Kula Corner with Daniela Kent

Heart Space sat down with Daniela Kent, E-RYT 500 and Owner and Founder of Integrative OM, to chat about her yoga journey, healthy routines, & ways to deepen your practice. 

What is one healthy habit you practice daily or you would recommend incorporating into a daily routine? Take time for yourself. Sit down and have a cup of tea, meditate, read a book, take a walk. Self-care is so important and it seems to be devalued by today's society. Do SOMETHING EVERYDAY that makes you smile- because only then can you truly be of service to others.

Do you have a favorite asana? If so, why? I know it's cliche but I think all asanas are powerful and it really depends on what you need at the moment. At the moment for me, half pigeon has been quite appropriate. I have tendinitis in my left hip, so I really have to respect my limitations and let depth come organically through breath. The idea of trusting the process and letting things unfurl naturally is something I feel I need to work on in many areas of my life right now." 

Many students have a strong physical practice and want to tap into the more spiritual and subtle aspects of yoga but aren't sure how to get started.  Any easy tips for starting a practice outside the realm of asana?  "Seek a true teacher. I know there are a lot of yoga instructors out there who can tell you where to put your feet in down dog, but they may not know some of the finer aspects of yoga philosophy and pranayama.  If you are looking for a place to start, I offer my website Integrative OM, where we have featured workshops and private seasons available with diversely and highly trained yoga teachers." 

What is the best advice you can give on beginning and maintaining a personal practice? "Trust the process (haha). Yoga and life is a journey and there is no finish line. Let go of expectations and be present in the moment - the moment is where you have power, and the only thing that truly exists. You are exactly where you need to be, trust that, and open yourself up to the lesson of right here right now." 

What led you to yoga?  "This is a tough question! I think what really led me to yoga was a desire to live a better life. I wanted a break from physical stress, mental overstimulation, and emotional instability. Yoga showed me I can live a happier and healthier life by loving my body, clearing my mind, and processing my emotions." 

About Daniela: My personal journey through yoga is a love story. I have always been in love with the diversity of life, and how many ways we are able to experience it as human beings- and yoga is the study and practice of just that. While I was studying at UCSD I ran into the practice of yoga. I first saw it through the lens of Buddhism in a literature class and I was swept away by the idea that unconditional love could be the entire purpose of life. Yoga philosophy just made sense to me. Asana was a different story. The first yoga classes I ever experienced, Forrest and Iyengar, humbled me to no end. I spent a good year working through incredibly tight fascia and a competitive attitude until I was able to drop into asana poses and actually feel good. After a year in, however, I began to crave asana practice and viewed it as a form of healing. I received my RYT 200 in 2010 under the Iyengar teacher, Arturo Galvez and continued my yogic education through various trainings, including Restorative Yoga Teacher Training, Thai Massage training in the tradition of Cheng Mei, Reiki Master certification, and finally my 300 Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training with Cloud 9 Yoga. Now I am blessed to be the Owner and Lead Trainer at Integrative OM Yoga School. 

Lauren Autenriethkula