Meet Dani Rueb / Our New Yoga Teacher and Life Enthusiast

20 June, 2024 | Interview, Xanadu Team

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

What’s your first thought when you see a seemingly rubber-limbed yoga teacher twisting themselves into an ampersand? That they’re naturally flexible? Genetically gifted? A lifelong practitioner?

All of these may be true, but there’s also another answer: they show up no matter what. 

Danielle Rueb, who is leading our Yoga Wellness Retreat weeks, is someone who believes in the power of consistent practice. From an early age, she was compelled to question societal norms and her place within them. This introspection led her to yoga – a practice that would eventually become a cornerstone of her life.

While Dani initially approached yoga as merely a form of exercise, her true yogic journey, or Sadhana, began in India. It was there she discovered the deeper, spiritual dimensions of yoga, moving beyond physical postures to embrace a holistic way of living.

Her dedication to yoga runs deep, not just as a personal practice but as a lifeline. “Yoga saved my life. Twice,” she asserts, a powerful testament to the practice’s transformative impact.

Dani’s asana practice focuses primarily on Hatha and Ashtanga Vinyasa, but her teaching philosophy is much broader. She adapts her instruction to meet the unique needs of each student, eschewing rigid adherence to any one style or brand. And despite her extensive knowledge, Dani humbly considers herself a perpetual student – always eager to learn and grow.

Fortunately for us, Dani has recently joined the Xanadu crew as a resident yoga teacher at Xanadu Retreat. She brings with her not only a wealth of knowledge, but also a refreshing perspective that defies stereotypes and breaks down barriers to access the transformative power of yoga. 

Her approach is simple yet profound: consistency leads to security, uncertainty breeds certainty and discomfort becomes comfort through repeated practice.

We spoke with Dani about her own yoga journey and her advice to those just starting out. 

This is what she had to say.

Hey, Dani. Stoked to have you here. How did you get into yoga?

I had a misinformed view of yoga, thinking it was just exercise. 

Driven by a calling, I bought a one-way ticket to India on instinct and with no plan. There, I learned that yoga is a complete science, far beyond physical postures. It encompasses a broad philosophy that benefits all aspects of life.

Initially, my yoga journey was for self-discovery and healing with no intent to teach. However, as I delved deeper into its practices and witnessed its profound impact on my life, I felt compelled to share my knowledge.

Yoga is a holistic healing system that can transform your life in ways you may not realise. This is what I wish to share.

Going back, can you tell us how your yoga journey led you to Lombok?

It was an organic journey that brought me here, offering a wonderful opportunity to connect with like minded individuals who wish to go deeper and learn. 

Surfing is a big part of why I came to Lombok too. In my opinion, surfing is a spiritual practice. The connection might not always be obvious, so I want to share this with those who are drawn here and may seek a deeper understanding of their connection.

Can you share how you personally benefit from yoga and how you convey these benefits to your students?

Yoga completely transformed my life. 

It helped me eradicate anxiety and stress by teaching me to live simply and not live and be dictated by my emotions. This change was life-altering and something many struggle with. I wish to share that you have a choice to be happy and not be affected by external factors.

On a surface level, hatha yoga physically transforms you, offering side benefits like increased confidence and security. 

Consistent practice reveals your inner power and brings both external and internal benefits.

Do you think the setting for a yoga practice can enhance experience?

For sure. Being completely disconnected from everything in a peaceful and calm environment can already have a profound impact on you. 

Away from the distractions and the hustle and bustle, we can slow down and start noticing more details around us and within our bodies. Once you stop and slow down, your senses naturally start tuning inward because they aren’t drawn outward.

This is when true contemplation can happen, which is also what meditation is. 

Being in a beautiful environment surrounded by nature, where all your needs are catered to, makes it almost impossible not to feel good here.

What types of yoga do you specialise in?

Well, it’s important to recognise that yoga is a broad philosophy with many styles, and when I say “Styles”, I don’t mean physical styles like vinyasa or power yoga.

Rather, I mean devotional yoga (Bhakti), karma yoga, Jnana yoga and others. One path is Hatha yoga, which has four pillars including a physical component.

The physical practice prepares the body for purification, helping to alleviate physical suffering or illness so you can delve deeper into your meditative practice, which is another pillar. 

Pranayama, another pillar, involves breathing techniques that further purify the body and bring stillness to the mind.

Finally, what do you love most about being at Xanadu?

Having a place to share and go deeper with likeminded people, and having a family away from “home” plus a place to share and receive/learn from people all over the world. 

Ultimately, I love the coming together of kindred individuals!

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