Jamaican-born with Haitian roots, yogini Danielle “yogawithdanielle” Desulme has recently planted herself in her father’s homeland of Haiti for cultural reconnection and to share the gifts of yoga. Danielle is the co-founder of Ayiti Yoga, a budding business and collective in Haiti that offers yoga retreats, workshops, classes, a youth outreach program, and builds yoga partnerships as a transformational tool for the country’s populous.
What do you love most about Haiti?
Living here now for 3 years, there’s this unexplained mysticism and energy that draws you here. It happens to so many people who move here! But, with the hardships and difficulties for the majority of people living here, there is also a real sense of reality that one faces each and everyday. That dose of reality has helped me find my purpose, my true calling…
The practice of yoga is not only needed, but also greatly appreciated.
Persons look to yoga for the true essence of the practice and not the modern day image of body contortionism.
What do you think outsiders would be most surprised to know about Haiti?
The environment – It’s unexpected and undiscovered. Media has distorted the perception.
The resilience of the people. Determined, unwavering strength and perseverance.
What do you think is especially unique about teaching yoga in Haiti?
On a mainstream level, the practice of yoga is still fairly new to Haitians living here in Haiti. However, to the expatriates of who chose to live in Haiti, may it be a personal or work related reasons, yoga is quite is known.
This diversity of knowledge of yoga, challenges me to improve my skills not only as a teacher, guiding those on the path of their yoga practice, but as a human being…
It is a daily reminder that we really are all the same. We all want to be heard, loved, and appreciated.
What inspires your work?
As the only organization zealously promoting yoga in Haiti, my inspiration comes from the daily requests of persons wanting to sign up for our newsletter, the attendance to our workshops and retreats, the smiles and feedback I get from both my private and class sessions.
With the recent worldwide celebration of International Day of Yoga on June 21, over 100 persons attended to a free yoga class with a guest teacher from India, I was overwhelmed with emotion and happiness. Truly an indication that something is happening…shifts are occurring.
Check out Ayiti Yoga & yogawithdanielle online:
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ayitiyogaco.com