If you look at Danique ‘Rambo’ Hanson’s Instagram account, you will be struck by three things:
- Danique knows how to curate a beautiful and inspiring collection of yoga images.
- Danique is incredibly strong and graceful.
- Danique has a ridiculously adorable Italian Greyhound called Bambi.
So with International Yoga Day coming on 21 June, I took this opportunity to chat to Danique about all things yoga.
How did you get into yoga, and what difference has it made in your life?
I got into yoga in 2009 as an ex-gymnast looking for a way to stay connected to strong, flexible body movement. I used to suffer from very bad anxiety and body image issues, and yoga has helped me to manage my anxiety and also give me a really positive relationship with both food and my own body. I also completed my yoga teacher training in 2014, which was pretty life changing. In 2015 I left my career of 11 years and pursued my passion for yoga teaching.
It’s clear from your pics that you’re incredibly strong and athletic. How long have you been practising seriously, and how long did it take you to be able to do what you can do?
I did my first yoga class in 2009, but it wasn’t until around 2013 that i really got into yoga. I had a lot of muscle memory and flexibility from gymnastics, but it took a lot of dedication and time on my mat to be able to do the stronger, more ‘advanced’ poses – persistence and repetition is the key 🙂
Where do you find inspiration for the fabulous quotes you share on Instagram?
I get inspiration from all sorts of places – things that I write myself usually stem from an experience I have had that day, or a situation I am reflecting on or just how I am feeling at that moment.
If I am quoting someone else, it’s usually something I have seen while reading, or happened across online. I usually save them all in the “notes” part of my phone and refer back to them later. I also love books by poet (and yogi) Danna Faulds, as well as Danielle Doby on Instagram (@iamhertribe).
Can you tell us a bit about your lifestyle? Does yoga permeate all aspects of your life? What do you do when you’re not practising or teaching?
Yoga is a huge part of my life, and lifestyle. I teach most days of the week and when I’m not teaching, I get on my own mat or I am class planning or attending things in the local yoga community. It’s fairly constant, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I do also work part time for my best friend, Sarah Wilder, as Operations Manager for her brand The Fifth Element Life (@thefifthelementlife) so between working and teaching, I keep myself fairly busy.
I try to get to at least one yoga class in a studio a week because I find that attending other teacher’s classes really inspires my own teaching and keeps my sequencing fresh. I also recently modelled for Urban Climb and discovered rock climbing and bouldering, which I am LOVING at the moment!
Other than that, I love going on hiking adventures, spending time with my little Italian greyhound Bambi, or just heading to the markets or out to breakfast to catch up with friends and loved ones.
Can you tell us about the classes you teach?
I teach Hatha-based Vinyasa yoga. I try to keep my classes focused on finding that connection between movement and breath, while still bringing in some aspects of strengthening the body, as well as regaining and maintaining mobility. I keep my classes really well rounded so they are accessible to everyone and anyone, from beginners to more experienced yogis.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about trying yoga for the first time?
Nothing is stopping you! You don’t need to be flexible, you don’t need to have a certain body type or be a certain age. Yoga is for EVERYONE.
What will you be doing to celebrate International Yoga Day on 21 June?
I will be at the United Nations International Yoga Day Festival on June 19 in Brisbane volunteering at the Farm Animal Rescue Vegan BBQ stall helping to raise funds and awareness for this amazing organisation ?
To learn more about Danique, head to her website.
Are you a yoga fan?
Coming from a background in Gymnastics, Danique began practicing Yoga to maintain a connection to her love of strong, flexible body movement, but the more she embraced the Yogic lifestyle, the more she experienced the amazing benefits to the mind, body and spirit, and from this grew her desire to share Yoga with others. Danique teaches Hatha based Vinyasa Yoga with an emphasis on strengthening the body, regaining and maintaining mobility, all while finding those moments of connected bliss.