://www.crowcollection.com/) and Yoginos for Youth (http://www.yoginos.com/) in Dallas for an Earth Day event which showcased DeAnna and many of the most amazing teachers in the DFW area. She also graciously partnered up with me that weekend to demonstrate some Therapeutic Flying. Her joy for living yoga is evident in her parenting, teachings and her lovely studio.
Which five words best describe you?
Sincere, loving, generous, passionate, and most of all playful! I believe all of us should allow our inner kid to come out and play, so I tend to walk around life with my inner kid showing.
How did your yoga journey begin and what path have you taken since?
How do you define yoga?
Unity. All One. To me, Yoga is the understanding that what I do to you, I do to myself. One of my favorite quotes by Mother Teresa describes this perfectly: “If we have no peace in the world, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other.” Yoga is cultivating compassion for ourselves, which leads to compassion for others.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
I used to have a co-dependent personality before I Opened Blue Anjou Yoga Studio, but the business side swiftly kicked my butt through the process of being “Boss”, which I swear almost killed me. As a business owner you must make choices that are not always popular and people do not see you for who you are, but rather how you run your business. All negative or positive that comes through the business lands on your shoulders. It was important for me not to take things people said or did personally, the good or the bad, and just stand on my own two feet knowing my intention was love, kindness, and healing. I had to learn to ask for help and I also learned that I often helped too much, creating situations that were unhealthy. Opening a yoga studio actually taught me lessons that the philosophy of yoga had been trying to teach me for years. It was not until I was hurt and misunderstood over and over again that I realized I was enough on my own and that my only job was to keep coming from love and do my best, even if my best was not good enough for some.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Be Impeccable with Your Word.
Don’t Take Anything Personally.
Don’t Make Assumptions.
Always Do Your Best.
What’s been your best choice in life thus far?
My children. No matter how hard a day is with them, I never regret having them in my life. They also happen to be my greatest teachers. I never knew I was selfish until I had my first child. There is nothing like being forced to look in the mirror at your own imperfections. Kids make you do this daily.
Who inspires you?
Everyone I am in contact with regularly sparks my inner fire. This comes in the form of tough lessons or encouraging words. Everyone who teaches you about yourself and your potential is an inspiration.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?
Abraham Lincoln. “Die when I may, I want it said by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”
I’ve always been inspired by his quotes which show a positive attitude and a belief that none of us are victims and we are in control of making the life we want. He also proved one could be a leader while being kind and respectful of others. I try to run my yoga studio after this model.
I would love to see more people have compassion for self and others. I think I’ll be working towards this dream my entire life and perhaps many lifetimes in the future. Good thing I chose a profession that gives me the platform to cultivate this.
What are you reading?
The 5th Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz
& The True Power of Water: Healing and Discovering Ourselves by Masaru Emoto
Both books speak of vibration. I study the Energy Body, believing vibrations become “things” in our physical body. Our thoughts, words, food we eat, and water we drink manifest in the physical body in the form of physical and/or mental disease. Because compassion is such an important state of being for our planet to heal, internal communication (internal vibration) is the beginning of healing. What we think, we become.
Melissa Smith is a 500 RYT whose first training took place with Inspyrayoga in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Now residing in Texas, she travels throughout the US teaching advanced teacher trainings for Leeann Carey Yoga, leading partner workshops and Thai yoga massage, and blogs about her adventures and teachings atwww.graceyogaandpilates.com.