Daniel J. Orlansky has been sharing his knowledge of and passion for yoga both here in the States and in Europe since 1992. In the Boston area, you can find him teaching his weekly classes at Down Under Yoga, and Laughing Dog Yoga and also directing his yoga teacher trainings. In addition, he headlines a number of workshops at studios throughout New England, including Kripalu and the Omega Institute. Stay tuned to his complete schedule through his website. We recently caught up with Daniel for a quick behind the scenes chat…
wind up… how do you wind up, prepare for the week ahead?
I prepare for my teaching with a strong home practice, which involves pranayama, asana, and meditation. For me, the best time to practice is before 6 AM, and the best place, weather permitting, my porch. Across the way, my neighbors are probably quite bemused if they are up that early, which I think they are. I find that a regular practice really grounds me, and helps me navigate the vicissitudes of life. I have been doing the same pranayamas for 15 years, but the asanas and flows vary according to what I’m working on. I always try to study and learn new exercises, techniques, and sequences which I can share with my students. My newest love is Qigong, and I’m practicing that at home, and including it in my classes.
and, when you need to exhale… what’s your other direction?
Exhaling really is about surrender and receptivity, isn’t it? I relax with nature and culture. Trips to the woods, beaches, and mountains interspersed with theater, museums, and music. And I play the didgeridoo, an Australian aboriginal instrument, which literally is one continuous exhale. I’m using a breathing technique called circular breathing, where I’m inhaling and exhaling at the same time at the same time to produce an uninterrupted outbreath.
go to high powered snack?
It sounds funny, but my go to powered snack these days is roasted pumpkin seeds and roasted seaweed. And on really hot day, watermelon!
what three things are you never without?
A neti pot, a spiritual book, and yoga clothes. Something for the breath, something for the spirit, and something for the body.
I would study with Kali Ray and Yogi Bhajan. Kali Ray TriYoga embodies the feminine, the Yin, and has exquisite, creative, vinyasa flows that bring me to such deep levels of peace; it is very calming. Yogi Bhajan embodies a more Yang masculine style that is heating and fiery. Kundalini Yoga floods the body with prana, which is then channeled using mudra and meditation; it is very energizing.
the sound of music… you have room for 5 tracks on your playlist, they are?
I love so many kinds of music, but these cuts, or ones like them, find their way onto my class playlists:
Ode, by Nils Frahm
your bible… what one book do you turn to time and time again for inspiration?
Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tze
Rotated Triangle, because I love the strong stretches in the legs and hips, and the lengthening and spiraling action through the spine. It makes my lower back feel good!
finish the sentence: I’d like to teach the world to …
Well, then Beatles said “All we need is love.” I’m quite in agreement with that. I’d like to teach the world to find love within and then establish that on earth as peace and harmony, in every interaction, in every way, with all peoples, and all of nature. I’m quite idealistic.